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When did playgrounds become a place just for kids to play in? Why do most of us stop playing just because we become adults; play is a healthy and natural human expression and need. As an adult, at least in the country I live in, unless I'm accompanied by a child, it is considered strange to be an adult playing in a playground (and in some places adults are barred from entering without a child - which I completely understand from a safety perspective).

It's a shame not feel free to be able to have some innocent playground fun. If I had the means, I would open adult-friendly playgrounds with swings and slides, climbing ropes, towers and swing bridges, tree houses and swinging ropes, roundabouts and more so we could continue to play for evermore.​


Exploring and going on adventures, being open to wonder as you wander, being playful and curious are important elements to our human experience. Enriching us completely (body, spirit and mind), 'play' gives us the space to be more creative and can lead us to be more adaptive, courageous and compassionate in many other areas of our lives. Playing is great for our overall emotional, cognitive and physical health as the brain and body react to the feel good hormones released, which in turn regulates our autonomous nervous system, reducing cortisol and blood pressure for example, which in turn reduces stress and anxiety. Laughter and positive exhilaration are natural pain relievers and positive mood enhancers.

I can take life too seriously. And there is plenty to be 'serious' about. It helps to remind myself of the notion of a gap year for the soul; that my soul is on its gap year, having an adventure into human be-ing. This anchors me to my curiosity and sense of adventure and play in any given situation. It doesn't mean behaving like a fool (although sometimes...) or not acknowledging the seriousness of a given situation, but I find when I tune in to an inner sense of wonder, things can feel differently. With a sense of curiosity, I feel a sense of inner trust, a playfulness that there is no right or wrong, that things just are.  And this gives me the ability to be more relaxed and participatory (as opposed to feeling trapped) in a given situation.


When on two occasions it was clear that if my health didn't improve I could die within days, or when I realised the brain inflammation was worsening over time and there was a real risk that I may lose brain functions further, I made a conscious decision: to breathe in to each situation, and, with a sense of curiosity, see what would unfold. I remember when I first came up with breathing in to, I was given two weeks to live and I recall thinking 'wow, maybe I will get to witness the process of dying, wow, what an experience to be a part of'.A sense of wonder, a sense of play.


Now, this doesn't mean that I am suddenly skipping down the street in delight when faced with a threat to my wellbeing or that I am completely free from grief or fear, but it means love and trust, joy and faith, curiosity and wonder can co-exist alongside these. It means I am able to be all aspects of what makes me me - the funny me, the intelligent me, the creative me, the sensitive me, the curious me, the spontaneous me, and not get caught up in (and robbed of my essence through) the stress caused by fear.


Breathing in to allows me to give space to the situation. This space (or the ability to detach and observe without being detached from the self and experience) can, at times, lead to better outcomes thought that's not my intention. For me, breathing in to brings about a sense of being present and the offers the opportunity to commune with the moment with integrity and truth (and in creativity). I end up having a fuller human experience of my self, with others and the moment - and these are better outcomes for me. Most magically, breathing in to a situation means I get the chance to witness an event in my life I may have completely otherwise missed the wonder of caught up in the drama of it all.

There are many way I love to play, including breathing in to, learning new skills (which I may not grasp or become good at but that's not the point, it's the experience of and letting things unfold that matters) or information, reading, meditation, writing, having fun with my imagination, relearning to play chess, having an idea and trying it out, having a conversation with a person, improvisation (in the everyday as well as on stage) being curious and spontaneous and ecotherapy. Below I share just some of the ways I play that you can try out for yourself. What I love about them overall is that I'm not required to go anywhere physically (which has been vital whilst managing a debilitating illness) or have money: I can have the wildest out-of- this- world adventure as I wander and wonder using my imagination. It opens up the world to me as I feel connected and a part of something more.


brain MRI

Want to try out some of the cognitive exercises I used to regain memory and executive brain functions? 

Sheet 1.   Put in numerical order, timing yourself.

Sheet 2.  Work out the sentence using the coded symbols linked to each letter of the alphabet, time yourself.

Sheet 3.  Put words in each column in alphabetical order, timing yourself.

Repeat at different times in a day and see if there are changes to your last recorded time.



As an experienced practitioner, I use non sleep deep relaxation NSDR (yoga nidra) and breath work to help me refresh and re-focus. They have helped me recover cognitive skills, memory, re-energise (vital for someone with CFS/ME) and heal in many unexpected and astonishing ways. There are plenty of peer reviewed research papers online on the overall benefits of breath work and nsdr in context to the above as well as their impact on pain management, and decreasing fatigue in relation to CFS/ME.


Get in touch if you are interested in giving it a try with me. All sessions are remote and are tailor-made to your needs.

Playing in Sand

Willing to let go and explore? 

An open mind and a sense of wonder are the only pre-requisites.

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