Play as Spiritual Practice

So, you're the life of the party. Right?


Or, maybe you are and I'm not.

As adults we often pack play into the box labeled "Vacation", "Weekend", or a party that has been pre-scheduled and planned. Often our expectations don't match the reality. The kids get sick, the babysitter cancels, the car breaks down or there is a crisis at work. What then?

Have you ever looked at adults visiting a theme park and noticed their stress. And, this is supposed to be play?

Also, we may have an image of ourselves that is not really our preference either in the moment or ever. (I imagine there are gregarious extroverts who seem to party easily, but I am not one of them.)

I AM all for future planning and schedules. I WILL never be the life of the party. But…

I can choose to see humor in the moment. I can change the routine. I can find pleasure in the scent of a rose or an essential oil. I can put on some lively music and dance. I can read a good book. I can smile at an elderly couple holding hands. I can do a Wordsearch or a Cross Word puzzle. I can play, now, not later.

How about you?

Free Book Discussion

Are you retired and wondering, what's next? Are you wondering how to connect or reconnect to your creative self? If so, please join me in an on-line facilitated book group beginning on August 9 and running until November 8

We will be using the book, "It's Never Too Late to Begin Again" by Julia Cameron and Emma Lively. You will need to purchase your own copy of the book. Local booksellers either have it or can order it for you, or you can order on-line.

We will meet for 14 weeks, August 9 through November 8 at 10am Pacific Standard Time. Connection information will be provided once you sign up.

If this sounds great – join the group.

What is your next step?

Please e-mail me at:

A bit about me…I am recently retired into the life of a creative explorer. I am a spiritual director and coach who loves facilitating groups and seeing people grow. Join me! This will be fun and quite possibly transformative.

Play as a Spiritual Practice

Plays well with others. Yes. No.

This question used to be on elementary school report cards along with questions regarding conduct to be subjectively filled out by the elementary school teacher circling or checking either yes or no.

Was this question on your early report cards?

Why was it important that the teacher observe your play and comment on it?

What comment would you make as self evaluation on your imaginary report card today?

A recent NPR on-line blog suggested that the reasons that adults should play is that it builds community, keeps the mind sharp. and keeps one close to the ones they love. These are good enough reasons to play. What do you think?

Let's play!

Play as a Spiritual Practice

It’s Monday, back to the grind.  Time for play?  Well maybe next weekend.  Was that your thought today? 

What if looking for moments of play while at work made you a better employee, a better parent, a better person.  Studies have shown that moments of play contribute to relaxation, creativity, better problem solving, and emotional well being. 

Playing is good for your spirit and good for you.  

So step away from the computer and the cell phone and do what is good for you …play.  A smile and a joke with a co-worker counts.  Let’s begin  today.

Play as a Spiritual Practice

What makes play a Spiritual Practice?  What are healthy ways in which we as human beings engage in play?  Is play something one does alone, and does that count as play?  

Let’s take one question at a time.  First, what makes play a spiritual practice?  I imagine it depends on your definition of spiritual and also of play.

First of all, spiritual.  My definition of spiritual is the place where I meet the Holy within myself.  Where is my heart? What is my relationship to those times of meeting?  A non-theistic response might be the places where I experience imagination, creativity or well-being.  What is your definition?

My definition of play, healthy play, is a moment when my spirit is enlivened, I experience pleasure, and a certain relaxation of time. I imagine that for some, solving a complicated mathematical equation could be play.  For others it would playing a sport.  What we play at may be unique for each of us.  What is your definition?  How do you play?

In closing today’s blog, I want to report on an experience of playing.  I had some time free yesterday afternoon to go for a drive.  The preparations were simple, a water bottle, sun screen, a hat and gas for the car.  I love to drive to places in the wilderness that I have not previously been.  I set out on my journey in the afternoon, drove, stopped to take pictures, stopped at a mountain town and got a snack from the local store, enjoyed the sun, the shade, and the fresh air and then returned home.  I enjoyed anticipating this car trip, during the car trip and now remembering the car trip.  It was play.  It enlivened my spirit.  I am grateful to the Holy One for it.

So how is your spirit?  Does it want to play?

Play As A Spiritual Practice

Today we continue to reflect upon play and playing as we add memory to our reflection.  What do you remember about playing?

For me, the month of July reminds me of my pre-teen years spent in the Mid-West of the United States.  Air conditioning was not as common then as it is now, so a hot summer day often led to a very warm summer night.   Evenings might mean taking part in the evening swim at the local pool, catching lightning bugs and putting them into jars or playing tag with the neighborhood children.  When it came time for bed, I slept, as I was weary from all that playing.  

These are happy memories.  I remember these memories now with pleasure and gratitude to God for these moments of pleasure.

What happy memories do you have of playing?   Please share these with me by leaving a comment.



Sacred Space

On Ash Wednesday morning,  I was in a parking lot, preparing to get into my car when I happened to see a nest building sparrow.  The bird, with a twig in its beak, was intent and focused on the task.  Although I was curious, I stayed far enough away as to not distract it.  I don’t know why this small bird chose the vines that cover a particular building as a location to build its nest.  Perhaps it had been hatched in the same general area and this was a known home where it was choosing to build its own nest as well.  My feelings in observing this little bird, were ones of curiosity, interest, and respect as the bird created a home – a sparrow house for its young.  I imagine that in this sparrow house later there would be eggs and and then the sparrow would require its feathered body to keep the eggs warm until the young emerged.







Play as a Spiritual Practice

IMG_1205You are kidding, right?

Play, that’s for children, right?

A spiritual practice is supposed to be hard, right?

During the month of July, we are going explore play.  When was the last time you played?  What did you do?  How did you feel about it?  What does the word mean to you?  Where was the Holy One while you played? Let these questions and others that may emerge be a part of your reflection.

Let’s Play!!!