Fun, Fun, Fun...

"Ways of having fun are infinite in number, limited only by our imaginations. But how many of us spend weekends and summers resenting that we lack the money to REALLY have fun, or that all the money we spent failed to buy enough of the "happiness product"? We have limited the supply of fun by putting the power to produce it in the hands of sports promoters, casino operators and travel agents. We have put ourselves in the position of anxious and impoverished consumers wanting to buy from the approved sources, but with never enough cash or satisfaction to come out ahead. We have made what is obviously abundant into something that is scarce."

Parker J Palmer “The Promise of Paradox” pp 98 - 99

Who remembers playing games as a child? I remember playing cubby houses with a blanket, making assorted structures with blocks, running around at school playing endless make-believe games with my friends. I remember playing cards and board games with my siblings, exploring the local creek, catching tadpoles and watching them grow into frogs. I remember lying on my bed reading children's novels and being swept away into another imaginary world.

Give a small child some household items... boxes, blankets, saucepans, bottles... And watch in wonder at the infinite number of ways a child can create fun.

As adults there are a more options available to us for fun - autonomy, transport, financial resources - yet often we live with a restricted imagination. We may be so preoccupied with responsibilities, concerns, or distractions, that we fail to live fully in the present, neglecting the inner child that knows how to create and laugh and be spontaneous.

21st century life involves pressure to be endlessly more productive at work, and then provides addictive (and passive) digital entertainment options 24/7. We are bombarded with advertising designed to make us discontent (so that will buy to feel better). A kind of ennui can creep in to our lives; an inability to self-soothe, rest deeply, contemplate, imagine, or create.

So how can we reawaken our inner child in a world such as this? Nurture the distinctly human capacity of imagination? Nurture a capacity to play? Re-awaken our creative birthright?

I offer some thoughts... You may have your own.


* Manage screen time. Oh the irony... You are no doubt reading this off a screen! I confess to a significant Facebook addiction. But I know my imagination gets active while I go for a walk, take a drive, pick up a pen, or just sit down and think, more so than when I'm involved in the online world.

* Read novels. There's something about having to create your own mental images and anticipate how a story might unfold that gives the creative side of the brain a workout.

* Rediscover group games - in our families, churches, small groups.

* Find ways to be creative at work. Can I generate new ideas that might make things better, or more interesting?

* Tell jokes, look for the absurd, find something to laugh about... often!

* Do something with your hands... Draw pictures, write stories, cook, sew, hammer, garden.

* Dance like no one is watching. Preferably when no one is watching.

* Remember the things that gave you joy as a child; maybe it's time to do them again.

* Let yourself feel; name your feelings, respect your feelings, listen to what they are telling you, look out for the wisdom that can be sourced through intuition.


Perhaps today you could pick one thing from this list and seek to add this into your life?

Or what would you add that would help you rediscover the child-like capacity for creativity and sheer fun?

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