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Musings: Play Like No One Is Watching…

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“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato

Musings: Play Like No One Is Watching... Play & Dance with joy and abandon

When was the last time you let your hair down and played with abandon? When was the last time you tapped into your inner child and invited him/her out to play? When was the last time your childlike spirit made you sing out loud in a supermarket or do a jig on the dining table? When I meet creative people, especially prolific/successful creatives, they often possess a childlike sense of humor; an appreciation of the ridiculous. They approach their craft with a freedom that opens the door to originality and fun. That is something that the rest of us could benefit from practicing; especially in a world that pretends it condones free flowing, out-of-the-box thinking…

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” Kahlil Gibran

Musings: Play Like No One Is Watching... Remember the playful games of your youth

There was a time in our lives when we played freely, enjoyed ourselves with ease, didn’t worry about propriety or what the neighbors would say. As we got older, many of us clammed up, forgot or blocked out playfulness, got caught up in keeping up with the Joneses, and imitating the Smiths that we let go of that spontaneity that made life as a child fun, fun, fun.  As kids, we played like no one was watching and had a ton of fun doing the silliest things. Some of us kept that spirit of childhood play and channeled it into successful, happy adult lives. Most of us got so serious, we almost need permission to enjoy a good laugh. Lighten up! Where did our playful spirit go? More below… 😉

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir

Musings: Play Like No One Is Watching... Advice; the operative word is playful

My first year in college, I was hanging out with some friends in my dorm common area/room. It was a fairly large sitting area divided into four sections with cozy armchairs, coffee tables and a large screen TV. We would sometimes hang out there to chat and have a good time. One day, a few friends who were on the Orchestra/Band and Campus Chorus stopped by. We started singing songs, and soon we were dancing happily around the room. In a moment of youthful exuberance, I climbed on one of the coffee tables and danced away; moving gaily like a ballerina in flight.

My friends applauded just as a security guard walked in barking at us to stop, and then yelled at us to “stop being childish and acting like children!” That comment struck me as odd. How could fun, joyful play only be seen in that light? We told him to lighten up. Let’s do same for ourselves and for once or even more times, let’s play like no one is watching. We are free! What about you? What do you think? What are your thoughts? When was the last time you played freely? What does playfulness mean to you? Do you play like no one is watching? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

This post was inspired by a prompt from Daily OM: Shake Your Tail Feathers Like No One Is Watching

Positive Motivation Tip: Let your hair down and tap into your playful side… a moment of joy = a lifetime of memories.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Children at play by Peter Bruegel, via Wikipedia. Or Dance with Abandon by Nuno Duarte,  Playful balloons by Roo Reynolds, via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

25 Comments leave one →
  1. 15/11/2011 9:44 pm

    great post…I really do believe that we have to explore our inner child so we won’t be consumed by stress and problems that are just around the corner. We should take time and enjoy life–play and act foolish sometimes, joke around, have some fun, act funny…get a life!

  2. 16/11/2011 12:28 am

    The last time I really did it was the day I went on all of the swings and things at the children’s play area. I did it for my blog but I had a blast!

  3. 16/11/2011 2:47 am

    My friends applauded just as a security guard walked in barking at us to stop, and then yelled at us to “stop being childish and acting like children!”
    I can’t forget the Afro-american security officer on the roof garden, Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan, “BARKING AT ME” to put on my sandals again not being barefoot

    oh Africa, how forgotten you are in the land of Afroamericans!

  4. 16/11/2011 2:50 am

  5. 16/11/2011 3:54 am

    What a world we’d live in if we all tapped into our inner child! Your stint on the coffee table must’ve felt good!

  6. 16/11/2011 3:58 am

    Reading such positive blogs is really refreshing because these days most of the posts fume and fret, and the mood is contagious.
    Sweet of you to write such good things. How I would love to be a child once again!

  7. 16/11/2011 4:10 am

    How timely! Just yesterday I was playing some Irish music and couldn’t stop dancing in the kitchen. Just me, myself and my chai. Playing is so important to our mental health, and I’m so grateful for your post today.

  8. 16/11/2011 6:36 am

    I used to play organ at my church, one day I played for the wedding, and I might play like no one was watching at me. I was around 14 years old that time. As when I am older now, I also played keyboard in the church, and I am not very good in it, but still I didn’t stop and try to do my best, as if there are nobody there.
    Yes, we should thing that no one is watching us, so we won’t get nervous and we can play well.

    Thank you for sharing this, Eliz


  9. 16/11/2011 7:30 am

    I love the way you write….it’s so motivational yet thought provoking….thank you.

  10. 16/11/2011 7:51 am

    My inner child always seems to escape at the worst possible moment. still, it’s always fun to let your hair down. As for playing music. I love to play the piano

  11. Bree permalink
    16/11/2011 8:49 am

    I am one of the serious ones and I bet my inner child would love to come out and play. Its amazing how we forget and get caught up in stuff.
    I believe that letting that child lose will help our creativity. I’ll try the singing in my supermarket; its about time 🙂

  12. 16/11/2011 11:16 am

    This is definitely something we all need more of! Roll on the holidays, for we might get a chance!

  13. 16/11/2011 11:33 am

    This one is easy for me! I play every day with my son, whether it’s the tickle monster, hide and seek, SImon Says or just dancing. It always puts a smile on my face, relieves stress and brings us closer together. Playing is a great stress reliever and it gives me perspective too. Great post! 🙂

  14. 16/11/2011 12:13 pm

    FUN post, E!

    On with the dance . . .

  15. 16/11/2011 1:38 pm

    My inner child was seriously delayed in forming and has sprung full force in my adulthood. Thanks for reminding me to carry on!

  16. 16/11/2011 1:38 pm

    Great post, thank you for writing and sharing this.
    I don’t let go very easily, i suppose I take things too seriously too often… The only time I really let go and “play like no one is watching” is sometimes when I’m painting – but then, I KNOW that nobody is watching 🙂
    Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue, because of my daughter: a nine year old who reacts in many aspects even more serious than I do. I hope that she does “play like no one is watching” when I am not watching…

  17. 16/11/2011 2:44 pm

    What a great challenge…and to me, it sometimes is a challenge. I don’t think I was even much of “kid” when I was one! But I went on to be a preschool teacher/director and got to do it over again. Now I’m a grandmother, and although it’s harder for me to be “childlike” all on my own stage, playing and encouraging play with my two little love bugs somehow does it for me. You’ve made me think, though, that maybe through the holiday season I could try to be a bit more playful, just for me. Thank you for the wonderful encouragement to give it a try! Debra

  18. 16/11/2011 6:39 pm

    It’s always great to bring that child out to play as often as possible. And if we can’t summon your inner child, spend some time with a child.

  19. 17/11/2011 6:04 am

    I feel sad for that security guard!

    It’s harder for me to let down my hair as I get busier, but trips to Disneyland–especially those with Li’l D!–help.

  20. 17/11/2011 3:42 pm

    That is so true, and such a liberating feeling! Thank you for this wonderful post Eliz!

  21. 17/11/2011 6:48 pm

    Dance is incredible – its beautiful to free the spirit through movement and passion of the music .. thanks to Robert Norton, we were able to share a few moments … blessings for the wonderful music! Helen provided wonderful movement classes also … Wonderful opportunities to remember and continue playing with! xox

  22. 18/11/2011 2:44 pm

    Don’t know about angels, but do know there are miracles and events that are beyond our understanding. I also know their are people who are angel like. You help create some of those people. Keep caring and sharing, it strengthens us all.

  23. 19/11/2011 6:50 pm

    Dancing is fun! 🙂

  24. 27/11/2011 8:56 pm

    Playing gives us an inner distance to our habitual (and trained) evaluations and comparisons, in short, our success-or-failure thinking. When playing, with others or on our own, competitiveness is transformed into a fun exchange, not a battle.
    On top of that, play keeps us relaxed, in the flow, and “relaxed people are more likely to make the right decisions”. (= one of my main mottos for years, but sometimes it takes a puppy to remind me of it…)


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