“I’m always amazed that people take what I say seriously. I don’t even take what I am seriously” -David Bowie.
I love that quote from David Bowie – because I catch myself getting pretty serious sometimes. I wrinkle my brow when I’m paying bills, making sure my freelance singer-songwriter income is healthy and flowing.
I heave heavy sighs when I realize certain payments haven’t been sent to me after months (especially for TV / film syncs!)
I hold my breath for too long as I check my website analytics. My shoulders raise with tenseness as I schedule all the tasks to accomplish: songwriting sessions, recording sessions, photo shoots, calling dad, social media maintenance, calling dad, and booking tickets, the next music conference… Phew!
The more I work as a professional creative, however, I’ve realized how important it is important to take off the hard-working hat, and to put on my metaphorical Harry Potter gown – to be like a kid again: to be curious, to goof off, and to do things that bring pleasure. To keep the heart and soul fresh..
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.
– Tom Robbins
The Power Of Play
In fact, the power of playfulness is becoming a scientific benefit to the human psyche!
According to Psychology Today’s Robert De Koven, “when you are playful, you are more responsive; you are ready to change and change again, to try some different way of being, some other strategy. You are even ready to let go of one goal for the sake of another, or to abandon purpose and seriousness, or to look silly.”
Let’s take a look at the adjectives Koven used: Ready to change? Ready to try something different?! Aren’t those qualities of a great artist?
4 Things You Can Do
The Unusual List. Create a list of things that you’d just giggle with delight over. Keep the list close by you, and do some of them, for goodness sake!
Artists inspire their audience, not only through their songs, but through their way of life. We as artists have the opportunity to help others free themselves of their worry-cycles and workaholic habits by being the example. Here are some of mine:
- Play smash ball in the middle of the day with my roommate
- Stay in and have a pyjama music video party without a shred of guilt…
- Hip hop dance class
- Go to LACMA by myself with my journal and walking shoes
- Play hours of Settlers of Catan with Game of Thrones playing in the background
- Facemask and bubble bath time
- Go to the Wolf Sanctuary to hang out with those mystical creatures
- Full moon night hike
- Sound bath meditation with Yumi and Krista
- Painting day where I crank up the music super loud
Quotes. Read these fun quotes from people (who are a tad more famous than I am, possibly giving further weight) to convince you that playing is important ;)
A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.
― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr
It is a happy talent to know how to play.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.
― Albert Einstein
Watch. Watch this INSPIRING TED Talks Video about a woman who saved herself from suicide by training herself to think playfully.
Write. Write your own playful song about work! Just in this past year, off the top of my head, we have had 3 top 40 songs that hit upon the topic of “work”. And, all of them are so playful. See? The hit songwriters know that even in working is playfulness!
- Pdiddy “I’m Workin’”
- Fifth Harmony “Work from Home”
- Rihanna “Work”
I hope you are having a blast getting in touch with your playful self.
According to Boston College professor Mary Ann Glynn and her co-athuor Jane Webster: what you’re doing will empower your brain to be more innovative and NATURALLY motivated.
So, let the play, work, play cycle begin!