Divine Play

January, 2021
Joy, Leela, Play

I’ve been feeling the sense of collective excitement as we’ve entered a new year and are looking forward to implementing the lessons gleaned from 2020 and experiencing the changes new leadership will hopefully bring. For those in the spiritual world, the understanding of the dawning of a new era, and for those becoming more attuned, the currently indescribable feeling of potential lightness, relief, or the precipice of change.

The anticipation of springtime bloom after this winter year, the collective dark night of the soul, is palpable. And while energetically speaking, there is still A LOT of collective work to do, I’d say the light at the end of the tunnel has appeared for many.

One of the biggest things that keeps presenting itself to me is the inherent joy that comes from play …and the absolute necessity for it.

We’ve been conditioned to see play as a childhood pastime often used to get youthful energy to a more manageable place for exhausted parents, and that being an adult means responsibility, responsibility, responsibility.

One of my high school history teachers drew a picture of his perspective of life on the board, and basically marriage was the edge of a cliff and everything was downhill from there. I couldn’t help but think that while that may be his–and many others’–reality, that was not going to be mine, nor does it have to be anyone’s!

It’s a weighted word: responsibility. To it, I’ve personally attached discipline, hardness, duty to family and others, not so fun activities like paying bills and doing taxes, a lack of choice and therefore feeling of loss of power, maturity, success, and others’ perceptions of my level of responsibility to my self worth.

But a weight that doesn’t have to just be a cement block chained to your ankle, drowning you in the sea of your own assigned meaning of it; it could be a weight that also includes honor of and duty to self …which despite any individualized connotative attachments, makes it empowering to embody.

And in that place of empowered responsibility, I feel it’s necessary to honor our collective human NEED for play. Gone are the days that play is a luxury or just for kids!

Lila or Leela is a Sanskrit word roughly translated as Divine Play. Within the Hindu religion, it has more specific meaning relating to their interpretation of God, but for modern interpretation, it is that intentional, wakeful play which brings us closer to the truest nature of ourselves and therefore, original consciousness. (read: God, the Universe, Source etc)

And greater, divine play becomes our active participation in the dance of life.

The joy and presence that comes from divine play turns us into partners with creation and elevates our felt mortal likeness–even if just for small moments–to the radiating expansiveness and infinite creativity of divinity, our truest form.

So I invite you to add more play in your life! Be silly. Be goofy. Be weird. Be curious. Explore what play means to you. It can be as literal as playing a game or swinging on a swing set, as seemingly mundane as trying a new recipe or rearranging your space or as abstract as calling on fairy spirits to enliven whatever your heart is called to do…as long as the intention behind this play is joy, there is no wrong answer.


Photo credit: Lidya Nada

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