The song says, “Summertime and the living is easy,” yet many of us who are juggling work, families and relationships, resist that feeling of easy. Despite the warm weather, long days and shorter nights we’re somehow caught up in trying to balance everything and instead of those creative days of summer bloom, we’re caught in struggle and angst.
There’s a book on my bedside table called, “I Remember” by Joe Brainard. Each line begins with the words, “I remember” and it’s just magical to read. As you turn the pages you feel like you’re there in the simplicity of his memories and it’s got me thinking about the importance of remembering play in our lives, particularly as we head towards summer.
How did you spend your summers as a child?
What do you remember about your childhood summers?
Do you remember walking bare foot on the grass? Or maybe you can remember that feeling of climbing trees, building dens in the woods and being with imaginary friends.
When you remember back to times when you were younger, how did you play during your summers? I know mine always involved time alone and with friends, water and nature!
Now ask yourself, “When was the last time I gave myself permission to play like this?”
I know my answer is that I forget to play, do you?
Remembering play helps us with our creativity…
Sometimes life gets really way too serious and as our monkey mind of thoughts takes over, we forget to play and think we need to drive hard to achieve the results we want. We believe that grit, brute force and determination are what will help us to go the distance, yet the opposite is correct.
The truth is, I’m least effective when I’m in that mode. Suddenly work becomes hard and I feel uninspired. My monkey mind chatters on about how I should be handling things, where I could have done things differently and what I ought to be doing but aren’t. Once this in the driving seat, I’m on a hiding to nothing and my productivity falls through the floor. I procrastinate and over think.
It’s in these times that I most need to remember to give myself permission to play because that’s what will spark my creativity in the present moment.
Whenever I find myself sat at the computer and the words are straining to come out, I now know it’s time to walk away. It’s my window to let go of having everything be hard and allow myself to get out in nature and just allow my higher energy to return and flow through me.
As I walk through our local woods, I feel my heart opening and suddenly I feel alive with simple possibilities. My creativity is awakened and I start to make associations, new ideas come and old dreams are re-ignited.
I’m reminded of who I am when I’m carefree and fully alive.
How will you spend this summer?
Why not try something different this summer and set yourself a goal to re-awaken your creativity with play.
Summer is the time where nature is in full bloom and it’s a perfect invitation for us to try something new.
If you want to feel even more creative, play is the doorway through to it. When you’re playing naturally and feeling joyful, your creativity will flow. You’ll get out of the groove of how it should be and surrender to a natural unfolding.
So here it is … full permission to play this summer.
Set time aside each day to kick your shoes off and feel the grass beneath you feet.
You not only deserve it but it will pay dividends in your creativity in ways that you couldn’t imagine.