We are officially in the 2nd week of Play Your Way Challenge! My hope is that you have been able to identify at least 1 Play Personality that you are sure is part of your unique Play Signature. Now it's time to begin expanding our Signatures so that we can learn to incorporate multiple types of playing into our experience. The overarching theme of Week 2 will be EXPANSION.
Before we walk through that expansive doorway at the end of our Liminal hallway, let's touch on yesterday. How were your MOMENTS? Were you able to successfully wield play as an intervention in your day? Was a moment harder to come by than expected? Remember that MOMENTS come in succession. If you were on the end of not having time for Playing yesterday that is OK! In every successive moment you have the opportunity to step playfully into your Liminal Place - now that you know it exists.
While we use a liminal MOMENT to explore what is possible and who can I become in the Liminal Place to fluidly decide where I will exit and who I will be, we also can't ignore the practical and physical reality of SPACE. This is something that I realized last night in staging my own playful intervention when I encountering some end of the day emotions and sleeplessness. It has been relatively recent learning for me that the mental/emotional state that I go to sleep in definitely determines the state in which I wake up in the next morning. What a time for a play-based intervention fueled by insomnia!
As I said yesterday, Play can look big and loud or it can look small and quiet. Given the practical reality of my physical SPACE (a tiny apartment with a roommate, and housemates below me) my options for Play were pretty limited at 1am. This is what landed me on my Observer / Creator play moment.
As you have probably noticed - my physical space is about as colorful as my website ;)
This is purposeful! It's in working with my physical environment as a living art piece that I am able to set the best stage set for Playing at any moment- be it a brief 5 minute thing, or a whole evening. For me this means: colors, textures, tactile objects abound, and playful lighting that easily lets me adjust the tone of the place. I might have a bit of synesthesia here, but you get where I'm coming from. It is literally me setting a stage for my most optimal Play Personalities to feel comfortable wandering out and grabbing a playful moment at any time.
What's In Space?
One of the biggest barriers to entry in Playing is access to physical space. What types of spaces do we have as adults that are specifically designed to facilitate authentic play? I would argue that any space based in consumption and pay-to-play membership should be crossed off of this list. As should any space that is filled with more design for distraction than communal activity (tv's blaring plus the radio plus a jukebox and a live band in the corner sorta deal). I think one of the first hesitations adults have towards playing is that "Playgrounds are for children" and perhaps some "I've worked really hard to become my adult self and playing feels too childish for me" paired alongside. Well - it's not exactly like we've been given many "adult playgrounds" (aside from Las Vegas?) so these are pretty regular feelings for everyone. On top of that, we are experiencing a huge loss in community gathering experiences and public access areas for our 9 personalities to let loose. So it's high time we reclaim some SPACE for our playful selves.
Today, take some time to think about what makes a playful SPACE for you. Given the nature of the world right now, it's ever more important for us to fully utilize our daily places at the disadvantageous loss of regular areas for playful exploration. What daily SPACE do you encounter? Have you been playing at home, inside, outside, or internally? How can we expand our SPACE and make it even more conducive to new play-based activities? Are there new play personalities that are ready to come out, given a bit more SPACE?