You know for sure you're a Type A sort of person when you put "play more" on your to-do list. Why is it hard for some people to be playful? I don't know the answer for the world in general, but I am taking a few minutes in today's post to figure out what keeps me from playing.

1. It seems like a waste of time.
2. I have to let go of being responsible for someone or something.
3. It requires turning my self-monitor off.

To play requires a certain amount of trust. One has to believe that doing something for the love of it is appropriate, and that risking time on something that may have no obvious value has inherent worth. There are many educational studies that tell us playing is crucial to children's learning process, but somehow the older one gets, the less important play seems.

Perhaps a little harder for me is taking off my referee cap. Letting go of responsibility also involves trust: the belief that the world will be OK while I take some time to do something fun. People won't crash and burn, stocks won't fall, termites won't invade the house, what truly needs to get done will get done in a timely (whatever that means) manner.

The third reason, however, is the one that honestly gives me the most trouble. To play means that I enter into a relationship with myself that is blind. To play means I’m so
caught up in what I love, or in the experience of discovery that I lose the sense of myself. To really jump into play I must let go of the awareness that other people might be watching me, that I might look foolish, or immature- especially to myself. For true play to happen, I need to stop caring so much about how things look, to toss out the score cards.

There is a freedom in play that I know I haven't yet attained, that I lost somewhere in my latter teens. I'm yearning to return to that realm where being responsible includes throwing cares aside, and being serious is measured by an ability to laugh and look foolish. Where I no longer have to choose joy, it just bubbles up from an eternal spring.

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