How are you being present – being in the present – and playing to connect?
On Tuesday, March 4, thanks to Mary Cantwell, Trey Boden, a number of folks @MVPSchool, and the organizers of SXSWedu, I enjoyed a fabulous opportunity to facilitate a Playground Session at SXSWedu, in the “Hands On” category.
Our game plan for the session can be found on Scribd and Google Docs. And Mary (@scitechyedu) captured much of the fun, in pictures, with her post “Mount Vernon Plays to Connect @ #SXSWedu.”
By playing, we were not preparing for anything in particular or readying ourselves for the future. We were playing to be present – to be in the present – and to connect with our fellow playmates, or learners. We were playing to connect with our inner child, our beginner’s mind, and our innate storyteller. We were playing to #HaveFun and thread connections among ourselves and others.
We were playing to…play.
Like kids on a playground.
Like we did when we were immersed in our own childhoods.
At the end of January, Shelley Clifford and I attended a Creative Mornings Atlanta. The theme was “Childhood,” and we heard Aretta Baumgartner and Patty Dees speak about puppetry arts as a way of reconnecting with our childhood — being fully present and playing to connect. As Aretta captivated us all, she strung us together in a game that put us in the role of puppets. And our biggest challenge was to BE PRESENT. To let go of our egos and to simply enjoy playing.
During the #SXSWedu Playground session “Mount Vernon Plays to Connect,” we reiterated this point about the power of play — there is great energy and fun in being present and being in the present. Amidst the joy of doing so, we connect to a great many things, and, more importantly, to a great many other people.
When we play, we are like children embracing their childhood — playing to learn, playing to connect, and playing to…play.
Be present. Be in the present. Embrace your childhood. Connect. Go play.