Day 20: Bridging & Building
Hello Day 20! Are you arriving here positively BEAMING? Did you catch a BEAM towards some fun and relaxation in the past 24 hours? What is the particular path that you find yourself on today because of your unique BEAM? With my engineer brain on vacation this week, I'm finding myself thinking a lot about building... if you couldn't tell ;)
My BEAM that started yesterday at the lake with the two swans that I found carried me through some tough brain times in the past 24 hours. With the election looming closer, it has become harder and harder for me to ignore the pressing anxiety and worry about what our world in becoming. In a lot of ways we are in a liminal space as a collective right now meaning to say that we are in the process of becoming and that doesn't always feel very stable or reliable or relaxing. Or like an environment where it feels easy to get out of your head and play. In recognizing that I am in this brain space of overwhelm, having some simultaneous artistic world frustration and then some loneliness, I decide to create and catch a new BEAM allowing me to step through a doorway in my own liminal time, where I am free to be and become whomever I need most in the moment in order to navigate these chaotic world waters. And today what I needed most for relaxation was a BEAM of least resistance, something low-hanging that I could grasp on to easily without having to try to hard to find my way to Play.
My cat Olive is probably my quickest direct-line connection to getting in a state of Play. She LOVES to play. I have come up with at least a dozen different games over the course of our 10 years together that serve the purpose of immediately grounding me in a playful activity with her, BEAMING some happy feelings and stress relief directly to my anxiety brain. Like who can't just fall in to an immediate state of play with an animal, or similarly for others with children, or a core group of friends. Whenever I notice my balance slipping away from a grounded state and towards overwhelm, I make a point of taking 5-10 minutes to stop what I am doing and get on the ground to play a game with my cat. We play fetch, she's a crazy good soccer goalie with a trash can, and she's been learning new tricks like shaking hands and giving high fives. I might have a totally atypical cat for a cat, but after those 10 minutes I notice myself feeling so much further away from.... what was it that was even so frustrating in the first place? What is that magic?!
The other BEAM I explored was continuing my rock painting! This was an already-started play activity from a few days ago when I discovered a mystery rock in my neighborhood. Using #iwasrocked as a BEAM of inspiration and a jumping off point, I was able to jump in to a play activity with less of a lift than starting something brand new. It's a pre-made structure that allows me to explore within it's structure, filled with inspiration from another artist.
This itself is the BEAM - of "getting rocked"- an unexpected branch to grab on to, a bridge to another world of playing. A substrate from which a friendship can grow from a tiny moment. Maybe even.... a ripple (probably my fav play word at this point) that is now making it's way back to me. Simply put, what helped me today in my playing was the ability to CONNECT and build off of a play path that was already established. A bridge that shows up and invites you to explore what's on the other end. And these bridges can vary in type and shape, but all are ultimately catalysts for discovering new and more varied ways of playing. They encourage you to build through intersection and CONNECTION.
Bridge Over Troubled Water?
The bridge that I found in connection with another player of the world is what helped me over my troubled water today. My overall point here is that it can be a strategic part of playing to identify ways in which you connect with play easily, or by way of another object or person. Since the over-theme for week 3 is intersection I think it is appropriate to more formally challenge you to an addition of (or intersection with) a new play personality! Today I want to explore how one or more play types can CONNECT and intersect in your play. How can connecting with different play types or structures out in the world, encourage new ways of playing?
What does a kinesthetic explorer look like? How does a joker competitor play? Where do an artist-creator and a storyteller connect virtually? How do opposites - say an observer competitor - play in connection? These are the touching points between multiple types, that can be internal to your self or experienced in relation to other players. These CONNECTING points are the spaces where we can start to explore activities that satisfy multiple play types at once, leading to opportunities with exponential amounts of fun and relaxation. If you know you have two types of predominant play in your unique signature, where do these CONNECT? By playing with both simultaneously, do you notice a difference in the depth of your feelings of relaxation?
How about people? Connecting with others in play is obviously one of the more enjoyable pieces of play (for some) but also one that is currently hard to access. So- how do we CONNECT when we are apart? What new virtual play arenas are just waiting to be CONNECTED to your consciousness of them, to facilitate ways of intersecting with others? Where has Play led you to CONNECT with someone unexpectedly? Can you reconnect with someone you loved playing with in the past? Can you connect with someone who has a play type that you do not contain, and find a way to Play? What new modes of playing can be connected for the benefit of all?
Check out the panels below for more jumping off points - and don't be afraid to CONNECT with the unexpected! It's all just for fun :)
See you tomorrow for Day 21! Throw on a #playyourwaychallenge to your posts or any inspirational content that shows up around our theme of CONNECTING for the next 24hrs.