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How To Achieve Enduring Health and Vitality
John W. Travis, M.D. & Regina Sara Ryan
 
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  Home  > Personal Wellness  > Nurturing Play

Nurturing Play

From Regina's Journal: I had some additional thoughts about play today, as I took a dynamic walk in the mountains, with a strong biting wind blowing at my back. I call my walks my play. They really are for me. However, in writing this with John for the first edition of the Wellness Workbook many years ago, we talked about the inner child and how that child needed nurturance. At the time, I think I equated nurturing the inner child - or the nurturing aspects of play - with comfort, and the two are not the same thing for me anymore. Nurturance might not be comfortable, but it would provide food and sustenance in a very vital way. For instance, when I hike or climb I am nurturing my body, my emotional life, my soul, my prayer. I often have a smile in the midst of huffing and puffing. I am playing in God. I am worshipping creation. Sometimes the harder the hike, the more my soul is stretched and then filled. I think many people will report that assisting at the bedside of a dying friend can be one of the hardest things they've ever done, but at the same time that it had provided more nurturance, in the sense of sustenance and food for the being, than almost anything else they've ever done, too.

While I wouldn't call all these things play - and I do think that it might also be important to point to play as lighthearted, spontaneous, silly - I wouldn't rule out things that might be seriously taxing at times, yet provide overall a kind of lightness and joy that touches us at a deeper level. A joy that is reminiscent of the breath of God. —Regina




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