We have lots of birdfeeders. That’s kind of a misnomer, as it’s more like an all you can eat buffet for the outdoor neighbors. Birds of all kinds (including turkeys), bunnies, mice, deer, chipmunks and squirrels all feast here. I’m lucky enough to see the customers at the buffet. And I have learned a lot about wildlife and their not so serious approach to life.

We know our pets like to play. They have favorite toys or games that they like us to play with them.  I used to think ‘ah – of course! They have time to play as everything they need is supplied – food, water, shelter’. In some ways, I used to be jealous of them, with play as their sole ‘thing to do’. I compared it to my life, I am the person who doesn’t have time to play with them because I have to work; to pay for the food, water and shelter. (A bit of a martyr syndrome here… does it sound familiar?)

Then, I watched the wildlife…and I learned something big. I learned that even creatures that have to ‘earn a living’, made time to play. Deer play amazing games of catch-me-if-you-can and not always with other deer. I have seen them play this with cats and rabbits. They also eat, then find a nice place like under a pine tree to curl up and take a nap. Squirrels, known for their busy-ness with gathering supplies for winter, also take the time to play as well. It’s not an all-work attitude! Watching their acrobatics from tree to tree (or bird feeder to bird feeder) they love to test themselves! They also play with objects left outside, like corn cobs or tennis balls.    They still get all their work done. Yet, they take those moments to just do things for the pure joy of it.

How can you inject playful joy into your life, and still do what you need to do?

Simple… think of three things that feel playful to you, and then make sure the toys/tools for this are handy!  I have always had a serious love of colored Sharpies®. Coloring is a prime play activity for me. Back when I worked in the corporate world, using different colored markers in meeting notes was not only useful (such as all my action items in red), but felt like I was coloring… during ‘work time’. (And, yes, the occasional tiny cartoon character Unicorn would appear in the notes.) I have my childhood Barbie on my bookshelf, and a Stuffed animal Unicorn too.

It doesn’t always require a thing… just a mindset. At your next break, put on a song and do a little dance in the break room. If you work from home, you have more flexibility in how you allow play to weave into life. Don’t just scroll social media for play… do something that moves your body. Work on a LEGO, play ‘The Floor is Lava’, or toss the ball with your dog.

Can you ‘feng shui’ for play? Yes, you can!  Placing toys or other playful objects in your workspace,  can shift that mindset. Especially consider having a cute toy or toy in your bedroom, where you can be reminded every morning and evening that life should include play!  Put your favorite dance tunes as background music in your home. Choose some artwork of people dancing or playing. Hang some of your own artistic creative and playful pieces.  I had a Soul Coaching® client hang her coloring book artwork in frames in her home office, to remind her to play more. Not only did she love seeing her art, but it worked! She found more ways to work coloring into her day. More importantly she reported that work life was not as stressful, and life seemed more joyful!

Play is a part of nature. We are the most balanced when we live according to nature.

Be a squirrel!

How are you going to play today? Shoot me an email and let me know!