Be each other’s healthcare

December 21, 2009

Play like you mean it! Life depends on it.

On Friday, twenty of us set a rhythm with feet, one step right and one step left. Over the beat, we spoke desires and concerns. That’s when Nika said, “Be each other’s health care.” What a beacon in the midst of US health care wars and the Copenhagen Climate Summit.

As an artist, family member, and teacher, I’m dedicated to health in body and soul. Meanwhile, my husband’s outpatient surgery, Mom’s Alzheimer’s, my athletic dad’s pacemaker, my siblings tussles with stress from success at work, and my communities’ big waves of disease and depression, I know I am one of the lucky ones. I have health care.

“Be each other’s health care.”

You are my body. Frank Forenich states in “No Body is an Island”, our health is profoundly extrasomatic or beyond the body… Emotions are not just experienced by individuals, but shared, unconsciously and unintentionally, across social groups… and so-called “non-communicable” or “lifestyle” diseases may in fact be “spread” through social networks, influence and mimicked behavior. To say that heart disease, diabetes and obesity are matters of “lifestyle” misses the point because lifestyle itself is highly contagious. An enormous percentage of our health and disease is “catching,” one way or the other.”

InterPlay and Body Wisdom, Inc. arose because Phil and I realized that modern thought, language and practice dismiss the creative, curative power of total physicality. Treating the body as an abstract problem to fix reduces health, joy, ideas, and love in individuals and groups. Nations? Yes. When the poor are ill, I am ill. When a prisoner is tortured, it comes back. When I treat earth as abstract, I become abstract. Connectedness is a fact. Our health depends on each other.

So here’s a little Rx for being each other’s health care:

Look for good: Something good crosses your path? Savor and pass it on like multivitamin.

Affirm. Praise others randomly, especially at home. Humans expect chaos. Random praise disrupts theories of suffering and reminds us of life’s benevolence.

Play like you mean it: Step over speed bumps of self-consciousness. “Out” your playfulness once a day. music, dance, word, food, doodle, silence, sport, games, make faces, wear costumes.. Embodying permission to play encourages the play genes elsewhere.

Forgive like a 7 year old: Dogs do it, so do second graders. Relax complaint. Get over “shoulda’s.” Move on. When someone can’t play nice, let them be.

Bring soup, hold hands: When things get real bad, showing up for 5 minutes or more if needed counts.

Hard to get over speed bumps, reactivate play, affirm body wisdom, or show up to beauty and health? Maybe, you are trying to do it alone. Don’t!

Check yourself into an InterPlay life practice program: multiple sessions in friendly groups with great leaders. Life changing, world changing health connections!

“…civilized human beings are alarmingly ignorant of the fact that they are continuous with their natural surroundings. It is as necessary to have air, water, plants, insects, birds, fish and mammals as it is to have brains, hearts, lungs and stomachs. The former are our external organs in the same way the latter are our internal organs.” Alan Watts -Does it Matter


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