As a child everyday is playtime. Life is about fun and games. It is lived in the moment with no regard for what will come later or what was done yesterday. Kids can play the same game for days in a row and still enjoy it just as much as they did the day before. They don’t question the purpose or worth in their actions, they simply do things because they enjoy them, or don’t do things because they don’t enjoy them. Life is simple for kids.
As we get older life gets complicated. We don’t have Mummy and Daddy to provide for us anymore; we have to stand on our own two feet. Life throws shit at us that we have to struggle through. Food has to be bought, bills have to be paid, hearts get broken, questions arise. Life gets complicated. And we start taking everything so fucking seriously.
What’s this got to do with nudity you might be wondering? Well, nudity creates playfulness. Nudity creates a sense of not giving a shit. It brings out the child in people. It’s hard not to end up having a laugh when you strip off with a bunch of mates and jump in a pool or the ocean. OK, so none of us can get together with a bunch of mates and go for a dip right now. But nudity at home can bring a sense of fun to the everyday. Try having a naked dance in your kitchen, or practicing naked handstands in the garden. I guarantee it will make you or someone you live with laugh! It’s hard not to have fun when you do things naked! Maybe not everything…. maybe not welding or Arctic exploring. But for household chores it’ll add just a little more playfulness. And playfulness is just what we need right now isn’t it?!?
I spent Jan, Feb and March playing out in nature. I am so grateful to say that my work feels like play. Being naked in nature makes me happier than anything, it makes me feel playful and carefree like a child. Scott and I have been zooming about the south island. Running from beauty spot to beauty spot to skinny dip in the greatest waters this great country has to offer. Yes, it is all research for the book, but we are only making this book because we love doing it so much. Our work is our playtime.
I’ve always been a playful person. But it’s not until a few months ago when a friend of mine brought up the subject of adult play that I really started to appreciate how important playtime is for me. My free-spirited friend, Gem, and I had just spent an hour or two naked on a secluded beach of Lake Mavora. Attempting gymnastics we knew we couldn’t do, making up our own acro yoga poses because we couldn’t remember the correct positions and leaping as high as we could for funny photos. During this time spent on the beach playing we were innocent like children. There was nothing lewd about our nudity, we were simply natural and free.
You know when you hear or read something that just clicks with you? You realise you have felt it for a long time but never consciously acknowledged it before. It’s something that has just come to you intrinsically without you having to bring the concept into your consciousness. Sometimes it takes someone else to bring up the subject for you to realise how strongly you feel about it. This was what happened for me with the subject of playtime. I have always believed in it, always practiced it, yet never actually vocalised the idea to myself. When Gem brought it up and we discussed it, I realised just how much I believe in it and how essential it is for me. I know that play is vital for me in my life and I believe a bit of play is vital for all human happiness.
Playtime is a time that we can let go of our cares and worries and just act like children. We can forget that we need to earn money or buy groceries, we can ignore any deadlines or responsibilities and just have fun. When I frolic from rock to rock down a river bed or leap off a high rock into a pool I am not thinking about why or for what purpose, I am just enjoying the moment. Even though I’m often doing it for a purpose, (for the book), I am transported directly into the present moment and am just living. Much that I have read and listened to in the past few years has taught me the value of mindfulness, of being present: of enjoying the moment. There’s many tools to experience this; I use a variety. But playtime is probably my favourite. Yes I love to go for my morning run, it clears my head and gets me feeling great, but it doesn’t beat playing silly buggers with people I love. Play fighting, dancing stupidly, doing cartwheels on the grass. Anything and everything just to have a giggle. Because what’s life without a giggle?
Sometimes things get on top of us and life can get so hard, in these times we get serious and we forget about play.
But here’s the thing….for many of us right now life has been put on pause. The world as we know it has pressed the pause button. We are in this strange limbo time. We are spending more time at home than ever before. So how about we take a leaf outta the kids book and start playing again? I don’t think I have ever known a better time to just enjoy the moment. Our future is completely unknown (of course the future is always unknown) but now we can’t even make plans, book trips, or look forward to things coming up. The future is even more unknown and out of our hands than it ever has been before. In my (completely unprofessional) opinion, the best way to deal with this scary fact is to embrace the present moment. Why don’t we look to children, who live in the now with no effort at all, and learn some lessons from the simpler little beings around us? They know how to play for the pure pleasure of playing.
We’ve been given a free pass by the planet to take some time to play. We can mess around, giggle, joke and laugh without any care for what chores need to be done or whether we’re going to be late for work. Our schedules are freer so we can give more time to playtime. We can play purely for the joy of the play in that moment. Not because we are trying to keep fit, trying to improve our skills or finish a project, we can play purely to see ourselves and others laugh and smile.
Some people are still working, some are working even harder than usual to keep everybody safe and their lives must be harder than ever right now. Don’t think I am not aware that plenty of people have got bigger worries and stresses than ever before right now. People’s lives have been turned upside down and loved ones are being lost. But I feel that means, more than ever, to make some time to do things purely for the laugh. When life gets serious let’s not forget to play yeah? Let’s try to make the god damn most of THIS moment as we possibly can, because it’s the only one we’ve got 😉