Wellness Coach


Summer Play ~ Collage by Martha O’Brien

I like how Brene Brown defines play as “time spent without purpose”. Then she adds a caveat “which in our culture is also known as an anxiety attack”.

Over my life a false assumption has dictated that play was allowed after the work was done. So play time never arrived. Finally, I am learning how to drop some of those intense and obsessive behaviors that pushed me beyond emptiness and exhaustion and kept me from play.

My ego’s need to succeed and accomplish resulted in an out-of-balance life that was obvious even in a brief conversation with a Catholic priest. Two decades ago Fr. Jack listened to me babble about my life. Abruptly, he interrupted my discourse and said: “You’re on some FM radio station, and I don’t mean easy listening”. The truth of his words startled me.

Knowing for sure that I was stuck in an old pattern, I took one small action. On a full moon night, I went to a neighborhood playground to swing. Pumping my legs to go higher and higher was exhilarating!

Now, play looks like … piddling and puttering at home like today when I filled small vases with the beauty of summer flowers. One property of play is losing track of time. Making the collage for this blog post was play. As I glued color paper scraps together, time and space seemed to fade away.

In the book of Proverbs 8:30-31, the voice of Wisdom [who is portrayed as feminine] was with God from the beginning before creation.

Before the formation of sky, earth, and seas … I was with God playing all the while -playing on the surface of this earth. My delight was with humankind.

Since God is delighted with creation, including the miracle of my own life, I hope that one day my FM radio station really is tuned to easy listening.

3 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Georgeanne Chapman yazmış:

    Your play created the beauty of purples of all shades leading my eyes in a dance as they moved from one pattern to the next and delighted in the flowers amid them. Thank you for sharing your thought filled mind, quotes to encourage one to stop and ponder on life.

  • 2 Rosanna Webb yazmış:

    I really identified with your quote: “Over my life a false assumption has dictated that play was allowed [only] after [all] the work was done. So play time never arrived.”

    Now I am definitely looking for more opportunities to “play” thanks to you, Martha!

  • 3 Anne Dobbs yazmış:

    Your article was a breath of fresh air Martha. I love that feeling of “losing track of time” in play. I am growing more and more aware of the importance and the connection between spirituality and creativity. When I can lose myself in a creative endeavor, it is as if I have poured miracle grow in my soul….it grows and blooms and blesses others. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of the spiritual practice called PLAY!
    PS. I shared your blog on my Facebook page!

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