Recently, I spent the day at a nearby retreat center. Designed as a day of self-renewal, this Franciscan center on 70 acres offered solitude among beautiful oak trees, holistic bodily treatments (think sound healing and massage), nourishing meals, and spiritual guidance. My fellow participants and I met with a facilitator in the morning to talk about our lives and what we were seeking from the day. It was a cozy group. I came with curiosity, and a sense of being called, just at the right moment, to sign up. I didn’t know what I was going to encounter, only that it would be something magical and wonderful.
I took advantage of all that the center had to offer, enjoying the presence of large trees, including “Grandmother Oak”, walking a soulful labyrinth, taking in massage and healing touch treatments, lying down before singing bowls, and reflecting in a journal.
While this was all wonderfully restorative, what brought me the most joy was something completely unexpected–a fully stocked art room, with big windows opening up to a wooded area. I spent time with a mix of materials. Pastels, acrylics, watercolors, bits of fabric, brass hooks, stiff pieces of veneer, multi-colored yarn, copper ribbon, shiny beads, and trim with soft colored balls. I felt like a kid again, immersed in the flow of play.
When the group convened at the end of the day, we shared the impact of the day. I immediately volunteered my experience of joy in the art room. I had no idea what I was making, nor am I a trained artist. I only knew that I wanted to play more, to enter into the mystery of co-creation, of expressing the unconscious, of being with pure joy. The day reminded me to play more.
How can you play more? Leave a comment below.