Play Therapy Blog 5
In an effort to be relieved of prolonged free-floating anxiety, I began seeking holistic nourishment. Starting with classical Pilates, I added breathing exercises, visualization, guided meditation and even cranial sacral massage. Although each modality was rewarding and at times even healing, this exercise proved to be expensive, time consuming, and after awhile, not altogether satisfying.
Then the grandchildren came. Wanting to spend every waking moment with three delightful boys, I put on hold all therapies and entered their world completely. There was nothing they weren’t interested in and as I either participated or simply watched them cast their fishing rods, catch crabs, drive golf balls, learn to sail, I became lost in the moment, totally immersed (as were they) in each endeavor. To top it off, the seven year old (during down times!) introduced me to the art of bird watching! He dragged a long lost bird feeder out of the shed, filled the bird bath with water and had me join him on the window seat as he explained which species were coming and going.
As one day led into another, I noticed my back loosening up, depressing thoughts vacating my head, a new kick in my step, and my restless sleep patterns all but disappear. “We spend the first half of our life learning to be an adult,” Pablo Picasso said, “and the second half learning to be a child.” Had I all but forgotten all those conversations with my mentor, Joan Erikson, a child herself at the age of 92, as she talked about the importance of play? “The point is,” she would insist, “get out of your head and into your body. Don’t you know dear that when you are being curious and playful there is little opportunity to fail?”
In the end, it wasn’t formal therapy that would necessarily be the answer to my issues. Rather it was indulging in child’s play…being in the moment…a willingness to discover something new, delighting in serendipity, saying yes to the ordinary as well as the extraordinary.
“And a child shall lead them,” it says in the Bible, and so, once again they are doing for me…these grandsons who came east only for play have left me full of new wisdom and gratitude.