Hello again, my friends. Where have I been? I dropped out of social media (and my business altogether) at the end of September because my kid needed full-time caregiving. Sometimes all night, sometimes living in the hospital for long stretches. It’s been without a doubt the very worst thing I have experienced and hopefully the worst I ever will.
Things are a bit more stable now. Maybe I can call it unreliably calmer. But I think I can start to come back to my own life. I think I must start.
I no longer have my studio. The owner has unexpectedly returned from living abroad and has taken it back. In the thick of our family emergency, this felt somewhat like a relief. Bring everything home, streamline, make life smaller to make life easier. Now, though, I have to wonder the obvious: Where will I work?
I am not interested in leaping to make meaning of these last few months (years) of our situation by grasping inauthentically at silver linings. But I have learned a few things. First up is that I don’t know much at all. Isn’t that always the case? It is for me. Swaggering convictions are suffering’s first fodder. Humility can be most brutally earned.
The second thing I have learned is where to most effectively direct my prayer and praise energy. I have been praying and praising for as long as I can remember, and 2020 was no exception. You can bet I have recently called upon a desperation-Rolodex of deities, beings, ancestors, saints, and saviors. The one who showed up with power to move mountains in one breath was the holy spirit, or as The Keeneys break it down, “the sacred vibration...taking up residence in the body as a non-subtle force,” known throughout global culture and religion. It’s the space of encounter, the wind in the bones, the god-in-person, the evidence of spirituality. Five stars, highly recommend.
Through years of study, training, client feedback, and personal experience, I have come to collect a compendium of techniques and practices to reliably create foundational safety in mind and body, facilitate conflict fluency and relational change, connect with the wisdom of the body, tap into awe, develop sensory pathways with nature, and rewire neural connections through specific rhythmic movements. It all works. I know it does; it works, and it saves lives. And guess what? In my darkest hours, none of it mattered, and none of it helped. It was inaccessible to me and especially to my kid. It is my experience that in true desperation, in bald suffering, techniques and practices simply fail. Save one.
And so the third thing I learned was that play is the most benevolent companion of the human experience. Play will not abandon you. Play did not abandon me. It requires no equipment, no space, no effort, no rules, no thought, no belief, no time, no commitment, no work, no privacy, no community, no teacher, no class, no money, no forethought, no training, no password, no energy, no diagram, no skill, no copyright, no knowledge, no apology, no explanation, and no translation.
Yet again and again, it transmutes pain, hopelessness, and despair in one moment. It dissolves barriers. It lights a room. It reveals what matters. If excitement is the expression of the soul, then play is the universal language of life, of living.
Turn and become like children, yes? Children, the masters and disciples of play, demonstrate that play expands our consciousness into far-reaching dimensions of imagination by staying sharply attuned to the present moment. Play in action becomes equal parts transcendent and embodied.
As I write this, I realize how much my three points align: 1) Know nothing. 2) Welcome spirit-in-matter. 3) Enact spirit-in-matter.
Huh. Not bad at all.
I’m glad to be coming back, and I’m eternally appreciative of the clients, friends, and followers who reached out to check on me in my absence. Now, let’s play.