Discussion Questions, Storytelling, Sharing

  • When was the last time you truly let yourself go and abandoned yourself fully to play? What did it feel like?
  • The greatest criticism of religious and spiritual people is that they take themselves too seriously. What role does humor play in your faith, and why is it important to you?
  • Tell jokes and share funny stories at one of your group meetings. Impersonate your favorite humorists. Show scenes from comedies. Pass around cartoons. Play group games you remember from your childhood birthday parties. Puzzle over riddles. Act out Charades. Stop anyone from being serious, even for a moment.

Imagery Exercise

Movement is how the body expresses its playful nature. This exercise, "Spontaneity," was created by Colette Aboulker-Muscat of Jerusalem.

Close your eyes and breathe out three times. Focus your attention on your body and let go, so your body can do whatever it wants to do without planning or direction. You are becoming aware of parts of your body that want to move. Let these parts of your body move in any way. Be graceful, awkward, flowing, whatever feels right.

Breathe out three times. Sense these moving parts bringing other parts into movement. Sense some movement changing and developing into other sorts of movements. See and feel how when some movements stop, others may emerge. Continue to focus your attention on your body, and let it be free.

Breathe out one time. See how you limit and inhibit yourself and what parts of your body are tense and held in. When you do, clean out the parts in any way you wish, and let them be free.

When you are ready, open your eyes.

Journal Exercises

  • Write about your favorite hobby and the delight it has given you over the years. How does it express your playfulness?
  • Often a key to increasing the play in our lives is identifying what comes naturally to us — what does not seem like work. Use your journal to develop a plan to give more time to activities that are effortless for you.
  • Have play pages in your journal — every few days. Doodle. Draw silly faces. Experiment with finger-paints, crayons, colored pencils. Paint with a toothpick or an old toothbrush.