Surprised By Joy

In a mental health crisis, play is a vitally important part of our healing process. So why can it be so hard to give ourselves permission actually do it? Join Kara for an exploration of the things that get in the way of play and our pursuit of joy.

In the middle of a mental health crisis, finding joy is more important than ever. So why is it so hard to let ourselves embrace it? Is the epidemic of anxiety and depression the new normal?

Join me for an exploration of the metalude, our mental gateway to play, and the pursuit of joy.

A Prescription for Play

A lot of self-help posts make it seem so easy – 5 quick tips to happy
or 7 steps to healthy. But if you’re struggling with anxiety,
depression or any number of other mental health issues, these types of
articles feel almost like they’re mocking us.

I decided that if PlayGrounding is going to continue, it should offer
more practical suggestions to help us find our way back to play, joy
and inspiration.

So after some soul searching and mental health work of my own, I’m back with a whole new purpose.

Welcome to the new PlayGrounding, where we’ll learn to love ourselves, own our thoughts and have some fun – lots of it!

The Links I Promised You:

Greg Manley, Director of Production at City of Play in Pittsburgh, PA. His talk at the US Play Coalition‘s Conference two years ago introduced me to the idea of the Metalude.

The Play Cycle,
a paper hosted on the Oxfordshire City Council’s website that describes
the Metalude. It’s the top result in Google for the word among many
articles and papers on ludics and playwork for children.

The Young and Uncared For, The Dark Truths Behind Our Obsession with Self-Care, by Shayla Love on from their Burnout and Escapism Issue.

We Can’t Force Play by Mathias Poulsen, Co-Founder of CounterPlay in Denmark.

Surprised By Joy, The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis. Not your typical autobiography. It’s about his discovery of joy and how it shaped his life.

From Recess:

Listen to Robin Legat’s Seasoned Athlete Podcast

Find obstacle course racing in your town.

From The Real Right Now:

Download the Meditation With RAIN printable! (It has animals.)

Learn more about the concepts behind Meditation with Rain from Tara Brach.

Stream the Podcast on YouTube!

Listen Now!


Wherever You Listen to Podcasts

PlayGrounding on Apple Podcasts PlayGrounding on Google Podcasts PlayGrounding on Stitcher
PlayGrounding on iHeart Radio PlayGrounding on RadioPublic PlayGrounding on Spotify

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  1. Barry Goldberg

    Hi Kara.
    Great podcast! Seems like important and fun work. I have a few friends that can benefit from it, so I will turn them on to it.
    On another note, in paragraph 2 of the “Prescription for Play” section, perhaps there needs to be an “is” in between “PlayGrounding and going” and there are 2 “find”s in “to help us find our way”
    Sent with love and support, not nitpicking your jam!
    Again, great project.
    Looking forward.

    • Kara

      Thank you Barry! I appreciate it!

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