When was the last time you played hide and seek? One of the biggest messages I have been receiving as part of my work this summer is to remember to play. I tend to get into my head and think the only thing that matters is work. That’s my conditioning. As a child, we were not allowed to sleep in or laze around and do nothing. We were expected to be cleaning, cooking, re-organizing, or contributing in someway. My mother believed that if we were working then we were being productive members of the group, not expecting anyone to do for us what we could do for ourselves. Part of this type of programming is healthy. I do believe in individuals pulling their weight. But other parts of this belief are detrimental. If you are not taking time for being, only focusing on doing, you really won’t have the energy and stamina to effectively be productive.
Life is a balance – a give and take. All work and no play make us out of balance. Still, I’m heavily programmed there. I’m always working because that’s what I do. I forget that at times I need to take a day off or find time to do nothing just for the sake of maintaining balance. Luckily the universe works in mysterious ways bringing us what we need most when we least expect it.
I was at my office one evening writing an article. For the first time that day, the office was quiet. Everyone had gone home and I was excited to finally get some quiet time to really get into my work. Unfortunately, it wasn’t going so well. I couldn’t really phrase my thoughts effectively and I was unclear as to just what direction the piece needed to take. I had been at the office late the night before and was planning on having another late night hoping to wrap up the project when suddenly there was a knock at my door. It was my soul sister accompanied by her husband and their four year old daughter. They were stopping by just to say hello and see my new office. These are some of the greatest people in my life. I love them very much and so although I was eager to work, I was also eager to see them and I forced myself to take a break. Little did I know this break was the medicine, and subsequent inspiration, my soul was seeking but that I couldn’t get out of my head long enough to see.
My sister’s four year old daughter immediately took command. First she wanted me to show her my office. Then she wanted me to play a song for her on my guitar. Next, we journeyed into the bigger conference area to have tea and play with some cards. But then unexpectedly I lost her. My little friend had disappeared. Her parents and I began to search the office for her, not having any luck, when all of a sudden she popped out from behind a chair saying, “now it’s your turn to hide.” Next thing I knew I was ducking behind doors, under tables, and around corners playing hide and seek – something I hadn’t done since my own children were small.
It brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart in a way I’d nearly forgotten. Not only was this game of hide and seek a well needed break, it was a healing for my soul. I never really got to be a child when I was a child. However this event reminded me that regardless of our circumstances or how old we think we are, we still have an inner child who needs to skip, dance, run around, and play hide and seek. In that sense, we really never have to grow up which is the key to living a happy fulfilling life.
When my family left, I felt lighter, happier, and much more contented. I continued working the rest of the night but it was no longer a chore. It was delightful and it sparked a new direction in my article that I hadn’t thought of prior to their visit. Sometimes what we think of as distractions is really just the universe’s way of telling us to slow down, take a break, and don’t be so serious. The next time you have the opportunity to stop, drop and play hide and seek, don’t deny yourself the thrill of really living life. Or better yet, call all your adult friends and invite them over for a game of hide and seek…hmmm…now that could get interesting.