Do you remember how to play?

Something I find again and again is that one thing we heart lead people struggle with is making time for our own pleasure. Sure, we do self-care; meditation, yoga, journaling and lots of other good stuff but often we give those things a place because they keep us healthy and productive. They make us feel good but I believe we give them a regular place in our schedules because they’re useful.

Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash

What about pleasure? I mean unproductive, pointless pleasure that has no place in your self-care routine? It’s not self-care but not total, exhausted abandonment to TV and junk food either. It’s that thing in between that’s so hard to describe. The kind of pleasure children feel when they’re absorbed in a game, are on a day out, a trip to the park or having an ice cream.

As ambitious adults we’re aware of time passing and of how much we want to reach the goals that hold great meaning for us. Very productive but it squeezes out the pleasure, reducing it down to pre-scheduled chunks of down time. And wow, how often that down time accidentally turns productive! There you are, relaxing in your garden and losing yourself in a good book just for the pleasure of it when an idea strikes you. One of the themes in the story really chimes in with some work you’re doing, it could form the basis for a whole other side project. You read on but something has changed. You’re no longer reading for pleasure; you’re reading to actively learn and do. Your lively brain has shifted gear from pleasure to work.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Now if you enjoy what you’re working on, whether it’s a book, business or any other creative project, you may be wondering why this is a problem. Having a busy brain that generates ideas and builds on inspiration is a good thing; I love thinking that way and wouldn’t want to change it. But it makes it challenging to fill your cup so that you can keep on doing what you do.

We’re creative, intuitive, driven people and we have a duty to ourselves and to the people we serve to keep ourselves topped up and inspired. If we’re always focussed on productivity it erodes our ability to enjoy a moment of pleasure for what it is: Something that feels good and has no goal to it other than itself. Over time life feels thinner and greyer, empty despite the goals we’ve achieved, the richness drained away.

Enjoy your idea generating mind and important plans but make deliberate space for the joy of pure, pointless pleasure. These will fill your creative cup and keep you energised for those things that matter to you deeply.

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Do you remember how to play?

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