Be Playful

Posts Tagged ‘difficulty

I’ve been going through a difficult time lately moving house and searching for a job, so I was hugely grateful when Damien Riley of Postcards from the Funny Farm emailed to check that I was okay and with the offer of a guest blog post.  Even better was his choice of topic: being playful when times get tough.  Thanks to Damien for this post.

Photo by xirannisx.

When life gets hard for us humans, we often turn to what we are used to for comfort. For many Americans that means turning to religion, the same people, books, music, routine and anything else we find familiar.

While turning to the familiar can indeed fortify our psychology and even our physiology, it can prevent us from advancing or becoming fully conscious. Most people who experience difficulty need to advance, they need a paradigm shift. If they grow comfortable in their difficulty they may not see clearly the way to solve their issues.

When we lose something precious to us, it can be easy to see it as negative. We need to see the possibilities. Like the gestalt optical illusion: one person sees the vase, another sees 2 faces.

Creativity suffers as well when people retreat. While the retreat may bring comfort, it is often at the expense of creative solutions.

People in times of difficulty should spend time “playing” mentally. Opening ones mind to their inner hopes and dreams and finding a way there is what this sort of play is about.

Many people in America can relate to difficulty right now because the recession is causing many layoffs. But there can be an upside of recession: consciousness. The value of play through difficulty is consciousness.

10 ways to play through difficulty

Photo by woodleywonderworks.

  1. Imagine your environment a place where you have only things you really want. Write down what it includes. You might be surprised to find your all-time wants are within reach. Be like a kid when you do this.
  2. Look at all the cans in your pantry. Rearrange them different ways. See your life as the order of the cans. See how much you can change such a simple thing. Imagine how much you can rearrange such a complicated thing as your job, or your life.
  3. Look at the books in your house. Remember that everywhere you see words someone was paid to write them. What other services/products do you enjoy that you could do for a living.
  4. Write ten endings to this statement -“I am clown because …”
  5. Roll around with a cat on the floor.
  6. Simplify your day, almost to the point of being ridiculous.
  7. Read something you want to read cover to cover. Write a thoughtful review of it on your blog or another online source.
  8. Go on a political forum, invent a persona and argue from a radical position.
  9. If something exciting is happening in your local area, take part. Invite people to your house to share food and conservation.
  10. Eat sweet things instead of a meal – e.g. custard filled donuts instead of a sandwich.

I hope these ideas for playing through difficulty will get your creative juices flowing. Many are stuck out there and a great way out of that “rut” is through play. How do you play through difficulty?

Thanks to David for helping me flesh out this idea and then agreeing to publish it here. For anyone interested in a similar topic, check out my series called Possibility Thinking.


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