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The healing power of play

I have a tendency to get caught up in the activity of life and take this living business a tad too seriously at times.  I’ve been finding this to be true all too often recently.

It’s been a serious sort of year.  My uncle passed away.  My grandfather is in the process of dying. There have been several “big” anniversaries of losses for me.  I’m transitioning out of my day job and into full-time private practice.

In the midst of all that, I’ve been feeling weighed down by all the serious.  Heavy, slow moving, weary. Then yesterday I spent time with a friend and her one year old daughter.  I watched this sweet little girl absolutely delight in her world.  She played and laughed and threw herself into the fun of it all.

I realized how much I miss play.

I have been neglecting a core belief and value I have that play is essential to life.  Happiness is my central life value and play is a fundamental piece of happiness.  I believe this is the meaning of life – to enjoy and experience it.  To be happy. To delight in the world around us.

And although I am processing a lot of change and grief right now – I utterly believe play and delight and happiness can be experienced in and around the cracks of grief.  In fact, I believe open and authentic grieving by it’s own process create the space for play and delight and happiness within it.

Play is healing.  Play creates happiness.  Play lightens grief.

I had almost forgotten.  Thanks to one playful little girl, I’ve remembered.

And today is play day!

I see blanket forts, bubbles, fingerpainting, coloring and silly stories in my immediate future!

How will you play today?

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