You have permission to PLAY!

Yesterday in yoga it was such a gift to find some play-time on our mats. Thank you for your presence and energy – it was a bright way to start the week and I hope it was for you too!

The playful flow reminded me of when I watch my kids do yoga. They think it’s funny to be pirates doing “plank pose” and giggle as they purposely fall out of “airplane pose,” taking themselves for a nose dive!

As per usual, I learn a lot from watching them. I’m certain that my adult-self struggles these days to laugh when I fall, and my default mode avoids any sort of “nose-dive” situation. Maybe you share this default-setting of working hard to avoid any and all risks that could potentially lead to embarrassment! I like to call it of “risk-control-mode.” It’s pretty safe but also pretty boring.

Just the other day, my daughter asked me to roll down a hill behind our house and my first instinct was, “YES, let’s do it!” But then I noticed there was a smattering of goose poop covering the area, so I heard myself say, “You go ahead honey, I’ll watch.” (Come on Dev, you’re going to have to clean her jacket anyways, so why not join her and then throw two in the wash, instead of one?)

I can tell you, my inner child wished I would risk a little more. She’s giving me permission to take risks for fun, delight and adventure.

I wonder what would happen if I listened?

Where adults are afraid of messing up or getting messy, children simply see “mess” as a part of living. (Just follow one around for a day, and you’ll see what I mean!) Kids have little concern of what other people think, and EVERY concern about finding the most fun in their play. Risk seems to be an afterthought…..And I wonder if it’s because they know their mom will handle the mess? She will throw their coat in the washing machine after all said-fun is done.

I think “adult Devany” has forgotten that she also has a parent who delights in her play and will help her with the mess.

With my experiences thus far, I’ve grown afraid of the messy emotions and messages that can come with playing. The “shame gremlins” as Brené Brown calls them, who try to stop me, saying: “That’s not a wise use of time!” 

“You have responsibilities you need to take care of!”

Or even, “Act your age!”

But when we remember that God finds delight in our delight, we can hear His voice rise above our shame, insecurities and fear and trust that the desires of our heart – the pure, good, true desires – were planted there by God Himself. 

Just as parents know that play is good for their children, so does God know that the same is true for us.

Psychology, biology and neurology have proven that play “shapes our brain, helps us foster empathy, helps us navigate complex social groups, and is at the core of creativity and innovation.”

And there is more….

“True play that comes from our own inner needs and desires is the only path to finding lasting joy and satisfaction in our work.

In the long run,

work does not work without play.” 

(p. 101)

What shifts within you when you are told –

Your work won’t work without play

For me it’s a hall pass from the Teacher. An invitation to take the risk and follow the pathways of God’s pleasure, trusting He is a Good Shepherd who follows behind me. For Scripture promises us:

2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure. 3 That’s where he restores and revives my life.

Psalm 23:2-3 (TPT)

Play and rest can restore and revive our lives.

If it’s hard for you to play...this chapter is worth a closer read!

What I found most important, was that Brené Brown reworked her life’s rhythm and her family’s rhythm to include play in response to her research. They intentionally carved out time to take it easy and have “down time.”

For me, play looks like dancing in the kitchen, rolling down the goose-poop hill, playing board games and dress-up with my kids and gin rummy with my hubs.

What playful activities bring you delight and joy?

We’ve decided to carve out more time for it in our family and see where it takes us 🙂 Want to join us?

May play revive your heart’s flow of creativity, sustain your work and bring rest to your soul.

Blessings of shortened “to-do” lists and more down-time to play,


If you enjoyed diving into Guidepost #7 from Brené Brown’s book: The Gifts of Imperfection, 

come join me to finish the book together!

There are 2 ways to participate:

  1. Jump into our Zoom Yoga Series based on Brené Brown’s book (Tuesdays starting 3/9, 6a – 635a for yoga + 5 minutes Guided Scripture Meditation in Savasana), where we look at God’s gifts in our imperfections and have the courage to lean in and grow, together! Click here for details to sign up!
  2. If the yoga won’t work for you – still come along for the journey by receiving a weekly email from me with a short reflection and Scripture passage to go with each Guidepost. Sign up HERE or on my instagram bio: @delightingraceyoga

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