A Playful Meditation Practice for Everything
Play can lessen the mind chatter and bring us more fully into the present moment. It helps boost our energy and mood. We need to remind ourselves that play is not a luxury, but a necessity that relieves stress and increases overall health. Play can bring fresh insights and perspectives to our current problems and situations.
Let’s dive into a play meditation and reflection to find your brand of playfulness.
Step 1: Breathing into the Now. Take a moment, close your eyes and breathe. Allow your body to relax as you take a few deep breaths, inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling out your mouth.
Step 2: Remembering Times of Play. Bring to mind an image of yourself when you were having fun and engaging in some type of play. It can be in the recent past or when you were a child. Recall what you were doing and how you were feeling. Don’t think too hard, just go with whatever image or memory comes up first for you. Take a moment and see where you were, the weather that day, or who you were with at that time. This helps keep that image at the forefront of your mind. If your mind starts to drift, just bring it gently back to focus on that image of you playing.
Step 3: Accessing Your Playfulness. Allow yourself to inhabit your body in this moment. Try to explore any sensations, smells, or sounds as you recall this happy moment. Remember to keep breathing in and out slowly.
Step 4: Reflections on Play. When you’re ready, you can let this image slowly fade from your mind’s eye. What do you notice now? How have your thoughts or feelings shifted? It’s ok if they haven’t shifted. We’re just trying to be aware of them without any judgement. Ask yourself, if you could have that moment of play again, how would you live it more fully? Perhaps you would like to be more aware of the people around you or of your own senses during this moment of play.
Step 5: Playfulness in the Present. How might you engage this feeling of playfulness and joy more often in the present? This is a unique thing, and only you know will know what feels right for you and how to incorporate this play into your life. See if you can pick one type of play to do this week, to pull this thread through and feel more of this playfulness?
Step 6: Take One More Deep Breath. When you’re ready, open your eyes and bring yourself back to the present moment.