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Peace in the Park & Game of Life - II

From: Janardhan
Sent on: Thursday, May 9, 2013 10:35 PM

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We have just started working on Peace in the Park - Festival of Spirit. It's an event to bring together diverse San Francisco and surrounding communities to create a restorative and peace-filled afternoon for the whole family. There will be something in it for people of all ages to enjoy. This event has already been hosted with overwhelming success by our friends in Florida and Oxford (UK). Watch the video highlights from the festival in Oxford last year. Like our Facebook page to stay updated with the festival.

Also, enjoy below the final series of insights into playing the game of life ... lightly!

With love,

The Game of Life – Are YOU Playing? Part II

Have you ever noticed each day is filled with many scenes – the scene of the office, the scene of the kitchen, the scene of the church, the scene of the tennis court, the scene of the seminar, the scene of the classroom, the scene where another is in great emotional pain etc. Every scene is an invitation and an opportunity to ‘play’ a different role affirming the oft quoted words of Shakespeare that ‘all the world’s a stage’ and we all get to play many parts…or something to that effect!

But what is the right role to play in each particular scene? And how do we play the role in the right way at the right moment? These are not questions that we tend to ask ourselves. How many roles can we play in our life? As many as we want! In fact we are not only going to ‘play’ our roles but we will ‘create’ our roles, which reminds us that life is essentially ‘playful’ and ‘creative’. But what do we tend to do? We tend to take life far too seriously. We forget that life is simply a game, a play, in which the participants (us all) receive a priceless opportunity to be creative and playful.

So why do we take life so seriously? Why are we not as playful as we could be? Why do we suppress our creativity? Why can we not see life as a game? In continuation from last week, here are the final four of seven possible reasons why we make the ‘busyness’ of our life a serious business!

4 An education to be productive and not creative.
It doesn’t help when our education systems generally prepare us to ‘produce and consume’ much more than ‘create and innovate.’  Many of us never fully recover from this aspect of our childhood and student ‘conditioning’ and therefore never fully realize our creative capacity.  ‘Possibility thinking’ is often never fully developed.  We don’t learn how to create the appropriate thoughts, attitudes and actions for the many possible roles we can potentially play.   Our creativity is suppressed as we are streamed into a society that requires people to fill a pre-assigned and pre-defined position and not play many roles.

5 Games have winners and losers.
When ‘game’ is mentioned as a possible metaphor for life some of us will automatically run away because game means competition and that means winners and losers.  The fear of losing paralyses our creativity and we shy away from full participation in life.  But life is not a game in the competitive sense but a game in the true sense – an activity filled with interactive fun and creative opportunity.  No one wins and no one loses.  To believe that they do is essentially an illusion.  It’s a powerful illusion that keeps many of us asleep and when we fall asleep to any illusion we suffer from diminished self-awareness.  Life as a competition is often one of the hardest misperceptions to shake off.

6 Someone else is responsible.
When we still believe that life is not a creative process that comes from inside out, but something that ‘happens to us’ from outside in, we have still not realized our responsibility for our own life.  Only when complete self-responsibility is realized will the awareness of life as a creative process be fully restored to our consciousness.  Many of us take life too seriously simply because we perceive ourselves as victims. And if not our self then we may have learned to ‘identify with’ others as victims.  This perception of ones self is guaranteed to ensure our face remains long and our heart remains heavy.

7 “I don’t play games!”
If we watch our self in our more serious moments we may notice that we have developed a judgmental tendency towards others.  When we interpret others motives and behaviors as political games, games of manipulation and spin, games of attempting to keep others down, games that are designed to exploit and extract our money, games that are then dressed up as normal and part of life, we develop a cynical perspective and become disillusioned with life itself.  We lose faith that life is essentially benevolent.  We see it as a threat and perhaps a curse, and not as the joyful adventure it could be.  We are always wary and watching for how we may be taken advantage of by the ‘games’ of others.  In so doing we don’t even begin to think how we may live more creatively outside the box of this particular mindset.  The very idea of creating and playing many roles is then irrelevant, even distasteful.   And so our creative capacity is suppressed, or at best stunted.  Only a radical overhaul of our beliefs and perceptions will fix this.  All cynicism has to go if our creativity and playfulness are to return.  Only then can joy dance again within our heart.

Yes of course there many who are suffering, many who have barely enough to eat, many with little or no shelter.  It would seem that simply being playful and creative is not going to help them.  But then why are they in those circumstances?  Perhaps it’s because sometime, somewhere in the past, someone started to take life, for whatever reason (usually fear), far too seriously.  We may decide to make it one of our roles to help such people, in which case we will need to be very unserious in order to be creative (resourceful) and playful (light) if we are to give them both help and hope.

©  Mike George 2013

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