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The Art of Play

I have always loved to play! I love games and sports and almost anything physical. I actually like getting dirty and ever since I can remember, I always have! When I was a kid, I got smiles and laughter at my “child like” and “tomboyish” ways, but as I entered my pre-teen years, people started staring as I’d run through a rain puddle or bust a cartwheel down a grocery aisle. It often felt like I was being judged for being immature or maybe the onlooker just wished they could have that much fun in an otherwise mundane moment. It was as though people were asking themselves, “Why is this young woman always moving and jumping and playing…. cant she just sit still and be normal like the rest of us?!!"

Despite the many glares and whispers directed my way, as I have reached adulthood, I’ve maintained an incredibly playful spirit! As I’ve evolved and experienced some of the darker times that life throws at you, it is being playful and light that has saved me! When life gets heavy, I handstand, or jump on a trampoline, or tear off my clothes and dive in the ocean! ( most usually putting on a bikini between the last two 😉)

The thing is, life can feel way too serious at times, so not taking yourself too seriously is vital! When we invite a sense of playfulness into the day, we stimulate parts of the brain that create endorphins, serotonin and other natural "feel good” responses in the body and mind. These natural chemical reactions make it easier to step back into the flow of what is actually happening to you in the present. We may be able to breathe more fully in the moment and in turn see a situation without so much resistance. Playfulness reveals new perspectives on any situation, good or bad. It provides clarity on how to deal with life moment to moment and in turn how to productively move forward…no matter what comes your way.

To read more of Courtney Harms's work, click here or follow here on Facebook or Instagram.

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