Watch children – your own or any who cross your path. What you’ll often see if that free spirit and reckless abandon of play and joy that most kids have. Eventually we mature and start to become self-conscious. We let the little things in life pull us away from what brings us joy.
Also, children have a knack of connecting with other kids. Even the most shy and awkward will find a friend to play with – if only for a day and in the moment. Again, as we age we begin to lose that open acceptance of anyone who wants to join in our games. And as adults, I think it’s harder to cope with this than it was as a child.
Finally, many of us grew up participating in sports and activities that we loved. Some of us abandonned these in high school or college, and some of us carried on into adulthood. For many women, becoming a mother changes our priorities and we no longer can dedicate the time for our own play as we did before children. This was the case for me. I love my children, but with their births I lost the rowing community that I was a part of. It wasn’t the community’s fault – I just fell away due to my own issues and it’s been hard getting back.
Others of us have injuries and pain that keep us from our play. We’re not sure how to overcome them – doctors and therapy haven’t helped us return. But I’m hear to let you know that it’s not too late.
Play is important. It relieves stress, brings community, and gives us joy. Sometimes the first step to returning to play is movement – movement to aid in healing, both physically and emotionally. Often the path by to play can be lonely if we don’t have others around us who understand the struggle. Even our closest friends my not totally get it. Or, maybe you’ve moved in a different direction than your friends and are looking to add to your tribe. Connecting with other women who share your interest and goals can lead you back to joyful play much faster than going it alone.
In that spirit, I’ve created the MoveHealPlay community. The goal of this website is to help connect women with tools to aid in their healing, and women to play with. You’ll find different interest groups – from sports, to fitness, to parenting group. Don’t see one that fits your needs? You can create one. We’ll also have local events where you can meet women near you to train and socialize with. This is a group of women open and accepting to friends joining in with their play. If you’re looking for a community of active women, this is for you. If you have a circle of women who’d like to bring more into your group, this is for you. While I manage the page and share my movement and healing tools, I encourage all of our members to share their stories and experiences, and encourage others on their own return to play.