Friday, April 17, 2009

The Importance of Play!

The Importance of Play … and yes, for Adults too!

I had this dream a few years back and it came a few days ago in the form of a reoccurring dream. Its message was loud and clear and I felt I should share this with you here. It reminded me that work should not be the only thing in ones life. Sometimes I forget that life should be a happy balance of hard work, rest and PLAY. The dream to me was significant because it reminded me of when I was much younger with my two siblings (a brother and a sister) and how we would romp about and explore the world through childlike wonder. I whole heartily believe that no matter what age we are we should never lose this ‘Sense of Wonder’. Yeah you know that song … so I hope you dance! LOL! Here's the dream synopsis:

It was a warm sunny day in the cool shadow of the woods. Three little brown bear cubs were romping about. One particular cub a brave little soul went exploring. It tackled a tree branch with leaves sprouting from the top. The weight of the branch could not support that of the cub so it dangled over the hearth. With a swoosh sound the branch recoiled and the cub scampered off to topple its brother and sister with a friendly pounce. Large friendly trees with gray trunks sheltered the cubs from the hot sun. Soft light danced its way down through the treetops. A pretty yellow butterfly captured the attention of the youngest cub, a male, and it went chasing after it over stones and shrubs. Clumsily it fell to its belly on the green earth. The two sister cubs seemed to smile and laugh at the action of their brother. Everything was green and golden. The younger female cub happened upon on stream and saw her reflection. Frightened she cried out and the two siblings came to the rescue. The eldest sister pounced on the younger causing her to fall into the stream. The bother cub splashed head first into the water to join in on the water play. All three cubs nipped at each other and wrestled. The better part of the day was spent play fighting in this manner. The eldest cub ventured out further, she showed more curiosity, examined the plants, trees and foliage. The cubs rested snuggled by each others side as the sun began to fade. The cry of their mother could be heard in the distance calling them home. All three cubs raced towards the pleasing sound of their mother's cry from their day of delightful play.

I named this dream ‘Best Medicine’ and felt the totem of the Bear Cub had come to me as a reminder of the importance of play. All too often as adults we forget about the rejuvenation qualities that play has in our lives and we should always get a good healthy dose of it, and no matter how old we are!

According to JP Lilly, LCSW, RPT-S and Kevin O'Connor, PhD:

In recent years a growing number of noted mental health professionals have observed that play is as important to human happiness and well being as love and work (Schaefer, 1993). Some of the greatest thinkers of all time, including Aristotle and Plato, have reflected on why play is so fundamental in our lives. The following are some of the many benefits of play that have been described by play theorists.

Play is a fun, enjoyable activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life. It expands self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-efficacy. Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects us to people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates our emotions, and boosts our ego (Landreth, 2002). In addition, play allows us to practice skills and roles needed for survival. Learning and development are best fostered through play (Russ, 2004).

*Some info derived from article:

By all means everyone … make the time to play …its good for you, and yeah, it really is!

Brightest Blessings ~ Bia’ Aletheia


  1. very nicely put. I love play time just as much as my work time and I actually have found a way to mix the two.

  2. One part of my job that I love. I have tried to make a game out of almost everything I do.