State of Play

Redefining what retirement means…

Annie's Alice in Wonderland moment

In the 8 months since I retired from ABC News I have discovered and rediscovered many things with which I had lost touch.  One of the most important was the joy of play.  This sounds remarkably simple but I think it is actually one of the most complex activities we can master.

In an article in PSYCHOLOGY TODAY Peter Gray of Boston Collge writes: “…the person at play is relatively free from the strong drives and emotions that are experienced as pressure or stress.  And because the player’s attention is focused on process more than outcome, the player’s mind is not distracted by fear of failure…The mental state of play is what some researchers call ‘flow’.  Attention is attuned to the activity itself and there is reduced consciousness of self and time.”

I believe that I have begun to relearn this ability to “flow”. For example, I no longer NEED to go to yoga to feel relaxed and REMOVED from my real life. Instead I experience my life completely differently: with a sense of joy, wonder and total presence.

Playfulness has a part in everyone’s world. I believe it makes us open to new experience and less SELF conscious.  When we are truly at play we don’t get caught up in the minutiae of life: the to do lists or the striving for material gratification.

I used to only find this freedom on vacation… away from what I perceived to be my real world. But now I can find it anywhere and at anytime because it is in my heart.

 

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About the Author: Ann Benjamin is a 30 year veteran of ABC NEWS where she was the director for programs such as World News, Nightline, 20/20, and major special events. In the fall of 2010 she followed her heart and left that world to pursue her dream of teaching yoga. In July 2011 she was certified by Laughing Lotus NYC. She now divides her time between her passion for yoga and those media projects which she finds interesting and rewarding. Check out her website at www.inlightyoganyc.com.

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