Exercising and Strengthening the Play "Muscle".

Sometimes I take things far too seriously.  Especially running.  Running seems to make me a very serious person.  Maybe because it sometimes I find it seriously hard... so I make sure that I don't discredit the seriousness of the situation and become very serious about it being so seriously hard! Gaaaah!

Thankfully, the more I practice Nia, the more readily I remember that wonderful lesson called "play". Coming back to running. Running + Seriousness = HARD.  But , if I substitute seriousness with play... Running + Play = FUN!  When I infuse anything with the mindset of play, the judgement slips away, the frown softens, and I start experiencing the moment with more grace.

But how do we go about making Play more than an intellectualised concept? By DOING it, of course! Just like the muscles of our body, that need movement to maintain function and fitness, the concept of play needs to be exercised regularly.  When we do so, we find it becomes stronger and easier to activate in more and more challenging environments. "To play" becomes a reflex, a habit - no longer needing to be consciously recalled and executed.  This is embodiment!  

 Play invites you to step outside your serious bubble. Go on! Let go - play! By playing, we allow ourselves to explore more, we let go a bit and experience a lightness of the heart, we start becoming more curious, we come out of habit.  From this place of relaxed, accepting, space, we are more open to seeing different ways of living - different perspectives.

So have a go - wake up that kid inside you and play. And as you play more and find more opportunities to be playful in, I hope that you find, as I have, a life filled with more ease, comfort and joy!

Arohanui Nik

Photo courtesy of Fred Mancosu