Kairos practicing being gentle and strong

Kairos practicing being gentle and strong

Friday Morning Virtual InterPlay: Inter-Parenting
Bodypsalm            fragments from Celeste Snowber
Orbacles           video  (Leah and Ela: Lelavision)
Toddler Hand Dances      story by Leah Mann
Gentle/Strong             Practice
Raise a hand in blessing   movement and music


Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh…


Ever had to parent someone or yourself…? Celeste Snowber has. Enjoy fragments from her Bodypsalm.

“Put your dancing shoes on
give yourself the support you need
a bigger arch for life
and treat paradox as your partner
hold it tenderly
romance her and put your
arms around the dilemmas
soften your relationship
towards not knowing.”

“Orbacles” Video of Leah and Ela (Kairos’ parents)
Loving the hard headed, strong-weak in each other?

Toddler Hand Dances story by Leah Mann

Our 16 month old is in a very primal development stage. Without clear kinesthetic understanding of where her feet and hands actually begin and end / where her body parameters end or begin, she is busy working on: “fall and recover” (good thing she is short),”catch and release” (though she only likes the first part….even if she has your nose), and  “fight or flight” (again she gravitates to the first part of this sequence….compassion and kindness are later developments?!)

So, we as a family have been working on “gentle” and “strong”.

Each time Kairos takes a swing in reaction to us or another child, we hold her hands and stroke the front and the backs of her palms and fingers (hand dance) demonstrating and saying “gentle”.  At other times we gently stroke her hair or face or feet and do cuddles (schmer-ing). When she does something with force or endurance like pushing something around the room or walking uphill or lifting big things or hugging firmly, we acknowledge her strength.  We play rough so she can understand being matched in force and understand her own power.  And within all this:

we acknowledge the emotional aspects of soft and hard.
we talk about sad and appropriate gentle response.
we talk about anger and appropriate strong response.
we practice deep breaths, noisy sighs, raspberries and growls.

When Kairos feels sad or hurt, I hold her in gentleness.  When she is calmed after whatever the incident was, I ask her if she is still a strong grrrrl. She usually holds up both arms with fisted hands to show off her muscles…sometimes smiling through tears. this is certainly a great reminder for my own self care and resiliency!!!!

In all of this, I see correlations in my work with young people:
* the teenage boy that was “creeped out” by touching another guy gently in a hand dance until we worked through a sequence of mirroring and follow the leader.
• the adolescent girl and boy learning to connect with gentleness, strength and respect as opposed to purely sexual connection in a duet.
• the montessori teacher that has been having incredible success using wrestling (k-12) to teach positive playful powerful connections and respect.

I am reminded that playful learning and InterPlay is so right on! It starts with a hand dance and them moves on to world peace…I can see the bridge! Whole body, whole being understanding. Incremental tools for evolved being.

May we all afford ourselves fullness, gentle and strong.

Gentle/Strong Practice movement practice

• Raise your hands in the air.
• Engage your muscles as though pushing or pulling. Acknowledge your strength.
• Now use gentle, flowing energy, moving in softer contact with each other.
• Our bodies know the paradox of gentleness and strength. Playfully moving, why not have it all? Or dance on behalf of the gentling or empowering support you need today?

Raise Your Hand in Blessing

“Breathe into uncertainty
knowing this is the
essence of life
and when it comes
know you are invited
once again into
the spirituality of practice:
loving-kindness towards
all that is not resolved
in your heart.”

When we dance hand-to-hand we often practice opening the space between us. We can feel that connection even when we aren’t right together. Raise a hand in blessing. Turn in a full circle (or not) and know that others are sending blessings to you too. Take a deep Breath and Let it out with a Sigh……

To make this a dance, listen to one of Phil’s early pieces…Enchata

See more of Leah and Ela’s incredible work at


One Response to Inter-Parenting

  1. Roberta Geier says:

    HI Cynthia,

    i am so DELIGHTED with the Virtual Friday Interplay. It gives me a boost to experience it. I used the GIBBERISH segment with a group iwork with and they had a BALL. It was so much fun. We did multicultural & multilingual gibberish.

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