Wouldn’t it be interesting if…

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“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Albert Einstein

There is a bike path near my house that meanders through several suburbs all the way to the river. As I walked this path recently I passed a number of really cool playgrounds. Each had more than the regular swings and slides. These playgrounds had really neat and unique play equipment that I imagine would be great fun for kids.

These playgrounds for kids got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be interesting if, as adults, we could design our own little space for fun, relaxation and adventure. What would we include?  I chuckled to myself realising they could look very different for each of us, even different for individuals on different days, should we have the opportunity to be the architects of our dreams.

This week, for me, my little space would include lots of relaxation and soulfilling adventure.  Now, I’m going to use a good deal of imagination here, because that’s what kids do in playgrounds, right? Use their imaginations.  My playground would consist of five hut like gazebos arranged in a pentagon around a central hut that acts as a hub, if you will.  Reflexology paths, lined with aromatic herbs, radiate from the hub to the other huts. This central hut is, of course, a tea hut. It boasts every type of tea imaginable; chai, oolong, gunpowder green, herbal teas, you name it it’s there with an equally abundant collection of teapots and tea cups for any mood or occasion.

I could begin my adventure with a soothing cup of High Mountain Vietnamese Oolong and then take the path that leads to the massage hut where I could indulge in Thai foot massage, Indian head massage and Kahuna massage. Once rejuvenated, refreshed and relaxed  I would wander back to the hub for a rich and creamy pot of creme brûlée tea .  Next, I’d head out to the art gazebo where I could escape into and create with paints, collage, beading, and clay.

Thinking about what play means to me, I’d have to have a place for a tight rope and a trapeze swing. But a trapeze wouldn’t fit in a gazebo you say. Such a trifling matter.  When employing  imagination,  anything is possible. Gilbert Chestrson also believed “there are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.”

Giving free rein to my imagination (as I wandered through a tree lined park on my Sunday morning walk) I daydreamed of having a hut with a magic door that would transport me to anywhere in the world. I could visit the Uffizi Gallery and sate myself on gorgeous art, then wander up the spiritual haven of the Tor in Glastonbury, followed by a wander around the standing stones in Avebury, or the quiet moors in Scotland. I wouldn’t mind dropping into the little church of San Damiano, in Assisi, for mass in Italian or for a seafood lunch in Honfleur.  On my return, and after supping a dandelion tea, I’d head off to the remaining hut, for a soak in a warm mud pool  finished off  with a float in a float tank.

Now wouldn’t that be grand? A cluster little white wooden gazebos where I could indulge, play and escape.  I know it is just plain silly (and many of you will be wondering what the hell I was thinking posting this tripe) but that’s half the fun and my. How often do we let ourselves, as adults, just dream silly dreams? How often do we play and use our imaginations? Where’s the harm in having fun? Sometimes time and finances don’t allow us to truly escape but a little daydreaming is as good as a holiday. Your brain can’t tell the difference between a thought and reality.  Needless to say my Sunday morning walk was one of the most relaxing and exhilarating walks I’ve had in a long time.  I might actually pull the paintbrushes out this week and pop off for a foot rub. Woo hoo. See what letting your imagination run wild can trigger.

Fire up your imagination and start daydreaming. What would your playground include?

 

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Ditch the resolutions and get back to yourself instead.

Who are you? Do you even know anymore?

Sure, you’re a mother or father, a sister or brother. You are either an employee or an employer. Then you might add husband or wife, friend, aunt or uncle.  But who are you, without all the attachments and the relationships?

Can you remember when you were young and those things that made you happy, the things you loved to spend time doing? These activities can help us get back to ourselves. They can be our guides back to joy, peace and harmony.

Think back, what was it you loved doing? How did you spend most of your time? What made you happy?

For me it was dressing up and putting on performances for my grandmother.  I loved selecting pretty things to wear, that felt nice next to my skin, that made me feel good about myself. I loved entertaining, dancing and movement.

I loved the ritual of morning and afternoon tea with my Grandparents. It was always a simple affair but tea time was special. I got to choose my own cup and select a cookie from the barrel. They were usually only Arnott’s assorted biscuits but the cream ones were purely decadent in my young opinion.

From my maternal grandfather I learnt the joy of completing crossword puzzles. He drank tea too. Made in a pot with a cosy. I loved to watch comedy television shows with him like I Dream of Jeannie, I Love Lucy and Laverne and Shirley. We would laugh and laugh.

I remember too, the thrill of rolling down a grassy hill. The pure excitement and the great shrieks of laughter that rang out prompting me to run up and do it again.

So, next year, I intend to spend time doing these things again. I am going to find a friend who can teach me the joys of shopping for nice clothes (rather than racing in and buying the first thing I see on the rack), I’m going to move more by getting back into yoga. I might even dare to dance around the house when no one is looking.

I still love tea and I’m going to extend this ritual by inviting friends to enjoy afternoon tea with me. These little events will include nice cups and saucers, teapots and a selection of yummy homemade delicacies.

I’m going to keep a crossword book handy all year round and not save the fun for holidays only. I’m even going to allow myself to sit and watch something totally silly, trivial and funny on TV or DVD once in a while, to bring back the laughter.

I wonder if I’ll be brave enough to go out on my own, without a young child in tow as an excuse, and roll down a hill. I hope so.

If I can tap back into these activities that I enjoyed as young girl, by including them in my adult life, I know I will have a deeper sense of satisfaction. I know life will be more joyful. I know I will continue to peel back the layers to reveal my essence.

What about you? Will you pull out your Lego and build something? Will you dig out your old Barbie and dress her up? Will you find a slippery slide and ride down it for the pure fun of it? Maybe you’ll venture outside and splash in a puddle (if it ever rains again in Australia) or ride a bike around the neighbourhood.

What will bring you joy in 2014? What will help you tap back into your essence? I’d love to hear what you’ll do.

Wishing you a new year of fun, laughter and a deeper sense of self,

Shannyn