I’ve been playing non-stop the past 2 weeks and I still have 3 more to go. I’m working with kids. A whole bunch of them, 80 every day. Some of them need a more specialized approach, but they all just want love and attention. It's my job, I get paid and inspired by it. So I play with them. ‘Play’ is creating an alternative reality, created by the rules of all players. When I let go of any of my shame, goals and think out of the box to play… I surrender and experience so much fun!
Children learn more from who you ARE than what you teach. The kind of teacher that I want to be is just to be ME.
I love to be the ‘fool’. By becoming one of them during free play. To swing them physically upside down, carrying the 5-year-old on my shoulder as if he becomes my handbag traveling with me to other countries in between all the giggles and screams of pleasure. I love being extremely creative and inspiring with ideas for them to pick up on and move in different directions. To build camps out of chairs, to steal treasures that exist out of bottle caps, and to crawl on the floor not to be seen by ‘the king’. I will roleplay and dress up and imagine things that only exist in different dimensions. I PLAY PLAY PLAY.
I know that children also need more than a fool to feel safe to express fully. So I also take on the roles of being ‘the caring lady’ by approaching them gently, with respect and fitting for the age of the child. When they miss their mom or fall on their knees, I’m there with full presence to give them my tender attention. I make them feel ‘seen’, by connecting with them in personal conversation as much as I can.
And I will also be the ‘Sir’ with them. I’m taking the lead with a strong sense of responsibility. I constructively approach conflict resolution with the children. I’m honest and correct with them, giving them structure and stability for them to learn about their own and others boundaries. I provide safety and protection.
The Lady and Sir are the safe keepers of a healthy playing situation.
There is a HIGH INNOCENCE in children playing. Something we as adults forget is to play more. Even if we play now, it’s often with an agenda of winning a game. Not for the sense of just creation and fun. Playing is such an important part for any of our healing processes. Our spirit needs to be frolic so we can return to innocence. Something children can teach us.
I’ve used a playful approach in my previous jobs, in the contact with my friends, with the puppy I found in Bulgaria, … and now I also notice it in my workshops for Compass to Connection. By being playful about topics as sexuality (with consensual adults), it brings an innocence back into the topic. People flourish, open up, heal and it becomes fun to connect and play with others and sexual energy. It’s not something dirty or shameful when there is just an exploration of desires and connection without an agenda of reaching a goal whatsoever. If you bring sexuality back to its essence, it is pure and light, and playful. Sexual energy is just life force. It is the energy that created us. It is creative energy. Without that energy there would be none of this - there would be no you, no me.