Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On Not Two Blogs

OK, so I tried two blogs for a while, and guess what? It doesn't really work for me right now. 

At least not these two blogs. (I do have an idea of one that might be distinct and different enough to work for me.)

So for the time being, and for reasons that I describe more fully in my most recent post (that I hope you will read) on Trusting Delight, I am going to pretend for a while that this blog doesn't exist. The reasons relate to that Rule #1 of my first post, the one that said: Tell the truth. Be as gutsy and honest as possible.

It's possible that a clear reason for this blog will emerge some day, and it will be great that it already exists. But until that time, Learning to Play is joining Trusting Delight. 

If you've read my few posts on Learning to Play, I do thank you! And I invite you to keep reading Trusting Delight and to send it to friends, cousins, and anyone else you think might enjoy it. Thanks!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Playfulness loves Imperfection

Since reading a blog post by Christine Kane last week about taking "imperfect action," I've been thinking a lot about perfectionism as an enemy of playfulness. Nothing kills creative, playful ideas like a dose of perfectionist thinking. As Christine says, waiting until your effort, action, or creation is "perfect" before you try it or put it out there in the world is a great way to ensure that it never gets out there at all. 

I know all too well how effectively perfectionist thinking can prevent me even from trying to get an idea out of my head (so many great ideas!) and into writing, or painting, or some other form of human action. "What if I fail? What if I mess it up/botch it/hate what I do/waste all that paint/make a fool of myself, etc.?" (Perfectionism may help me to reach for high standards, but it sounds a lot like the voice of fear, does it not?)

To which an obvious reply might be: "And what if you never try? How likely are you to succeed that way?"

Several months ago in my other blog, I wrote a post about Ms. Frizzle, the eccentric creative teacher of "The Magic Schoolbus" fame. In particular, I cited one of her favorite expressions as great advice for creative undertakings, curious explorations, and certainly for learning to play. "Take chances! Get messy! Make mistakes!"

Imperfect actions might be imperfect, but they are a whole lot better than no action at all! They make forward movement possible, even probable. The air begins to feel more charged with possibilities! And often the messes and mistakes lead to new discoveries, new ideas, and even to the kind of happy accident that's better than anything you could have ever planned.

Maybe I'll make it a "spiritual practice" to take at least one deliberately imperfect action a day! Who knows where it will get me, but I'm curious to find out--one imperfect, playful action at a time.