Improvisation is a Divine Love Thing

July 25, 2011

I spent the weekend in New Mexico with Richard Rohr and Cynthia Bourgeault learning about soul-stirring, heart opening, divine love in real people. How we find the real deal.

In ancient practice three actions lead to Great Love. 1) Let go. 2) Deeply welcome life. 3) In singular fullness, unite with self, other, all.

It hit me. Improvisation is the discipline of letting go. And, it’s hardest when we’re scared, stressed, or upset. In other words, most of the time.

But an improviser loves to play with life and ride it into the big “YES!”  An improviser will gladly flop if the payoff leads to making love with creation. This is why InterPlay is my playground, discipline, and where I feast on love for life.

Clinging is the opposite of letting go.  I need both dynamics to be human, but to get to Love, InterPlay sets up practices that build confidence in the flow of our own voice, moves, stories, connection, and self understanding. Incrementality!

Adult play gives us a “safe enough” place to follow and go with the materials of experience until we can do it for longer periods with all we encounter, even death. We discover we are alive, powerful, and that we are having fun!

In community we get strong enough to merge with a greater field that helps our social body heal from the bumps of daily life. What does this look like? A dance. A song. Drumming. A community sharing the quiet. When we point toward Something Bigger we touch ecstasy. Peace, joy, hope, laughter, tears return.

What is your discipline for letting go? Do you practice as a mover, a teller, a person with voice, breath and stillness?  Is it fun?

What if peace-making required more lovers and fewer problem solvers? Would you know how to play into love?

Are you ready for the disciplines of this strange age: learning to improvise and love? Come InterPlay! Maybe you are called to come learn lead it!

Advertisements

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.


Mission to Earth! Subvert the Deadly Play Taboo

January 31, 2011

Hazel from Mumbai, InterPlay leader extraordinaire

The Huffington Post surveys the American play taboo in The Key to Happiness: A Taboo for Adults? From my travels, I worry that the taboo extends beyond the U.S. People all over forget to play. On the bright side, Crazy people all over the world are signing up for some InterPlay.

“The whole culture is suffering from overconscious intentionality, overseriousness, overemphasis on productivity and work. We’ve forgotten that the whole picture requires a dance between leisure and work,” says psychologist and cultural explorer, Bradford Keeney.

Yikes. Read the article. Be glad and be proud if you play and encourage others to do so.
Play is the ground of spirituality, compassion, love and health.
Speak up for play and mention InterPlay tools.

The article’s author, Joe Robinson, says, “There is no quicker transport to the experiential realm and full engagement than through play, which brings together all the elements you want for the optimal moment.
Play is 100-percent experience.
It’s done for the intrinsic pleasure, for the participation.
With no judgment or outcomes needed, play grounds you in the now.”
InterPlay rocks because it invites spontaneity through small exercises that build confidence while genuinely affirming this whole crazy human affair. Participants can even forget that play is purposeless. Why? They feel better, find playmates, and get valuable insights. Play is sneaky deep!

Come out of the closet! Undo the taboo in your oooo and wahoo. Put the play back in life! Your soul will thank you.


Sean Leaves a Trace of Whimsey

March 1, 2010

Sean has a story, love and wisdom to share. Below is the beginning and the end of an entry in Sean’s blog. But its what’s in the middle that sings of a body’s deep demanding work. Read this story and you’ll know what I mean. Thanks Sean for dancing, playing, and opening your life to so much love!  May it return to you a thousand fold and also to all of us.

Cynthia

Leaving a Trace of Whimsy

So, I’ve chosen to do something that is intentionally and completely just for me… I am enrolled in the Interplay Life Practice Program this spring.  It’s something that I think would surprise people who don’t know me well or who only see the public persona of “minister.”

Interplay touches some very important parts of my life and passion. I identified as a dancer before anything else I can remember.  I started dance classes when I was just about four years old and immediately fell in love with ballet.  Dance class was a place where I was allowed to be strong, beautiful, graceful, committed, disciplined, and it was all suffused with joy.  Flying through the air in a tour-jete or leaping in a grand jete was like flying under my own power.

Sean’s story

The ending:
I am now a dancer again.  A dancer and singer and storyteller and PLAYer.  And my body had a pretty wonderful secret to tell me, “The joy wasn’t buried very far under the surface.  It’s right there. You can have it again.” And I do.  As weird as I know I must look-an overweight, forty-four year old guy spinning and swinging and playing-I have my joy back.  I don’t care how it looks. A part of me has come home.  Laugh if you want-I am.  Laughing and laughing at this absurd little dance that is my sweet, sweet life.


%d bloggers like this: