“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” – Pablo Picasso
I came across that quote by the world-renowned modern artist Pablo Picasso when I was in architecture school at the University of Waterloo. Surrounded at the time by type A students (myself included), Picasso’s words awoke in me the idea – the possibility – of freedom beyond the structures and control of a world driven by the ego and mind. We may feel we need to work hard to do well – to have a great job, a house, a spouse… – but only the playful, unbridled spirit of a child will bring us to the level of mastery. It is, after all, the laughing Buddha that we see depicted to inspire us in spiritual settings and meditation halls, not a grumpy or stressed out Buddha.
Picasso’s quote continues to inspire my creative works and musical creations to this day. It reminds me of the value of wonder, awe and playful spontaneity, the freedom and presence that many children inhabit. It cannot be taught. But it can be remembered. At some point, it was innate in us all, perhaps buried today beneath crusty years of worries, unfulfilled desires, striving and emotional baggage. It may require a bit of archeological digging to reconnect to your playful self, but it is a journey more valuable than digging for any gold.
Spiritual scriptures, such as the Vedas, allude to life being a cosmic play, a mystery unfolding in each exquisite moment. Wise sages of various religious traditions encourage us to see life as inviting us to playfully co-create with it. We are alive and part of all things living. So why not embrace our aliveness fully, here and now and enjoy each savoury and succulent moment with the wonder of a child?
In this issue, we invite you to let your hair down and set aside your serious side, so you can open up instead to the idea of adding more play into your life. Whether it is by going to see a play-inspired movie, having a playful approach to yoga practice or bringing your love of yoga into the world; or whether you need to zest up your food with more kitchen fun, or take care of yourself and your baby and get a mom and baby massage, this month’s issue on the theme “play” will help you find the lighter side of life.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine and an internationally recognized Canadian musician, yogi and new thought leader. As a chart-topping touring musician, Parvati spearheads the Post New-Age musical genre with her independent success hit single “Yoga in the Nightclub” and accompanying show “YIN”. She founded YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, a powerful yoga method that combines energy work and yoga poses. Her critically acclaimed self-help debut book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie – A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker” is currently in its third edition.