In the book, “Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul,” Dr. Stuart Brown explains that play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play. As we approach summer and having family time and vacations, think about how play can enter into your time together.
Play explains why play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve and more. Particularly in tough times, we need to play more than ever, as it's the very means by which we prepare for the unexpected, search out new solutions, and remain optimistic. In fact, play just might be the most important work we can ever do.
One point that Dr. Brown makes again and again is that true play requires a person to let go of pride and self-consciousness. A game of Twister would be horrible if everybody were concerned about what others thought of them. In short, play requires humility. Developing a humble spirit around others allows one to truly play with others- and since play is that which fosters creativity, a culture where humility is the rule is a far healthier culture, economically and socially.
Play is the cornerstone of happiness and being a parent gives us the opportunity to play without getting weird looks when we let our silly sides to show.
So, what is on your family’s play list? What fun do you have planned in the coming summer months that can engage the whole family? If your family play list needs some work, use the next family-meeting to discuss this topic. Have each member of the family answer the following three questions:
Next, figure out what types of play all of you share. Then, plan your family’s next play outing or activity. Need some ideas to get started? Check out this site: fun-family-activity-ideas-together
Many of us struggle with our own worthiness, not feeling that we are enough as a parent, partner, child, or friend. Spouses, parents, and teachers often contribute to this by point out mistakes, what is missing or lacking. Many faith traditions include beliefs that it is more blessed to give than receive--be selfless, not selfish which can leave us wondering how we are to do this. For many years, I have searched to understand how to love my neighbor as myself.
These words, known as "The Golden Rule", come from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. There are versions of this in most faith traditions. When I was a teacher, I adapted this as the basic class guideline--treat others the way that you want to be treated. And yet, I think that we often miss the point that we are to love and treat others as we treat ourselves. As I have explored this in my own life, I realized that often I didn't love myself very much; sometimes, I didn't even like myself at all.
Below are some of the realizations that I have had on my personal healing journey:
If any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to find your next step forward on your own healing journey. On my website, you can find resources and info about my coaching programs. www.coachmyrna.org/coaching.html I have made my own version of an Emotional Freedom Technique/Tapping video that has helped me.
Tapping video "I Am Enough": youtu.be/dwfotycdCmY
Recently, I attended an "Unconditionally Loving" retreat where we were guided towards living a life of loving without conditions and what we needed to do that. The definition of loving without conditions is caring about the other person's happiness without wanting anything in return. It also includes accepting others for who they are, not wanting the other person to change. Finally, loving starts with caring about ourselves because we cannot give what we don't have.
To live this way requires us to begin to practice radical responsibility.
Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worthwhile living…let no day pass without examining yourself." If you find yourself wanting to change unhealthy patterns of relating and to move towards living with greater radical responsibility, check out the tools and resources that I use in supporting growth and healing in relationships on my website: Coaching With Myrna
Sunday, May 14th is Mother's Day. You might think that Hallmark invented Mother’s Day, but it was not motivated by commercialism but by women’s peace groups. In 1868, Ann Jarvis– mother of Anna Jarvis – created a committee to establish a "Mother's Friendship Day.” The purpose was to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War. When the Civil War broke out, Ann Jarvis called together women to pledge that friendship and good will would not be a casualty of the war.
In a remarkable display of courage and compassion, the women nursed soldiers from both sides and saved many lives from both sides. Jarvis – who had previously organized "Mother's Day Work Clubs" to improve sanitation and health for both Union and Confederate encampments undergoing a typhoid outbreak – wanted to expand this into an annual memorial for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the celebration became popular.
Her daughter continued her mother's efforts and what began as a celebration in a church in West Virginia spread over a few years to many states and eventually became a national and international holiday. Carnations were Ann Jarvis’ favorite flowers, so it became a tradition to give out carnations on Mother’s Day. “The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, and so, too, mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mother’s love never dying," Jarvis explained in a 1927 interview.
Designated as the second Sunday in May by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, aspects of Mother’s Day have since spread overseas, sometimes mingling with local traditions. Jarvis took great pains to acquire and defend her role as “Mother of Mother's Day,” and to focus the day on children celebrating their mothers.
Ann Jarvis did not like the commercialism that become associated with Mother’s Day—buying flowers, cards, and candy to one’s mother. In this spirit, I challenge you to find a unique way to celebrate your mother or someone who has been there to support and mother you this year.
How about an experience that you can share together? A picnic and a hike in the woods? A visit to a local botanical garden or park? Breakfast in bed? (Make sure you clean up the kitchen afterwards.) A drive on a scenic road? Maybe photo album with a cover that the kids help decorate. Be creative and make it personal.
I am sure that you will figure out something that is special and wonderful. You have just over a week. And if you need some help to connect to all that your mom means to you, let this video inspire you.