“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…”
I don’t think that this just means that Jack is boring or bored if he doesn’t play. I think it means that Jack’s spark has gone out. He has forgotten that he is a human being and not just a human doing.
In Ayurveda we talk of the mind being dull which implies that our consciousness is veiled - we have lost the light of awareness and the ability to listen to our soul’s longings.
When a blade is dull it has lost its sharpness. When a mind is dull it has lost its ability to see clearly and with precision.
And so the remedy that’s suggested here in this old proverb - is PLAY.
What is PLAY? I think that in order to gather our SPARK, PLAY then has to be something that lights us up. Not necessarily something that continues to dull the edges. For example, if my form of play is drinking wine, while it potentially lights us up in the moment due to the intoxication, it doesn’t necessarily light up our minds or make for more clarity or spark. When the drug wears off, we again become dull or even more dull.
For me, PLAY can be hard. I am driven, very often have a lot to do and I have an intensity about me that can forget to take the time to stop and play. SO my PLAY practice is one that I attend to fairly vigilantly lately because I want to develop that inner SPARK of light and aliveness.
My play rituals?
My dog - for those us who have dogs, I love how being with them invites us into our playful side and into complete presence.
Laughing and being silly with my kids and my sister . I have a really odd sense of humor (the British in me I think) - and my sister and I spend quite a bit of time making up silly youtube skit ideas and laughing at our own absurdity. (I wish I could post one that she made and sent me but she might kill me for exposing her but it consisted of her with a skirt tied around her neck pretending to be superwoman. LOL.)
Jumping on the bike and whizzing through the roads of my neighborhood. Makes me feel like a kid again.
Dinner and great conversation with friends who are fun and interesting.
Driving with the windows down and playing loud music.
Dancing in the house with myself.
Going on trips. Being in adventure. Trying new things.
PLAY is essential to our SPARK, our CREATIVITY and to the integration of who we are as a WHOLE being.
If you want to cultivate your SPARK, come on retreat to Mexico with us in November to practice PLAYING. We’re going bike riding to the Mayan ruins, hiking, exploring, swimming in the cenotes, jumping off cliffs, taking a cooking class, laughing and having lots of amazing conversations.