We All Need a Playful Outlook!

Being Bullied don’t help anyone cultivate a sense of play and joyful feelings, but it is important to try. As the poster says, it is our choice! I made mine and choose, ME!

Even the smallest of things, watching children play, paying attention to a sunset, or look at a flower, can all cultivate the sense of joy in your soul. Last year, I saw a spider web outside, just after it had rained, and the sun was glistening all over the web and to me, it looked beautiful. Before all this, I wouldn’t have noticed those things like that…

I don’t remember much of 2018, after I lost my mind a bit there in July.  I do recall a visit from my great-nephews and great-nieces in October that year, and I have the video of that day. Children cannot help but cultivate joy, just from watching them play. I had the 2 middle children in my apartment, there are 4 of them, and as they are all into gymnastics, they were doing stunts in my living room, while I recorded it. It is my first memory of laughing after going through all that just a few months before. I remember that day, as it brought me joy to be around them. All my visits with these kids over the years, have always brought me joy and a sense of play, you can’t help it! I have tons of photos and videos of these times!

All throughout my self-imposed isolation during that year, the good memories I do have, are all the ones that brought me joy. All the visits from the younger children, visits from my own children, the visit from my brother and his kids, even the trip hubby and I took to Niagara Falls in 2019. All the good memories I have of those couple of years while mired in legal processes, are all related to feelings of Joy and sense of Play, with my family. I tried really hard to keep sane and to find some joy and peace in my life.

Research also shows that cultivating optimism, having a sense of purpose, and feeling hopeful have the opposite effect. When people learn how to skillfully process their stress and nurture joy, they experience an improvement in anxiety and many other symptoms.

I didn’t know what I was doing, by going out of my way to cultivate joy and a sense of play during that year, but I am glad I did it anyway. I just know that doing these things, made me feel good and I wanted to feel more of that, so I did it deliberately, every chance I got. There were many times I didn’t want to be around others, especially children, but I forced myself, as I knew it would do me good, and I was right. It was these little things that I did, that helped me stay sane.

The year from August 2019 till we left in Sept 2020, was the year of big change for me. I was becoming mentally stronger after all the therapy and reading I was doing since November 2018. I had a year of therapy under my belt by this time and I was aware of narcissism and was studying all the traits and starting to see it in their documents. I started slowly to ignore their nasty missives to me in email, as it was getting really out of hand with their false claims that I made up fake emails just to bug them over, bugging me for my internet history, and all the Form 10’s, 10 of them, that I got in during Sept & Oct, after we were notified of the hearing date. It was creating more mess than it already was, and I refused to engage with it if I didn’t have too. The ombudsman was also working with me at this point over getting these files done.

In August 2019, hubby and I came here to NL for a week’s vacation and it was then that the idea of relocating back here sooner came to mind. I always knew we would retire back here, it was always our plan, but I thought it was still a few years off. I just didn’t want to wait anymore. The peace I felt being here that week, stayed with me and I wanted that feeling, permanently.

That gave me a sense of purpose, planning our move back to NL, that took just over 3 months. It also gave me a sense of optimism, knowing I was soon going to be out of that environment and I was very hopeful for my future. Knowing I had a date for the end of HRTO, was beneficial for me during this time. That year, was the beginning of my healing from all this.

On August 19, 2019, I filed a complaint with the Ombudsman for Social Justice Tribunals of Ontario, email sent is below. While I as in NL, on August 22, 2019, I got the notification of the Summary Hearing from HRTO that was scheduled for that January 2020, by teleconference. My complaint to the Ombudsman office, did speed it up a bit after 6 months of nothing…. Thankfully!

Getting the email letting me know that a Hearing was scheduled, teleconference or not and still 5 months away, made my day, let alone my vacation! I was ecstatic to know the end was so closer than ever!

From: Stella Reddy
Sent: August 19, 2019 9:15 AM
To: SJTOcomplaints@ontario.ca
Subject: Re: HRTO FILE 2018-32808-I; 2018-32809-I; 2018-32810-I; 2018-32811-I

Good Morning,

My name is Stella Reddy and there are 2 file numbers above with my name as a respondent on applications that were filed June 4, 2018 by Kory & Allison Read. I received a Interim Decision March 8, 2019 notifying of a Summery/Preliminary hearing, which I have submitted my documentation for but no date has yet been set nor do I even know if this hearing is still taking place since the tenants moved out of the building on their own June 1, 2019. I need this all done and over with, as soon as possible. It is almost 6 months now since the Interim Decision was released and there has been nothing since.

A lot has happened since the tenants moved out on their own, and with the release of the judicial decisions from Divisional Court and the Interim Decision from this office, most of their supporters have deserted them. It is very peaceful in the apartment building now with them no longer living here spreading their verbal poison around about the property owners and myself. I have been able to live peacefully now and find I am ready to move on, but I cannot.

Since the Interim Decision March 8, 2019 there has been no submissions to HRTO as requested from the applicants either, other than more demands and accusations against myself. I haven’t received anything from the applicants concerning the hearing but the websites stellareddy.com and 859kennedyroad.com are still online. Imagine, they have a website made in my own name as retribution and part of their smear campaign against me and anyone with this case. I also still receive scattered emails from Kory Read, some totally blank and others with subject line of “your so pathetic” with more accusations in the body against me. I have also received emails from people looking to hire me based on that website, stellareddy.com, as they said it looks like I am looking for properties to manage, but I am not. The harassment still continues of myself.

I have not been able to receive any status update as no response has been given to my emails nor phone calls and the adjudicator I was talking to is now no longer responding either. It has been silent since March and it is becoming too much.

I sat down last year, after having my mental breakdown and going into psychosis for 2 days, and still completed my response to the best of my ability and have dealt with these applications against myself while going through severe depression, severe anxiety the past year over all this mess created by the applicants. I even tried committing suicide twice and yet I did my best to respond as needed for these applications, emotionally at times sure, but at least I tried. After many months of counselling and living a nightmare I am now ready to try and put it all behind me and forget about these tenants but I cannot with this still hanging over my head. I need to sever any and all connection to Kory & Allison Read for my mental health to survive and this is the last piece to finish. If I was able to do my part as required while under severe mental strain and stress from being bullied by these people for almost 2 yrs I am sure that someone there can take the time to finish these files so my stress at the time doing these responses and emails is not for nothing.

I am on vacation with my husband this Thursday Aug 22 to Monday Sept 2, and won’t be in Ontario but I will have my phone. Please, I need this finished as soon as possible. I know there was no racism, no discrimination against these applicants by myself at no time. The prior meeting they claim we had at some restaurant before I even moved in to work here, is a complete fabrication they built on out of spite for taking them to the LTB for a hearing over the consistent refusal of access. I was only doing my job. The owners were accused as they supported that action. Divisional Court state there was no racism and the Interim Decision also said there wasn’t any proof. They were evicted for persistent and consistent refusal of access to the apt. when requested.

As the applicants refused to follow procedures and submit documentation for the hearing and even ignored various new issues I raised in my response to their allegations and they admitted they were only addressing some aspects of my response, these applications should be dismissed and the applicants should be held liable for their defamation and slander of my character and for the bullying they have done to me. There is enough evidence of their own violations of others human rights in their statement of facts, including other documentation they submitted, and not just towards myself.

The applicants also submitted a application against my husband on May 13, 2019, a copy is attached, that he received by email from Kory Read that day and nothing has been received on this either since it was submitted and we would like to see this totally dismissed. I have to admit that some of the wording on this application is very troublesome to me and has played on my mind from time to time. It is the line with the 2 in front, “they are hoping Stella Reddy has a stroke or commits suicide so they can walk away from this mess”. Basically, Kory Read hopes I do these things so he can walk away from the mess he created with their false allegations. This application is a joke and should be treated as such as it belongs in the dark ages where expectations of controlling your women was normal, not anymore. Imagine, accusing my spouse of “not controlling me”. This application was totally vexatious and without merit but nothing has been received on this either.

This whole process has been terrible for my mental health and I need them to be resolved so I can go on with my life and try and put all this behind me but in order to do that I need your office to push to get this finished as soon as possible. I have been dealing with these allegations since Aug 2017 and it is way past time to move on. They are no longer here, their evictions was upheld and they vacated before the sheriff could come and I need to move on.

Thank you for your time,

Stella Reddy

It was the best decision I ever could have made for myself, leaving Ontario. I didn’t like that we left in a pandemic and as a result, I didn’t get to see a lot of people in person before we left. but my peace of mind of getting out of that property, was more important to me than getting a hug from someone. There are some I know I will never see in person ever again, but it is something I can live with, as the benefits to my life and mental health, was worth it. With the age of technology, I know we can still stay connected, and we have!  I am still here, enjoying my life and have peace of mind. Nothing is worth giving that up for anymore. Besides, they now have another place to stay if anyone wants to come visit!

These days, I don’t need to force myself, it has become natural for me to nurture a sense of play and joy. I changed my mindset.  “it is mindset of curiosity, deep gratitude, listening, anticipation, awareness, and improving your skills to calm your nervous system.”

I wanted to feel good, and get past my extreme fear so badly, I went out of my way to find the smallest thing to focus on that brought me good feelings. I was improving my skills to calm my nervous system. It was where I started the mindfulness, learning to focus on something and really see it. I remember many mornings sitting on the balcony, watching the sun come up and listening to the birds. I didn’t sleep much back then….Music was my balm, I would spend hours just focused on the words and music, not my thoughts in my head. So many little tricks that I used to help me stay here, in the present, I did.

I also started leaving the property more in 2019, after I returned from vacation, as I needed to start facing my fears of being recognized and attacked. I walked a lot, around the property and back and forth to stores in the area, especially Giant Tiger. It was just before the pandemic came that February and shut everything down, and I was once agains, stuck home. I remember joking to my hubby that I was just starting to feel comfy going out only to be forced to stay home again because of a virus! Even when things opened up a bit, it was me who got to go out in it. I remember so many mornings standing in line waiting to get into Metro to get groceries. I would leave my apartment in face mask, gloves, and even had a wipe in each hand, as I refused to touch anything with my bare hands…. I still went for walks too!!

What my hubby and I did to ensure our protection from this virus, paid off. Since February 2020, neither one of us has ever gotten it. I do have other family who have had it, a couple even more than once, but thankfully they are all okay. I don’t want that virus, even now, no matter how close to a cold it is these days! I haven’t been sick in over 3 years, not even a cold! Yes, that also makes me feel joy!

Read the article below and see if it can help you cultivate some sense of play and joy in your life. Living your life, no matter how mundane, with a sense of play rather than obligation, will help you immensely to feel safe and give you peace of mind.

Looking at my life as a gift, where I get to spend my days surrounded by such wonder of nature and beautiful people, where no matter how difficult things can get, I know I will not just survive, but thrive, has changed my life. I changed my mindset and though it took the better part of 4 years, I sit here today, in peace.

Every day, these good feelings grow stronger and is taking away my anger and pain over this situation and the nasty websites online. Writing it all out is also a catharsis for me, and I am very grateful I am able to do all I can for my own mental health. I refuse these days to allow another person to ruin my day and the good feelings I cultivate from it. I live for me, not for anyone else. 



A playful outlook is a powerful way of creating a physiologic state of safety


  • Connecting with your sense of play is one of the most powerful ways of shifting your physiology from threat to safety.
  • Everyone has some level of play in their life.
  • When suffering from chronic anxiety and other symptoms, play circuits are used less and don’t evolve. 
  • Nurturing play and joy is a skill that requires thoughtful repetition. These aren’t usually taught to us throughout our lifetime.

Play is not just a state of pleasure, it is a physiological state that reflects a sense of safety. You cannot play or feel playful if you are in a survival mode.

The essence of escaping from the grip of crippling anxiety is feeling safe. In this state your body is full of relaxing chemicals such as oxytocin (love/bonding), serotonin (antidepressant), GABA hormones (anti-anxiety), dopamine (reward), and small anti-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. Your metabolic rate (fuel consumption) also drops, which allows your energy reserves to be replenished. This scenario not only creates a deep sense of well-being but it is also healing.

The data documenting the devastating effects of chronic stress on your mental and physical health is extensive and deep. Prolonged exposure to the body’s neurochemical survival response predictably causes illness and disease and shortens life.1,2,3

Research also shows that cultivating optimism, having a sense of purpose, and feeling hopeful have the opposite effect. When people learn how to skillfully process their stress and nurture joy, they experience an improvement in anxiety and many other symptoms.4 In one study, participants visualized their best self for five minutes a day over a course of two weeks. They all noted significant improvements in anxiety.5

All mammals play as a part of their development. It is a multidimensional experience that processes many environmental cues and promotes reactions appropriate to the situation.

Play is a core step in how we developed language and consciousness. Even if they feel deeply buried or almost nonexistent, your play circuits are there, waiting to be accessed.6 Any skill that is not practiced will fade, but those neural circuits can be reawakened.

As you use the playful part of your brain more and spend less time feeling anxious, your brain’s structure and neurological activity physically change and grow. Conversely, when you experience chronic stress, your brain physically shrinks. Fortunately, as you heal and create more connections, it re-expands.7

Play is a mindset

A word of caution: I am not referring to play as a way to distract yourself from your suffering. You can’t outrun your mind. Rather, it is mindset of curiosity, deep gratitude, listening, anticipation, awareness, and improving your skills to calm your nervous system. Nothing initially has to change in your life. My work environment was unchanged. It was my attitude that changed. I chose different words every day to reflect a sense of play. The result was a sense of contentment and peace.

Remember, nurturing joy is a learned skill along with processing stress. You will eventually become an expert. At some tipping point, you’ll simply refuse to let people or situations ruin your day. You’ll also progress to being a source of peace and vitality. That is a long way from being trapped by anxiety and pain,

Recap: Moving forward

Play is one of the most effective ways to give your nervous system cues of safety. However, in the presence of relentless anxiety and pain, it probably seems impossible. You must simultaneously learn to de-energize anxiety and anger while nurturing safety.

Play to distract yourself from unpleasant feelings doesn’t work and is actually counterproductive. You cannot outrun your mind and your inflammatory markers go straight up. Conversely, living life with connection and purpose causes them to plummet.8

Choose play. Do it all day long every day and watch your life be transformed.


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