“Kiss The Joy As It Flies: The Art Of Incrementality”

A few years ago an InterPlay friend of mine gave me a refrigerator magnet that says “What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it’s all about?” I laughed out loud when I read it and remember thinking playfully that that notion is as fine a philosophy to ponder in this life time as any other! Especially knowing the power of incrementality to create ease and grace in our lives.

You put your right hand in
You put your right hand out
You put your right had in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn your self around
That’s what it’s all about!

You put your left hand in
You put your left hand out
You put your left had in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn your self around
That’s what it’s all about!

How easy is that?!

It takes awhile with the Hokey Pokey, good incremental dance that it is, to at last get your whole body in and out and in and shaken all about, but eventually it does happen. And by then every part of you is ready to be shaken with every other part. Wheeeeeee!

When I was 6 months pregnant with my son Logan I attended a dance party with some wonderfully wild friends of mine and we did the Hokey Pokey. I remember so clearly, after putting my hands and feet and legs and arms in, putting my slowly expanding belly in… and out… and in… and shaking it all about! This child that was growing just south of my heart was the embodied wisdom of incrementality at its finest. And I imagined its little hands and feet dancing away with me in that moment, hoping that the dance in me was  being passed on in those incremental Hokey Pokey steps.

Incrementality, the art of putting “one foot in front of the other,” lends itself so fully to bringing our bodyspirits into each moment. It is not only a way to build something piece by piece, to create something idea by idea, to work toward something step by step, it also gives us  the capacity to be here! and then be here! and then be here! While we are working, building, creating! It teaches us the art of  dancing with each moment as it comes up, and how to kiss the joy as it flies!

Kiss the joy as it flies! The first time I heard this I laughed out loud in knowing delight. It is such a great cross between the Buddhist understanding of impermanence and the InterPlay understanding of grace. Everything changes and ease gives us the capacity to dance in each moment, the possibility of being with the change, being in the change, even being the change.

In five weeks I drive my son to college. After 18 years of incremental parenting he is ready to launch, and I am once again reminded, in the most startling of ways, just how the joy flies.

You put your whole body in
You put your whole body out
You put your whole body in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
Kiss the joy as it flies
That’s what it’s all about!


The Mystery of No Frills to Reveal the Unbelievable Beauty of Being Human!

When ever I do the InterPlay form Walking, Stopping and Running with No Frills, which is as often as I can in InterPlay (interplay.org) community, I find myself wishing that everyday could be walk, stop, run with no frills. This might come as a surprise to people who know me well, because I am a frills kinda gal. I believe it is all in the details, and I can often be observed studying details of art and architecture, flora and fauna, food and even everyday life functions. I am fascinated with the way details make up the whole and how, when all the details are in place, even someone who is not necessarily taken with them or even notices them can feel the influence.  And I take great care in my home life, in my art work and in my teaching to make sure the details are where I think they belong, as I have come to know this is one of the things that creates ease, beauty and peace.

So how could it be that this no frills version of walk, stop and run has its way with me.

The InterPlay Walking, Stopping and Running form by its nature is very playful. You walk when you want to, run when you want to, stop when you want to. You can skip and jump, leap and spin, swing, make shapes and anything else a body can do. You can also play with others, or simply be in stillness and watch others play. It is a delightful and fun way to build, and feel connected to, community!

In the No Frills version all of the messing around with jumping, spinning, swinging and anything else that isn’t walking, stopping and running is dropped. The agreement is to simply walk, run or be still. At first sight it seems very limiting. Not many choices, one might think. No real opportunity to express oneself, be creative, play with others.  Its real gift can be easily missed. However if you are willing to really give yourself to its simple mystery, you will find that Walking, Running and Stopping with No Frills is sneaky deep!

I have come to discover
the vast detail
in the simplicity of No Frills.
Now walking and noticing my own stride.
Now walking side by side with another and noticing “our” stride.
The third thing.
Now I run ahead, noticing the growing distance between us,
still feeling comforting connection.
Now feeling another join me in running.
I love when I am joined.
Now walking and feeling another run by,
the breath from their running caressing me.
Now noticing my body in stillness as others walk past,
or run past
or simply stand next to me. With me.
We are one bodyspirit playing.
Now noticing when I choose to follow, how satisfying it feels.
Now noticing when I choose to simply witness.
It feels equally satisfying.
Now noticing how easily entertained I am by any of the choices I make.
And how much I delight in getting to know my playmates by
simply walking, running and being still with them.
By simply being in easy relationship with them.
By simply being.
I laugh out loud, wondering if my laughter is a frill!

This is the gift of No Frills… a deep knowing that I am not separate from this world and my fellow playmates… I am very much connected, inter-related. I belong. Never underestimate our need for assurance. This simple form, with its capacity to reveal how profoundly we are in fact connected through the very dance of its simplicity, gives this assurance. In the relationships that are created by simply being together, we get to witness the unbelievable beauty of human beings in the simplest, no frills version of who we are.

Now that is what I would like to carry around in my bodyspirit everyday!