The Field of Creative Play
With infinite choices comes infinite responsibility.
How do you feel when you consider that?
Some will feel overwhelmed, burdened.
Some will feel uplifted, energized.
And some will feel both of those ways, depending on their mood in the moment they read it.
Every given moment presents us with choices. We, in order to function, must limit our attention and thus our choices.
Think about it: The sheer amount of sensual stimuli in this exact moment, if you were fully aware of it, would overwhelm you. Pause for a moment and feel the clothes (or air) on your knees, the pressure (or absence) on the pad under your big toe. Hear the light buzz of any electronics, the conversations happening around you, the sound of your own breathing. Beyond all of this, there is the wild circus of thoughts racing through your mind, the ever-changing environment that asks you to respond, the silent planets that are whirling around our tiny planet, and so much more ...
All of those things were happening before I mentioned them ... however, you had blocked them out of your attention in order to focus on the words you were reading.
All too often, we focus our attention based on habit - not conscious choice.
You might not pay attention to your posture because you never did while growing up. You interact with others using the same standard greetings and ways of responding. Or you focus on your wet socks instead of the feeling of the raindrops on your face because you've habitually learned to dislike the weather instead of simply experiencing it.
These limits that we have on our attention are not "bad". We'd be a deer-in-headlights, stuck in an inability to respond, if we heard/saw/felt/tasted/smelled/were aware of all the things that existed in this moment.
When we forget that there are things that exist outside of our current attention, AND that we have the capability to choose where that attention is directed, this is where we get into a life of repetition, suffering, and struggle.
When we engage in conscious, creative engagement with our attention, we open ourselves to playing in the field of awareness.
Everything becomes possible, because everything IS.
This is what we feel when we open ourselves to creative play - The possibility, the excitement of creating and becoming aware of something new, the energy that is returned when we move something around - either in our environment, our body, or in our own mind.
With creative play, as with any actions in this world, there are always consequences.
Paint that area blue and the canvas is no longer blank. Say that phrase at work or to your friend or online and know there will be something said and felt in return by any recipients. Spend money on that item and have less money to spend later. And so on.
It's something I've always taught my kids: Every thought, every action, every choice has consequences.
And it is our responsibility to not blame others for the consequences of our choices.
When you put together these realizations:
- we can direct our attention within a limitless playing field of awareness
- every moment is choice of where we play within this field
- every choice comes with responsibility for the creation of what happens because of our choice
that can feel rather exciting and rather immense!
Many would rather have a life of limited responsibility, even if it comes at the cost of playing in a much smaller field.
But there are those who, even if they chose that limited field before, are feeling the call of the openness. Every few days, that urge to create more, to engage more with what might be possible, swells up and feels almost impossible to ignore.
So why not respond?
Often, the pressure of the life chosen up until that point, and/or the fear of the responsibility that comes with that creativity, squishes down the energy. The fences that habit built within that field are so high that we can't see beyond them.
Spray-painted on those fences: I have to keep doing this. This just is the way it is. You don't have the luxury to think / feel / live differently. WARNING: Trying to jump beyond this fence will result in failure, disapproval, confusion, and pain.
What is one to do?
Pause and take a look around.
Realize that you are already in this limitless field.
See the fences for what they are - projections, mirages, false walls that can be walked right through.
Appreciate that you - and EVERYONE else - are playing in this field. Some are doing so with intense seriousness, heaviness, and a lack of appreciation for how their play affects others. Other people are playing in the field with a lightness, attitudes of exploration, and a deep respect for how their play sends ripples of consequence into the field. Most have days dancing in between.
Limitless field of creative possibilities. Infinite choices .... and infinite responsibility for the consequences of those choices - those that will be felt or missed by your loved ones, and for generations to come. Limited area of attention and limited amount of days to explore and to choose.
Are you ready to play?