Play is the way we reclaim our freedom of heart, mind, soul, and spirit. It is like a deep breath after holding it for too long. It is essential and a good investment for every life!
In the family I grew up in, an adult woman didn’t play. I was oblivious to this until a friend asked why I didn’t play with my daughter. I am grateful she brought this up! I realized my resistance to playing with her, and though I did in certain ways, there were a lot more ways that she and I could have fun to our mutual joy. How sad that my mother never played with us. I had some healing to do around that.
Also, we didn’t play with our dogs! We loved them, cared for them, and took them for walks, but the woman didn’t throw balls or wrestle. When I rescued a whippet 20 years ago, I treated him the same as I had been taught. It wasn’t until I got a puppy of my own that I began to realize how important it is for dogs to play with their people…and in the process, how important it is for me!
I still resist the play impulse in favor of reading a book and vegging after a long day of work. I work 10-hour days and finish late. So when my darling whippet asks me for an after-work romp on the rug, part of me says “not tonight”. But I have come to realize how valuable that romp is for my soul. Whippets are instinctually so quick and sharp that to play ball with one is fabulous fun! Tobias can catch a ball on the fly, or by jumping and turning in the air to grab it! And he is super cute. So I find myself just laughing out all the stress of my day. I don’t get to bed as early, but when I do I am more refreshed.
I have been blessed by marrying into a family with young grandchildren. Since the other grandparents are retired or work part-time, they get the most grandparent time. But I have an invitation to visit when I can in the morning and play with my granddaughter — just play! That is my job! There is nothing more fun than this for me, not even playing with Tobias. I have actually become the only adult over 30 to be called “my friend” by my granddaughter. I was sad when the day I could visit her was changed to my busiest day of the week. So once again I have to overcome the resistance caused by learning as a child that adult women don’t play. I have to lecture myself that this special opportunity is time-sensitive! She won’t be free to play with me on weekday mornings for very much longer. It is too sweet an opportunity to pass up.
I have been blessed for 33 years to be self-employed as a Healer and Trainer of Healers. Up until about five years ago, this was a job that allowed me lots of flex time for my own pleasures such as hiking, birding, and reading. But since the publication of my book, “Riding the Wave of Change”, and since my blog won an international award as, “One of the Best Healing Blogs on the Planet” my extra time has been claimed by writing, networking, and traveling to teach.
Now I am working long days, so I have to deliberately make time to relax and enjoy just being me. Sometimes my neighbors see me walking without my dog and worry that something bad has happened to him. I tell them that he is fine and at home, I am walking off the leash! This is necessary for me because walking a whippet is a bit demanding. Now and then I need to walk at Eve’s pace, and I allow myself to enjoy that.
I love that my husband and I believe in lazy weekends and vacations. We spend as much time as possible doing only what we want during those times. We are blessed to have adjoining townhouses which allow us each the freedom to enjoy our own space. So when we are together it is a treat and we make the most of it!
Long ago I made a decision to stay on the planet when my soul contracts said I had planned to leave. In choosing to stay I promised myself to make this a life that I want to live. There was lots of deep learning and healing needed to achieve that goal, and I have succeeded. However, it isn’t something you do just once. Making a life worth living is an investment you make every day. Play helps!