Usually, when I engage in Animal Play few are aware I am playing this little game. However, having to write everyday about the subject upped the ante. Yes we are now on day 5 of Animal Play. Wow! This week has flown by and, I’ll be really frank – choosing to blog for the entire five days put a really interesting spin on my work and personal life.

Remember, the idea on Monday was to:
  • Focus on what helps move me forward – as kangaroos cannot move backwards.
  • Maintain balance in my life, just like a kangaroo does with his tail.
  • Take care of my joeys  (baby kangaroos) – as I don’t have any babies – I thought of this as caring for some of the work and ideas I was tending to.
  • Shadow box at times for a play break.
  • Swim with the tide – or go with the flow. Recall that kangaroos can move their legs independently only when swimming – not on land.
So, how do I feel about this experience at the end of the week?  I  . . .
  • Enjoyed the added aspect of blogging as it brought a more focused presence and engaged me in sharing with others.
  • Missed the low key nature of the activity as I usually practice it. And, sometimes I felt a bit pressed to have to blog about the experience at the end of the day.
  • Discovered I don’t really like shadow boxing, though it was fun taking the picture!
  • Loved the moments of presence, awareness and mindfulness this experience brought into my life.
  • Found both added reflection and spontaneity popping up as the week went along.
  • Added focus, humor and perspective in both my work and personal life.
  • Used it as a problem solving tool alone and with others.
  • Enjoyed using it to explore the stories I was working on!
This was also a challenge, because this kind of play is often thought of as children’s play – inconsequential – and nothing to be bothered about. I felt a little embarrassed sharing this so publicly, however this forced me to try something new, to move and think in new directions, to be more open to the offers in life.

Excuse me, it is 1/3/2017 and I still love this game – here are some of the many reasons why:

  • When used in groups or individually it enlivens the atmosphere in a way that invites in the unusual and the unexpected – this is very helpful when you are trying to foster creativity.
  • Helps you and/or your group reenergize, relax and focus.
  • When movement is used, our brains and bodies benefit.
  • It helps us gain perspective and embrace the moment.
  • Its an aid to using metaphor as a vehicle for change.
  • And, it is a great little problem solver.

This is a game you can play once and receive benefit, but the more you use it – the greater the benefits.You can learn more about the Animal Play activity here.

Shadow BoxingDo you see the image of me shadow boxing to the left? As I look at it now, it could easily be an image of someone sitting down for a cup of tea and I believe that is what I will do next.

Have a playful and well-storied day!

– Mary


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1/3/2017 – edited for clarity within the post and 5 day series. Removed images and added an image.

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