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Eleanor Cyrce
Eleanor and her grandson

Eleanor Cyrce offers us a profound conversation about the nature and benefits of innate play and the journey she undertook to learn to play again. Initially trained as a computer scientist, Eleanor now devotes her life and work to play. This shift wasn’t something she was looking for. She wasn’t even comfortable playing. But her Spiritual Self found a way to guide Eleanor through this huge life change.

Deeply harmed at school by this behavior, Eleanor has always wanted to put an end to bullying, cliques, and people harming each other. She realized she could begin to work with kids to understand how to support them to stay “pure and connected to life.”  When she made herself available to them they asked her to play. She had to be willing to let go of any limitation on her part that got in the way. It wasn’t an easy journey. Through a deep commitment to learning and changing, Eleanor came to discover that “Play that doesn’t harm is actually the giving and receiving of love.

Eleanor’s life story is one of deep transformation. When life wants us to transform, we find a way to make the ‘serious’ change feel compelled to make. The Hoffman Process has been a part of the large amount of healing work Eleanor has done to heal her past trauma and transform her life. By doing this, she has broadened the arc of her love’s everyday radius.

Eleanor Cyrce in Her own words:

I was born and raised in the South.  As a result of a history of trauma, post-traumatic stress creates limitations that I work continually to surmount so that I can fulfill my dreams.  I remember deciding when I was a pre-teen that my goal in life was to never harm anyone, especially a child or a woman.

Eleanor CyrceThe healing work I do with children is supported by The Foundation for Compassionate Connection, a non-profit created years ago. I really want to know what these young people need to feel happy, connected, and whole. I want to make sure they get it.  Over the years, I donated my time working with the children of Haitian women who were dying from AIDS; with homeless, parentless children in the streets; and with children in the schools, including Magnolia School, Esalen’s Gazebo School, and Full Flower Education Center.

I‘m trained in CranioSacral therapy for people and horses. I’ve also trained in lymphatics, Nonviolent Communication, various types of trauma release, and watsu (Japanese water therapy).  Every day, I am nurtured by the time I spend in nature.  I love swimming long distances in the warm waters of Florida. I love especially spending time near wild horses and manatees.

Learn more about Eleanor her work at  The Foundation for Compassionate Connection welcomes donations to help with our work with innate play with children. If you are moved to do so, you can donate here.

As mentioned in this episode:

Innate Play
“It is well established now that when we are born, we interact and relate to our world through a “state of being” that is safe, loving, kind, spontaneous, non-competitive, and non-judgmental.  In this state, children feel totally loved and secure and have a sense of belonging to the world. Interacting to others in this state through play is the safest, kindest way of being in the world and what can be called innate play. Unfortunately, at a very young age, children are taught “cultural play” and are deprived of innate play that keeps them whole, healthy, and cooperative. …” read more at


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