I had always been one for cleaning up children’s toys at the end of the day, leaving everything clear and ready for the next day.
There was always the question there – “Was I being perfectionistic?,” “Did I have a problem with a messy house or ‘struggle with clutter’?” and then I realised that it was the order that brought simplicity.
It allowed for me to be present with less distraction in the flow of my day. It was one of the loving things I could bring to me.
From when my three children were small, I found that separating their toys into plastic, coloured crates worked well, with each crate holding a selection of bits and pieces. The crates of toys were kept at the top of the linen press where the children could not reach them, unless they asked an adult to get them down.
What would usually happen is that one of the children would select a coloured crate and I would get it down from the top of the cupboard. They always seemed to know which coloured crate carried which items of play.
The children never seemed to grow tired of their toys and getting down the crate seemed like getting a new present each time. It was like a surprise all over again and sometimes it appeared like the children were greeting old friends they hadn’t seen for a long time.
There were no rules around their play but they all knew that once the play was done with that particular selection of toys, they were responsible for picking up all the bits and putting them back in the crate. When the crate was put back on the shelf, a second crate could be selected.
I loved the fact that this way of playing with their toys allowed order and consistency within the family. It allowed space for each of us to just ‘Be’ and especially for the children to just ‘Be’. It was clear how it all worked and that everyone was treated the same.
Now thirty years on… I have come to realise the profound healing play offers. Recently I had my three grandchildren over for a play, and even now I plan and organise for the little ones in the same way.
What I sense is that these little ones are playing out their experience of life. The energy held in their bodies is expressed in their play and they are constantly releasing whatever needs to be released.
By allowing this organised play, and the release through expression in play, what is deeply held in their little bodies is finished and what needs to be resolved has been resolved and is gone. Once finished, the children are ready to move on to the next thing on offer.
As I moved around on this day, taking the opportunity whilst they were immersed in the next bout of play, I strategically and methodically cleaned up the scatter of toys, replacing them in their boxes, putting them back leaving a ‘clean slate’ for the next unfolding.
After a while the children returned to the same area and began to play there once again but in a different way. It was so clear that they had returned to now re-imprint the area with something new – a new way.
Pondering on life, I have come to know that we too choose to live our lives in a certain way, a way that often allows us to feel ‘comfortable,’ but that the pattern of learning and unfolding can be the same as for these little ones.
As adults too, we can keep returning to ‘old’ patterns or ways of being because that is what we know, even when they don’t work, sometimes stubbornly holding on because the old way is familiar and comfortable.
There were times when I would feel hurt, but instead of being honest, I would go into blaming someone else and choose to use silence as a form of punishing them. I would become righteous. All this was simply in order to not feel the hurt that had been exposed.
Life is the perfect medium for allowing us to become more aware of how we allow ourselves to be distracted from what is true and to ‘keep returning’ to re-imprint those areas where we have not been true to ourselves.
God has an amazing plan for us all; he knows that, given the space for this organised play, we will play out what needs to be expressed and in that play uncover a little more of who we truly are – the essence of which is already known.
God’s plan allows for the mess, the outplay and, when it is all finished, God allows the space for us to pack it all up and put it away, waiting for the next call from us to play out something new.
Like my beautiful children and my amazing grandchildren in their play, we too are constantly selecting the box or area of building, creating, tearing down, digging deep, moving things around until the time comes that it is finished and the old pattern is gone.
The time comes after many tries that the games we have been playing are made redundant and our connection to who we are, our connection to others, our connection to God is much clearer and the props are no longer needed. We have returned home to the truth.
God knows there will be no more messes, no more boxes tipped out, no more carnage left over – just the presence of our pure ‘Being’ – LOVE.
In Deep Appreciation of the Ancient Wisdom Teachings as presented by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
by Christine Hogan, Receptionist, Bendigo
The Joy of Watching a Child Teach Her Mother
639 thoughts on “It’s All Just Child’s Play – Or Is It?”
Learning to complete and then be open for ‘what’s next’ is a beautiful foundation and preparation for unfolding through life.
When I read, ‘choose to use silence as a form of punishing them’, reminded me of a past relationship and receiving the silent treatment was painful. Because in that silence my mind would think of everything and anything, and play havoc that I was the worst criminal, so to speak. This silence is no different to someone verbally abusing us. It is a projection of another person’s hurt and we are all carrying these hurts, in one form or another, and it is no criticism or judgment on anyone either.
If we truly sit with children and be with them, they communicate so beautifully if we just allowed them to speak freely, they possess such wisdom. I used to love observing children play, the joy and light heartedness that was there, placed a smile from deep within me.
We have much to learn about life, it’s not all it seem to be, everything is a teaching and revelation for us to evolve, nothing more, nothing less.
“There were times when I would feel hurt, but instead of being honest, I would go into blaming someone else and choose to use silence as a form of punishing them. I would become righteous. All this was simply in order to not feel the hurt that had been exposed.” Ouch! What a great paragraph offering us all the opportunity to be deeply honest about how we store hurts and divert attention away from what’s playing out when they come up, and stay in the stagnation and repetitive cycles of not healing by blaming others.
Going into silent running as I call it was my way of dealing with not being heard or understood and so I would switch off and just not bother. But this way of dealing with life is very limiting and damaging to our health. Thankfully I was introduced to Universal Medicine and by using the workshops and presentations as support can now express what I’m feeling without the need to withdraw from life. As a consequence life is so much richer.
I agree Melinda, that honesty is super important, it allows another to receive that reflection to reflect to another, and so forth.
No matter what our age, young or old or in between, there is so much to learn from life and so much to reflect to others in terms of the the lived wisdom that we too hold and have to offer back to life.
Being ordered and organised does bring simplicity to life and this also prepares us to be ready for what is to come next.
Having order in my life is essential, ‘order that brought simplicity.’
Completion is an amazing feeling – it is that part of us that knows to finish what needs to be finished and leave things in a way that allows a fresh new start with space for more.
This blog is a great example of completion, and how it can leave us feeling, ‘It allowed for me to be present with less distraction in the flow of my day. It was one of the loving things I could bring to me.’
“Life is the perfect medium for allowing us to become more aware of how we allow ourselves to be distracted from what is true and to ‘keep returning’ to re-imprint those areas where we have not been true to ourselves.” Beautifully expressed Christine. Re-imprinting – with quality – feels so important. That’s why I love Esoteric Yoga – the repetition allows me to deepen further into stillness.
‘What I sense is that these little ones are playing out their experience of life. The energy held in their bodies is expressed in their play and they are constantly releasing whatever needs to be released.’ I love watching young children play – it is so telling as to how they are feeling and what their life experience has been thus far.
I love watching young ones too – just being fully in their bodies – with a seemingly endless supply of energy….
Thanks Christine, as we can remove the boxed in way we consider our life could it be, by having everything organised to flow from one aspect of our life to the next seamlessly, then we are not attached to an out-come so we are evolving?
‘What I sense is that these little ones are playing out their experience of life. The energy held in their bodies is expressed in their play and they are constantly releasing whatever needs to be released.’ This is a gorgeous observation – so important therefore for kids to be given the space to simply play like this. This makes me want to ponder on how we are eroding this opportunity for healing when kids are allowed to ‘play’ so much on computer games lessening their time with more creative and spontaneous play.
Play is an important part of our lives, ‘I have come to realise the profound healing play offers.’
As you say observation is the key Christine. I love observing people and little people change their ways in simple everyday activities, this I have also observed within myself. Such Fun!
“The time comes after many tries that the games we have been playing are made redundant and our connection to who we are”. How true Christine and it does not matter how long this may take, because step by step we gradually let go of old patterns and return to a new ways of being within.
Thanks Christine, what you have observed with children playing out and expressing what’s held in their bodies to be released and completed is a good reflection for how we adults are engaging in life, with much more on offer in the school of life than what’s occurring on the surface.
I think this article also touches upon the art of completion. Once completed something more grand will come. And perhaps that is why children also know why it is important to clean up everything at the end of the day.
I am sure they can feel it if they are allowed to – if they come from a household where clean up is not a factor it may take a little longer to learn!
Living in comfort may feel familiar and safe but it does not support us to grow. We are being offered so much more, much more than what we realise and all that is needed is to surrender in order for us to become aware and to let go of those movements that hold us back from deepening the expansiveness and love in the body.
“God’s plan allows for the mess, the outplay and, when it is all finished, God allows the space for us to pack it all up and put it away, waiting for the next call from us to play out something new.” We are so beautifully held and supported to unpack from our bodies the unloving poison we have taken as being us and then allow for the inner to come out and joyfully imprint Gods love on earth.
Tears came to my eyes reading this today. Thank you. A deeper appreciation that I am playing with a big box at the moment, sifting through, exploring, playing and when I am done, I will return it and get another box. Life is amazing.
Love it Sarah, life is certainly a beautiful experience of sifting through the boxes and then completing things – sometimes the boxes we get are not that fun to sift through but they too play an important role in teaching and revealing those things to us that are so needed. The key in this is “opportunity” and as I too learn to see each box as an opportunity for growth and learning, then the blessing is undeniable and the joy comes from embracing the true growth.
I was talking with a friend recently who had a pattern brought to their attention that left them feeling quite vulnerable and hurt and a little rejected. I could definitely relate as well, but I can see that it comes from us holding onto that part believing it is who we really are. However, we could see it as a gift, something that we now don’t need to continue repeating if we see it for what it is.
Appreciation comes in here because if we can appreciate what we are being shown or what is coming up we feel so differently it opens up the space for healing.
So true Elaine, if we looked at our experiences with more wonderment and appreciation imagine how much we would evolve from the learning offered.
Life is the perfect opportunity to learn – if we approach it that way – no matter what age we are.
Many lessons in life are learned in play.
I have noticed that children love to play with their toys and will invent new things as they play, however as adults we often hang on to old patterns because they work, but are we not missing out on the possibilities that are open to us because we would rather stay in the comfort of what we know then allow ourselves to do something different.
Sally I agree with your comment as we get older we become more set in our ways, which restricts the possibility of allowing ourselves to experience something new that could offer different possibilities that could change our lives completely.
We can return to our old patterns, as you say, or We can attend to the detail of life and allow the evolution of the new
Hmmm… something happened while reading this – I actually felt that I wanted to be a child again and have another go at growing up. This has taken me by surprise as I thought that I would never want to come back and do it all over again.
We educate our kids about movement in the house. We pass on to them patterns of movements we find acceptable/normal. So, it is our own concept of normal what is at play here. Different normal lead to different patterns of movement and not all of them holds the kids equally for them to evolve. Some patterns create a lot of frictions and problems that have to be dealt with in the future. Others do not do that.
i relate completely to this way of supporting children to understand follow through and responsibility. I am one to keep things organized, and with my toddler we always pack things away together to the point where now she knows it is part of the whole experience. It brings a balance and sets the way for them as they grow.
What a great way of showing our children the loving cycle of completion and the foundation that leaves for the next play to unfold.
To me it was always important for my children’s toys to be packed away at the end of playtime, so I would help them, or they did it themselves, leaving a feeling of space and completion.
“…and then I realised that it was the order that brought simplicity” – and with it the ease of living too.
Order and simplicity, these two can definitely go hand in hand.
This blog reminded me of a conversation I had with a teacher at a primary school yesterday. She was telling me how the children in the first year used to learn by play and the adults would teach them maths and order while they were playing. Now they are already into the books at the age of five without the playing.
Because we hold knowledge based learning (memory and recall) as king the learning that play offers is being dismissed, but play is a more whole body approach to learning.
What I’m learning and what is confirmed in this blog is how powerful the old and comfortable patterns are and how that more often than not override the wisdom we hold within us. It’s like they are a configuration that has held us in its grasp for so long that the thought of moving in another way simply doesn’t get a look in. To re-imprint the old way of moving can take time but it is a process that is so very worth the patience and the commitment.
Ingrid Ward I agree with you that we do not realise how powerful the old and comfortable patterns are and how we do not even know we are in them until someone with great observation comes along and exposes them. I feel I am in an old configuration at the moment. By reading everyone’s comments I have given my self permission to feel that I have been fighting this age old configuration to try and get out of it, rather than just letting go and allowing myself to deepen. It’s another lesson to understand we cannot fight the Astral plane and the impositions they place on us. The only way is to deepen within ourselves.
Love that you drew firm and loving boundaries to support spaciousness and order in your home.
We need to set standards for children to follow, supporting them to be responsible early in life is a great foundation to be offering them.
What you bring to me in this blog today Christine is the awareness that life can been seen as our playground, a possibility to relearn how to live as a human being on earth, a human being in the true sense of the word, a divine being in a human body living its true power with love as its foundation.
I do more and more understand that we have to correct and clear all the abuse we have brought to life and dumped on our planet. We will naturally do so when we do reconnect to the divine soul we once separated from, the separation that allowed us to make this mess in the first place.
We are perfectly designed to breathe in and then out, to play and then clean up. But where many of us go off track is not bringing the quality of stillness and connection first, beforehand. What a mess we make when we dash about without having a base of love on which to stand. Thank you for the reminder Christine.
The stillness you speak of Joseph Barker is space, when we move with space then everything falls into place. when we move with our minds we are empty and baseless as you say.
When there is a supportive and truly nurturing daily rhythm, there is a grander sense of everything being order and the body is aligned to a greater universal order that is an simple antidote to the stress and complication of rushing about in a disorderly way.
“I realised that it was the order that brought simplicity.”
When we allow those old patterns you speak of Christine to come up for us in a playful and light-hearted manner it is a much simpler way to let go of and resolve our past.
‘The time comes after many tries that the games we have been playing are made redundant and our connection to who we are, our connection to others, our connection to God is much clearer and the props are no longer needed. We have returned home to the truth.’ The truth is we are all Gods and as I heard again today being shared by a very wise man, often deciding to be and behave UnGodly.
You also describe the power of completion in your blog, Christine. With cleaning everything up after our ‘play’ we make space for the next experience with more learning on offer.
Righteous blaming is certainly a heady mix that never really leads to any kind of understanding, in my experience anyway…
What a beautiful description of how as children we know how to be fully in the moment, complete it and then move on to the next.
Spot on Jennym – as children we do know how to be in life and in our body and how to complete and hence to it is a process of re-learning this as an adult if we have forgotten it temporarily.
“I realised that it was the order that brought simplicity.” This is so true. Without the order of the Universe there would be chaos
Beautifully shared Christine thank you, I have had a pattern of giving myself away, always being there for others, this has been changing for me as i re imprint that way of being and become much more responsible for me and not for others, just the other day i had a revisit of this old pattern, a deeper realisation of more to let go of.
I just love the simplicity and order here. I have a young child and I tend to like to tidy things after she has played with them and I had the same thought – am I being controlling – but then I realised that I am reflecting to her the responsibility of cleaning up after play.
I love the sureness of the fact that God has it all sorted and that love is the way that is already laid. This does not mean that we sit back and wait; it is our responsibility in the way we live to activate these facts now, bring the certainty to the present… because it is our delay that simply holds the future off.
Children have no issue with using play as part of their learning and what they do playfully learn is more organic than serious, stressful cramming, recall and box ticking. Makes me wonder how I can bring play more into my life.
“As adults too, we can keep returning to ‘old’ patterns or ways of being because that is what we know, even when they don’t work, sometimes stubbornly holding on because the old way is familiar and comfortable.”- I can certainly understand and relate to this pattern of returning to old patterns out of comfort, but I am now pondering on why we really choose this pattern just for the familiarity of it. Personally, it has something to do with not wanting to stand out and stand up for the Truth no matter what, as many times I have become the target of other people who may not be holding themselves up to the same level of integrity, especially at my work.
There also has to come a point in life michaelgoodhart36 when we say enough is enough I’m sick and tired of leading a life of misery, condemning ourselves to the same patterns, ideals and beliefs of many life times. If we are genuine in saying enough is enough, then we will be given the way out of the miserable but comfortable life we have fallen for that could be life times old.
Children nowadays seem to have so many more structured activities so there is less space and freedom for them to process what is happening in their lives. Thank you for starting this conversation – your blog deserves to reach a wide audience.
I love how you connect to the purpose of play for children and how this continues into our adult lives in less obvious ways as we try to make sense of why we are here. Your instinctive choice to set a framework for this play is so supportive – my daughter used to set out elaborate constructions which I sometimes left because of all the work that had gone into them but then I recognised that she never went back to them as they had served their purpose.
I love children’s ability to complete without attachment. It is our investment as adults, teachers and parents to collect up and keep artwork, photographs etc. that builds complication into the natural flow of life.
How easy it can be to slip back into old patterns that we think we have deleted from our lives. But it makes sense as these patterns, in the main, were so ingrained, so familiar, very comfortable and often a trigger that can shoot us instantly back into the past. I have found that with a solid commitment to releasing these patterns that when they do endeavour to pop in I clock them very quickly, ask myself why they have returned and then make the choice to let them go – well most of the time!
‘we can keep returning to ‘old’ patterns or ways of being because that is what we know, even when they don’t work, sometimes stubbornly holding on because the old way is familiar and comfortable.’ Until such time we feel it is not comfortable at all and are ready to take the step that feels less familiar but is true for our evolution back to the divine beings we are.
“Life is the perfect medium for allowing us to become more aware of how we allow ourselves to be distracted from what is true and to ‘keep returning’ to re-imprint those areas where we have not been true to ourselves.” Very true Christine – there is always a chance – and a choice – to return to reimprint areas where we have lived ‘less than’.
The love of order and simplicity is not perfectionism but lets one moment make room for the next moment without impediment or imposition.
Many people behave in the way you describe rather than express the truth, and it only adds to the hurt, ‘There were times when I would feel hurt, but instead of being honest, I would go into blaming someone else and choose to use silence as a form of punishing them. I would become righteous. All this was simply in order to not feel the hurt that had been exposed.’ Feeling our hurts, healing them, and expressing the truth are important principles for life.
We can get taken out by those thoughts like ‘am i being a perfectionist’ etc… and often they are there to mask the truth…which in your case is that order brings a simplicity. It is important to build a relationship with the truth so you can determine what is true and what is not.
I love what you have shared here Doug, thank you.
‘ I realised that it was the order that brought simplicity.It allowed for me to be present with less distraction in the flow of my day. It was one of the loving things I could bring to me.’ Beautifully said Christine, and hugely important .
We are so beautifully held by God’s love in all our choices, going around and around until loving choices become our way of life, and all that is not love is healed.
It’s in the order we find expansion from the space and it is this quality that allows us to simply be as we are. That is the joy of play from our bodies expressed through the simplicity and purpose of our movements and it’s where true exploration begins.
I love order, and simplicity, and can relate with what you share, ‘I realised that it was the order that brought simplicity.’
IT is amazing how we offer new clear space when we organize all with love. IT support us to not go back in the same old pattern in which we was walking there the last time. When we do this in pure homes we support ourselves enormous to feel the space for us to express.
I recognise this in a few ways I am living, and I am choosing to address and heal these patterns with support,
‘we can keep returning to ‘old’ patterns or ways of being because that is what we know, even when they don’t work, sometimes stubbornly holding on because the old way is familiar and comfortable.’ It is challenging me, and equally, I know there is huge healing that occurs when we let go of things that no longer serve us.
I am reading this again tonight and am humbled by the wisdom that is shared here. The reality that our lives are a game, that we choose to either repeat or re-imprint is so very real. For how can we expect our next moment to be different, unless we have made it so?
I love your analogy with play and the mess we create and how this can be reflected in our life, but at the end of the day we will come back to the simplicity and order that is our natural way, it is the way of the Universe.
“God has an amazing plan for us all; he knows that, given the space for this organised play, we will play out what needs to be expressed and in that play uncover a little more of who we truly are – the essence of which is already known.” I love your analogy with the children’s toys. it feels so true. I explore one area of life and then move on to another, maybe to return to explore the first one some more, until no longer needed.
We can get super serious in life -make it about systems, functions, time and chores but we forget about people and our bodies in the process. Learning to play in life, enjoy how our bodies move and our connections with others makes for a much more joyful experience.
There is a little part of me that resists the organised play that you describe. I can see how in many ways it teaches us to focus on one thing or area of life at a time and also as you say keeps things fresh for the next time that box is taken down!
The order brings simplicity everywhere and allows us to see and feel what is important and true in our lives and life in general.
Everything is everything – and all offers learning and the opportunity to heal and to grow.
” It’s All Just Child’s Play – Or Is It?” . Yes for sure its child’s play but we make such a fuss about it , that we have to keep re-incarnating to get to learn its all just a silly game of illusion.
I like how you have described the purpose of play on so many levels Christine. There is so much on offer for us to learn about ourselves and life as we go about our daily activities.
I love your blog Christine, it explains beautifully the ebb and flow of cycles and the endless opportunity and space we are offered continually to learn and re-imprint.
Deeply appreciative of life and the divine presence that holds us all in love – In truth we are everything already and it is for us to trust the simplicity of life and all that it offers.
I love feeling the impact that simply ordering the toys have in the children who play with them. I can see you in this acitivity as God’s hands in their lives, caring for the whole order for them to find their own too. The space, respect and wisdom is deeply felt in this simple, silent and loving act. What a beautiful offering for your family and all of us..
Your sharing brings a beautiful understanding of how life works, thank you.
“Life is the perfect medium for allowing us to become more aware of how we allow ourselves to be distracted from what is true and to ‘keep returning’ to re-imprint those areas where we have not been true to ourselves.” This builds self-esteem and self-worth from the inside out – however long it takes.
I have just started on a new phase of letting go and re-imprinting, still very challenging area, I am watching it unfold.
I love your analogy Christine. ‘Like my beautiful children and my amazing grandchildren in their play, we too are constantly selecting the box or area of building, creating, tearing down, digging deep, moving things around until the time comes that it is finished and the old pattern is gone.’
I totally agree Christine that order brings a simplicity and teaching this to children through the power of play is a beautiful way to inspire and support them to choose this as well.
Thank you Christine, and yes, eventually those old patterns do go!
The simplicity of order how that brings magic to the flow. I too find order really supports me in my day, I love clear and orderly that allows me to feel the space available.
It’s magical to watch how innocent and tender young girls and boys are when playing and in general, a real sight to behold.
I love that there is an order to life and yet in some ways I question is there also order in messiness? What can we learn from the clutter and or messiness that presents something for us to observe or explore more deeply that we maybe holding back in our lives? The moments we allow ourselves the opportunity to look at these pockets of life, allows us to see the beauty in cycles. Because we may have a cluttered or blocked area at some point but in time when we are ready it will be clear and flow will be restored. Showing us that we all have an order, that ebbs and flows along like a river: The beauty of movement at its best and the surrender to the natural flow, it’s when we fight against the current that we get caught up in the clutter and allow ourselves to be consumed.
I love the space you allow the children to play in. Teaching them responsibility as well as allowing them to teach you or remind you rather, that we need to constantly be re-imprinting our ways and starting new cycles when we know the old comfortable cycle doesn’t work anymore.
We are certainly God’s children playing but at present we are not playing together very lovingly.
Such deeply restoring words of truth Christine. We are all God’s children and thus we are given adequate space in which to play and to re-learn how to return to our full expression of this love. All of this within the Body of God, the Universe we live within, a never-ending series of cycles that forever afford us the grace in which to re-imprint the space with all that we truly are, if all we have been living has not matched this beauty.
I love the rhythm of cycles you are describing here, showing the importance of completion in the sense that there is a rhythm to everything which, when we allow for it, brings flow to life that holds a natural unfolding.
In connecting to our bodies we realise that our every move is impulsed by a quality of energy that we choose, magnifying what we choose through our bodies, imprinting the earth. And so we have the opportunity to re-imprinting every step we take and every move we make with the Divine quality we are within through the way we live, take care of ourselves, walk, speak, eat, sleep, work and every relationship we are in. The beautiful thing is that, much like the wonder of a child playing with the same toys again, every day we are offered the opportunity again and again to bring awareness to what it is we are choosing, to deepen our relationship with the Divine.
Your words about children’s play and what is expressed and playing out signals how all of our moments can be opportunities to release and uncover more. There is much going on below the surface beneath our superficial movements and activities.