Everything in nature has needs and we are no exception. Just as plants are dependent on both sun and water, either from natural rainfall or from careful watering, people also need regular care. Too often we do not see ourselves as needing even as much attention as the flowers in our gardens. And it often doesn't occur to us that we are responsible for ourselves.
Why is that?
I, too, fell in the category of neglecting myself - but not anymore. I finally realized I had to stop and make conscious decisions about my own needs. It was, and is, a good decision.
Entrepreneurs often fall into a trap of overworking, and I fit that category. Thinking I had made enough changes by not working 24/7, I would not allow myself to step back and realize I was not in balance.
Even my playtime often coincides with work. No matter how pleasant, no matter how fulfilling, work is not play.
Play is all about simply letting go and enjoying life. Golfers, for instance, seek that enjoyment. I say seek, rather than have, because some do not recognize that true enjoyment means it is okay not to be a pro.
Once upon a time children ran through neighborhoods, played softball in a park, could be heard laughing and squealing as they played tag! Today they still play - scheduled games on scheduled days in scheduled lives.
And it continues into adulthood.
It doesn't matter as much what
we decide to do with our lives as it
does that we do decide what to do with
our lives. Making conscious decisions, being
aware of where they lead, is the
responsibility of each of us.
When we work, and even sometimes when we play, we are too worried about mistakes. Mistakes are not what we seek, but they are okay. In fact, it is often in the process of making a mistake that we become conscious of being human, realize the concept of humility, figure out better ways of doing something, and, perhaps, become more forgiving of others. We learn as much through mistakes as we learn from perfection, probably more.
When we play - really play - we can expand into joy. Picture Julie Andrews singing, 'The hills are alive with the sound of music,' as she danced openly in the grass. Abandoning cares, letting ourselves go, laughing, singing, dancing: these are the signs of play. Just as couples of any age need a date night, individuals of every age need to abandon cares and breathe in nature.
It doesn't matter so much what we decide to do with our lives as it does that we do decide what to do with our lives. Making conscious decisions, being aware of where they lead, is the responsibility of each of us.
We can have the life we choose. We just need to choose it. Decide what to do and then do it!
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.
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