02 August 2013

Play From the Inside Out

Play is more than an activity; it is an attitude, a mindset, a certain way of approaching life. Call it openness, wonder and curiosity. Full play does not demand or compel, it invites.

How many of us have been exposed to team building games that feel less than playful? In my experience, when groups of people are compelled to participate in so-called “play”, it is counter-productive. This is because the activity itself does little to invite people to open up. Rather than piquing curiosity, it actually causes the group to shut down.

This is because play is something that can only be experienced from the inside out. Think of it as heart work, spiritual development.  

If we bring this kind of openness to life, we discover resources we never knew we had when we’re faced with something difficult. A playful spirit has nothing to lose. When you have seemingly come to the end of your rope, a playful spirit opens you up to consider options you never knew you had before.

Because play is essentially this kind of openness, there is no single “right” way to play. Indeed, efforts to find the “right” way diminishes the point of play.  When presented with a “right” way to do something, playful people will inevitably improvise. The improvisation itself serves as a way to embrace a spirit of joy and love; it says, “I care.” It is a hopeful activity; it says, “This difficulty will not outwit me.”

This is why PlayFull is dedicated to helping people and groups “play from the inside out.” Our hope and prayer is that more and more people will be able to do just that, day in, day out.  Here’s to play.

A question for you to consider: Think of a sticky situation you’re facing right now. How can you approach it playfully? 


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  1. Hi Troy, I am really enjoying this new website, and all of your thoughts about how to approach life playfully. I"ll be linking to you soon in a post on my blog.: ) Thought of you at Connect this week. My kids have never forgotten the "Rubberband Men"!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Sheila! Have a great week...