Making Joy, Vitality, Originality & Connection a Way of Life

This exercise allows you to explore some of the qualities of play and assess your relationship to them. It is meant to stir thoughts and feelings, challenge growth, and help you enjoy life more thoroughly. Respond with a YES or NO to each statement. Suggested answers/points are at the end. Please be honest with yourself and don't worry about your "score." Use the results for self-guidance.

1. I frequently indulge in leisurely activity in unstructured time. YES NO

2. I usually wear a watch even if I don't have an appointment to make. YES NO

3. I exercise primarily to keep fit rather than for the fun of it. YES NO

4. I am a "toucher," and often spontaneously give and get hugs. YES NO

5. I enjoy playing with kids or pets on their terms. YES NO

6. When tending the garden, I take time to smell the roses. YES NO

7. I am in touch with my feelings most of the time and welcome them. YES NO

8. I can invent stuff on the spur of the moment: ideas, amusements, action steps. YES NO

9. I would prefer a 40-hour workweek to a 40-hour play week. YES NO

10. I work hard and play hard, taking both very seriously. YES NO

11. A good ballgame is enjoyable regardless of who wins or loses. YES NO

12. I have at least one pastime I indulge for its own sake, goal free. YES NO

13. When I see playground swings, I might indulge myself with a to-and-fro. YES NO

14. I can turn any board meeting into a playground. YES NO

15. I have experienced carefree lovemaking and recommend it. YES NO

16. Family settings are the best place for me to "let my hair down." YES NO

17. I enjoy friendly joshing around with perfect strangers. YES NO

18. I can relax others who are stressed out with my creative imagination and wit. YES NO

19. I go to social or networking events seeking playmates. YES NO

20. I tak 20. I take time every day to pleasure at least one of my senses -consciously. YES NO

21. I prefer efficient showers to leisurely bubble baths. YES NO

22. Playing can be fun but it is really more appropriate for children than adults. YES NO

23. I like to disguise my personal discomfort by making people laugh. YES NO

24. I can name at least three life skills that regular playing provides. (Name 'em.) YES NO

25. I have experienced how playing with someone or something makes us friends. YES NO

26. I am lonesome and feel like I don't belong much of the time. YES NO

27. Sometimes I really enjoy picking out my clothing and getting "dressed." YES NO

28. I find that there are very few people to play with. YES NO

29. I prefer predictable activities where I have more control over what happens. YES NO

30. I experience playing as a very spiritual time and connection. YES NO

Each playful response counts as 1 point. Tally your results accordingly.
1. YES A definition of playing.
2. NO True play has an unhurried, unstructured time frame/feeling.
3. NO Play has no goal.
4. YES Touchy subject: playful touch is kind, friendly.
5. YES Be willing to trust unknowns.
6. YES Aaaahhhhhh...
7. YES True play embraces life as safe, everything as "friend"-even emotions.
8. YES Free, wild imagination characterizes play.
9. NO Thank goodness!
10. NO "Serious" and "hard" are not players' terms.
11. YES Even a "bad" ballgame can be enjoyed by a player.
12. YES Glad to hear it.
13. YES Go for a swing, even if just in your imagination.
14. YES Tell me your secret -and hurrah for you!
15. YES Never lose it.
16. YES Even if they disapprove, "being yourself" is the best policy.
17. Play is a perfect way to make a friend out of a stranger.
18. YES Keep it up, the world needs you.
19. YES "Networking" is only play if you are completely unattached to "results."
20. YES "Sense"-ual pleasure is a major key to reduce stress, increase well-being.
21. NO Gain an extra point for adding music, candles, and so forth.
22. NO We never outgrow its benefits.
23. NO Play's "safety" allows us to drop the persona masks and feel acceptable.
24. YES Give yourself two points!
25. YES A hallmark of being a player.
26. NO Best remedy is to remember how to play.
27. YES Turn any ordinary activity into conscious playtime.
28. YES -NO: "Yes" gets a point if you understand the pain and fear that most people have around their loss of play mode, and "No" gets you a point if you initiate real play with them, anyway-bless you!
29. NO Spontaneity, love, and fearlessness are hallmarks of authentic play.
30. Yes Play blesses Spirit with kindness, enthusiasm, and wonder.

26-30 Points Congratulations, you "grok" and now keep it up.
21-25 Points You are playing; just trust and indulge it more.
16-20 Points Increased understanding of the nature of play will help a lot.
11-15 Points Understanding real play and what intimidates you about it is essential for joy fulfillment.
1-10 Points Full-scale recovery is possible and will take lots of courage and experienced support.
1-20 Points: Health issues from stress are likely. Please lighten up. We need you around.

If you have taken this quiz, you are a Player at Heart. Never give up on your Heart.