No I haven’t lost it yet, I swear. This was just my title today as Audrey and I played on the beach together. We had a terrible night’s sleep. We all played musical beds and were up several different times. Then at 5:30am it seemed that Audrey and I were both wide awake and going back to sleep wasn’t an option. As I lay in bed I first had the thought, “today is going to be a tough one with so little sleep.” The second thought was, “let’s go to the beach.” So I managed to make some coffee, pack a little breakfast and pile the dog and daughter into the car.
We drove the 10 minute drive to the beach, quietly in the dark with the slightest glimmer of light beginning to shine over the horizon. We walked onto the beach, the cold sand waking us up almost instantly, the heat of the hot summer sand long gone. We sat on the beach, me sipping my coffee and she contentedly eating her banana and peanut butter. As we sat, an orange orb rose right out of the ocean. It is an incredible thing to watch the sun be birthed into the day.
We then went for a walk, put our toes in the ocean and collected shells. Mostly what we did, was play. We played from 6:30am until 8am. We played while the sun rose over us higher and higher into the sky. Even the old man, Oscar played with other passing dogs and got dubbed “King of Sun” aka “King Lightshine”.
Why am I sharing this?
We forget what an effective tool play is. This morning I knew two things: A. I was going to be tired today. There is simply no way around that. When a good night’s sleep eludes me, my body and brain both feel it the next day. I have often tried to move through the fatigue and keep pushing or pretending that tired doesn’t matter. But denying our natural state never works. The second thing I knew was that I had a choice. We could carry on with our usual morning routine, which is delightful in so many ways. But what we needed if we were going to move through today with some semblance of grounding, was something more nourishing and energizing.
Often Audrey comes up to me wanting to pretend or play a game and I simply feel like I have nothing to offer in that moment. Either I am uninterested, or I am super focused on the task at hand. My brain dubs the work that I have to get done, whether for my business or around the house as much more important and often times more interesting. My heart knows the importance of saying yes in those moments and so while I do, it's more with the idea of satiating and supporting Audrey than myself.
Having slowed down a lot in these last few weeks, I am beginning to come to the realization that perhaps my inability to say yes to play is because my own element of play is out of shape. I have thought this several times while standing back and watching my child in awe of her own ability to create and play in any moment she feels called to. I understand that it is part of her job as a child to use play to learn. But where does that skill go when we become adults? It’s not as if play becomes any less effective a tool, it’s more that our belief in it as adults, gets less. Why have we so compartmentalized the wonderfully nourishing tool that is play as only a thing for children? Why have we put the adult versions in the context of activities that often numb and dull our senses, the very opposite of what happens when we are truly at play in life?
So this morning, in the incredible exhaustion of a night not well slept, I played on the beach, with a scarf turned cape around my neck and became Vayu, Queen of Wind. I was joined by Violet, Queen of Roses and Lightsine, King of Sun. I’m still tired and there will most likely be a crash for us both as the day drags on. But for now, I will continue to be fueled by the practice of my own play for as long as I can today.
Tomorrow I invite you to play with me as well. I am teaching an eMOTION30 class at 9:30am ET. We will dance, we will move, we will flow, we will breathe and we will most definitely PLAY. I would like to invite you to strengthen that muscle so that as we all come into contact with all the ways we are currently fatigued, we remember that playfulness lives in us all. May we remember what a viable and vital tool it is. And most of all, may we remember that while children may be masters at it, it is we adults who likely need it most.
And if you need some inspiration, the Queens of Wind and Roses got your back...
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.