Friday, February 20, 2015

SAVORING THE MOVEABLE FEAST OF LIFE: Learning to "eat" the experience through dance

SAVORING THE MOVEABLE FEAST OF LIFE. Having the experience. (image (c) Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for the MOVEABLE FEASTS of life! Hallelujah for savoring it all! Hallelujah for the challenge and opportunity to EAT THE EXPERIENCE!

As many of my readers know, I am finding a way to savor my life through InterPlay. Currently, I am going deeper into the MOVEAVABLE FEAST of my life by participating in InterPlay co-founder Cynthia Winton-Henry's Monday night online dance class, "Dancing the Ruby Way." 

On one of the first Monday nights in February 2015, Cynthia encouraged us as we danced, to "eat the experience." This invitation to "have" MY experience and to eat it, challenged and engaged me. I'm still "playing" with the idea both in my body and visualizations to see what it would feel and look like to "eat" my moveable feast, my dance, my body engaged in the dance.

Cynthia writes in her book,

  “Your dance grows from following YOUR energy, YOUR individual curiosity about experience, and YOUR intentions. Your body has it owns agenda, its own vocabulary, and its own necessary the way YOU dance."

The other morning, I awoke with images of growth connected to the idea of rest, which led me to think about sustainability of myself and the larger picture of the EARTH's sustainability. I felt that my ability to  "have" the experience of life's moveable feast is somehow connected to my being rested and open to these energies of my spirit and those spirits or energies outside of my spirit. 

If I am to help sustain the EARTH, which is in crisis, I must first learn how to sustain myself.  We are all learning how to be better caretakers of ourselves, to get enough sleep, find grace and gracemakers, play, and engage meaningfully with others and in our work.

I'm excited about finding self sustainability through the DANCE and creating visual images. What an awesome invitation to "eat" of my life and to engage in the sensations and information my  body offers me. What about you?
MYSTERY OF THE FEAST. (image (c) Hallelujah Truth
That's Coffee with Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me and share your MOVEABLE FEASTS of life with me. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

UNLOCKING AND EMBODYING JOY: savoring grace, making things, and having fun

UNLOCKING AND EMBODYING JOY. I am deep in my spiritual journey and yet I feel so new and renewed. What does it mean to unlock and embody joy? How does one savor grace? How does the making of things connect me to the Mystery I seek? And really? Can having fun bring me in closer connection with the Unknown? (Art (c) by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for LOVE! Hallelujah for the LOVE that expands you, gives you breadth and depth, and engages you in NEW WAYS OF BEING--like unlocking and embodying joy!

Hallelujah for Cynthia Winton-Henry, who I LOVE for her body wisdom garnered and distilled through decades of experience and shared in her book, Dance the Sacred Art: The Joy of Movement as a Spiritual Practice and her Monday "virtual" sacred dance classes, "Dancing the Ruby Way."
Cynthia Winton-Henry, online Dancing the Ruby Way

As a newly minted InterPlay Leader still waiting for the stamp of certification from my InterPlay mentor, Phil Porter (who is brilliant in his own right and co-founder of InterPlay with Cynthia Winton-Henry), I am a busy woman intently distilling and making my own meaning of my InterPlay education and training as I teach my first InterPlay series, InterPlay Alchemy.

Can you imagine me facilitating others in savoring grace, making things, and having fun? These are the three keys that Cynthia leads readers through in the chapter, "Unlocking the Dance of Joy," and that she shared in a Monday night's (February 16, 2015) online "Dancing the Ruby Way" class.

Well dear readers as the saying goes, "The best way to learn is to teach," and I know that Cynthia doesn't mind the sharing of her ideas and practice! Thank you Cynthia!

It is a deeply profound and joyful experience me for me to be embodying these ideas about unlocking and embodying joy in this way:

Step 1: Read Cynthia's sacred dance book.
Step 2: Then participate in 60 minutes of online sacred dance with her and other people from around the United States and the world (one from Australia and another from India). 

Cynthia is skilled at the modern technologies of inviting class participants on and off the screen to greet one another, dance, and notice while muting and unmuting the class as necessary or inviting communications through the instant messaging function. Who would have thought that ancient wisdom and something as vital as a spiritual practice could be transmitted through the softly lit screen of a computer and a dancing mystic in California?

Step 3: During the "Dancing the Ruby Way" class, in addition to participating in the dance and discussion, I take notes and skim pages of the "Dance the Sacred Art." 
Step 4:Then the next morning, I synthesize my class notes and passages from Cynthia's book--ta dah...MAGIC! I have an outline for one of my InterPlay Alchemy play sessions.
Step 5: Embellish the magical outline with other InterPlay forms like babbling, one-breath songs, and DT3's and find the music I want to use. 
INTERPLAY ALCHEMY PLAYSHOP. Cold temperatures and icy conditions kept many of our InterPlay Alchemy participants from joining us this morning as we played around with savoring grace, finding humor, and making things through using our voices, telling stories and creating dances.  (photo by Ruth Schowalter)

In this way, I am getting newly reacquainted with myself. I am finding my FLOW through finding MY dance. By moving in community with others, being witnessed and witnessing, I am beginning to unlock and embody joy. 

In this image that I created, I am expressing how my body feels as I breathe in and out (BIBO). I am both daughter and mother, leader and follower, dancer and that being danced. Ahhhhhh....

I will conclude this blog post with something I jotted down as Cynthia spoke during one of the "Dancing the Ruby Way" classes: 

Welcome the wisdom of the body and its energy systems.  It’s amazingly easy in our world to forget how much grace is in our body. Savor this grace, this complex quilt of our layered experience—joy, spaciousness, and ease.

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me about your way of being in this world. Where do you find grace, make things, and have fun? I want to know.

There is so much more to say about this topic of unlocking the dance of joy in your body. I recommend getting Cynthia's sacred dance book and joining us with Cynthia online for Monday nights at 8:00pm (EST) for "Dancing the Ruby Way." Experiencing movement with the co-founder of InterPlay is something you might really LOVE. What an invitation: to dance the way YOU dance!

Monday, February 16, 2015

THE LOVE DANCE: InterPlay Valentine's Day Meaningful Fun for Chiboogamoo and Me!

THE LOVE DANCE WITH MY VALENTINE! (all photos by InterPlayer Francine)
Hallelujah for LOVE! Hallelujah for the DANCE! Hallelujah for celebrating Valentine's Day with my SWEETHEART at InterPlay Atlanta's Second Saturday in February through dance!

Although my Chiboogamoo (aka my husband, Tony Martin) and I have been InterPlaying together for almost two years, we rarely "play" with each other during our Second Saturdays. Atlanta's InterPlay community is large enough that we pair or group up with others to get to know them better. So Valentine's Day 2015 was special for us!

By chance, we paired up for a dance to Italian opera music not even knowing that it would be a nice long leisurely one. One that would allow us to linger, explore, and play!
PAIRED TO DANCE BY CHANCE. "Lovers don't meet somewhere. They're in each other all along." -Rumi
Given a vast array of directions to choose from including--swirl, leap, lead, follow, blend, come together, move apart, etc--we shared profoundly fun and loving moments together on this Valentine's Day.   

As you will see, I leave Rumi, the 13th-century poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic to narrate the rest of this blog entry.

"What you seek is seeking you." -Rumi
Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." -Rumi
"Whatever you are." -Rumi
"A heart filled with love is like a phoenix that no cage can imprison." -Rumi
"Imagination has never imagined what you give to me." -Rumi
"Love is the way messengers from the mystery tell us things." -Rumi
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me about your LOVE, your LOVE DANCE and your VALENTINE'S DAY.

Thanks to Jennifer Denning for making this Valentine's Day special with her "babble" topics and Italian opera dancing music. And great appreciation to InterPlayer Francine, who surprised me by taking about 30 photos of Chiboogamoo and me, from which I wisely chose only a handful to share with you dear readers. I will definitely ask Francine to take photos again.

Friday, February 13, 2015


FIRE IN THE HOWL. (image (c) by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for being a SPIRITUAL ART PILGRIM! Hallelujah for discovering the MEANING of BEING through my image making and playfulness.

Did you know that I am a recovering serious person!

Well, I am. And my story goes like this:

Once upon a time, I did not play. Instead, I read books and ate pixie sticks. I dreamed of being somewhere else, being someone else, and being in a different era. Yes, I possessed a lot of ideas about the way that LIFE SHOULD BE. And in that process I did not have fun.

Oh NO! I existed in the realm of HOW THINGS SHOULD BE. And be afraid! Very afraid! I had those ideas about YOU too!


Well just fill in the blank after MORE___________. MORE EVERYTHING.

These days, I have had my HOWs and HOWLs....and I am enjoying the range of 1 to 10 or maybe even 1 to 100 of HOWL-a-lu-jahs too! A Howl-a-lu-jah that embodies the HOW and HOWL and ignites into celebration!

To make these images, I am drawing on bristol board (14" x 17") in pencil, followed by micron pens, then scanned, and colored in Photoshop. Patiently, I am making each one in incremental steps.

I want to draw an image of SAVORing  the EXPERIENCE, the BEING. I want to release the HOWL. Be the HOWL-a-lu-jah and know HOW to get to the FUN, the PLAY, the BEING, the SAVORING. Then push the REPEAT BUTTON.
ON FIRE WITH THE HOWL. A way to be, a way to see, a to move!
That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me. HOWL! HOWLALUJAH!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


HONORING THE HOW IN THE HOWL. (image (c) Hallelujah Truth)

Hallelujah the HOW in the HOWL! Hallelujah the HOWL in the HOWL-A-LUJAH!

Dear fellow sojourners, I began drawing this image today to "have" the HOWL for myself, Hallelujah Truth (See my other blogs about the howl, herehere, here, here, and here).

I wanted to own the HOWL of BEING HERE NOW. 

I planned on HOWLING out my fear about the unknown. 

I intended to HOWL my belly free of any accumulated doubts. 

I entertained the idea of HOWLING a celebratory "yip yip yip i yay" to acknowledge my recent accomplishments surrounding InterPlay.

Then I envisioned my next drawing would expand the HOWL to a HOWL-a-LUJAH....

Ha Ha Ha

Today's image stopped with HOW...not even a question mark....


Today, I am reminded of the preciousness of incremental steps. So I am pausing to consider my options emerging from this image of Hallelujah Truth asking the HOW

For now, honoring the HOW of what I am doing is enough. What a great big wonderful juicy question!

That's Coffee With Hallelujah. You are invited to SOUL BLOG with me and share you HOWs, HOWLs, and HOWL-A-LUJAHs!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


INTERPLAY ALCHEMY PLAYSHOP. Introducing the InterPlay Alchemy playgroup at the conclusion of our second meeting on February 10th, 2015 minus one member who is traveling today. (photo by Ruth Schowalter, aka Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for Cynthia Winton-Henry and Phil Porter, the founders of InterPlay! Hallelujah for this amazing improvisational system of InterPlay that informs my LIFE.  And Hallelujah for the amazing people in the metro-Atlanta area that have come together to play in my first InterPlay offerings here in Decatur, Georgia!

How thrilling it is to walk through the doors at the Decatur First Christian Church and see my playshop on its modest signpost announcing InterPlay! Finding an available spacious sunny room in this church that embraces my city of Decatur from atop a grassy hill across the street from the post office is a dream come true for me. I can reach this civic-minded church by foot from my home within a 10-minute stroll. 

To make it even better, the church secretary, Sherry Davis, and the senior pastor, Rev. Dr. James L. Brewer-Calvert, are such warm, welcoming people and have greeted our InterPlay group with smiles and curiosity. We are so lucky!

And me? I am having a grand time with the 12 participants who so willingly signed on to meet with me for 8 consecutive Tuesdays for two hours to explore what I meant by the course title, "InterPlay Alchemy: The Creative Magic of the Embodied Soul."

To be honest, I am studying like a college student. I have been reading and rereading InterPlay history, techniques, and philosophies across InterPlay texts! Phil and Cynthia have done such a thorough job of writing their ideas down, and it helps to have it expressed in different ways in their varied offerings:

What the Body Wants 

The Wisdom of the Body: The InterPlay Philosophy and Technique

Dance: The Sacred Art: The Joy of Movement as a Spiritual Practice

Having it All: Body Mind, Heart & Spirit Together Again at Last

The Slightly Mad Rantings of a Body Intellectual Part One

Who wouldn't like to devour thoughts like these that are so inviting and accepting of the individual?: 

“Your dance grows from following your energy, your individual curiosity about experience, and your intentions. Your body has it owns agenda, its own vocabulary, and its own necessary communications.”

...”dance the way you dance.” 

“If you want more connection with mystery, intuition, and surprise, it is your wandering, dreaming soul that may know best how to arrive at its destination. Dance is perfectly suited to opening the door of conscious, symbolic connection...

...Plant your feet on a little spot of earth and imagine what you want to contribute on your spiritual path.”  
 --Cynthia Winton-Henry, Dance the Sacred Art

What a privilege it is to distill my gleanings from the InterPlay training I've received from such kind, patient, playful wise people. What an honor to experiment with that knowledge by leading others into play and discovery!

I am so excited. And very thankful!

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me today and share your ideas about InterPlay or play or dance!