If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

"Play is the highest form of research" Albert Einstein

I am not really into self help stuff but I have been following a Brene Brown (Of TED fame) ecourse with some of the mums from the playground, we meet once a week to work on a scrapbook of "heartwork", yeah I know how it sounds but I have to say we are having a great time, chatting, painting, sharing stories and discussing subjects such as creativity, vulnerability and life.  For one section we looked at play. How many of us as adults can say that we play just for the sake of playing, not many I suspect. The awesome Brene talked about Stuart Brown and his 7 properties of play, which are as follows........

Apparently purposeless (done for its own sake), Voluntary, Inherent attraction, Freedom from time, Diminished consciousness of self, Improvisational potential (“we aren't locked into a rigid way of doing things. We are open to serendipidy, to chance.”), Continuation desire [it makes you want to do more of it]"

For me these translate into Just because, Because I want to, Because I love it, It takes as long as it takes, I don't care what other people think, Go where it takes you and I want to do it again and again. We then had to think about what we would like to do, but it had to fulfill the criteria of the 7 properties of play. Not so easy, as mums we all automatically related our choices to what our children would like to do. One mum even shared her experience of trying to write down a few ideas before our session, she struggled to find ideas until her 6 year old daughter stopped by to ask what she was doing and once she understood she wanted to do her own list. No deliberation, no thought just idea after idea, handstands, hide and seek, drawing mustaches on faces in a magazine,  dancing and so on. We must all have been like this little girl but somewhere along the line responsibility steps in and many of us lose the ability to just be and just enjoy.  I have to say this was a bit of an eye opener for me and I decided there and then to just go with life and follow the path it takes me, enjoying time with my family and friends and not worrying about what people think, after all those that love me, love me for who I am.

My brother and his 2 children have being staying for a few days and ignoring the weather forecast of wet and windy day, we risked a trip to the beach where the sun shone, and ok the wind blew. We scrambled across the rocks, the children chased me with seaweed and stuffed handfuls of it in my hood (I have a little bit of a rather pathetic phobia to seaweed) we hunted out crabs, shells, anemones and fossils. The children climbed into a cave full of huge dinosaurian teeth and then raced along the cliff tops screaming and laughing. 

As we headed back to the cars for our fantastic picnics of wraps, sandwiches, sausage rolls, scotch eggs, chocolate coated flapjacks and that delightful coffee and walnut cake (care of  a Waitrose's recipe card)  we were met by a hill full of daisies just beckoning to be rolled down and so we did, me included! It was fantastic, amazing, exhilarating and very dizzying. I had to lie still for a few minutes cloud gazing to reclaim my centre of gravity. And whilst I lay there I thought to myself there is a lot to be said for his play stuff, so next time we are in the town gardens with the huge tree I am going to climb it an I may just try the mud slide in the secret garden!!!

BTW: Number 2 on the National Trusts, Things to do before you are a 11&3/4 is to roll down a really big hill!!

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