Sunday Funday and day 18 of our challenge! I hope that you have been having a restful and play filled weekend! How did Questing feel? Did you go on an adventure of some sort? Were you able to identify any larger QUESTS that you are on in your relationship with Play, or in the world at large?
Personally speaking, ,my QUESTING started out as a search for some mushrooms but took many unexpected twists and turns since yesterday at 6PM and currently has me sitting on my porch this evening thinking about the nature of my own QUEST for Play and why I am building this challenge.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I re-discovered Play when I was an early education arts teacher. The kids I worked with challenged me into a space where I wanted to learn how to play more fully and presently with them, because when we did that's when some kids would find themselves and get to the heart of what was bothering them in the classroom, at home, or just in general. I started seeking out this space because I particularly worked with a few kids who were having a hard time fitting in and this was manifesting in the form of behavioral uproars that were much more challenging to deal with than the emotion hiding behind it. But what I discovered is that it actually brought me to a space like this too. When I got home from work, having spent the afternoon indulging my artist-creator and running around a field as ninjas in training or in writing a movie script and filming a movie club movie, all of a sudden I was a lot clearer about what parts of my life were in contrast and hurting.
So this is my QUEST: by playing, I am accessing joy AND working with the pieces of me that hurt. I'm giving them the space to do things that don't hurt, so that they can later express what does hurt. When I am playing I am a cohesive whole, just having fun. When I got home tonight I was able to have a meditative conversation with the piece of me that currently feels really lonely. Even when I am with other people, that piece of me exists. It may temporarily forget the feelings it holds but will return when playing has ended. So tonight I sat down to Observer Quest through meditation, with the intention of this QUEST revealing feelings from that lonely piece of me. I did my best to write up this experience below -- which is very likely NOT what you would think is going on in my head from watching the timelapse of my meditation against this ;)
I started at the bottom of a staircase, working my way up to a door. Locked! I look around and nothing is there. I try to will the door open with my heart, nothing. I try to kick it and still nothing. I get frustrated and cry because the lonely piece of me feels trapped. I want to go through this door and find a remedy. Instead, the door opens towards me and a porcupine walks through. The door closes swiftly behind it as it enters the staircase. It stops, looks at me, and plucks one quill which it hands to me. I think that maybe this can be the key to open the door? Why does this door hurt so much. I put the quill in and that REALLY HURTS (I find a really deep emotion here, and imagine the quill gently pulling the feeling closer to me through the keyhole, maybe the feeling itself is the key?) which is where I start to cry a bit. After this the door swings easily open and I get the impression of this landscape that is just unfolding, it feels like newly forming and a little surreal and I shout but only hear echoes and wonder where all the people are? And why is it so dark here did someone forget to plug this city in? I start running through the streets and remember here I have some transformation powers to light up external space around me through an inner light I carry so I flick that into high gear and the landscape around me starts to bleed into multi-color and lighten considerably, and people start to emerge because they were here all along... we just couldn't see one another.
I looked up the meaning of Porcupine and this is what I found:
"In this case, Porcupine symbolism is letting you know that it is time to free yourself from guilt and shame. With this spirit animal, you can reclaim the innocence that you left behind as a child. To do this, you must open your heart to those things that gave you joy as a child. Remember fantasy and imagination so that you can bring it into your life again. Make sure that you do not get caught up in the chaos of the world, where fear, greed, and suffering are commonplace. Porcupine symbolism also reminds you that protection is always available to you. It is time to be yourself and trust that it is safe to be who you are. You should never allow other people’s opinions to prevent you from exploring activities that could otherwise be fun and enjoyable. In other words, do not be overly sensitive to their barbs. It may be that there are old wounds that still aggravate and sting you. It may be necessary to remove the old barbs, no matter how painful."
What do YOU Sense?
This leads me to today's play prompt - SENSE. What have you been sensing about yourself or your Play since you have been working with this challenge? What did you SENSE while questing yesterday?
1. It was all because of a SENSE that I decided to embark on that quest to sit down in Observer Play meditation with the piece of me that I found was hurting
2. SENSES are pretty central to my questing. I go full-body quest mode and want to see, smell, hear, taste, and touch an immersive play experience.
3. SENSORY objects are really central to my feelings of relaxation, in and outside of Play
When I am on any sort of play adventure, I always like to have a sensory object in hand. This frequently comes in the form of a play instrument or tool, or some sort of fidget toy. This is how I intersect play into my workdays as well. If you haven't checked out the different forms sensory objects can take, I suggest you check out this list to get some ideas for stress-reduction tools that can help intersect your Play. Objects (rocks, play props, coloring books) Smells (aromatherapy) Sounds (music! and laughter) and Tastes (a really fun meal) are what allow me to turn my analytical judging critic brain and more fully dip in to joyful play without all that background nonsense. They also are intervention tools that I quickly turn to when I am in an "off" mood or not feeling like myself.
Today I am encouraging you to really explore your SENSES and see where these lead you! I want you to be EXTRASENSORY and see how many you can get involved at one time.
See you tomorrow for Day 19 and some much needed Play on a Monday evening! Wishing you some play filled SENSORY evenings!