The Friday at Four experiment is in its seventh week, and today I feel like playing around a bit with the format of this report. Last week’s story unfolded somewhat differently that it did the previous times, and it wants to be told in a slightly different way, too.
You see, nothing special happened last Friday: I had a play session scheduled, so I grabbed my art supplies and I played. There’s nothing more to say about it, and… that’s precisely what has led to what happened next.
After that play session, a story started building up
I guess a part of me had grown accustomed to learning something from my play sessions, and had started seeing them in a utilitarian way, like play couldn’t be enough in and of itself, it had to lead to illumination – or, at least, to a useful insight. “So now, what?”, it said, “are we going to just play?”
Support for that question came quickly from another part of me, who added: “And how can we write our Friday at Four posts if nothing special happens? Interesting stuff must happen if we want to have something to talk about! Right now, we have nothing to say at all, and that’s no good!”
Oh, I see. Expectations. Worry. Fear that play in itself is not enough anymore, and that it’ll lead to writing blog posts that won’t be enough either.
Dear little parts of me, sweethearts, I get it. Let me offer some reassurance, which I hope will help.
The insights are great and always welcome, of course. And they’re not the reason why I’ve started that experiment. They’re a bonus; a terrific one, for sure, but a bonus nonetheless. We don’t need to look for anything else than play and exploration when we engage in our chosen practice, at least in the context of this experiment. Engaging in that practice will often provide extra value, yes – and it’s not a reason to turn that into an obligation.
As for the posts… Of course, the insights are very useful when comes time to write for the blog. And showing up to say that we simply had fun, that nothing big or noteworthy came up while we played can be helpful too. Showing up to say that no matter how challenging it might be to engage in a practice sometimes, it can also be filled with ease at other times, might provide exactly what someone needed to read today. Also, I can play with the format and the frequency of those posts if I need and want to; they’re not set in stone.
What about you?
Have you seen stories build up around your practice? What kinds of stories – stories about what it needs to be like, what makes it valuable, something else? How do you deal with them?
If you’re feeling stuck, there might be a story needing to be examined somewhere. If you can’t quite see it, or if you’re not sure how to deal with it once you’ve identified it, let me know: I’ll be happy to help!
Please share your experience and your thoughts, if and when you feel like it. You can do it in a few words, through a picture, or any other way you can think of! You can do it here in the comments or as a post on your own blog, on Twitter (let’s use the hashtag #fridayatfour), or elsewhere – make sure to let us know in the comments so that we can find your contribution and cheer you on!