The treasure of our playful instinct

The treasure of our playful instinct

A very short story

The treasure of our playful instinct

Her muscular body galloped under me as I felt the thrill of going faster than I had ever gone before. My buckskin horse sped through the forest, easily weaving through the trees. My friend and her horse were close behind gaining on us, but I knew we were faster. Suddenly, a huge log lay across a wide stretch, directly in our path. I had no doubt she would be able to jump it. As we approached the log, I stood up in the stirrups and leaned forward, I felt her body raise up and sail over. The landing was as graceful as ever as I gently eased back in the saddle, but wait, another log was just ahead, could she gather her legs quickly enough to make it? Without hesitation, she easily took the log, and again I adjusted my seat for the jump. As she landed on the soft earth, I looked up and noticed the path, now cement was coming to an end. I would have to stop her at the end of the sidewalk. I pulled the reigns in and dismounted, taking my right foot out of the bike pedal. My friend galloped in right behind us and I heard the screech of her brakes.

My bike was often my horse. As a little girl, I loved horses. Every crack in the sidewalk was a jump, every speedy ride, a speedy gallop. I don’t remember what I had named her, my horse/bike, but I am sure I did. What I do remember was the feeling of freedom, exhilaration and pure joy that I felt from the creative world I lived in those moments.

I used to watch my son play with Legos or Beanie Babies for hours when he was little. He created entire stories and adventures. His focus on his game was so intent, that getting him to stop for dinner was near impossible. If only he had a small amount of that same focus and energy for homework.

That powerful focus, and being in the present moment that children can get to so easily when they are deep in play, is innate. We still have that ability as adults, though it’s often buried. In Playful Instinct workshops, we tap into our personal playful and focused parts of ourselves when we do interactive games with others. From there, we can access the creative and flexible parts of our brain. When adding communication techniques, we can transform and re-pattern our reactions, expressions and connections with others. And what fun we have, playfully working our brains.

We all have a creative, playful person inside us somewhere, and when we can tap into that place as adults, we tap into our unique expression, confidence and powerful instincts.

Though I don’t ride my horse/bike anymore, I do get to enjoy those parts of my brain and personality. What a powerful treasure we have inside of us.

"Audrey has refined her own 'playful instinct' as an art form which she is now generously offering to others. To say her creative energy is infectious is a gross understatement. It's more like an epidemic."

MICHAEL MISH, EMMY AWARD WINNING SONG WRITER, AUTHOR