Making space for play and creativity

Making space for play and creativity

When’s the last time you filled your day with play and creativity?

If you have younger children this might be a bit easier to accomplish (assuming you give yourself the permission to join in the fun!). But the reality is, there are tons of different ways we can bring these great experiences into our lives.

I recently had an opportunity to take advantage of a work-related trip to the Yukon by arriving a couple of days early, for the sole purpose of making space for some play and creativity. And to make things even better, I had the good fortune of having a like-minded colleague join me.

We had so much fun going on hikes, touring an animal preserve, visiting a local museum, going for dinners, and even glassblowing. Yep, believe it or not there is an incredible glassblowing studio in Whitehorse called Lumel. It’s run by an amazing couple who also have an incredible connection to their community. If you ever find yourself in Whitehorse, I really encourage you to visit their shop/studio. Whether you simply purchase a premade piece of art or make it yourself, you’ll have a great time there.

But, back to my glassblowing experience. I was determined to leave the Yukon with a handmade stemless glass with colors of the northern lights. (If you’re going to dream, dream big right?) But, it’s amazing how, to this day, there is a bit of hesitation that pops up even when I really want to do something new. I suppose it’s still that part of me that wants to do things perfectly (or at least competently).

Fortunately, I’ve learned to just bring that part of myself along for the ride—and I did exactly that. Having no idea what to expect, I really had to just trust the process and to believe in my innate ability to create something with my hands. Handling the long steel rod (I swear it was longer than I am tall!) with the hot glass at the end was an interesting task and there was one moment (albeit brief) when I almost let the hot glass hit the floor - that’s a risk you take when give someone who’s 5’2” a long pole!

Undeterred by the incident, I just kept absorbing my instructor’s knowledge and before I knew it, I had created this beautiful stemless glass with the colors of the northern lights. It was amazing! We were cautioned that the finished project would look a bit different, as the colors can take on a different appearance once completely cooled. Nonetheless my colleague and I couldn’t wait to go back the following day to pick up our amazing creations!

When we picked up our pieces, I was just amazed at my colleague’s beautiful paperweight and vase! As I unwrapped my creation, I found myself quickly disappointed (but did my very best to conceal it) as it hadn’t turned out as I had imagined - the lip of the glass was much thicker than what I had hoped.

Yes, that part of me who wants to do things perfectly somehow managed to tag along, this time without my knowledge or permission!. I tried to convince that part of myself that it was an amazing first attempt at glassblowing and to focus on the process but, sadly it just wasn’t ready to listen.

That evening when I joined a group of colleagues for dinner, the waitress brought me a drink in - you guessed it! - a thick lipped glass. I smiled to myself and thanked the universe for the subtle reminder to remain open to things—even if that just means the thick lip on a glass.

Play and creativity aren’t about being perfect. They’re about trying new things, having fun, getting “messy” and appreciating the beauty in things even when they look different that what we had expected. I love my thick lipped stemless glass with colors of the northern lights.

So, when can you make space for play and creativity?