Explore playfulness by thinking from another plane

Occasionally, I lead creative meetings at work. One particular exercise was to create a paper airplane. The main goal was to construct it so it would fly the farthest. Those were the only instructions given. My fellow co-workers eagerly began constructing their very best airplanes, with perfectly creased and angled folds. Some added extra wing length. Another added a wider tail fin. We each took turns tossing our carefully constructed aircraft from one end of the room to the other, watching them zoom, glide, and twirl….some making it farther than others. Then there was the one participant who simply took her sheet of paper, scrunched it into a tight ball and gave it a toss, easily out-flying all the others. And in that moment, everyone got the lesson.

Sometimes, we create a fixed idea in our head of what something should be or how it should look, not allowing room for another perspective. Perhaps there’s another way, a better way. Perhaps not. But you’ll never know if you don’t allow yourself the time and freedom to think differently, experience differently.

I notice as I get older that the shoulds get in the way of allowing myself freedom to explore, to play, to relax. “I don’t have time for this; there’s too much to do,” I say. Or “what if I look goofy?” Thankfully, I’ve been allowing myself full freedom to explore relaxation and playfulness. Doing so, I’ve been able to see my life, and what’s important, from a new perspective. I’ve learned valuable lessons in the importance of incorporating playfulness into every day. And I’ve learned that laughter is a wonderful and fun tool for social connection, wellness, and exercise.

What does playfulness look like to you?
Only reserved for kids? Are you “too busy” to play?

What does success look like to you?
What does health and healing look like?

Allow yourself the freedom to experience something from a new perspective.
Be inquisitive, as if it’s brand new. You might be surprised at the outcome.