By Jennifer Denning
(a version of this post appeared in InterPlay Atlanta's September newsletter)
“We are often given contradictory messages about having our own story,” said InterPlay co-founder, Phil Porter at the beginning of the InterPlay Leader’s Gathering last week. Spiritual ideals or activist messages may teach us that the stories of our own universe don’t matter. But the fact is we are born into individual bodies and it is only through these individual bodies that we connect with a larger story at all.
My small story matters. So does yours.
I need to tell my small story. I can have that. I can share my idiosyncrasies, my little joys and my hang-ups. And I really want to hear about yours. Perhaps paradoxically, the small stories invite me into the larger story. To begin to know another human being through the details of his or her life invites me into connection.
In InterPlay (and life!) we have the freedom to play with the small and large. If I only dance my small story I miss out on the expansive experience of feeling myself as a part of a larger story. I miss the chance to rise up and speak out and be a part of the change I wish to see in the world. I miss the moments of connection that are larger than anything my small mind could conceive.
As a founder of InterPlay Atlanta (along with original Wing It member, Debra Weir) I have held the title of “Director.” As our community grows and deepens the title of “director” no longer feels appropriate. I want to make space for the larger group body of leadership in Atlanta to collaborate and grow. So I’m no longer using this title. My small story of finding and growing InterPlay in Atlanta matters, but there is a larger story happening now- one that includes new leaders Christine Gautreaux and Ruth Schowalter and other leaders who will emerge in the years to come. It is exciting and expansive to envision and create together. The first InterPlay Atlanta untensive, Atlanta Dreaming, could not happen on my own!
I honor the wisdom of my individual body, and I honor the wisdom of the “group body” as well. Both are vital and necessary. Both play a part in health and wholeness. Both are the reality of who I am.