My friend Dawn and I had both been working very hard. We needed to push the reset button. What better way to push the reset button than through play?
We live many miles apart, so we scheduled a virtual play date. We met via phone and brainstormed about something playful we’d each like to do. We agreed our play date would last 23 minutes. Why 23? No reason, other than it’s a random number, not commonly used as a time increment, a number borne of adventure rather than thought.
I decided to color a page from my Spongebob coloring book. Dawn had a household task she wanted to infuse with a little fun to make it more bearable. Next, we sprinkled our play with a little magic, in the form of a small question.
A small question is a powerful tool. A small question can be brought into a play (or work) session by writing it down, then letting it simmer and bubble while we engage with the activity at hand. Simmering and bubbling occurs in the non-thinking, creative part of our brain, allowing the answers to arise in surprising ways.
Small questions don't have immediate answers. They can start with phrases like:
How can I…
Taking a cue from the playful mood, my small question was a fill-in-the-blank style:
“Feeling carefree, I get to _________ more often.”
As I colored Spongebob, words began bubbling up. I wrote them in the blank spaces on the page.
hang with friends
Glow. That final word had a ring to it.
It spoke to me as something I wanted more of. To spread light from within: a soft, gentle light.
“Feeling carefree, I get to GLOW more often.”
GLOW doesn't apologize.
GLOW doesn't need permission.
GLOW is a natural state of being alive.
I realized I may have stumbled across a theme to carry into the New Year, all summed up in a single word.
As our 23 minutes came to an end, Dawn and I brought our play date to a close by sharing what we discovered. That was 23 minutes very well spent, all in the name of PLAY.
Thank you Dawnbob and Spongebob. I enjoyed riding the Play Train with you. Having a buddy to play with makes all the difference.
I invite you to book a virtual play date with someone. Think of a small question to bring into your playtime (or feel free to borrow mine). I’d love to hear what bubbles up for you. Please share about your experience in the comments below.
Author and Branding Consultant
I am passionate about helping mission-centered business owners share their message through compelling written and visual content.
My memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.