The Spirit of InterPlay Awards

November 7, 2011

Drumrollllllll please!!!!!

On November 5th, 2011, at a festive San Francisco Bay Area Million Connections Fun-Draising Brunch celebrating InterPlay Outreach, we presented our 2011 Spirit of InterPlay awards to filmmaker and activist Katrina Browne and St. Mary’s Center which serves low-income seniors in the East Bay. We honor those who are making a world of difference using creativity and body wise smarts for social change!

st marys

Katrina Browne, 1998 Bay Area Life Practice Program participant, brought InterPlay to Boston, co-taught a Life Practice Program group and offered workshops on racial dynamics at the First International InterPlay conference in Nashville.  Katrina just moved to Washington DC and hopes to InterPlay there soon!

Katrina is Producer/Director of Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, a documentary about her slave-trading ancestors, the hidden history of New England’s complicity in slavery, and questions of repair and reconciliation today. She met film co-director Juanita Browne in an InterPlay-inspired multicultural Women’s Performance Group.

Traces of the Trade premiered at Sundance in 2008, aired on PBS to reach over 1.5 million Americans, was nominated for an Emmy, and contributed to the Episcopal Church’s vote to atone for its role in slavery. Today, the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery creates heart-opening dialogue on issues of white privilege and the legacies of slavery.

Her award certificate read, “For your exceptional contribution to the world through your potent, creatively inspiring, and open-hearted film Traces of the Trade and your commitment to spreading its truth through unflagging outreach, education and relationship-building.”

Saint Mary’s Center and InterPlay Oakland have been friends for years. InterPlayers have engaged their board, staff, and community at many events. St. Mary’s believes in the arts, friendship, and people-led social change causing one InterPlaying social worker to say, “This is the first agency I’ve been in that was also a community!”

Thanks to a County of Alameda Mental Health Innovation Grant, three InterPlay leaders, Phil Porter, Coke Nakamoto and Connors McConville and St. Mary’s staff are offering low-income seniors activities in the winter shelter program and other settings.

We acknowledge Carol Johnson, executive Director for her wise, open-hearted, people friendly leadership over these years. The certificate presented to St. Mary’s read, “For providing heart-felt services to low-income seniors, families and pre-schoolers in the East Bay and for fully embracing the arts as a part of their ‘whole person’ approach to addressing the needs of their communities.”

Fundraising, grants, fees for Body Wisdom events help us strengthen connections among movements of people seeking the vision, energy and peace to get where they want to go in surprising, healing, creative. miraculous and world-changing ways.

Join us at an event or click here to play a part with your pocketbook.

Cynthia Winton-Henry
cynthia@interplay.org


Economics of Happiness = Localize Goods + Body + Spirit

August 1, 2011

InterPlay is a leader in the movement to enjoy life where we are, increase grace, connect with neighbors, and C E L E B R A T E creativity in all forms! Check out a new movie on changing our economy!

We appreciate your support for the 2011 group of 20 and 30 year old’s from around the world currently gathered in Oakland for Arts and Social Change: InterPlay for Next Gen Leaders. We are moving toward a future that embraces the body wisdom of the earth and one another in hopeful and inspired ways.

Want to know more about InterPlay’s approach to the Economics of Grace? Read this article by Phil Porter!

Find some InterPlay! If you can’t make it to a group, check out the Friday Virtual InterPlay Practice. Subscribe or unsubscribe anytime!


admitted we were powerless…

June 13, 2011

Ever been in utter overwhelm, down-on-your-knees-I-give-upness? You may have discovered that the first step is to admit it.

I am always glad when I get to that place. Why? Because spaciousness soon follows.

I don’t know about you but I find a lot of life overwhelming. National budgets for instance. The weather. My inherited privileged position. Parenting. Being parented. Cooking dinner. Insidious nonverbal messages which tell me to eat more, do more, buy more and to feel bad when I do. Crazy. Over the last few weeks I admitted it. “I am deeply disturbed.”

Yet, body wisdom has other advice. There is another way. Slow down, touch stillness, rest, and if  lucky get with people with arms wide open to mystery, people who sing or dance with abandon to remember who they really are, or at least readily admit they are not in charge. When this happens answers can arrive without force.

Can we do something like this on a wider collective level, welcome that spaciousness that begins with admitting and opening the body to something greater?

We need to allow room for it. It won’t come with a 5 year plan. Oddly, it comes most quickly when we “hook up” our strangely wonderful dance-song-spiritbody.

Yeah, this still surprises me, too. They get it in India. But, it’s a hard sell in a country founded by super serious guys who tried to talk, write, and decree everybody be free the same as them, with NO DANCE on Sundays.

The body knows best how to get to greater wisdom. That is why Phil and I cooked up the InterPlay Secrets of Effective Groups: “bodies, not machines.” When groups can shake out some rampant expectations, take some deep breaths around the fury of activity, learn what the body wants, and let it communicate– we see something new. Most of the time they don’t even have to dance to see it.

How do I know? I watch and listen to the body. People feel better. They start to like each other. In their powerlessness, space opens. They get some power back.

Phil and I will share the Secrets for Effective Groups in Oakland and also in Berkeley at the Pacific School or Religion this summer. When we are in your area we’d love to share them with your work or community.


Don’t tell Mom I’m just playing?

May 8, 2011

Don’t tell Mom that I’ve gone public with my testimony about her brave, beautiful journey of dancing with Alzheimer’s on my other blog, Mystic Tech. Here’s the link. I’m proud that InterPlay offers ways to uplift our community members who suffer with dementia, depression, and other d words. We’re more than a disease, we’re dancers.

Don’t tell Mom that little by little I’ve learned that I don’t have to work so hard. Mom works hard even with Alzheimer’s. Nap? Naaaaaa. Fortunately, she always told me to do what I love. Thanks Mom! I am working on it!

Don’t tell Mom that I broke the secret pact that gives her dibs on being the only good cook in our family. Turns out that I wrote a cookbook for the heart, What the Body Wants: InterPlay. It’s full of recipes for the secret sauce, chewy morsels, and creamy centers of life. O.K., it’s not an actual cookbook. I’ll never cook a meal like you, Mom.

Don’t tell Mom about the other Mother’s: Mother Earth, the Great Mother of us all, Mother Death, and the Mom in me. Tell her, though, that She Alone is mother of my dancing heart. I love you Mom.

I wish I could tell Mom

• that InterPlay got a $25,000 county grant for innovations in mental health to work with Homeless Seniors and how Phil is leading the team that is offering that program through 2012.

•  that I am off to England to lead the first Arts and Social Change: Secrets of InterPlay and that my sister and I get to visit her ancestor’s villages.

• about meeting and mentoring young artists from the US, Australia, India, South America, and Rwanda who are signing up for InterPlay’s Arts and Social Change Next Gen program

or that granddaughter #1 got her first paid gig as a makeup and hair artist, and that granddaughters #2 and #3 are equally gorgeous, smart and about to graduate from 9th and 12th grade.

Mom would probably nonchalantly say, “As long as you’re all happy,” cuz a good mom knows she did her job if her offspring find happiness.

I AM HAPPY with a plus sign. I AM AWAKE, ALIVE, LOVED and AN ARTIST, teaching others how to play, find ease, and create a good life. Thanks, Mom(s)!


8 secret powers useful when change is afoot (no pun intended)

February 28, 2011

Phil Porter, Cynthia Winton-Henry photo: Carly Rosin

Somewhere in the midst of improvising with body and soul, listening to life, and honing 26 core InterPlay practices Phil Porter performed 8 of our key tools as a set. We were in North Carolina at the beach. He got up in front of thirty folks and the 8 tools flew out in a fun, powerful, body intellectual lecture in Phil’s inimitable style! Today, wherever people lead the life practice program these 8 tools form the foundation, the bones of InterPlay. When change is afoot they help us navigate.

Noticing any changes in the world?

The 8 tools are part of a larger set of 26 core elements. When people think of InterPlay they often reference forms like sighing, shaking, Babbling, Hand-to-Hand Contact, the Warm-up, Walking, Stopping & Running, One-Hand Dances, Toning, and one breath songs. Yet, it’s the 8 tools that are the backbone organizing our beautiful, brainy beings to be able to amplify and enjoy embodied thought, movement, breath, voice, speech and connection. What are they?

The 8 INTERPLAY BODY WISDOM TOOLS ARE….

1) Easy Focus or… how to lighten a stifling, serious look on life.

2) Body Data, Body Knowledge, Body Wisdom or how to catch  on to what’s right under your nose.

3) Internal/External Authority or how to honor your knowing even when you can’t articulate it.

4) The Physicality of Grace, or how to become a grace operative, amplifying what brings healthy energy in a crazy world.

5) Exformation, or how to find and let loose the wisdom inside you in creative, easy, and mind-blowing ways.

6) Incrementality or how to be an overnight success by being in your body, taking a step at a time, and celebrating more.

7) Body Wisdom Practices (aka Spiritual Disciplines), or how to use fun, ingenious practices to have more of what you want.

8) Affirmation. Affirmation. Affirmation or, how affirming others makes a world of difference.

On the printed page these 8 tools are just words. It’s when you actually play with them on a body level that they make sense. Would you be shocked that this is the stuff that 1000 graduates have found encouraging, helpful, and life changing?! Nothing replaces doing InterPlay and joining the real web for which your body was designed.

If you are curious to know more about the 8 tools, leave a comment and we’ll send you a free pdf of Phil’s book, Having It All: Body Mind Heart and Spirit Together Again At Last.

Readers say: “Master-teachers Porter and Winton-Henry have discovered a new way of “being” in the world. This book is foundational in an understanding of the philosophy which they both teach and live. I recommend it to anyone seeking greater integration and wholeness in their lives.”

“Phil outlines exactly what it takes to “heal the split” between body, mind and spirit. I have followed these suggestions, and they really work. For those of you who are looking for ways to improve and/or heal your connection with yourself and others, this is truly a winning way to go.”

Or, better yet, get thee to a Life Practice Program, now in its 17th year. If you did it ages ago, come again. Long time InterPlayers revel in the new developments and the price break. In the next few months the Secrets of InterPlay and the Life Practice Program will come to MN, Kansas, the UK in May, and to Oakland for Next Gen Leaders 18-30. The secrets are out! Come play. Change is afoot.


How big these hearts

December 13, 2010

We have big hearts. Big enough to reach around the world. So big we rarely give up on love. So big that sometimes sky and earth are not big enough.

Kate Amoss turned me onto The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit by Joseph Chilton Pearce. This 85 year-old elder shines light on neurocardiology and foresees a new brain that will make us more heart intelligent. The heart is smart- we have brain cells in our hearts! AND, Chilton Pearce hallmarks play as key to this evolutionary path.

Celebrating on the beachIn the center of the spiral is the heart. Our heart is in our hand. Hands speak for the heart.

Connections between us transcend theory. We engage electromagnetic currents that we sense most easily in the three feet of space around our body. But our hearts bridge greater distance, time, even life itself. Something about InterPlay enables us to open our heart a little more and consent to play. Is this why InterPlay is an international movement? Because love is happening, and if not love, some weird, delightful electromagnetic affection?

Evidence of hearts at work in the coming month include:
Masankho Banda, InterPlay ambassador, reunites with Shiphiwe, his love from 23 years ago in Malawi at Christmas.
The heart of Nika Quirk, InterPlay board president, travels to the UK to lead with support from Caroline Kiesel (Minnesota) and friends in the British Isles.
InterPlay India’s heart called Harriet Platts (Seattle), Sally Craig (DC), George Muedeking (Albuquerque), Peter and Jenny Batten (Melbourne), Trish Watts, (Sydney) Tony Hole (Adelaide) and Stephen and Cynthia (Oakland), to join Prashant Olalekar, Hazel Fernandez, and Jaime and Ligia in Mumbai, S. Gudjarat, Delhi, and Varanasi. Trish has been there six weeks coaching and playing with India leaders.
Phil and CathyAnn Beaty travel to Australia to deepen those reciprocal connections formed over twenty years.
Nadia Thalji from Brazil travels to the US for training. Her heart moved the first time she InterPlayed. This blend of creativity, community, and wisdom is her path.

I’ve barely started. It’s best not to think too much about zillions of connections and the wild ways of the heart. We can count some, but the truth is—-they workFingers in front of clouds by math we cannot calculate. In fact, someone discovered there are 50 trillion cells in the average human body. Multiply that by 6 billion people on Earth and you get about 300 sextillion cells which is also the number of stars believed to be in the universe. Unfathomable, but not to the heart.


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