Jumping Into the Pool

December 21, 2009

by Phil Porter

InterPlay can change your life in large ways or small, it just depends on which end of the pool you choose to jump into.

Because it affects all parts of our experience—body, mind, heart and spirit—InterPlay gently reorients us, gives us a new way of looking at things, provides a place where we get to know ourselves and each other. It may seem strange that the simple practices of telling stories, of moving, of using our voices can have such an effect. But these are the activities that for millenia have given people the place to explore and understand their own experiences and even more importantly to do that in community.

Pair these completely doable activities (which also, it turns out, are a lot of fun!) with some simple InterPlay tools and practices—like exformation, affirmation and incrementality—and you have a framework for exploration, revelation and transformation.

But back to the pool.

Portrait on an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), a painting by David Hockney

You can step into the shallow end—come to a class, hear from a friend, just do a little bit. It is quite possible—even from a brief foray into InterPlay—to have an experience or glean helpful information. An easy way to stick your toe in is to come to an InterPlay Free Sample at InterPlayce in Oakland, CA. They happen every first Sunday of the month from 2:00 to 3:15 pm.

You can jump into the middle of the pool—come to more classes, attend an “Untensive” retreat for a few days of InterPlaying, hang out in the community on at least a semi-regular basis. From this you will probably get more of the effects of the way that InterPlay can be life-altering. You will begin to integrate some of the practices and ideas. You will have a greater sense of connection to community which is a huge source of support and such an important element in over-all well being. Check out classes and events all over the country.

You can jump into the deep end. As you come into contact with the InterPlay community, you may notice that there seem to be some folks who are “hard core” InterPlayers. You, too, may discover that InterPlay is just the right practice for you. You may reap the benefits of being connected to InterPlayers in other parts of the country and the world. At this end of the pool, there is almost no question that InterPlay will change your life in some powerful, incremental, surprising and delightful ways. The Life Practice Program can give you the whole InterPlay picture and can help you shape the life you want to have. It is offered in several locations around the country. A program starts in January in Oakland.

So welcome into the pool, regardless of where you jump in! It’s your choice!

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Unlocking Body Wisdom

December 10, 2009

by Phil Porter

As individuals and groups we have resources that we are hardly tapping at all.

Why? Because as we grow up and even as adults we are taught to “behave.” In the process, we have limited our physical expression, our spiritual awareness and our emotional intelligence. Consequently we have trouble accessing certain parts of our “wisdom” for either our own good or for the good of the groups, communities or organizations in which we live and work.

an illustration of sending or minds, hearts, bodies and spirits off in all different directions

We take our experience and divide it into four neat boxes, then we store the boxes on separate shelves in warehouses in cities miles apart.

Behaving is a good thing. Learning to sit still, being quiet in a group, taking turns, not hitting—these and many others are nice skills to have. But what if we suppress parts of ourselves in the process? Parts that might help us cope, cooperate, dream or innovate. Parts that help us deal with fear, disappoint, frustration. Parts that give us joy and satisfaction or create mystery and awe. Parts that help us persevere. Parts that help us cope with difficult people or even those we care about. Parts that convince us we belong.

We have neatly packed our experience into separate boxes. Not only that, we have kept them far apart from each other. It is almost as if we have packaged them up and UPSed in all different directions.

To “unlock body wisdom” means opening up those boxes and taking a closer look at their contents. We can notice our experience, believe that it is important even if others seem to be telling us it isn’t, and pay closer attention to it. It can help us make better choices in our lives. Since a lot of people have been telling us what to do (families, teachers, religious leaders, politicians, bosses), this may be more challenging that one might think. Suppression has likely compromised our internal authority.

Unlocking body wisdom means paying attention to the fullness of our physicality. Body, mind, heart and spirit—turns out all of that stuff is physical. Not only can we bring the boxes back together, we can actually dump their contents into one big pile—a great big pile of resources to draw on when we need them.

InterPlay is a set of ideas and practices that do just that—it teaches us, in an active and creative way (that is also fun!), to notice our own information and to use it for our own good, the good of others and for the world.