Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lessons from Play

Setting an intention.

I needed to change my mindset about camp and I did. The first two days were fun, laid back and playful. I didn't get to camp before hand like I usually do to put stuff away and have it somewhat organized. This stressed me out a bit....... but...

I figured I could at least find the markers and paper, so I had the kids create mandalas - first the girls and today it was with the boys.

I was surprised at how intently some groups were listening as I explained mandalas as sacred circles, magical, mystery circles... some of the groups I told them to think of something they wished for as the colored them.

It was great watching them and for the two days, I sat and colored a little bit with each group. It opened up some great discussions. Sometimes I am in awe of how smart these kids are.

At the end of class, we displayed them and I took pictures of them while they worked (process) and the completed ones.

Today, at the end of the day while most of the kids were in the pool, I went to the center of the basketball court and starting creating a mandala with colored chalk.

"Awesome!" I heard... "She's making a flower"... a few girls came over to check out what I was doing. .. and I handed them the chalk for them to add to it. More and more joined in and it was so great watching them and their counselors getting into it and having fun while I took some pictures. (other blog)

I had decided I would have a more playful attitude with this and that is just what I did.

Coincidentally, this was in my mailbox from the daily om astrology:

"When you let yourself play, you stimulate your creativity and your imagination. In our busy world, it’s easy to deny ourselves the joy of play because we have so many tasks and responsibilities competing for our attention. Allowing yourself to think like a child and be playful can help you find ways to make work fun. Fulfilling your duties can feel delightful and chores can become tasks to be completed in creative ways. Because you are focused on play, you may find yourself making time to be playful. Reconnecting with your sense of play can help you rediscover your child’s-eye view of a world that is full of wonder. When you give your inner child freedom the freedom to play today, you will find that your playful attitude adds a note of fun to your endeavors."

Kids are a blessing in my life. It's good to give yourself time to play, but when you are surrounded by children, playing with them, then you truly learn or relearn what play is about. Being spontaneous, reconnecting to a different way of seeing things, that sense of wonder children have, a fresh and new perspective.... these are what I return to when I engage with them... they stimulate my creativity... my imagination. We explore together and discover things I may not have discovered on my own with my "adult" vision.

Yes. They are true blessings in my life and I'm grateful to reminded of it over and over again.

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