The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost.   Arthur Miller

The frolic zone: regular play workshops

The backstory:  Sunday, after ecstatic dance, loverMan and I, mid- weekend bender of bliss,  HIT A WALL.  

And, like a straw can be driven through a tree in a hurricane,  the jealousy I felt made me want to explode, to run, to become lava and eat villages with my thousand tongues of fire.  

So, we,  two brilliant and highly skilled players, made the choice to stop playing.  And then just fell to default talking about the serious end of our stuck stuff, from the vantage of the stuck place.

And in this way, we managed to exhaust ourselves and kill most of the day, each of us drooping more with each looping through the tangled web of Problem Town.  

In the back of my mind, I knew I need to play but this lava parade into our painful stuck places had so much momentum!   
And then, loverMan said something that made me loverman him even more than I do, sadly sucking a smoothie in the Whole Foods Cafe he looked into my eyes and yell-whispered, “this is SO INTENSE, we need to go fucking play!”

I blinked, as though waking from a fever dream.  Sweet Jesus, did I need to stop humping the problem. Because, rugburn, is why, and also, I was losing traction on the Me I normally am, happy, fluent, and 87.3% magical. 

The beautiful question released the pressure.  All day, my compass had been turned toward PROBLEM.  And it wasn’t like there were other settings on that compass. The whole damn thing was PROBLEM.  And this question put another option on the compass.  Play.

Could I play?  Did I really have a choice?  

Luckily, I’ve set up these frolic zones that I keep bumping into, like, that night, I was teaching a playshop.  

Lover man and I followed the frolicking, picking up games and rolling with them until we were done, picking up momentum on ourselves, the deeper we played, the more we felt like ourselves.  

We got onto the dance merry go round when we were ready, and began to tune in deeper and deeper, leaving more and more of our conditioned selves behind as we got more playful, and more willing to enter the dancing.

Eventually, we entered the dancing so fully that the world literally stopped existing, and there was only the play.  Nothing else.  Just absolute presence.

Afterwards, we lay on the floor staring at the sky that was suddenly in the studio, and began to speak what we saw, from there from THAT clear, merged, luminous space, and we were intoxicated to have total access to the “solutions” or gifts of the problems we were struggling with earlier.  

Thoughts:

Having that ritual Playshop in place gave me a steady enough structure to relax and to let go of the problems that felt SO FUCKING COMPELLING.  This light, frolicking space, distracted me from the crazy tangle AND invited me to go into the Deep Play of lover dancing.  

I want more  of  this.

I want to be more often interrupted by frolic zones.  Easy, play-centered invitations to leave behind confusion.  And relax.  And Be.  Easy, meadow, seeing, happy, free.

Celebrations:  The jealous stuck thing turned out to be an invitation to play very deeply.  I discovered a new level of loving, no matter what.  A kind of super hero skill.   I had a dancing date with the thing that crumbled me.  Amazing.  

The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.    G. K. Chesterton

The frolic zone:  A community of players, living together.

The backstory:  Living with a bunch of players is many things, but boring is not one of them.

The thread that connects us that we all value the power of play to help us consistently be who we are.  Even when we forget a teensy weensy bit.

I got serious and fussy after a break up a few months ago and as I’d pass the forts full of laughing unschooled kids or the juggling maniacs on the roof of the acro-yogis doing unnecessarily daring shit in the living room, I found myself hating everyone, but when I sat with that, it felt like one of those crazy untrue things you think in a fever dream.  

So I sat with it and I realized that what I was unhappy with was my unhappiness.  I didn’t hate my beloved darling juggling Jojo, or blissed our heart-dancing Kara and her gorgeous daughter.  I hated the thing that I was hung up and that was keeping me from being on the roof.

The invitation of this place, to play myself new, to play my way through, is something I feel a little teary about. 
I’ve never been so absofuckinglutely happy or so damn home.

I can’t count the number of relationships that have been played back into grace here, how many children and parents have found their elemental groove, or lovers sweetened into the honey of true shared play. My own relationships have never been so solid, so love drenched, so, damn, fun. Whenever I’m not lined up with doing something for one of my children or a lover, someone else is right there, a brimming and playful cooperative component.

We’re packing up today.  I’m packing up the guitar Max left behind, and the art Shallon bloomed into being as she fell in love with Max, here.  I’m packing up the blue glass Rodney took off the tops of old railroad markers during our Aliveness Salons, and all the treasures his beautiful soul magnetized into being. 

I’m packing up the acres of art all the wild kids have given as gifts and have made because art is their primary language. I’m packing up the hundreds of lovenotes the world has sent me and, yeah, I’m crying a little. 

I’ve lived so richly, so happily here, that I’ve been a fucking love magnet. The world has tsunamied me with love, and now, I’m in love again too. Hoo ha.

Some of our players are going on walk about to Bolivia, Africa and on roadtrips across America, some of our players are on their way to build yurts and tree houses on the new land.  

Some, we’ve never met, are just encountering the idea that you can live a wide open, love-drenched playful life, and to you, I say, welcome to the party.  We can’t wait to play.

What I want more of:


Inspired, synnergized, high up fun conversationing around playful structures for people living together and doing big amazing stuff. 

I want flowful, inevitable structures.  I want to have as much fun in the dishes getting done part of living as I do in the adventuring deeply with sexy lover parts.

How would your life be different if…You decided to give freely, love fully, and play feverously? Let today be the day…You free yourself from the conditioned rules that limit your happiness and dilute the beautiful life experience. Have fun. Give – Love – Play!       Steve Maraboli

The tool:  Frolicking

Our Aliveness Salons are a regular invitation to drop down as silly as far as free and whee as you want.

Which, is so. Damn. Good for the Soul.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.    Plato

Frolic Zone:  Parenting with an open, willing, playful heart

The backstory:  The other day my daughter and I paused in our writing date because I was feeling, what my french-speaking grandmother used to call a word that sounds like “fahtsee-ah” and means, when you’ve been sitting too long and your body is thirsty for some kind of romp.  We were aiming for the cluster of highly climbable trees, but got interrupted by the roar of the beautify river beyond.  I had not walked in this river before, and you never really know how walkable a river truly is until you get in.

Picture
pausing on the island to dump water out of my boots

My feet and legs discovered that this river was fat, chilly and gorgeous with weeks of autumn rain.  At one point, concentrating with every shred of focus I had, to hold my weight against an incredibly strong current, I thought, a single drop of water more and this would be too much, and it was in this exact moment that I realized that I was elated beyond words, fully engaged, and playing with my beloved daughter, who’d just dunked her mermaid head in the freezing water and howled. We paused to explore an island in the middle of the river, and discovered a ring of secret forts, both of us lost in that kind of easy grace that comes when you’re both awake and teeming with aliveness and conscious of not wanting to be anywhere else.
After getting out, one of the people who’d gathered to watch the show, a deaf woman was asking her friend to explain what we were doing. As we scurried up the cliff to the path above, I heard the friend tripping over the “why” question. Why indeed?  When there were perfectly sensible trails running up and down this beautiful river, why would we choose to walk in it?

My why has changed over time.  I used to slip into a river, while crossing on my way to somewhere else, and occasionally would just stay in the river, like, why not?  Or, I’d get lost in imagining that I was an Indian princess on the run and the only way I could escape was to walk upstream to safety. Now, I do it because it demands that I come all the way awake.  I can’t walk in river mildly, there are too many choices, too much risk, also, the sensations are immediately compelling: the roaring water in your ears, the feeling of water pushing and pulling your body like a siren, the unknowingness of every step calling your absolute and fully-body attention.

I remember my mother talking about how she never got the people she called “thrill-seekers” who would do things that were absolutely unnecessary, in her mind, like climb dangerous mountains or jump off high things.  At the time, I was in the middle of living a secret thrill seeking life and I had no words with which to challenge her assumption that these people were wrong for choosing to engage challenges beyond the ones that come with every day living.  But I have those words now.

Persephone and I have fun answering the woman’s questions through her interpreter.  It’s like a game of telephone.  Then I realize what my why is right now: I walk in rivers because there are no paths there.  And it is the very act of finding/creating my own path that locates me so ineffably in my fullest experience of this wonderful life.

I tell the woman it is fun to feel your own aliveness in a new way.  She seems to like this answer.  She asks if I think she would like it.  I ask if she likes feeling excited and encountering her own power in thrilling new ways.  She tells me she honestly doesn’t know.  I tell her I know one way that she could find out….