Posted on December 4, 2021 by Gaye Abbott
Anyone who has watched squirrels in trees and on the ground are being given a reminder to play. Though most biologists and animal behaviorists say that adult squirrels do not play I beg to differ with them. I just watched some today at the nearby Nature Park.
I have observed the young and the “older but young at heart” as one put it, referring to it variously as “funny five minutes”, “mad half hour” or “mad session”, in vigorous play. This in turn not only made me smile but joyfully want to join them, or create my own playful game. Though I doubt they would welcome my human presence. 🙂
It is important to me to always hold a space for improvisational play – and I am not talking about card or board games here! Did you know that….
Reminders and encouragement to play are all around us. It is left to us to take advantage of the moments and not hold back. Those very moments of free form improvisation with others, or even alone, shifts attention from old stale patterns of being to living joyously from our hearts and creative souls. Watch children!
I try never to miss an opportunity to play, for invariably if I let go of hesitation and resistance I feel gloriously free and energized every single time. One day walking into the local natural food co-op store in the middle of the initial “lock-down” last year I immediately was impacted by the heavy energy.
Some innate urge to somehow shift that energy moved me to come as close as safety at that time would permit to one of the produce staff who I knew had a great sense of humor. I greeted her and then spontaneously both of us broke out in song, masked mind you, along with the music playing throughout the store and sang to the vegetables! Needless to say, the entire energy in the store lifted – and I am not even a very “good” singer.
As elders many of us get to that stage of not really caring what others think about us. So I say why not PLAY in whatever way shows up in the moment. Just yesterday I was seen breaking out in funky dance moves in the middle of the Whole Foods produce section because I couldn’t stay still to the music playing. Received a few funny looks but lots of smiles and some moving with me. (There must be something about produce sections for me. 🙂
As elders with a long life behind us and not as much embodied life before us, and as humans on the planet Earth at this time, we are being faced with incredible challenges that compete to take our attention.
A couple of days ago I realized I no longer choose to have my attention taken by the fear, doom and gloom broadcast daily, whether on our smart phones news feed or while talking to others. I am weary of it all and need a higher vibration energy bath!.
It is not that I don’t want to know what is happening in the world, but instead the question I am posing to myself, and to you, every day is – where do we want to place our attention? We most always have a choice.
For the month of December I am placing attention on joy, laughter, creativity and acts of kindness as a experiment to see what unfolds. Seeking out and being aware of moments of joy sometimes hidden in the deep pockets and lining of each and every day that seem to get passed over without even looking back. They are always there.
Each day in December you will find a small nugget of joy, humor, creativity or small act of kindness that found me and pulled my attention which will be posted here. I invite you to join me and share your experiences and what you noticed so that we may spread it around! (Please use the “Comment” section below).
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Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 12/4/21. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder
Category: Artistry of Aging, ElderhoodTags: 31-Days of Joy & Laughter Project, Artistry of Aging, Elder Artistry, Elderhood, Staying Playful, Wildly Free Elder