Going out to play, whether getting on my bike and riding pretty much all day, or riding over to a friend’s house, knocking on the door, “Can Vicki play?” was a typical Saturday morning scene. Playing all day was all that was on the agenda. Yes, food at some point was thrown in there, but it certainly didn’t rate that high, it was more of a necessary evil in the middle of playtime.
Fast forward to where we are in life and think about what Saturdays mean to you, and if you have a non-traditional Saturday/Sunday days off schedule, think about this as your off time. What has Saturday become?
Well, if you have kids, it may be a myriad of soccer practices or running here and there from various events and activities. Without kids, you may have so much to get done that you can’t during the work week, so your Saturday becomes a massive chore list.
Think about the Saturday kid illustration that I provided. Cereal, cartoons, and uninhibited playtime. How many of us would love to have the freedom to just be a kid again and not have to worry about the report that’s due on Monday, cleaning out the gutters, and doing the laundry?
Guess what? All of those things existed as a kid, and we did them, but we just didn’t allow our worry to destroy our playtime mindset. It seems like we still have the same ability to have Saturday playtime, but we need to relearn to how to live like this.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because stop playing.
So how do we get back to our inner child, despite our responsibilities doing this “adulting” thing? We re-engineer our thinking and rediscover the power that we have to shift our thoughts, feelings, and outlook on life.
Albert Einstein said, “ Play is the highest form of research.” And it is true! When we play, we invigorate our creativity, we re-energize, and we embrace our authentic self – the playful child who loves life.
Let’s look at my Saturday kid recipe for a successful Saturday.
1) I grabbed a bowl of cereal. Hey – that’s what we did! Could have been a better choice, but fueling up was just a natural thing to do – we just knew that you fuel up after rejuvenating the body with sleep. So this becomes the first step of retraining your mind – nourish your body.
Make sure that you don’t just grab anything (like I did with cereal) for ease and convenience, make a conscious effort to realize that in order to enjoy life, the moment, and playtime, you need to be well-nourished. Fuel up, consciously.
2) I watched cartoons. This is a seemingly mindless activity, sitting in front of the television, but it worked. We started our day with humor! Wouldn’t you feel better starting your day laughing instead of worrying about deadlines and all of the junk you have to get done? That’s what we did as a kid, and it’s the same recipe for success today.
However you get it, the funny column in the paper, YouTube funny spoofs or comedian videos, or the classic – cartoons (hey, you may actually begin to find Sponge Bob funny!), introduce humor into the start of your Saturday. Look, this is your play day. Even if you have a list of chores to accomplish, beginning with humor will shift your perspective and you will see your entire day in a new light.
3) My mom told me to go out to play. It wasn’t like I needed to be told, but it was this prompting that made me move away from the television and get moving! So our third element is movement, exercise, and fun. However you move, choose something that you enjoy, but do it and do it like you did as a kid, with everything you have in you. And you may have to be the one telling yourself, “Hey! Go out and play.” Make it your command. It’s expected of the Saturday child, so why not for you?
Add imagination and dreaming to the mix, just as you did as a kid. You weren’t just riding your bike, you were a mighty explorer! Allow your mind to dream and come alive. I’m telling you, that business proposal or work project will benefit from your allowing your mind and body to take on the Saturday success recipe.
All we need to know about how to live a successful life, we lived as children playing. The Saturday morning experience brings us to a balanced state because it creates alignment of our mind, body, energy, and our emotions.
When we start our day with fueling our bodies with nourishment, our mind with laughter, and exert our energy in play and discovery, we are unstoppable. We set ourselves up to take on anything. If you could be Superman or Wonder Woman in your mind as a kid, you certainly can be now - but you need to stop thinking that you are too busy to enjoy life – as you did then.
That chore list becomes so much easier when you are aligned. Remember, the gutters still had to be cleaned out and the leaves raked, and you made a game out of it – and when it was done? Playtime.
Reward yourself. Playtime is not superfluous. You knew it as a child, naturally, because you were closer to your inner truth as a child. A puppy or a kitten even know this. Playing is training for adulthood, but somehow we forget how to play.
So this week, regain the principles of the Saturday mindset. Nourish your body, fill your heart with laughter, and get out and move and play. Relearn to live again. Shift will happen!