Tag-Archive for ◊ play ◊

Winter Solstice InterPlay Reflection by Patricia Doheny

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• Monday, December 31st, 2012

I run around getting rugs from the cleaners, vacuuming, getting last minute gifts for my sister and others. I make sure to have energy for the solstice celebration at Queen Anne Christian church with Krista. When I enter, the room is dimly lit, the small stage to the left edged with boughs and white lights as are the balconies to my right.

The Solstice InterPlay has already started, an enveloping music with a moderate pulse filling the room as people walk creatively, greeting each other with smiles and big hugs. I am grateful to slide off my shoes feeling the angst of the day drain away as I do. When I join the group, it is enough to feel the generous spirits of those I meet for my heart to open.

Krista is grounded as she leads us in WSR, singing phrases, babbling and dances on behalf of our partners. I feel safe with this kind of leadership and become more grounded myself, more willing to risk being who I am, not who I think others might expect me to be.

Somewhere in here, Krista mentions how life and death are part of nature’s cycle of life and that the solstice celebrates the part of the cycle where the night begins to lessen, and the light of day increase.
We do a singing spiral dance that ends up with singing some words of love while facing the passing circle of people. The room seems filled with a grounded joy as I looked at those lovely faces opposite me.

At some point, we dance a dance on behalf of our partner. I share my concern with my partner, and her dance is full of answers for me. Take time, all the time I need to discern, attend the concern, hold it gently, then let it go, let it go. These answers are just what I needed to hear and warmth spreads across my chest. Ah, the physicality of grace.

Krista and the Solstice IP grounds me, helping me hold the still center and reminds me how being part of a community means being with those who are part of it, during good times and bad times, in sickness and in health.

Confessions of a Recovering Serious Person

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• Friday, September 02nd, 2011

Lindsey Gregerson, a participant in the InterPlay Next Gen Leaders: Art for Social Change program from the Seattle area wrote this article about her experience this summer in Oakland.

Recovering Serious Person

“To stress and seriousness I say WHEEEEEE! As a recovering serious person, I have known and practiced good self-care. You almost have to in order to survive your serious life. I love a good bubble bath, supportive conversations, some yoga and meditation.  It’s all good stuff, but for me these things are mostly just antidotes for the underlying problem – too much seriousness and an overactive focuser.

And then I discovered the InterPlay cure – a playful way of life. InterPlay has a way of helping you tap into your creative playful spirit, shed old body grooves (ways of being), and connect with others in new and different ways using movement, storytelling, voice, contact, and stillness. This powerful cure is leading me to less agenda and more freedom to be with the beauty of the moment.

This was all a recent discovery for me while spending two incredible weeks with young artists and activists learning about InterPlay in the context of a larger discussion around using art for social change.  This program was called Next Gen Leaders: Art for Social Change, led by InterPlay co-founders Cynthia Winton-Henry and Phil Porter, and the vibrant young InterPlay leader Amy Shoemaker.

When you are serious a lot of the time, you tend to take yourself a little too seriously.  And don’t get me wrong, there are things in this world worth taking seriously that need our full attention and loads of collective energy; but my chronic seriousness and perpetual abundant work load is not just about transforming the world for good. For me it is also about trying to create a life of certainty and predictability and finding too much of my value in my achievements. With enough planning, careful calculation, and hard work, life will go as planned, right…?

And then I met improvisation. Spontaneous expression is part enthralling, part terrifying. It makes me feel vulnerable, but teaches me to trust and appreciate myself and whatever comes out. InterPlay provides a safe space just to try some stuff with no guarantees of it being any good, but without any value system by which to judge it. It gives me the courage to be imperfect and just to be who I am. To play, dance, sing, talk and create in the presence of a witness or a group of witnesses doesn’t have to be frightening. For it is openness to vulnerability that births the beauty of love, belonging, creativity, joy, and deep relationship. And to feel vulnerable means that I am alive.”

Gifts of the Life Practice Program

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• Saturday, August 20th, 2011

A recent Life Practice Program graduate, Beth Sarver, wrote these comments about her experience of participating in the Life Practice Program in Seattle.

The Interplay Life Practice Program came into my life at the most perfect time. The forms and methods that I learned have expanded my work, my mothering skills and most awesomely I have experienced a cosmic shift in my spiritual life. I have always been a storyteller, performer, dancer, singer and creative person… but now I have experienced the potency of prayers lifted through dance and the power of laughing til I cry and wailing until I sigh and say “Wheeeee!” I have had a lot of dynamic learning experiences in my life, but none would compare with the richness that has come into every facet of my life after completing this program. I am humbled by the life changing power of play. I am transformed by the empowering surge of energy that exforms through movement and stillness, story and song. This training catalyzed my heart, mind, body and spirit. I look forward to the Leadership program and continuing to grow the interplay modalities on behalf of folks with disabilities and youth in crisis.

The Gift of Ecstatic Following

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• Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

My four “20 something” children suggested that we needed some new holiday traditions that involved more than opening presents on Christmas morning. The gift that they decided to give each other was “ecstatic following”. Each person in our family came up with an idea for a family activity on Christmas weekend. The gift from everyone else was to show up, be present, and participate without complaining.

This was not as easy as it might seem! Ice skating for the first time in 35 years (and I was lousy at it then) was a bit of a challenge for me. Then there was the cookie baking and decorating.  Nothing makes me swear faster than a rolling pin with dough stuck to it!  And my son had never attempted to decorate anything with frosting in his life.  It was also a dangerous activity after taking twenty years olds to the Picasso exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. Those Picasso inspired Gingerbread men had uniquely placed anatomically correct parts! Laughter ensued…and their father decided that some of the Gingerbread men needed another layer of clothing before delivering them for Christmas gifts.

The weekend turned into a very memorable time.  Our whole family found ways to interact and enjoy each other. Occassionally I had to remind them and myself that the gift we  were giving each other was “ecstatic following”. It was just the right reminder to support us to show up for activities when they weren’t our  first choice.   I wish I had known about InterPlay’s ideas of “following and leading” when they were younger. What a miraculous and delightful gift!

Ecstatic Following!!!!

Life changing!

• Friday, May 28th, 2010

I had finished a Master’s degree in Transforming Spirituality and was panicked about returning to the “world.” I kept getting messages from a range of sources that I needed to try InterPlay. Those message-givers knew what my soul needed – a place to play in a community of wonderful people who were willing to risk to improvise with abandon. I often say that InterPlay “saved my life”. I suppose that is almost too grand a statement. I do know that InterPlay has added a level of delight to my life that I never imagined and has placed me in a community of amazing people in the greater Seattle area. I recommend InterPlay to anyone who is willing to listen – people at exercise, people in the grocery store, and even people next to me on the plane. It has taken me to deep places, to life-filled places, to joy-filled places. Doing InterPlay as a life practice will change your life.

Carol Scott-Kassner