Being Playful; Angelique Kidjo & Lila

“No matter how old you are, you will be young at heart
if you know that play renews the spirit.”
Deepak Chopra

I amPlayfulDeepak Play

Rest, Pleasure, and Play are vital, yet often neglected aspects of a Wellness Lifestyle.

Recently, I delighted in a performance by Angelique Kidjo at the Harris Center in Folsom, California. Known as “Africa’s premier Diva,” Angelique now leads my list of top performers.

AngeliqueAngelique’s articulate, between-song, social commentary is about an enigmatic continent. Her horror stories of the subjugation of women in Africa are juxtaposed between soulful stories of a beautiful people.

Hailing from Benin, Africa, Angelique uses her astounding voice, and pulsating body language to arouse the audience. We were invited to sing, jump, dance, and shout. At the end, she sang and danced her way through the audience, then invited us up on stage to dance.

Dancing colorIt was an exhilarating experience. I left  feeling sparkly and effervescent. And then I slept long and well.

The morning after the performance,  I was gifted with a like-minded taped meditation by Deepak Chopra on “Feeling Playful.” (*)Einstein LAughing

“What is the meaning of Life?” Deepak begins. “We expect a deep answer to this question. But what if we live in a Recreational Universe?”

He goes on to tell us about Lila, a Sanskrit word that means “the play of creation.” Creation is said to arise from a sense of playfulness and enjoyment, not to carry out some deep, serious purpose invented by the mind.

Beautiful and athletic girl with colorful balloons jumping on the beach“This may come as a shock,” Deepak acknowledges, because we often feel “trapped by things we must do, opinions we must hold, and a path we must follow.”

Too often, life is heavy. We are filled with worries and fears. Being too serious can smother our joyfulness and keep our spirits down.

Thank you, Angelique Kidjo for getting me out of my head and onto the dance floor. And thank you, Deepak Chopra, for legitimizing this action as a fundamental aspect of a life well-lived.

Angelique 3“Village traditions, cosmopolitan tranformations, female solidarity, African pride, and perpetual energy…constants in Ms. Kidjo’s career.” New York Times
“… Ms. Kidjo balances elation and heartache, singing in Beninese languages and English, she controls her fury while unleashing joy” The Wall Street Journal
For more info,

OpDee Gratitude(*)This meditation comes from the Oprah Winfrey/ Deepak Chopra’s Mediation collaboration: “The Energy of Attraction.” Oprah and Deepak have teamed up to bring us FREE 21- Day Meditation Experiences. The next one, “Manifesting Grace through Gratitude” begins on July 13, 2015. To register for this FREE meditation or purchase previous meditations online:

Theodora Wilner, MA, HC, RYT is a Wellness Advisor, Health Coach and YOGA Instructor in Sacramento, California.

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