Sunday, April 26, 2015

ME BEING ME: Thank you everyone at the InterPlay Asheville Untensive!

INTERPLAY ASHEVILLE SPRING UNTENSIVE 2015. (photos by Ruth Schowalter)
Hallelujah for INTERPLAY and its principles and forms that allow ME-to-BE-ME during the process of play in community!
Journey to Asheville, NC, from Atlanta

Last weekend on a rainy Friday afternoon (April 17, 2015), my Chiboogamoo and I drove 210 miles from our home in Decatur, Georgia, to the quaint town of Asheville nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, so that I could attend the third annual collaborative untensive hosted by InterPlay Asheville's leaders. After attending InterPlay Asheville's second annual collaborative last year (see this blog entry:Asking youself what you need and doing that: Untensive InterPlay Asheville), I knew I was in for a meaningful week of playful transformation.

As a person who dove headfirst into InterPlay upon finding it in February 2013, I am now a certified InterPlay leader, and this Asheville InterPlay "Untensive" is my fourth weekend long InterPlay event. I LOVE THE MAGIC THAT HAPPENS throughout the accumulative hours of Friday evening (7:00 to 9:00), Saturday (9:00 to 9:00), and Sunday (9:30 to 1:00)! 
We had a beautiful and spacious place to play in!
Of course the MAGIC THAT HAPPENS in InterPlay is experiential and eludes crystalized explanation. To truly understand InterPlay, dear reader, you must DO InterPlay! However, I will share with you the highlights of my PLAY with the Asheville InterPlayers!


Friday Night
Greeting community--How wonderful to become acquainted with a body of InterPlayers over time through weekend Untensives. Seeing familiar faces as everyone assembled was exciting and heartwarming despite the cool rainy spring evening. 

Warm Up--Reconnecting with one another through introductions and movement magically brought together and created the new "group body" or community of InterPlayers for the weekend.

Deep Play--Going into the last hour of evening, we went deep into play with an activity crafted by two Asheville InterPlayers using InterPlay principles and forms of "dancing on behalf of," "being witnessed," "noticing," and "movement patterns". The beauty of InterPlay? Even first time InterPlayers can go into deep play without knowing the depth to which they are playing! That is "sneaky deep"! InterPlay always invites each and everyone of us to be true to ourselves. Listening to our bodyspirit and doing what we need and want to do.

Face and Hand Dance--The creative assembling of InterPlay forms by certified InterPlay leaders is a joy not only to witness but also to engage in. While I truly appreciated all of the offerings of the weekend, my favorite Saturday activity was a sequence developed by Duke Ramuten using "following and leading" with a special emphasis on engaging our faces and hands. His incremental steps wound us through group play several times, solo face dancing, paired leading and following, and groups of eight with four InterPlayers following and leading with four witnesses. WOW! I can't remember the last time that I laughed so hard! I discovered new face making possibilities in myself and a way of playing intensely with my partner(s). I'm still in awe of what took place!
Lunch time is a time for sharing information.

Food--Thanks again to the hospitality of the InterPlay Asheville folks for providing such an abundant table laden with snacks and lunch for all of us. Out-of-towners like me were hosted and deeply appreciate that nuturance. 

Performance Jam--Such a delight is the InterPlay Performance Jam! The offerings of more than 30 InterPlayers plus some spouses who attended, was entertaining. The movement, singing, music, and play that occur during one of these evenings never fails to surprise and move me. One wonderful moment was when Melissa's husband, who was not attending the Untensive, stood up and sang an improvised birthday song for her to celebrate her 60th birthday.
During the Friday night performance jam, we celebrated the Asheville InterPlay Leaders who had made the third annual collaborative possible.
The Power of Storytelling--Incremental steps, one of the InterPlay principles, are profoundly powerful. On Sunday morning, we were taken step by step into telling our stories, slowly engaging our entire bodies, culminating in a DT3 (code for dance-talk three times). We were witnessed, witnessed, witnessed. We leaned into ourselves and "had the experience." We "noticed."  
MY DT3 GROUP. We shared meaningful stories and noticings.
What a warm welcoming experience of BEING. The more I am giving permission to own my own experiences, to be in my body, to play and try new ways of BEING on, the more alive I become. For me, these experiences are the LIFE I have been seeking.

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me when you feel most yourself. When do you proclaim "I am me being me"?

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