October is here and with it, lots of opportunities for play.
In my corner of the world, this month holds the best weather we have all year with sunny days, crisp air, supremely comfortable temperatures, and gorgeous sunrises. It makes it easy to get outside, explore, and just be present to the little pleasures life holds for us.
I've already got my calendar of fun lined up, including visiting a pumpkin patch and meandering down a spooky trail beautifully created by our local art museum. At some point, I'll for sure put on my favorite fuzzy bat costume, which looks precisely silly enough to make me feel carefree and a little wild.
If I'm honest with myself, though, play is not as much a part of my life as I'd like for it to be a lot of the time. It's easy for me to fall into patterns of taking myself and my responsibilities too seriously, squeezing out opportunities to lighten up, get imaginative, and let loose.
Can you relate?
When I think about the last year plus and the turmoil we have all lived through (and continue to live through), it seems to me many of us have grown more serious, heavier--and that fun, play, and adventure have more often gotten buried beneath the weight of it all. Even without all the added stress of a pandemic and more, adulthood can easily feel like a series of chores if we're not intentional about leaving some things undone to make room for delight.
So I'm inviting us to intentionally play this month, in our journaling and in our living. We are more than what we get done in a day--we deserve to treat ourselves to play, don't we?
Play that opens us, play that frees us, play that brings laughter bubbling up from our bellies, play that enlivens us, play that reconnects us with our fabulously messy humanness...it's all so worth it.
Here are your monthly prompts, one for each week. Feel free to journal them as ordered or in any other way that works best for you. I hope this prompts bring a little more play, fun, and even silliness into your days this month and onward!
1) When did you last "play", meaning did something purely for fun rather that for any serious or practical purpose? Describe what you did and how you felt during and after that activity as best you can. What does this experience tell you about the role of "play" in your life?
2) What is a motto or mantra (a simple, memorable phrase) about play that you want to live by? This could be inspired by a song, a quote, an image, or just spring up spontaneously from within you. What would be different in your life in this motto or mantra were to guide everything you do?
3) We're going to go ahead and play IN our journal with something imaginative here: If you could be any animal for a day, which one would you be and what would you do? What would you most enjoy about being that animal?
4) As you look back on the past two weeks, how would you rate your overall experiences on a scale of one to ten, one being "completely serious", ten being "ridiculously fun"? Pick a number and write it down. What contributed to that balance? What balance would you like to aim for over the next two weeks? Pick a new number and write it down.
Hi there, I'm Laurie, a private practice therapist and an avid journaler. I write about the intersection between journaling and therapy, helping you cultivate greater emotional and relational wellness via journaling pathways filled with self-compassion, self-nurture, self-discovery, & self-trust.