PLAY IS THE ANTIDOTE TO DIVISION & ISOLATION
:::::::: PLAY PROMOTES PEACE ::::::::
“Play shows us our common humanity” – Dr. Stuart Brown
Healthier, more positive interpersonal connections are vital to promoting peace and “heartfelt connection” is one of the three major benefits of play (that you’ll always hear me talking about). Play strengthens current relationships and can facilitate genuine connections between strangers.
How on Earth can we love each other without connecting? Obviously, we can’t. How on Earth are we able to be happy without love? …without connection? Again… it’s impossible. So, it’s pretty undeniable that we are hardwired for connection, for belonging. It’s how we feel loved, appreciated, valued, worthy, and worthwhile – it’s how we feel like we matter. Cool, we agree then – social connection is vital and there’s no substitute. Now, the next (logical) question becomes: How? How do we connect? How do we create connections that shape and shift the world towards peace, towards happiness? How do we nudge in favor of more hugs and less violence; in favor of grace and less judgment? How do we build the types of connections that are infectious with laughter, and compassionate with empathy, and secure in trust and safety?
I know you aren’t going to be shocked when I tell you…. P L A Y is key to answering these questions.
WHEN WE PLAY TOGETHER
We suspend fear
We anticipate others’ needs
We find commonality
:::::::: PLAY IS UNIFYING ::::::::
“Play invites participation” – Brian Goodwin
Play binds us; it connects us –and fast! It is (somehow) not totally “ reality” - it’s just a game, it’s just “make believe.” All of the really difficult emotions lose gravity because, in the end, it’s meaningless… it’s just for fun. Play is practice – which takes the pressure off. When the pressure is off, we don’t feel the “sting” of vulnerability. We can be ourselves a bit easier. After all, when we are in play it’s not our jobs, our responsibilities, our finances, our marriages that are on the line – it’s a freaking game. And when you remove the heavy-hitting stressors from the equation – there’s not much at steak and we can let our guard down, find commonality and T R U L Y C O N- N E C T.
:::::::: PLAY IS MEDICINE ::::::::
“Connection is why we’re here, it’s what give us meaning and purpose in life.” – Brené Brown
Play heals. Physically, emotionally, mentally… it’s the antidote to the madness, darkness and scary f-ing sh*# in the world. When we regularly play, it’s like we have a protective armor that allows us to survive and not be swallowed whole by all the horrific things out there. In November, I want to take the whole month to really explore the ideas and concepts around how VITAL play is in connecting us as humans. Because, honestly, we really need to take a close look at why we are increasingly divisive, angry, lonely, depressed and addicted. (Not making this up – tons of studies show evidence of these grim realities). I am not trying to be a buzz-kill here, but I also need you to know that I am grounded in this reality, and not a naïve rainbow-unicorn-sparkle-princess who is blind to real struggles, injustices and hardship in today’s world. If we’d like to shift this reality for the better – we need to get honest, take a look at what’s not working, put on our “thinking caps” and get creative. While we are at it, grab a cape, but because we will also need to get brave – because we’ll need to try some new ways.
If you know me – you know I am not a doom and gloom gal. I am filled to the brim with hope… truly. And (despite the constant stream of totally horrific news) in my heart of hearts, I believe people are good. And I do NOT think the world is going to hell in a hand basket. But of course, I also know (with every fiber of my being) that there’s room to do better, and that we NEED to do better. One way we can be happier humans and promote peace is through P L A Y!