Creation, after all, is only play.

Stephen C. Paul


The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity.  The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

Carl Jung

Can you imagine experiencing the world  as a great sandbox given for us to play in like we did as children?  As we play, we can also open ourselves to the exploration of our edges, always creating new adventures of self-exploration as we let go of old out-dated beliefs about ourselves.

Judith-Annette Milburn
The true object of all human life is play.  Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.

G. K. Chesterton

To be playful is not to be trivial or frivolous, or to act as though nothing of
consequence will happen.  On the contrary, when we are playful with each other we relate as free persons, and the relationship is open to surprise; everything that happens is of consequence.  It is, in fact, seriousness that closes itself to consequence, for seriousness is a dread of the unpredictable outcome of open possibility.  To be serious is to press for a specified conclusion.  To be playful is to allow for possibility whatever the cost to oneself.

James Carse


We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing!

George Bernard Shaw


Why is play so elusive for some grown-ups?  Because we are so
strongly attracted and attached to a profoundly goal-oriented,
work-ethic-driven society.  Like other forms of non-work, play
connotes wastefulness, a stoppage in the way of what needs
to get done.  Yet often what really needs to get done has more
to do with our hearts and spirits and less to do with a deadline
or longstanding project.  Play beckons to us, urging us to live in
the present moment, a moment that becomes more luminous
when we disallow interruptions like work and worry.

Leslie Levine


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They are enlightened who join in this play knowing it as play, for people
suffer only because they take as serious what the gods made for fun.

Alan Watts


The real joy of life is in its play.  Play is anything we do for the
joy and love of doing it, apart from any profit, compulsion,
or sense of duty.  It is the real living of life with the feeling
of freedom and self-expression.  Play is the business of childhood,
and its continuation in later years is the prolongation of youth.

Walter Rauschenbusch

The ability to play is essential to being a creative artist.

Dewitt Jones

Necessity may be the mother of invention,
but play is certainly the father.

Roger von Oech

Play is the only way the highest intelligence
of humankind can unfold.

Joseph Chilton Pearce
Does it not appear to you versatility is the true and rare
characteristic of that rare thing called genius--versatility
and playfulness?  In my mind they are both essential.

Mary Russell Mitford

If I get to pick what I want to do, then it's play. . . if someone
else tells me that I have to do it, then it's work.

Patricia Nourot


It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still
differentiate between a time for learning and a time for
play without seeing the vital connection between them.

Leo Buscaglia


Play has been the human's most useful preoccupation.

Frank Caplan

To the art of working well a civilized race would
add that art of playing well.

George Santayana


We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves,
or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.

Charles Schaefer


The world is your playground.  Why aren't you playing?

Ellie Katz


Play is the beginning of knowledge.

George Dorsey


Play keeps us vital and alive.  It gives us an enthusiasm for
life that is irreplaceable.  Without it, life just doesn't taste good.

Lucia Capocchione



If you aren't playing well, the game isn't as much fun.
When that happens I tell myself just to go out
and play as I did when I was a kid.

Thomas J. Watson, Sr.


Genuine play occurs when you lose sight of yourself and your life for
the moment.  You are totally immersed in whatever physical or creative
activity with no awareness of the passing of time.  You are truly awake
and alive.  For some people, play may be more physical.  For others, it
is a creative outlet for expression.  However, both types of play can
satisfy our basic need for curiosity, exploration, and fun.

Jill Murphy Long


Play is as necessary to the perfect development of a child as sunshine
is to the perfect development of a plant. The childhood that has no
budding and flowering, or only a partial unfolding of its petals, will
have nothing but gnarled and pinched fruitage. The necessity for play
in the very beginning of a child's development is shown by the fact
that the instinct to play is so strong in all young life,
including the entire animal kingdom. . . .
The very fact that the instinct to play, that the love of fun is so
imperious in children, shows a great necessity in their nature
which, if suppressed, will leave a famine in their lives.

Orison Swett Marden
The Joys of Living 


Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which
discipline and order are relieved with some play and some pure foolishness.

May Sarton
Journal of a Solitude

Those who know how to play can easily leap over the adversities of life.
And one who knows how to sing and laugh never brews mischief.

Iglulik Proverb


Imaginative play is a key that opens the door to intuition.

Frances E. Vaughan

Thirty Reasons to Play!
Jill Murphy Long

1.   Explore!

2.   Time just for me.

3.   Connect with old friends.

4.   Make new friends.

5.   Have extra energy.

6.  Learn a new skill.

7.   Expand my interests.

8.   Expand my world.

9.   Think more clearly.

10.   Have fun.

11.   Sleep better.

12.   Be in a better mood.

13.   Be happy.

14.   Be healthier.

15.   Be with my dog.

16.   Be strong.

17.   Increase my strength.

18.   Be independent.
19.   Be confident.

20.   Time to problem solve.

21.   Reduce stress.

22.   Be with God.

23.   Be in nature.

24.   Get a suntan.

25.   Be me!

26.   Sweat out toxins.

27.   Eat healthier.

28.   Renew my enthusiasm for life.

29.   Be powerful.

30.   Because I want to!

When you play, you benefit from the physical movement, the intellectual stimulation and the creative expression.  You'll feel better about yourself, and many forms of active play will actually help you to get in better shape physically.  So while you may think you don't have time to play, this is the best thing you could possible be doing.

From her book Permission to Play, 2003.


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Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious
learning.  But for children play is serious learning.
Play is really the work of childhood.

Fred Rogers


It is a happy talent to know how to play.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


A buoyant and full-blooded soul has quick senses and
miscellaneous sympathies:  it changes with the changing
world; and when not too much starved or thwarted by
circumstances, it finds all things vivid and comic.  Life is
free play fundamentally and would like to be free play altogether.

George Santayana


There is wisdom in knowing how to play, to touch lightly,
uninvolved and uncommitted, on what is pleasurable.

Aelred Graham


Play not only keeps us young but also maintains our perspective
about the relative seriousness of things.  Running is play, for even
if we try hard to do well at it, it is a relief from everyday cares.

Jim Fixx


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Everybody has heard the phrase "Work hard, play hard."  But I tell my
teams "Work hard, play hard.  Don't get the two confused and move
quickly from one to the other."  The difference is subtle, but I
believe it's crucial for success.
  I think the biggest mistake people make is they waste time and happiness
by mixing work and play.  Impatience causes all of us to want want to find
an immediate conclusion instead of inching our way towards perfection.
This often leads us to wish we were playing when we're working, and on
the flipside, worrying about work when we're playing.  In this way, we fail
to get the most out of or enjoy either of them.

Bill Resler
The Heart of the Team

Good work and joyous play go hand in hand.  When play stops,
old age begins.  Play keeps you from taking life too seriously.

George Byron


Many of my clients stopped playing years ago.  They wouldn't dream of doing
anything they'd call "play," except on rare occasions like planned vacations or
jury duty.  They believe that play is inimical to success, that allowing themselves
to play would cause them to lose their competitive edge at work.  This is incredibly
ironic when you consider that the play-intensive nature of our brains is the very
thing that's allowed us to out-compete every other species on earth.  A playful
mind-set allows you to master whatever is in front of you, to form symbiotic
alliances and partnerships, to adapt successfully to any challenging situation,
and above all, to find a sense of fun that makes the whole shebang intrinsically
satisfying.  Play is precisely what you need most to succeed at work.  It will also
immeasurably improve your personal life, but as far as I'm concerned, the main
reason to practice play is that it's extremely, vitally, pivotally good for your career.

Martha Beck
The Joy Diet



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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