Wellness means many things to many people, but we typically can agree that it involves attaining a certain harmony between our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. To achieve this harmony, we might seek supplements for our physical vitality, therapy for our mental health, practice meditation for our emotional well-being, and sustain a yoga practice to handle our spiritual alignment. In other words, the traditional wellness paradigm gives us the pieces and it’s up to us to sort out the puzzle.
Energy educator and founder of Inner Play, Lenea Sims thinks we’ve got it all wrong. “Wellness begins and ends with our energy,” she explains. “Energy encompasses our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health so why not just start with energy itself?” Her “self-development” studio is aimed at doing just that by providing tools and experiences that encourage energetic health via creativity, DIY energy work, and play.
For her, play is the key because it asks you to show up presently and celebrate life. “Your energy has no choice but to respond positively when you do that and the rest of your systems will inevitably follow suit!”
We sat down with Lenea to talk more about her vision for a new wellness paradigm that prioritizes creativity, self-healing, and, of course, play.
What can we expect at one of your inner play events?
All of the things that make an Inner Play lifestyle dope: creativity, play, and energy work. We start with a vocal cleanse by The Outernet which is a phone-free, shoe-free singing circle that my friend Ethan facilitates. It’s kind of like a Kirtan but less about being woo-woo and more about creating energetic resonance with friends. Then, once we’re all buzzing, we’re going to dive into a collage workshop with another friend / incredible artist Zoie Harmon. We’ll chat a bit about the power of collage for harnessing our intuition, manifesting, and soul-searching – but mostly we’re just going to play! There will also be hella snacks, cake, and music throughout. I’m stoked!
Why are these elements important to introduce into the wellness world?
Having worked in the wellness world both in event production and as an energy practitioner for the past few years, I’ve noticed that it tends to skew very serious, very beige, very woo-woo. I’m all about doing deep inner work, but I don’t think we have to suffer through it. Not only does traditional wellness tend to focus on people’s “flaws” rather than simply encouraging them to be more of themselves more often, but it also has convinced us that we have to do x,y,z before we can feel better. I think we can feel better right now. Play, creativity, and energy work bring people into the present and are energetically aligned with joy. If someone feels joy while doing something that also happens to be good for their growth, they’re going to have a much higher chance of staying committed to a path of self-development.
What’s at the heart of Inner Play?
At the heart of Inner Play lies my own journey of well-being. After four years of blogging about my personal forays into wellness, I got fed up with feeling like I was broken and constantly tinkering with myself. So, I started Inner Play as a way to say ‘Hey you’re okay just how you are. Sure, you could use a little energy boost here and there so here are some tools for you to become your own guru. But all in all, you’re fine just the way you are – let’s celebrate that!’
What was the moment when you realized that joy and play were more of what you craved?
I’d been feeling frustrated with how I felt emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for awhile when, one day, I spontaneously ended up at the beach with a friend who was visiting. We were driving home, burnt out on giggles and the sun, when it dawned on me that I felt the happiest I had in a long time. My energy was buzzing, I felt excited and at peace. I realized in that moment that I had to prioritize having fun and spending time with people that made me happy over anything I was being sold as a wellness cure-all.
What’s your current mantra?