Resilience and Play—The “Good Karma” Reflex Resilience Ball
The Resilience Ball is a form of Taoist practice where we can enter an ageless state of childlike innocence, play, fun, and exploration. In neurological terms the practice is a form of “cross crawling”. It builds hemispheric coherence. When we play with the ball in a park, it has the odd quality of attracting kind-hearted curious people who want to join the game.
Psychologists have identified some of the ‘internal’ factors that make a person resilient:
- A positive attitude
- Ability to regulate emotions
- The ability to use failure as useful feedback
- Problem solving abilities.
Childhood provides a unique opportunity for developing resilience. One study notes the child’s brain has the potential to develop at an astounding pace, never repeated (700 neuronal connections per second). As Professor Angie Hart continues:
- “Taking a resilience perspective involves finding ways to beat the odds for individual children and also to change those odds for disadvantaged children more generally. Play therapists have an important role to play in supporting children to imagine, process and practice “resilient moves” they can make for themselves. As part of their wider professional responsibilities and networking, play therapists can advocate for change on behalf of disadvantaged children in general.”
On the premise it is never too late, even in advanced age, to have a happy childhood, we are launching the “Good Karma” Reflex Resilience Ball. The Resilience Ball is a form of Taoist practice whose goal is no goal in particular other than to play, have fun, learn, explore, and discover. As each time I practice I make new discoveries, I have come to view the Reflex Ball as a master teacher, as it itself embodies resilience. It is somewhat startling when we realize the Reflex Ball, you or I are one, because after all, it is attached to our heads.
One key principle in playing with the Resilience Ball is to relax, or being loose. As qigong grandmaster Li Junfeng advises, “no bones, like a snake.” No matter how hard the ball comes back, if you can remain loose, you can adapt quickly and move with the ball. This is also the beginning of flow. When my wife plays with the Resilience Ball, she tell me she feels, “ageless.”
The Resilience Ball has the added quixotic quality of being a social magnet. When you play in the park, curious people will come to you and ask how you are able to connect to the ball when it appears to levitate in thin air.
- Building resilience – the importance of playing
- Building Resilience in Early Childhood: The Value of Play
- Play and Resilience: A China-Africa Collaboration Project for Building a Peaceful and Sustainable Future
There is some interesting research suggesting that boxing with a bag may improve outcomes with Parkinson’s patients. The Reflex Ball may offer an alternative.
- Rock Steady Boxing
- Punching Out Parkinson’s: Boxing Training Improves Symptoms
- What determines resilience in patients with Parkinson’s disease?
Next: Resilience and Nutrition