Keep your eyes on the ball

IMG_2855 This morning when I entered my office building I almost walked into this oversized beachball. The ball is part of an art exhibit. For me it was there to wake me up to the present moment. This space that felt so familiar suddenly forced me to re-see and re-think.

My daily activity of choosing a seat to have my cup of tea and follow up on emails suddenly had a new dimension. I found the need to physically walk to the different seating options. I needed to feel my body in the space, in relationship to this huge beachball. I had no previous kinesthetic reference to draw from in order to make a choice for this morning's most supportive  seat in the house. How do you choose a seat in the context of an enormous beach ball?

So I found myself exploring the space. My otherwise preferred seat at the window suddenly lost it's dimension of freedom and felt marginalized to me. I wanted to be part of the vibrant energy of this space, which is entry, cafe and gallery all at once.  So I sat down in the chair in front of the ball closer to the entrance. The huge object looming behind my back felt too unsettling. I moved on.

After what felt like a long game of musical chairs and contact improvisation dance that I played by myself ,I settled in a space on the side of the ball next to a window. Now I felt in a dynamic yet supportive relationship with the ball and still connected with the world around me.

I can't say that I didn't feel slightly self conscious about my moving exploration. Luckily there weren't many other people. I was acutely aware that I was stirring up the energy even more than the ball already had. Or did it even? People seemed incredibly un-faced by its presence going on with their conversations, their laptops, their notes.

Once settled on my chosen seat I imagined what could have happened if others would have joined me in this mixed version of hide and seek and musical chairs. It would have taken 10 minutes of our time. The experience would have transported everyone into another realm. I can imagine laughter, surprises, inspired energy, everybody reentering their routine energized.

The ability to play is inherent in all of us. Our primate and canine friends know how to play in an instant, always.

What does it take for us to play on the spot without warning, without any agenda? Well, actually by the true definition of play ,play with an agenda isn't really play anymore.

The plaything gets tricky and is so rich at the same time. When do I allow myself to truly play? When do you truly play?

During the rest of this day I will attempt to follow an advise from a tennis pro:  "keep your eye on the ball". The ball, in my  context today, this huge beachball, as a reminder to play, to be curious, explore, move around. Moments of no agenda, no attachments, moments of play within my work. I notice my brain, my focus wandering away from the ball, despite it's size I can easily oversee it, or is it because of its size that I forget to look for it?