Tag Archives: play

Approach Your Fears with Child Like Perspective

iGnite - keep focused

Point to Ponder:
Are you a fearful person?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

I’ve always been of the mindset that children have it figured out. It stinks that we have to grow up and often times become jaded, cynical, insecure and obsess over our perceived pudgy legs and numbers on a scale. Children don’t worry about how many steps they take in a day or how many hours they spend exercising. Instead, they simply play — run, jump, spin and dance. They ride their bikes for hours, climb on the monkey bars and enjoy a high-calorie treat without feeling guilt. They stop eating when they are full, don’t talk about others, and without fear or doubt of what others think, they proudly proclaim what they want to be when they grow up, just as my five-year old nephew Cole did at his pre-school graduation when he announced that when he grew up he wanted to own a doughnut shop. Awesome!

Last week while finishing a hike and walking along the beach, I noticed a man, probably in his forties, standing alone in shin-deep water and jumping over every wave that came his way. Like a six year-old would do, each time a wave rolled in, he’d hop over it! It was the most playful, inspiring and refreshing sight. I watched him for several minutes and it was a great reminder that nature gives us everything we need to calm, invigorate and feed our body, mind and spirit. And what I loved so much about this guy was that while he was playing, he wasn’t worried or fearful about what those of us around him thought. In my opinion, the enormity and magnificence of the Pacific Ocean made his fears of what others might think insignificant, while also putting troubles and life stressors in perspective. At least that is what nature does for me. It swallows my doubt and fear and allows me to shine!

Robin Roberts, the always shining and inspiring co-anchor of Good Morning America, has a great line about doubt and fear in her book Everybody’s Got Something. She says:

“We all have doubts and fears. The thing about fear is that it only needs the tiniest space, the size of an eye of a needle, to get through and wreak havoc. Maddening, but true. So, when I was struggling in doubt, I would simply take the next small step. I would stop and think: No, life is not tied up with a beautiful bow all the time, but it’s still a gift. I’m going to tear away the wrapping paper like a kid at Christmas.”

What I love so much about Robin’s wisdom is that instead of running from her fear and doubt or dreading it, she sees it as a gift and looks forward to tearing into it to see what it is, just as a child would and just as Kayla Montgomery, the eighteen year old in the video below, who, despite being diagnosed with Multiple Sclorosis and losing feeling in her legs when she runs and when her body heats up, was determined to not only run, but win! It’s their child-like perspective that has kept them curious, eager and willing to conquer their fear, doubt, and SHINE! What a great example for all of us!

Action Item:
This week, try facing situations with the fearlessness, playfulness and confidence of a child.

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Summer is for FUN!

Summer is a time to lighten up and let some fun in your life!
– Francesca Zapanta

Point to Ponder:
What things do you enjoy doing most for fun?
Action Item:
Embrace the summer season for what it is and use it as a time for fun, play and relaxation. Write down three ways you plan to have fun this summer.

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

Each season arrives with very unique characteristics and fortunately summertime is light, carefree and always comes just in time. Mother nature knows what we need and the summer season gives us permission to a break from “the grind.” Thankfully, school is out and the days are long, leaving us with extra time for fun, play, and relaxation; and while having fun is definitely something we all want, interestingly enough, fun is a necessity! We need to have fun because having fun contributes to your overall health and wellness:

  1. Having fun strengthens your immune system, whereas when you are stressed and not having fun your body produces extra cortisol (the fight or flight hormone), causing physical changes from rapid heartbeat to an increase in blood pressure.
  2. You’ll live longer! Fun-loving and positive people live 7.5 years longer than pessimists.
  3. When you’re having fun, smiling and laughing your stress naturally decreases and your overall outlook on life improves, leading to a healthier and happier you!

There ya go! The proof is in the pudding and just as it’s essential to exercise for overall health and wellness, it’s also essential to have FUN, which is what iGnite is all about. Therefore, I hope you will not pass up an opportunity to join your friends for lunch, a weekday movie matinĂ©e, a pool side happy hour or a weekend away for some play this summer!

 

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