Play + Rest

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]T[/mk_dropcaps]his week instead of sharing my perspective, I want to start a discussion. The more I learn that it is how we connect and interact together that draws out wisdom, creativity, and transformation. For our fast paced, performance driven culture two things seem to be the most easily discarded.  Play and Rest.  Instead we glorify and praise people who can burn the candle at both ends.  Those who never take vacations and consume their life with their work.  We call them hard workers, disciplined, high achievers, and leaders.  I have been called all of these, and I am by no means knocking your work ethic.  We need more people who're willing to raise the bar of excellence.  That isn't my point.  My point is at what cost?

If we are honest, all work and no play isn't what we are after.   That kind of living leaves us  lonely and burned out.  We thrive best whe we find a healthy rhythm of work, play and rest.  But in times of stress play and rest are the first to get cut.

Think about it, what would your response be if it's Wed before thanksgiving and you're invited to spend time playing with the younger members of our family?  Maybe it is making the decision of taking an extra day away from work to give you some time to rest after all the family events? Or lastly, will you refuse to check into work on our days off?

If your answers lean to all work with no room for adequate rest and play, here is my case for the role of play and rest:

  • The value of play.  I listened to a podcast about this topic earlier this week. What I couldn't ignore as I reflected on it was  how far from play many of us have gotten.  We think we have to be so serious and focused in order to produce anything of value.  Or even worse perhaps we believe we have to produce value in order to be valuable.  Play is the time where we do things with no point at all… but to enjoy them.  It is where we disconnect from responsibility and the roles we hold and simply are joyful.  See the pattern... play brings joy back in. When we take off the need to “adult” and get back to play we can reconnect with what is childlike within us. It forces us to tap into our creativity and imagination, taking it out of the box we store it in during our day to day. My most valuable downloads and wisdom come when I’m not trying to conjure them up but simply enjoying life. There it is again!  Play helps us strengthen the JOY in our lives. 
  • Prioritizing Rest.  How often do we talk and dream about our time off, but when the opportunity arises for it shut it down because we feel guilty?  If it's not that, and we manage to find some time to play at least we think that is good enough.  Play and rest are not the same.  Rest is where we disconnect from our normal responsibilities to slow down and simplify.  It is where the weary and dry parts of who we are come back to life.    There definitely should be play included in rest, but only when it recharges us.   I think just as valuable as play is, so is the need to plan out our times of rest.  Ths means the first thing we do when looking toward the year ahead is schedule in rest. Once we have done that, we will be tempted to cancel it.  We can’t just plan it we have to protect it. Planning it early allows you to organize your time to ensure your responsibilities are covered in your absence.  This requires you humble yourself to realize, while you're unique and highly valuable life will go on, business will move forward without your presence.  Even if there are mistakes or hiccups that occur while you're gone, they are merely opportunities for everyone impacted to grow.  

Now the roles of play and rest are more clear, it's your turn to contribute.  What things do you do to help you rest and play?

When it comes to play: Do you find it easy to play or is it a waste of time for you? What does play time look like for you?

When it comes to rest: Do you take vacations every year?  Do you work while on vacation? What helps you to fully disconnect when you’re really resting? Please comment below or join the conversation on Facebook.

With all the different personalities out there it's important to hear the different perspectives.  I pray this year you get to experience the fullness of this season without guilt or shame for making room for rest and play.