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Silver Linings in today’s “New Normal” - Play



This is part three of a three-part series relating to the Silver Linings my community has shared with me during the new “normal” we find ourselves living in. You can read about our “Deeper Connections” theme here and about our “Simplicity” theme here. We are now focusing on some Silver Linings you’ve previously shared with me relating to “play.”

In the busyness that was just the order of the day less than two months ago, many of us have forgotten how to play. Play is the food for the spirit. Notice how playtime makes you feel once you get past the awkwardness of it. The energy in our bodies is awakened. Play is critical to our mental health, creativity, happiness and overall quality of life. It lifts stress and revitalizes us. We feel like we can breathe again. Here’s what you shared with me. Take a look and see if any of these relate to you:

  • “Virtual teas with friends or virtual wine dates.”
  • “Cooking with my children has become my favorite part of the day.”
  • “Teaching my kids games that I played as a kid. Sidewalk chalk, red light/green light, hopscotch.”
  • “Running in the backyard with waders on in the rain arms spread wide and mouths open to catch the drops with absolute joyful abandon.”
  • “Laughing out loud until our stomachs hurt.”
  • “Doing jigsaw puzzles on the dining room table or playing board games. We pulled out the old school games like Parcheesi, Trouble, Scrabble.”
  • “Family exercise and letting the kids choose the exercise and lead the class. Virtual family dance-offs are the best.”

Play is refreshing, optimistic, and rejuvenating. For years, many of us have struggled with what it means to play, to take time for ourselves. We can sometimes feel like we are being too indulgent or lazy. Not so! Play is essential to our health and well-being. As you release the pollutants of old behaviors, make a commitment to explore the power of play in your life. You will thank yourself for it!

Let’s face it, we are in the midst of a global re-set. What an incredible opportunity! We can choose to move forward, harnessing the energy and benefits of deeper connections, greater simplicity and joyful play that we have called back into our lives.

My greatest concern for us as people and as leaders is that as soon as the lid comes off and restrictions are lifted, not only we will go back to where we were, we will do so with greater intensity, feeling compelled to make up for lost revenues, loss of new business, loss of perceived opportunity. I am NOT saying that we should not move forward to ensure a healthy economy for all people. We must do that. I AM suggesting that we pay attention to how we do so—making sure to include the silver linings that we have gained during this time. As leaders, what will be the messages that you send your teams? As parents, what will be the messages you will send to your children? Have a family meeting and have team meetings. Ask each other, “Now that we know, what will we do?” “Now that we know the power of connection, the relief of simplicity and the joy of play, what will we do to sustain those elements as we move forward in re-building our businesses and communities?” “Do you want to walk in Fear or in Faith?” It is your choice. It is our choice. Choose Faith.

“As far as you can, hold confidence. Do not allow your confusion to squander this CALL which is loosening your roots in false ground, that you might become free from all you have (and are) outgrowing. 

What is being transfigured is your mind and it is difficult and slow to become NEW.

The more faithfully you can endure here, the more refined your heart will become for your arrival in the dawn.”

         
— John O’Donoghue

I hope you enjoyed this series and feel free to reflect on it every now and then when you are feel restricted within yourself. My hope is that you will continue to help add to these lists. Remember these Silver Linings as you make every decision, so that every decision is made with the intention of deeper connection, simplicity and/or play.