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Day 7 : The Liminal Place

Wow wow wow, can you believe YOU have been playing YOUR WAY for 7 days at this point! How was your reflection play yesterday? Did you find some treasures of knowing about yourself more deeply? Did you change up your play personality? How are you feeling today?

One of the things that I am eager to highlight as we come 'round to one full week of play is that play can take many shapes and forms: it can be big and loud, or small and quiet, or somewhere in the middle.

No matter what your particular Play looks like for the day, it is important to allow yourself these changes in Play tones. It is what will help you through days where you are feeling a tired, or a lack of motivation, or just quiet.

As I mentioned yesterday, engaging in reflective thinking is where we are able to choose our next path forward. Which brings me to one of my favorite topics : THE LIMINAL PLACE.

What is The Liminal Place?

I'm so glad you asked! The LIminal Place is what I call the point of in-between, where you are not who you were when you first started but you are not yet who you will be when you are finished. It is an active state of becoming, of trying new things, of making fluid decisions and feeling them out. The Liminal Place is where you are able to choose your direction through reflective Play.

David Didau (who created the above image) describes the process of learning in the same way that I think about the act of playing. For our purposes, I have replaced the word "learn" with the work "play" in his quote below.

"[Playing] is a messy, complicated business. Imagine yourself standing before a dark, ominous doorway. Through it you can glimpse something previously unimagined, but entering and crossing through entails a risk – anything might happen. Not passing through, while safe, means you will never know what’s on the other side." -David Didau

But let's back it up here and remind ourselves that our doorways are playful, not ominous and that actually this threshold is more like a long hallway that you are able to freely travel in between two ends. At one end we have door #1, representing your day up until a point of playing. At the farthest end of the hallway we have MULTIPLE doors that represent the future of your day after a point of playing. It's this long open hallway that we get the pleasure of running up and down, and choosing which door we want to walk through at the end. Oh and while we're in this hallway - you can be whoever you want to be without pressure.

"Born from mindful authentic Play, The Liminal Place is where you can test and try new ways of thinking, being, and acting. This safe "threshold" space is where all identities and hierarchies dissolve, and everyone is rendered equal. You create a gateway between old and new, a space to test out mental attitudes and ways of acting, before bringing this back to your everyday reality." -Easton Smith, PlayGrounding (30)

The Power of a Single Moment

This brings us to today's prompt : MOMENT. Today, I want you to spend some time in the active MOMENT of The Liminal Place. Be sure to piggyback off of your reflective play from yesterday in asking yourself before you start "who am I before Playing today? How do I feel? Who do I want to be after playing?" Then, have some fun with your activity of choice for the day - really lean into the MOMENT! How long can you stay there? What new ways of thinking, being, acting, can you test out and try on while you are inside the long hallway of The Liminal Place? Are there any treasures discovered in these liminal MOMENTS that you want to bring with you? And finally, which doorway will you choose to exit? Who are you now, that you have Played?

Let me bring this to a bit more of a personal place. I have been working on my self-love, and self-confidence. Yesterday in my reflective play I noticed both of these things dwindling during a long work day and I was feeling unmotivated, anxious, tired, and stressed. AKA Door #1 of my hallway, and not looking too pretty. I decided to make my play for the day geared towards these themes. I decided that while I was playing, I would play in a way that FULLY EMBODIED the feelings of self-love and confidence that I am wanting to bring forward in my daily experience. I allowed this want to help me choose ways of playing, and when I was done I was pretty astounded by what I saw from myself in my video capture.

First, I chose a location that was reflective (my favorite lake to sit by in Observer Play reflection, with water that can literally reflect, and kinesthetic activities that reflect my love of bodies of water) but what I see in this video is my Liminal Place "becoming" self, reflected. Once I started playing, I allowed myself to WANDER, to FLOW, and to REFLECT in play. From here, I can access The Liminal Place where I feel less pressure around finding the self-love and confidence that I want to embody. And before I know it - I am walking right through the door at the end of my Liminal Place hallway that contains ways of being in the world at large that incorporate my play discoveries around self-love and confidence. Today I am still riding the high of the progress and improvement I can see in myself. All of that was chosen from a single Play-based MOMENT!

SO- enjoy your moments today! How can one single MOMENT change the course of your day? Check out the panels below for ways of playing around the theme of MOMENT and tag me in your videos on IG @eastonsmith!

Happy playing :)

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