You Have a Gold Mine Right in Front of You

July 3, 2010

Look around at the people in your organization or group or staff or team. They contain a gold mine of possibilities that you have hardly tapped.

A big pile of goldEach of us has a wealth of experience, ideas, dreams, desires, visions and possibilities. The history of organizations is to get people to fit in. You will do this, you won’t do that. Much of this has to do with the restriction of physicality.

We have learned how to “behave.” In the process, we have suppressed many of the ways that people learn, articulate, discover, react and relate. We are afraid to move out of our boxes and, therefore, will never get to the information that comes from behaving in a different way.

Look at your organization.

Are things buttoned up and buttoned down? Are you afraid to speak up? To tell the truth or to share a new idea? Do you laugh together? Share stories? Create environments that are pleasant to be in?

What if you could free up even a few new resources in your group? Your team members might flourish and want to stay with you longer. They might have ideas that you never imagined. They might bring unexpected gifts to the way your organization runs. Collaboration and cooperation might increase.

Do you want to sit on that gold mine or dig into in?

Folks doing and leading InterPlay have been exploring hidden territories of possibility for over twenty years. We have developed the tools to release these rich resources. Find out more about InterPlay classes and workshops.  

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Secret Body Wisdom for Managers

April 6, 2010

It is impossible to be a good manager without a full understanding of the ways that people and groups work. You may be a whiz at banking, the law, programming or widgets, but now, as a manager, you must also know about people. In another day and age, you might have used implicit or explicit threats or intimidation to get what you want out of the folks who work for you. But there are much more effective ways to get what you want from your staff—ways that decrease both your stress and theirs, that make for organizations that hum with good will and effectiveness, that bring out the best in your staff.

If there is one bit of “body wisdom” that a manager should have at their fingertips, it is that you will get the most out of your staff if you acknowledge that each person has a full range of experience—physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. It is better to include or at least acknowledge all parts than to exclude or ignore one or the other of them.

So, for example, it is “body-wise” to recognize that fear and anxiety are probably quite common experiences for the people you are working with. It is also body-wise to recognize that some of your folks may have internal resources for dealing with fear that may have come from spiritual tradition, personal reflection, therapy or other practices. (Might it be “body wise” to provide some training for your staff and how to deal with fear or anxiety? Yes, of course.)

It is also “body wise” to recognize that money may be a motivating factor for someone doing the job you want them to do, but that many if not most people are looking for other things as well—appreciation, satisfaction, a sense of service, pride, commitment, even community. How can you best use this body wisdom to better manage your staff?

What other “hidden resources” might your staff have? What abilities, ways of being, experiences, even body wisdom might you be overlooking by not acknowledging the wholeness of the people you manage? Wouldn’t you want to find the ways to get the best of your staff? Learn more about the many classes and workshops InterPlay offers to support body-wise connectivity.



Webs of Connections

January 6, 2010

by Phil Porter

We simply do better—physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually—when we are connected to each other. We are healthier, happier and feel more secure. Work and play go better, relationships are smoother, and creativity flows more easily.

relationships as spokes in a wheel with us in the center.

We could see our relationships as spokes in a wheel.

And it is best if the connections work more like a web, rather than like the spokes of a wheel. I am connected to others, but those in my circle are also connected to each other. In a village, proximity would allow the slow buildup of the web of connections. But we don’t necessarily have those opportunities in our fast-paced, spread-out lives. We may work with others for years and never really get to know them very well on any other level. We are connected but the ties are wimpy and slack, too weak to really hold us up.

A web of relationships

A web of connections provides more support and security (and we still get to be the center of our own universe!)

InterPlay creates connections quickly and deeply, because it uses “sneaky deep” physical practices—simple things really, but done in a way that allows us to know each other in different ways. Each InterPlay event is a web-builder. I am always delightfully surprised when InterPlayers from different cities or even different countries know each other. I certainly can’t keep track of how and when they met! Additionally, I know that the fact that I am part of a circle that includes their connection is good for me as well.

Look around your life. What is the web of connections that will catch you when you fall? What connections could you strengthen with a little attention or intention? How might those connections make your life richer? Use the “comment” function below to share a connection that is particular powerful or important for you. That action in and of itself can help build the web.


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.