What’s your name?
What do you do?
My name’s Oliver.
I’m a director.
I’m a marketeer.
I’m a boyfriend.
I’m a man!
Ever since birth we’re given names, roles, labels and pigeonholed, so our fellow humans can better understand, form associations and be settled by their imagined concept of who we are, what we do and where we fit in.
We train, learn new skills, compete and form mostly inaccurate memories of our experiences in the world.
We create, very early on in life, an ever changing but ever present (for most!) self or ego and play out ‘roles’.
They’re something separate from our true essence yet, as most of us see it, our role is fundamental to who we think we are.
For the majority, this is simply the way things are, the rules of a ‘modern developed society’ but wearing these, often subconscious, masks can affect the very flow, our participation in and ultimately our enjoyment of life.
“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
The only reality and truth in nature and life is that all things change.
We’re not sure why, we’re often not sure how and I think that’s pretty damn wonderful!
Each moment is different, and the present moment is the only thing that ever truly exists (until you measure it!). In that moment all things are possible because all things exist in it.
You can feel that truth when you catch a glimpse of pure life in the eyes of an animal. Maybe the exposed shining soul of your loving dog as you return home or an unexpected meeting with a turtle whilst swimming off Ithaca (very recently happened!).
I appreciate this might seem a bit feely and philosophical for ‘a director of a VIP experience and corporate hospitality company (who’s also a man!)’, however, I’ve been reading “Deep Play” by Diane Ackerman, and been cuddled in by this beautifully descriptive book about the rapturous joy that can be found in ‘deep play’.
It colourfully meanders a philosophical path around the belief that ‘play’ is an integral part of learning, society and life and how a more meaningful ‘deep play’ can be experienced through things like nature, sport, music and the wonders of the world in general.
When you think about it, we do ‘play’ quite a bit…..
- ‘Play around’ with ideas,
- ‘Play fair’,
- ‘Play peacekeeper’ at home,
- ‘Play our part’ in the story.
When we’re truly immersed in ‘deep play’, however (be it focused concentration on a work task, an intensely fought tennis match or a wandering woodland walk), it allows us access to a timeless, ego-less realm where we feel beyond body, our best selves and fully part of life’s zest.
An easier route to this occasionally elusive nirvana can also be found whilst experiencing the heightened skill of a professional sportsman or musician as they effortlessly perform at seemingly superhuman levels.
You gape in wonderment as Federer returns with balletic ease a 150mph serve or, get lost in the hypnotic bass beat of a Rolling Stone’s track.
You can find these moments everywhere if you really look.