We can learn so much from watching children play! If you put a child outside with nothing, they will entertain themselves in all sorts of ways. Growing up, it's easy to lose that sense of adventure. One of the things I've loved about this Spring is how much more time I've spent with my child, and how we are both learning to see the world through each other's eyes.
It didn't take me long to realize that when we're both squirreled away watching movies, video games, or social media online, it's fun but it actually cuts us off from the living, breathing experience of the world around us. We've had fun taking walks, but much of our time is spent in household socialization. So here are 5 things we've been doing together that are a lot of fun! AND, All of these can be done with one person, so if you're alone, it's still on.
1. JENGA & BOARD GAMES! I know there are a ton of apps on your phone with really great games. I love to play those. But eyeballs aren't meant to stare at a screen for 10 hours a day, and when you bring the game back into the living room with a real human, it gets even better. Our favorites are still Jenga and Connect Four because they are mindless, physical pleasures. But we're also playing a Disney board game called Villainous, and we have jumbo Dominoes that we can set up to knock down over the entire house. In the past it has been ALL ABOUT Foosball, darts, and card games. Last year I discovered that there are quite a few board games out there that can actually be played with 1 player. Since then, I've taken to playing some games on my own when my kiddo's not around, and I have to say I love the peace of being with myself but still engaging intellectually.
2. BALLS! Balls aren't just for children. I have fallen in love with balls. We have a game called Spikeball that's super easy to play, very physical, and gets us into the back yard. Yes, it can be taken to the park and it's easier to set up than Volleyball, but takes some skill to actually become good. Did I mention I love balls! I use lacrosse balls to roll out tension between my shoulders from sitting hunched over the computer. I don't play basketball, but we'll shoot baskets just to get the blood going. So much of our society has become media based that we forget the simple pleasures of being present in our bodies.
3. ARTS &CRAFTS! I don't mean to sound like an elementary school, but is it so bad if I do? In Victorian times, before TV, people passed time by making small watercolors, knitting, drawing, writing letters, decoupage (our equivalent is probably the visionboard), scrapbooking, and finding other ways to create beauty. The other day I asked my kid if he would ever like a pen-pal and he said, "Why? I could just text them!" Don't even get me started on the gift and power of the handwritten word. Either way, we now love to spend a little bit of time each week with high quality graphic markers out on the table, good paper, and some sunlight. We craft letters, draw treasure maps, vision board, and the work takes the conversation in directions one wouldn't imagine.
4. SHAKE, RATTLE, & ROLL! I confess I do like a certain app that's high on music and trendy dance memes. But the sound of real drums and rattles, real-time, is directly healing to the body. While I am known to bust out into song with my Karaoke microphone and a youtube playlist, I've found that my body actually heals when I make music with physical instruments. A few times a day, I'll pull out my guitar and just strum a few song chords. Sometimes my kid will play with one of our crystal singing bowls, or on the piano. I've learned that sound healing doesn't have to be a carefully planned healing ceremony. It can be a rattle in my hand made out of rice in a jar, and me singing made up songs like a wild woman. We humans want to feel good, and the moment I let loose in total freedom, my kiddo very often follows. He's also learned to pick up a rattle and join in. I see it teaching him spontaneity and freedom.
5. COOKING! I could have named so many other simple household things, but cooking is how we nourish. I've learned to give myself days in which I cook alone in the kitchen, undisturbed by others, refusing to serve their needs as long as I'm occupied creating the meal. It has been liberating to say that I'm off limits for anything else while I'm cooking up the masterpiece. That said, other times I've brought my kid in and enjoyed the processes of weaving the meal together. It becomes a bonding and story-telling moment. We witness people differently over food. ...Some days I am alone, and so I call a friend while I'm cooking. It's nice too, but the thing about cooking, is that it's ALIVE. There's fire. There's water. Steam. Alchemical transformations. The more I cook in life, the more I'm convinced that it needs my absolute attention and, like a good show, when there are others present then we can all be watching the creation. The secret to this one is to cook without an app or an online recipe. What do you remember about cooking? What do you know in your body and heart?
I hope these ideas spur your own. What do you love to do with your social time?
DAILEY LITTLE is a healing practitioner, transformational life coach, ordained Priestess, and teacher who founded Healing Heart Reiki to help others navigate life with joy. She teaches classes in healing and mindset from a magical peaceful corner of the world in Northern California. For more info see: www.SantaRosaReiki.com