Can you feel it?
There's something exciting emerging from the depths of the sacred, the political and the silly.
From activist clowns with a serious message to laughter yoga for the homeless, play inspires us; we connect through play. When we play & laugh together it allows access to an ancient evolutionary language that mammals use to create and maintain social bonds and clearly regulate emotions to make ourselves feel at ease. This is an ancient behaviour that we are all born with! And is our natural healing medicine.
Combining the serious and the silly creates a delicious change-making medicine for expansion, learning, connection and growth. I want to particularly focus on what happens when we explore the sacred attitudes of mindfulness, meditation and play?
Since the first official Wild Play Lab back in February this year participants have shared multiple testimonials about how making time and space for playing with no purpose other than ‘to play’ has a profound positive effect on their wellbeing. Play opens up a new state of consciousness that melts away inhibitions, allowing connection and creative flow to come through.
In play, we regularly view objects and information in new ways. In a serious state of mind, whether we are happy or not, we fail to perceive new possibilities; but in a playful state imagination is in flow. We regularly transform objects to be other than what they were designed for. A broom can be a horse, a thimble can be a bishop, and this can be translated into opening new ways of communicating our feelings too.
Mindful Play Retreat is a collaboration between myself (Wild Play Lab) & Kerry Stevenson (Mind Over Monkey). The worlds of play and mindfulness move perfectly together and we wanted to create a retreat that resonates with both these outlets.
Mindful Play is a safe space for a human to explore the primal, child-like self, letting go of the ego whilst noticing shifts that happen moment to moment, from a place of deep presence and awareness. This gives the participant a chance to enquire and be curious with a new way of thinking, doing or feeling without the distraction of a chattering mind. As we witness each other in a playful childlike state, inhibitions drop away.
I see this method of play like working on a blank canvass through the mind's eye; our body is the brush, our voice adds a new texture of sound when felt. We paint from a deeply felt sense of intuition and spontaneity, in whatever way comes first, with no meaning and without judgment to self or others.
This method of play is innate, however it can get forgotten when we become adults, especially in highly stressful ‘serious’ environments, which makes up most of society! Working lots of hours to live, pay bills and struggling to fit in much else.
Mindful Play Retreat is an offering of both calm and wild, stillness and silliness using play and meditation as a personal transformational tool to access a new channel of self discovery & understanding.