|The Men of Trinity House pose for this photo after an InterPlay Session with InterPlay Leaders-in-Training Ade Anifowose and Carolyn Renee.|
Written by Ade Anifowose, InterPlay Leader-in-Training
“I stand for a society that creates space for men to play, a society that allows men to recreate themselves from moment to moment.” -Ade
There is a universal myth that men do not express emotions. I say "myth" because it is not true. Have you been around men watching sports, playing with their children or having an argument? Men express emotions, but not always in the same ways as women do.
The irony of this myth is when men do express emotions of gentleness, compassion, or kindness, their masculinity is questioned. Men are generally placed (by society) in a damned-if-you-do or damned-if-you-don’t situation.
Collectively, we all need to shift our mindset about what it means to be a man and develop a better understanding of men’s emotions. Let’s support men and boys in being with their emotions without a rush to judging those emotions being good or bad. Without support, emotions of rage, frustration, and anger intensify. We humans are emotional beings. Our emotions play a major role in how we show up in the world both in our communities and relationships.
|Ade Anifowose, InterPlay Leader-in-Training|
I have found that InterPlay tools empower individuals to “have” their experience. I remember attending an “InterPlay Retreat for Men” last February, in Germantown, Maryland. It was mind-blowing. Watching men, play, create, share their stories, dance, and be in stillness, softened the edges of restrictions that I had placed on myself, based on what I was taught by society.
As an InterPlay Leader-in-Training, on a weekly basis I co-lead InterPlay at Trinity House in Atlanta. There, I get the opportunity to watch and experience men in recovery connect with innocence and their stories of belonging. I watch them share their gratitude for being able to connect with their inner child in a safe environment. Through their stories, I am reminded that everyone wants to be acknowledged and heard.
There is an invisible thread that connects us all. When we play, we strengthen the connection and we are all the better for it. I stand for a society that creates space for men to play, a society that allows men to re-create themselves from moment to moment.
InterPlay is a rebellious act of self-care in a world where we are taught to not care about our own needs. It allows men to embrace their humanity, emotions, and expressions. This is a gift to humanity.