When life gets busy and challenging, time wise, there are days that I just am not able to get my morning playtime in. This is not an unusual event, life can be complicated, and each month finds a few days that I don’t have a formal playtime in the morning. For some of you, the word playtime might strike you as, odd, annoying, or just plain jarring to your cultural sensitivities. These Ancient arts of China and Tibet are about play. They require a sense of playfulness. In our modern age, emphasis on play is really not encouraged, once you get past the age of 12 ( or so). Listen to the term that people use to take care of themselves, ” I am WORKing out” Somehow this is more justified. As if you are Working out doing something important and useful. Not something frivolous like Play! There is nothing frivolous about play. There are so many studies about what happens when people play: Intuition, creativity, visualization, problem-solving, different and varied types of engaging and integration of your whole body/mind. My point is not to describe all of the wonders of play only that it is important. The word is important. It affects the way you engage what you are doing, how you are doing what you are doing. So give yourself the opportunity to play. Tell yourself before you meditate, before you go out to walk in the woods, when you are engaging Tai Chi, looking at a flower, reading a book, that you are going out to play. At some point, you will want to play, remember how to play and when life gets in the way you will miss it like an old friend that didn’t show up to school or like missing recess. Remember how important play was? So bring play into your life. Use the word and see how it changes you, how it changes how you engage what you do. Give yourself permission to play.