Hi everybody! Today’s post is by Jenny Ward, an amazing woman I met about a month ago at a gathering of advocates for healthy confidence and self-esteem in women and girls.
She led us through a session of “play yoga” and after I saw the way she made all of us loosen up, connect with each other, and laugh, I was hooked on her! She encourages everyone to live with fun and passion—and that’s something that we emotional overeaters can have a hard time doing. Sometimes we’re too wrapped up in food obsession or body hate to be present in our own lives; other times, we may be afraid to feel anything, good or bad.
I invited her to share with us today and teach us all a little bit about how to play more in order to love our lives more. Enjoy! xo…Sunny
I took life really seriously. I followed the rules that were passed on to me, and checked off the boxes one at a time: “good girl, smart, pretty, graduate, college graduate, married, divorced, CEO, mom, perfect.” The boxes went on and on, and I found myself wondering, “When will I be happy?”
What I began to remember is that there was one box I did not check off: “ENOUGH.” I spent years seeking to be better, prettier, thinner, smarter, more loved, more accepted. I wanted everyone in my playground to like me, so I gave up parts of myself to feel accepted. Every label that was given to me, I accepted as truth. And ignored my own inner knowing that I was enough AS IS.
When I began to teach play to adults, I realized that most of our world mutes their inner knowing. We seek approval, yet forget to trust our own inner guide. We live for “accolades” yet have lost touch with the simple gestures of hugs, presence and just laughing with others. It hit me that healing is way more then taking care of my body and mind but it also entails PLAYING with the knowledge and aliveness of my soul. My soul knows that it does not matter if I am smart, successful or if I look like Barbie. My soul knows that at the end of this life-play, all that truly matters is how we LIVED it.
Where do we put our energy? Do we put our energy into creating joy or resisting pain? Do we believe that life is full of drama or full of aliveness? Can we allow the other kids in our sandbox to also have their own experiences without taking it personally? I watched a 4 year old girl ask another 4 year old boy to play at the playground when I was there the other day. What struck me was how unattached either one of them were with the results. “Would you play with me?” she asked. “No” he answered. She skipped away and he continued to dig in the sand.
This moment is what play-full living is all about. When we began to choose to heal our stories and live fully we realize that we have no control over the paths of others. We realize that if we can hear no, and still play on, that nothing is ever lost. We are always enough. Some may play with us, some may choose to not. Either way, our joy remains intact. Our soul still knows how to skip on and not only heal but begin to LIVE life from the inside out.
Playfull living involves curiosity about life. Looking at our pasts and seeing our stories as just stories that can TEACH us on how to move forward. Playfull Living involves releasing the need to always know what is next, for life is full of surprises to explore and it is how we react that creates harmony not discord. Playfull Living is our truest essence, which is ENOUGH and ready to play. -Jenny Ward
Thank you, Jenny! Releasing the need to know what’s next is something I would like more of in my life. What about you? Have you ever felt like you weren’t “enough” and that had to keep striving?