Play is a mode of being. Play is spiritual. It does not avert pain or crave pleasure. Yet, it is not detached. Play embodies divine joy. However, this doesn’t mean that play is always happy and bright. It means that even in pain and darkness play retains some kind of buoyancy.
Curiosity If play is a mode of being, then curiosity is one of its moods. Curiosity is open, never too certain, and able to see possibility. It runs its fingers through the untethered, fluid unknowns of existence. It delights in unanswerable questions.
Thinking-Feeling The material that we play with are thoughts and feelings (or the combination of them: thought-feelings). This doesn’t mean that other things cannot be integrated or incorporated into this: bodies, sounds, images, plants, machines. It just means that this is center of our focus.
Meta Play We don’t just play with thoughts and feelings, we play with how to structure thoughts and feelings. We step inside of play and we are immersed. We step outside, look around, reflect, and see how we can adjust. We design play-structures, we try them out, we redesign them. The essence of meta play is experimentation.
Edges We don’t play “easy” games. We play with our edges. This means playing with what is somewhat emotionally hard, or uncomfortable, or dangerous. Why? Because often we hide parts of ourselves, and prevent these parts from thinking, feeling, and playing. This prevents a fuller play, a play between parts, a play with more modes of reality or connection – an expanding. The essence of truth is unconcealing. To play with our edges is to unconceal – it is to bring to light that which has been hidden.
TransformationThis expanding and revealing can lead to transformation. Transformation of self, but also one's relations to others and the world. What is one transformed into? One who can play more deeply, who has a richer access to curiosity, who is more open and aware.
Non-PurposivenessWe do not play to transform. In our work there is no goal except to be within an emergent process. The only goal is to play curiously with thoughts and feelings. The only goal is to keep open and deepen the play process.
Connection The kind of play we engage in creates connection. Connection is an openness and availability to others. It usually entails feelings of vulnerability, intimacy and authenticity. Connection comes about by being present, by noticing parts of us that want to speak but are unable, by sharing in vital expressions of our imaginations.
Creativity The way that we play, connect and are curious is creatively designed by us. Creativity runs through all levels of our work – from the precise sound of our timers, to our chair arrangements, from roleplaying with facilitator personas, to deciding which virtual platform to implement. Creativity is a love of the aesthetic, the pleasure in design, the delight in juxtapositions.