1/3/2016: Play

“Play, which I would define as anything we do simply for the joy of doing rather than as a means to an end, might seem like a nonessential activity. Often it is treated that way. But in fact play is essential in many ways…Play expands our minds in ways that allow us to explore: to generate new ideas or see old ideas in a new light. It makes us more inquisitive, more attuned to novelty, more engaged.” - Greg McKeown, Essentialism

Funny enough, "play" is the very reason this daily project exists.

I imagined what it would be like if I took the entire month of December while we were in Florida to simply paint. Not for any reason or outcome, but simply to give myself a few hours a day to create for creating’s sake. And so I did. I spent as little time as possible on my computer and instead I got messy, made things (some pretty, some not), and I allowed myself to settle into that amazing, transcendent state where there is no time and no stress and no expectations — that state we call FLOW. Spending time in that kind of suspended happiness was such a restorative way to end one year and start another, and it ultimately led me to this project, a way for me to share my painting, my lettering and my writing all in one.

Now, I know not everyone has the luxury of “playing” every day for hours on end, but I think the lesson here still remains: we have to find ways to give our conscious minds a timeout so our subconscious intuition can take over. Ways to connect with the care-free spirit of our inner child. Ways to release the stress and the weight of our daily lives. Play is the answer to that, and even if it’s not for hours on end, I urge you to find 15 minutes a day if you can to make up stories, to build forts, to name constellations, or to make paper airplanes. To do something, anything, for the pure reason that it brings you joy. Though some might suggest it's an expendable part of our daily lives, in my opinion, it couldn’t be more vital.