On Living Pretty Well

Pure creativity is something better than a necessity. It’s a gift. It’s the frosting. Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from our Gods. It’s as if all our Gods and Angels gathered together and said ‘It’s tough down there, being a human being, we know. Here, have some delights!’ It doesn’t discourage me in the least, in other words, to know that my life’s work is arguably useless. All it does it make me want to play.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

CREATIVITY, AND PLAY, AND ME

:::::::::: At the Heart of it All :::::::::

Friends – this quote from “Big Magic” feels like home every time I read it.  To me, creativity and play are synonyms.  I could do a lot of things with my one precious life, and I choose to do whatever I can to spread light and love and humor and laughter.  When I sit still (actually put the phone down for half a second) and honestly ask myself “Self, what are you doing here on this crazy spinning planet?” – the answer always sounds similar to Gilbert’s quote above.  More wonder.  More joy.  More curiosity.  More gifts.  More light, please and thank you.  So, here I am –deciding to spend my time on this “arguably useless” venture of promoting play.  But, it’s also “arguably fundamental” to the vitality of humanity.

The way I see it, play embodies all the “good stuff” in life… the things that I imagine we will savor the most in our later years, when we reflect on the quality of life we lived.  I am pretty certain most folks are in agreement that lack of play will not lead to imminent death.  And also – without joy, all the memories suck and life is a stiff....a relentless grind.  So, is play essential? I guess it’s only essential if you want to be happy, fulfilled, healthy and live with purpose.  We are not here to merely survive (and definitely not here to suffer).  For me, when I play, I light up from the inside and the “goodness” spills out.  You too!  It’s not selfish, is what I’m trying to say….when you are having fun, you radiate and light up everything and everyone around you.

 

::::::: Too Deep? Let’s Lighten Up & Let It Out :::::::

Too deep?  Because, ya’ know… it is JUST PLAY!  The cool thing is – you can’t get it wrong! What do you have to lose?  Oh, you’re too busy?  You are a serious type of person?  You think it’s self-indulgent or irresponsible?  That’s ok.  You are entitled to think/feel all of those things.  May I ask you to simply give it a little (open-hearted) whirl?  One minute here, a smile at a stranger there… nothing crazy, totally do-able.  Just for funsies take play for a spin.  If you really hate having fun, by all means ditch it and head back to your totality of adult obligations.

 

:::::::::: How’d I Get Here? ::::::::::

 So, how did I get to “Playologist”? [Side note: I think I actually relate more to the term “Play-Finder” since what I am really doing is helping people find play all around them.]  I think I’ve always been a Playologist, but just recently dubbed myself with the title.

In fact, part of my title “Relentless Optimist” came from a friend who once called me that – although I am not 100% sure of his intention, I totally took it as a term of endearment – a badge of honor.

As I embarked on personal development and exploration, I began to take inventory of two things:

1: What did I love doing so much that I could lose track of time, space, reality?

Answer: Making pretty shit (I call it shit not because I don’t like it – but I’m just not super attached to it – its disposable… it’s the process that elates me). Growing, learning, and exploring (particularly outside/travel) also get me all giddy and awestruck.  Once I understood my Play Personality Type, it was clear that the things that meant the most were the things I engaged in for play.  So, the next question that ran through my mind was “Could I spend my life PLAYING?  And if ‘yes,’ how could I do it and be a responsible adult?

2: How did I want to “work” in the world?  (How was I going to be an productive adult and be totally obsessed with how I spend my days?)

Answer: I was searching for my “gifts” – what made me… ya’ know, ME?  What is my magic?  What is my higher purpose?  And while looking at pretty (and generally unattainable) things on Pinterest, I came across a quote by Mother Teresa:

“I am a little pencil in the hands of writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”

Hmm.  How was my “love letter” going to read?

How did I want to “work” in the world?

            With. Other. People.

            Room. To. Grow.

            Free. To. Create.

            Fun. Above. Martyrdom.

            Authenticity. Trumps. Originality.

            Be. Light.

            Spread. Joy.

 

A Creative Life = A Playful Life.  Let’s create and play and Live Pretty Well, together.

Cailin RobinsonComment