Saturday, September 26, 2015

PLAYING WITH CHANGE: Fall Equinox InterPlay Twice in One Day

written by Ruth Schowalter, certified InterPlay leader and Art & Soul Creativity
PLAYING WITH BALANCE. I invited participants to play with balancing the light and dark in their lives by connecting with one another, leaning, counter-balancing, and intersecting. (photo by Ruth Schowalter)
InterPlay offers ways to celebrate occasions and mark time! On Friday, September 25th, I was so happy to facilitate InterPlay twice--"Spirit Play" at the Shambhala Meditation Center and then "InterPlay Lift" at the Decatur First Christian Church! For both of these InterPlay sessions, I decided to "play" with the theme of the FALL EQUINOX.

Taking place on September 21st, we left summer behind and began fall, signaled by the shortening amounts of light each day and growing proportions of darkness. At the beginning of of both equinoxes (spring and fall), we get the experience of living with "equal" parts of day and least until the hours of darkness increase (fall) or decrease (spring).

Marking this seasonal change gives us all the opportunity to dive deeper into our lives. Facilitating "Spirit Play" with poet Debra Hiers in Jennifer Denning's absence, I had the pleasure of meditating about the theme "change."
CHANGE. These fading purple petunias greeted me as I walked up to the Shambhala Meditation Center here in Decatur, Georgia, on September 25, 2015. Their leggy abundant growth was a reminder that the end of summer was here. (photo by Ruth Schowalter) 

You will change
says the stars to the sun,
Says the night to the stars.
-excerpt from "Change," by Kathleen Jessie Raine
We began "Spirit Play" with meditation seated on supportive blue cushions in the spacious gathering room at the meditation center. We could hear the light rain tapping on the roof above us. Soft light filtered in around us through the trees outside the windows.  

Following our meditation, we did some "tellings" or "babblings" about pumpkins, apples, falling leaves and more. We stretched our bodies in our InterPlay warm up mirroring the trees and reaching branches outside our meditation room. Playing with the form, "Walk, Stop, Run," we experienced "change" in our bodies and our choices to move in community with one another.

After reading the poem, "Change" by Kathleen Jessie Raine, we reflected on "change" by making shapes and holding them until we found we wanted to "change" our shape into another different shape. Movement and stillness is such a relaxing meditative InterPlay form. Participants were then invited to write their own poems on "change" and share them with the group.
REFLECTING ON CHANGE. On the right, poet Debra Hiers reflects on the poem written and read by Joyce Kinnard (left)about her reflections on change after playing around with movement and stillness. (photo by Ruth Schowalter)
Before "Spirit Play" came to an end, we gathered for a "selfie." Even though we had few participants, the quality of play and reflection was very rich. I hope you readers will join us for a future "Spirit Play" session.
SPIRIT PLAY SELFIE. Relaxed after playing with change. (photo by Ruth Schowalter
In the evening, I arrived early at the Decatur First Christian Church for my "InterPlay Lift" class. The rain was light--almost a mist--but enough to discourage people living in the metro Atlanta area from going out into interstate traffic. Right after arriving at the church, I received a text from someone stuck in traffic because of a roadway accident. Earlier, I had received another text from a regular participant who was coming down with the sniffles. FALL was definitely in the air!
POWERFUL FUN. Changing seasons...light fall rain, fall sniffles, fall travels and new arrival. Attendance was low for this "InterPlay Lift." (photo by Ruth Schowalter)
For this evening InterPlay class, "InterPlay Lift," I wanted to play with the BALANCE between "light" and "dark" and how we experience those two qualities in our lives. Lighting candles at the beginning of our play time together, we told stories, moved, experimented with our voices and found stillness. 
PLAYING WITH STORY. (photo by Ruth Schowalter)

We witnessed one another's stoires. We whispered to one another the kind of balance we desired to manifest in our lives and danced on each others behalf. We relaxed. We rested. We got the big view of the Fall Equinox from "play."

That's InterPlay Atlanta with Ruth Schowalter! What will PLAY will you find in your life today?  How are you marking the change in our life as the fall season begins? What balance do you want in your life?

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