When was the last time you had fun simply for the sake of having fun? Not because your kid asked you to and not because you’d look like a kill-joy if you said no.
Matt Cornwall, who describes himself as “a cosmic old-school telephone switchboard operator gal on rollerskates,” recently wrote a blog about the perils of being serious. (Shout out to Pam Grout whose newsletter introduced me to him!)
Matt explains that his grand-niece asked him why he was never serious. His answer was surprising, even to him: “I believe seriousness is a disease or dis-ease, or simply, ill at ease.” He goes on to explain: “Being serious is antithetical to the exuberantly playful nature of the universe.”
When I read this, I felt the truth of his words deep in my gut. “We are mere children of the universe, playing together on this beautiful little playground.”
Humans, especially women, have been conditioned to be serious. We have responsibilities to our husbands, our children, our parents, our jobs. We have to be on at all times. Play has no result, no outcome to further our goals. It’s a waste of time, right?
No. Study after study has proven that making time for play is good for our mental and physical health. For instance, one study showed that “adult playfulness demonstrated robust positive relations with life satisfaction and an inclination to enjoyable activities and an active way of life.” Dr. Peter Gray who studies play as a research professor has found that incorporating play can reduce stress levels, improve brain function, stimulate the mind and boost activity, and even improve relationships.
To be able to play, however, you have to let go of your inner critic that says you have no time for play. Jeff Harry, a positive play coach, has an exercise to help you do just that: “I tell people to actually write down what your inner critic is saying to you. Write down all the thoughts that come up: You’re a loser, you’ll never be a writer, everyone hates your guts, you’re an impostor. Write it all down. Then look at it and ask yourself: Is any of this actually true? Or is it just the scared little kid in me trying to protect myself?”
I challenge you to play. As Matt says, “We, pure consciousness, are manifesting into marvelous forms, to experiment/have fun/play with. I’m convinced that any form of suffering is the direct result of the dis-ease known as seriousness or being ‘GRAVE’ (the irony of this word speaks for itself).”
There’s a time for being serious, yes, but that time is not 24/7, 365. Take time to play. Do something that makes your soul sing.
Listen to Matt: “We are here to experience being fully blissfully alive right here right now. It is clearly time to develop the Science of Non-Seriousness Bliss and Cosmic Innocent Play.”