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  • Writer's pictureIsabelle

Ready, Set, Go!

How are you my friends? So this is my Birthday week, and I Just needed to talk to you all about playing!!! My friend Jan Jenka is doing a webinar on the importance on play and it was the day before my 50th. Yes, I turned 50, and loving it. Her homework? Play intentionally every day!!You can follow her and listen to her splash call @Splashes of Spirit on FB.On my Birthday, I went out for coffee with two friends and my oldest son took me out for a fabulous waterfront dinner. Hey, y'all: Adult children are awesome! Next week we will have a family birthday dinner and maybe I'll make all my six children and their boy/girl friends/fiance play with me. And my small group from church went line dancing. Fun!Our friend Sam took the children and myself bowling yesterday and then we went to the beach to play Bocci and volleyball. Well it was getting dark and I had pumped up the the ball way too hard, but we had fun. So this week is filled with fun activities and it is not always like that. For February I'm planning a party just for girlfriends, and , you guessed it, we will play games ( and eat of course). Any ideas you have and are willing to share would be greatly appreciated. On a side note: I am planning these activities. Why? Cause somehow I have the role of party planner in my home, and if I want a party, I better plan it!

If you want scientific evidence for why play is important for adults , watch the TED talk by Stuart Brown. He says the opposite of play is, it's not work, it's...well, watch it and find out.And watch what happens when a husky (prey) meets polar bear( predator). you won't believe it until you see it. He encourages us to remember our earliest playful image. What is it for you? For me the picture that came to mind was our big swing in our back yard in Germany. Have we forgotten to play as adults? You know from observing children, that they are so uninhibited when playing. They could care less about other people's reaction. Are we afraid to develop our playful side because someone could label us childish? Well, I like play and silliness to decrease tense moments. So while driving with one of my teens the other day, I sang along to 'my' song One Call Away by Charlie Puth, and I followed up with silly faces. So I made a fool of myself in hopes to get said teen to smile. I could tell that she suppressed her smile and then said;" Mom, you're acting like a three year old." When I brought it up at the webinar, Jan said:" Good, three year olds are fun". So I take it as a compliment. I also like to surprise my teens and young adults, who like to hide out in their rooms "to study" I go in and sing " Shake your sillies out" or some other ridiculous toddler song. Just to get them to smile. See, I don't do sarcasm well, and my family speaks it quite well, so I need to find other ways to be funny.

What do you do to play? Outdoor activities like playing Frisbee? Dressing up for Halloween? Building a snowman? Back in NJ , we used to make caterpillar sculptures. So instead of stacking up 2 or 3 balls to make a snowman, you put 4 or 5 in a row and the spray paint it with a water spray infused with green food color! So much fun! I heard of one family who went into a full out Nerf gun fight on Christmas! Play can also make work more productive and enhance job satisfaction, better the work morale, increase attendance and decrease staff turnover. Check out the Amsterdam based design company 'Heldergroen design studios' on you tube where they literally have a system to pull up all desks into the ceiling at 6 pm, move the chairs and in the free space hold exercise classes like yoga or dance. You have to see it to believe it. But, honestly, wouldn't you want to be at a workplace like that? Plus, you feel more like friends and have a better connection with your co workers.

So what can you implement ? In your home, your life? A weekly/monthly meeting with friends? Everybody bring a new joke to the dinner table? Blow bubbles with your children? Our town has a Hoola hoop class and I'm eager to try it out. Board games? Heads up ? If you don't know this game you have to check it out, Ellen Degeneres created it. How about good old Silly String. Challenge your teen to a Silly String duell and see what happens. Be willing to develop your playfulness. Teens already think you are embarrassing them, so I have nothing to loose and a few smiles or laughs to gain.

George Bernard Shaw: " We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

You are loved. Deeply loved. Loved beyond measure.

Until next time, Isabelle Call or write for a free life coaching session

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