Putting the words sacred and play together may not come naturally. In fact, it may turn your attention toward play with religious themes or somehow a merging of worship and play. And yet, sacred play on many levels has nothing to do with religion, or our belief in a God, or the gods, or anything surrounding our religion. Instead, sacred play is the reverent and respectful approach we take to play.

Sacred: entitled to reverence or respect (M-W dictionary, definition 3b); highly valued and important (definition 4-b)

Play: recreational activity, absence of serious or harmful intent (definitions 3-a and 3-b)

Put those two words together and what do we have? We have recreational activity without any serious or harmful intent that’s entitled to respect. We have sacred play.

What constitutes sacred play? Perhaps it could be video games, done without any particular focus on winning or any specific outcome. It could be spending time with younger individuals, or even indulging in your own daydreams. Snuggling a stuffed animal. Playing a musical instrument. The opportunities are endless.

We need sacred play in our lives. Hustle culture has turned everything into a “side gig”, trying to monetize what you can. And some of this is because of our late-stage capitalism and the fact that wages haven’t gone up for many in a very long time. So we need play. We need crafts and activities like drawing that we do for fun–without any strings or expected outcome.

We need to turn our minds off and let our hearts take the lead. This is what self-care advocates call refilling the creative well, doing something just for you, just because.

How are you going to work sacred play into your life? If you feel comfortable, I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.