How do I love me, let me count the ways

January 29, 2010

Painting by Chryssa Wolfe

Solo Love Song video/practice
“Spell to Re-genius Yourself” video/practice
Raise a hand in blessing listen/movement

Created by: Cassandra Sagan
Narcissism, vanity, self-absorption, conceit—who says we only have one word for self-love? Yet the Wise Ones say we must fall in love ourselves before we can truly love another. Luckily there are a zillion juicy, sweet, attractive, redemptive, fun ways to love ourselves. (Is there a word for healthy self-love?) It turns out that all of the joy, dignity, creativity, fun, stability, spontaneity, contentment, excitement that we have ever felt with a lover is ours for the reclaiming.


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

Solo Love Song video/practice

Listen to my Solo Love Song:

Have a romantic evening…alone. Or a romantic minute. Put on some music, light a candle, slip into something a little more conducive. Shake it out, move for a while. Create a song of praise for yourself, or a dance, or a poem. Pick something you absolutely adore: the Mediterranean, chocolate pudding, your dog, moonlight, bananas in the moonlight— and then describe yourself as if you are that thing.  Write your own SILLY SONG OF MYSELF— I am a mountain tickled by snowboarders. I am the spinning of the Earth, the velocity of velociraptors. Sing or speak or write with a thick foreign accent. Look at yourself in the mirror with the same generosity of heart with which you gaze at a beloved friend. Resolve to always look upon yourself with the same expansive kindness you offer others. Sing/write/dance about the things you love to do when you’re alone alone, smile at an inside joke. Exaggerate. “I love my eyes, they remind me of_____.” Love the One you’re with. Repeat whenever the mood strikes. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

“Spell to Re-genius Yourself”video/practice

Here’s Rob Brezsny, author of PRONOIA Is The Antidote for Paranoia; How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, describing his “Spell to Re-genius Yourself”. Watch, and then create your own!

Raise a hand in blessing

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. This time, start by pressing one palm against the other. Hold your own hand, wiggle your fingers, tickle your life lines. And then, when you’re ready, raise a hand in blessing. Turn in a full circle (or not) and know that others are sending blessings to you too.

Listen to SKINNY BONES by The Ditty Bops

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


Note: This week’s posting is created by Cassandra Sagan. Cassandra is a Portland, OR InterPlay leader and organizer, a writer, a poet in the schools, a Ukelele playing songstress, and a leader in her synagogue.


It’s time for some EASY FOCUS

January 22, 2010

Easy Focus Is list/poem
Her Story/Our Story story/video
Shape and Stillness vide0/ movement meditation

Created by: Anita Bondi and Stan Stewart’s Monday night Improv Lab
We are lucky to have a great group of people to play with on a weekly basis.  They love improvisation and exploration.  Some nights we dig deep and some nights we play light.  Some weeks we have a theme and some weeks we let the theme arise from what is going on with the group.  We always have live music, exceptional leadership, and tons of gratitude for the gift of InterPlay. This week we spent the night playing with Easy Focus.  Here are a few of our musings.


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

Easy Focus is list/poem
~all and nothing
~when it blurs together
~soft, like warm dough
~a lovely reminder
~harder inside than outside
~relaxing and beyond the head
~sometimes challenging
~ right brain
~ahhh and breath
~a playful swing

Her Story story
(from the newly released InterPlay Inspiration Deck)

When Easy Focus was a little girl she used to lie in the grass for hours, softening her eyes and noticing how many different shapes she could see in the clouds.  As a grown up, she found that the secret to seeing the “bigger picture” was as easy as recreating the focus she had practiced as a child. Easy Focus knows that everything and everyone are connected in one big spiral dance.  When she forgets, she just grabs that tense, scrunched-up place between her eyebrows, throws her hand into the air, and yells, “Wheeeee!”

Our Story video

After Easy Focus told us her story, we had a chance to tell her ours.  Some of us decided to send her a postcard (one of our favorite InterPlay verbal forms).  We lined up and took turns.  Watch and enjoy or add your own!

Shape and Stillness video/ movement meditation

Begin to watch this video of our class doing easy focus shape and stillness with your hard “focuser”.  Just watch one person, switch to another person.  Now, begin to soften your focus and take in the entire scene.  Expand your senses and hear the music.  Engage more easy focus and see the room you are in right now and your body in the space.  Begin to join the dance by making your own shapes either seated or standing.  As the music ends bring your hand into the air.  Pause for a moment and notice your shape, the air around you, the silence.  As you turn in a circle, keep an easy focus and see all those with you blessing you as you bless them.

Today, easy focus is your friend!

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


Note: Anita Bondi and Stan Stewart are certified InterPlay leaders who live in the Pocono Mountains in PA.  They have an Improv Lab that meets every Monday at 7:30pm.  Anyone wishing to visit and join is always welcome to come, play, and stay overnight!  Anita has just released The InterPlay Inspiration Deck, which is proving to be a wonderful tool for introducing people to InterPlay, a daily dose of InterPlay for personal practice, a guide for Focus Sessions, not to mention a great gift!  To order one, go to or visit the InterPlay website. Anita also makes InterPlay jewelry and is happy to design one especially for you!  Stan is having a great time creating weekly improvisational music with his looper and the many instruments he brings along with him. This week he was heard playing a few different tin cans and even his iphone!  He is available to do workshops in Improvisational music and singing.  He would be happy to travel to you!  Get in touch with him and/or purchase some of his music on the Mandala Designs website. Find Stan and Anita at

The Body Wisdom of Mother Universe

January 15, 2010

“A Glorious Dawn” video/movement

Mother Earth-Tender story

Happy People Dancing on Planet Earth photos/video

Hand-Dance through/with/of the Stars movement


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

“A Glorious Dawn” a Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking REMIX video/movement

At the opening of this video, Carl Sagan, the legendary astrophysicist, educator, and creator of the award-winning television series, Cosmos, says, “I’m not very good at singing songs but here’s a try.”

Enjoy his InterPlayful vocal sound, make your own, then let yourself GROOVE to the beat and the awe of the concept, “A still more glorious dawn awaits. Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise. A morning filled with 400 billion suns. The rising of the milky way.”

Mother Earth-Tender story
by Dorothy Finnigan
I talked to my mother last night. She is originally from the Philippines and currently lives in Florida. She’s endured countless challenges in her 62 years and each time has emerged stronger. She’s an earth-tender if there ever was one. Plants and bugs and birds flourish in her presence. Even the soil becomes richer at her touch. She lives deeply connected and committed to the ecosystem she is humbly apart of.

Florida, along with the rest of the South Eastern United States, is currently enduring an unbelievably cold winter. Kids in northern Florida are throwing snowballs for the first time.

“You know what’s so funny?” my mother rhetorically asked me over the phone, “That avocado tree learned to resist the cold. Last year when it got below freezing one night, all but two of the avocados turned brown. And this year, the temperature has frozen over and over again, and the avocado tree is just standing there. S/he’s just standing there. Enduring. The fruit is still so good. You know Dorothy, challenges make you strong.”

Note: The above s/he is not a typo. In my mother’s dialect, Visayan, there is only one word for both “she” and “he.”

And speaking of language, I recently learned that in an indigenous language of North Eastern Alaska, the word for “spine,” “land,” and “you,” are the same.

Happy People Dancing on Planet Earth photos/video

On this NASA website you can click on the “Discover the cosmos!” link and see a new gorgeous photograph of the cosmos every day. Is it a coincidence that here you can also watch the inspiring video of Matt Harding dancing with people ALL OVER OUR STUNNING PLANET!?

Hand-Dance through/with/of the Stars

Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh. There is so much beauty to behold, and to be grateful for.

Gaze at the palm of your hand as you would gaze at the night sky.

Consider that we are made of star dust and that as astral bodies dance through space, we dance through our lives on this planet.

Do a one-hand dance to the soundtrack of your own sighing, singing, or sound-making, and know that you are not only dancing with friends of all species around the globe, but with Mother Universe herself.

You are one expression of the awesome beauty of the cosmos. You are a blessing.


Note: This week’s Virtual Friday InterPlay was prepared by Dorothy Finnigan. Dorothy Finnigan, InterPlay Administrative Assistant, was born into an intercultural, interability, interstate household. (Explanation: Her mom is from a small island in the Philippines, her brother has cerebral palsy, and because her father is a professional juggling teacher they lived in a motorhome traveling the country from state to state and school to school facilitating interdisciplinary intergenerational workshops until she was 18 years old.) After she traveled solo around the world paying her way by busking on the street, she attended Yale University where she studied the intersection of Religion and Ecology. She decided to walk-out of Yale in 2008 in order to live her beliefs in the interrelation of personal health and planetary health through the little-understood mechanism of community health. As soon as she leapt out of the Ivory Tower she landed in a pile of InterPlay and has been joyously falling in love with members of the community ever since. Watch Dorothy’s Big Body Story about from WING IT!’s 20th Anniversary concert last fall.

Bodypsalm for the New Year

January 7, 2010

Cynthia Winton-Henry

Practice movement

Bodypsalm for the New Year poem

InterPlay Warm-Up video

Raise A Hand in Blessing movement


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

Practice movement

Let’s practice the art of time-less-ness, be present now.

Raise your arms, connecting to your height and depth.

Open your arms wide to all relations.

Gather into your center.

Embrace that.

Being in body is the fastest way to come home, the fastest way to connect, the fastest way to know truth, the fastest way to be you.

Bodypsalm for the New Year poem
By Celeste Snowber

The New Year is not outside you

inside is a hundred new years

built of sentences and syllables

of spacious possibilities

it is not the weight on your body you need to loose

but the thoughts which carry far more gravity

than any pounds or kilograms of extra flesh

you are being called to a

flesh of the heart

a heart of flesh

where body and mind and soul

sing alleluias in crisp air

and you are ushered

to a season of c o m p a s s i o n

on just about everything and everyone

you could imagine and not imagine

compassion on judgments and unmet expectations

for yourself, unfinished projects and

humans beings in all shapes, sizes, and forms in your life

your untidy house, or untidy heart, or untidy car

and find it within you

to take joy, eat joy, drink joy

of small beauties within you

and in front of you

and become wide awake

to the adventure of your own life

waiting, wooing, wanting

to BE in the life you are in

so take off your socks or put on your socks

and walk into this New Year

with the levity

of giving yourself

a break and brake

from the constant demands

of what you think you should do

and BE

the glorious YOU

only you can be.

InterPlay Warm-Up video
with Phil Porter

Raise A Hand in Blessing movement

When we dance hand to hand we often practice opening the space between us. We can often 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. Connect and bless others with Trish Watt’s new CD “Gajara-Singing Peace” honoring InterPlay India as we “Dance Our Lives.”

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


The Life Practice Program begins in January in Oakland, Raleigh, and Iowa and in April in Minnesota. Find out more!