Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Play Hard And Rest

Every time I start experiencing stressful moments in life where I feel like I've got more to complete in a day than is possible to accomplish, I'm reminded by my cats to play hard and rest. Watching them as they play hard one minute and then they are sprawled out on the floor resting the next is a vivid example that we as humans should consider following.

Ever since we got our two kittens from the cat rescue organization, Candy's Cats, these two have played hard together. They are brother and sister which really does help. We do encourage the playfulness with them and spend much time playing with them as well. We have done this since they were kittens. When they want us to play, we stop and play.

Never does a day go by that they are not running, chasing, pouncing and playing hard with each other. It is fun to watch and sometimes it feels like a herd of tornadoes running through the house. However, if you watch them, they will go at it strong for several minutes and then all of the sudden they get quiet. The next thing they do is lay on their back sprawled out as if nothing is going on. They might actually go from playing hard to cleaning and grooming themselves but most of the time, it is complete rest after a moment of playing hard with each other.

As kids, we most likely did this same thing where we played hard and then we came inside for a rest. It wasn't something we thought about or knew we needed to do these things. It just happened because we were being kids. It was all in the moment living much like our cats live.

As adults, we tend to lose the ways of being a kid. Yes, I know there are responsibilities and jobs and family to take care of in our lives. Often these responsibilities take away from our time to play or relax or just enjoy life. It is all too easy to get caught up in a million activities or causes which may be noble and justified but sometimes they can rob us of our playtime in life.

Playtime is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. By playtime, I mean finding things that you enjoy doing from crafts or walks in the wood to spending time out in the sun having fun. These are things in life which are just pure enjoyment to you and there is no work or worry or other stress that you need to connect with when you are having play time. If you are not sure what playtime really is, just connect back to when you were a child. What did you do as a child to have fun? What do you enjoy doing now?

Learn to play hard and then after you have played hard, take some time to just rest and live in the moment of now. There should be no expectations of how long this should go or any other thing that may be on your mind. Just be in the moment like cats are where nothing else matters for them. Resting gives you the connection of pushing yourself into enjoyment and fun, then allowing yourself to drop down and connect to the greatest parts within yourself. Observe how your body feels during the rest time and see if there is any change in muscle tension or pains. Most likely, you will notice a sense of relief and less pain.

One of the best ways to release stress is by pushing your nervous system up and then letting it drop down. Taking time to clean out those closets in your body where stress is hiding gives way for you to allow yourself relaxation and a deeper peace. Playing hard helps push your nervous system up, if you really allow yourself to just let loose and have fun. Then by taking time to rest afterward, you are allowing yourself to connect to the deeper peace and relaxation that your body needs. Through the connection between these two things, you will have released much stress in your body and your life.

I'm sure we all know what it means to play hard but some of us may have forgotten to allow ourselves to do this. That is perfectly okay because what you do in today's moment is totally up to you. You can go out and spend some time today playing and having fun, enjoy life to the fullest! You can be creative in how you do that and maybe step outside of your comfort zone, giving yourself permission to just let loose!

If you are not spending regular time playing in life, I urge you to give this a try. Step out of your comfort zone and see what happens. Even if you are extremely busy, an afternoon of playing hard, then resting will most likely give you more focus, clarity, and energy for your day. You may be surprised at just how much more productive you are.

Our bodies are not meant to be pushed constantly or to their limits without a way to release the stress and build up of emotions. Our nervous systems are resilient but the more stress and past trauma we hold against within our body, the less resilient they are. When we overwhelm our bodies in this way, they react through physical messages that try to get our attention so that we can reverse course and become aware of our connection between our mind, body and spirit.

To live in the moment, is one of the greatest gifts of awareness that we can give ourselves. To be mindful in our day will return many rewards back to us. We really are the masters of our health and well being. Through playing hard and resting, we give ourselves the chance to stop, connect and discover a little more about ourselves. It truly does a body good!

(Above Picture taken of Corey And Topanga (our Kittens) - (c) 10/03/10)

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