Category Archives: Soulfulness of Play

Embrace the Darkness

I started an I-Ching series in early September exploring new beginnings, digging deep into our rootedness, and facing difficulties.

Hexagram 4 speaks about the necessity of embracing the darkness.

Go Deep Within the Self

Shadow [Play] is the Path of the Heart Warrior

~ CG Jung

I have found that to go into the depths of my soul I have to face or befriend the darkness.

What is in that inky darkness? The Shadow–what I don’t see about myself. Parts of myself that are hidden, my unacknowledged gifts (what I excel at), as well as, those areas I need to improve to live a well-lived life.

Our night and waking dreams are guides to your shadow play. In our dreams we can find our darkness.

One of the themes in my dreams is someone chasing me. T-Rex came to me in a series of dreams some years ago, looking in the bay window, scaring me in one dream after another until I integrated the instinctual parts of myself. I also have threatened others or even killed others in dramatic ways.

Do not be afraid of Self, of the sky where no moon shows.

I invite you to Shadow-Play. Be yourself and embrace the darkness. Our unacknowledged gifts are a great place to begin. Befriend what is in your Shadow. Ask your spouse, friends, loved ones, or trusted colleagues, Definitely bring this question to dream time or ask the I Ching.

You know me well, can you tell me, what are my gifts?

 

The Savor of Divine Things

I spotted my copy of The Seven Story Mountain, the 1948 autobiography of Thomas Merton on my bookshelf this morning while on the studio floor stretching. I opened the book to the phrase the savor of divine things.

the savor of my back pressed firmly to the studio floor

the savor of a full breath and my vocal body

the savor of the soft morning light and a new day

What divine things are asking me to savor them?

A dream asks me, you are in it everyday, why are you seeking outside what is seeking you in every moment of every day?

With this question comes a barrage of remembrance. Memories of being dissatisfied, finding something new to replace it, only to be dissatisfied once again.

One example comes from my experience in nursing in the 1980s:

I went to nursing school so that I could become a nurse midwife. After receiving my license to practice and gaining some nursing experience in obstetrics I looked into midwifery training but the program and training was untenable for a single mom of three. I gave up on the idea and continued to work in high-risk obstetrics, and then, antepartum care. The culture and hierarchy of hospitals started to wear me down. After a year or two I was ready to move on. Transferring to another hospital setting meant that, at least in the beginning, things would feel fresh. Rinse and repeat.

Looking back I realize that I would have been happier if I had followed my dream’s counsel:

Look to what is seeking you! Spend time with me, you are in it everyday, why not nurture yourself and those you care for by deepening what you understand about the soul of nursing.

My dreams and practice of ‘The Art of Playing in the Everyday’ is helping me to see that…

Who I am becoming, my happiness, my life, what I am creating, depend on something simple

my relationship with what I am in everyday

There is no need to look elsewhere. It is all available and comes in a variety of colors, textures, and styles.

How can I find the soul in what I experience everyday?

Every so often I make an attempt to journal everything that happens in my day. What I see, who I interact with, shapes, textures, colors, scents. Savor each moment of my life. My entire body tires as I write because, lets face it, there is a lot that happens in the everyday.  From the many pages that fill in my journal I am able to easily select moments where, if I desire, I can explore the soulfulness of those moments.

What moments would you select to enjoy the savor of divine things? Try selecting a few savory moments of divinity, of soulfulness in the everyday.

I would love to hear from you in the comments. What are a few moments in your everyday that call you to a soulful relationship with that thing, person, or event?

 

 

 

 

Sit Back and Enjoy the Trip: Synchronicity, The Soulfulness of Play, and Our Choices

I open up my journal to write, put pen to paper, and before I realize it an hour of my flight has slipped by. I put down my journal and pick up a copy of Southwest magazine.

Dear Southwest

I booked a flight from New York to Milwaukee the morning of because I learned our surrogate in Milwaukee was going into labor five weeks early. Fortunately, my husband was already there. When the flight attendants discovered what was happening, they could not have been more excited for us. The baby was born during the flight, but thankfully, the WiFi was amazing. Event though I couldn’t be there, I was getting realtime updates and pictures of the delivery room. Flight attendant Tabitha Taulbee Cotton also knitted a blanket during the flight–the baby’s first gift! I will never forget being on a Southwest flight while my first child was being born. I am grateful to Tabitha and her colleagues for making what could have been a nightmare into something smooth, easy, and memorable. We will always treasure the blanket and the story that comes with it. 

When I read the word surrogate I recognize a synchronicity that says to me, 

Yes, there is no doubt. You are meant to be a passenger on this plane. 

I also recognize that this year I’ve been pregnant once again, caring for my son and giving birth to an opportunity for he and I to find meaning within our story.

January 2017

The phone rings and it’s my surrogate son. He wants to talk by phone. We end up talking for a couple of hours. I share his birth story. He shares his concern for me. His desire to connect with his birth mother. Turns out he’s been diagnosed with melanoma and has had two surgeries to remove the cancer. His 30th birthday is approaching.

March 2017

William is in hospital after doctors discover his melanoma has spread to his lungs.

September 2017

New Birth, New Beginnings

Nine months has passed since our January conversation, William calls to tell me that he will be undergoing brain surgery. I ask him if he would like me to journey and meet for the first time.


Notes from my Journal:

I am on the Dungeness Shuttle. Left Port Angeles at 6am. The driver says, there are seven on the manifest

Listening to the recorded safety features the driver plays, I hear, Sit back and enjoy the trip.

Manifesting

The most difficult part of labor is transition.


Returning home on a Southwest flight I heard the familiar,

We realize you have many choices in air travel. Thank you for choosing Southwest Airlines.

As I listened I began to think of the many choices I make everyday to discover new ways to play in the everyday.

I write in my journal my belief that…

The Art of Playing in the Everyday is a daily practice that concerns itself with soulfulness in small details of living and with changes and major decisions.

By writing and sharing this part of my playful journey, I am attending to the Soul of Lived Experience.

My hope is that the beautiful dance that I am living and sharing through my writing and play-based work offers you the opportunity to dance in the waters of renewal and creativity.

[Read the prequel here] 

After years of writing my personal narrative, many deep, interwoven conversations, visual journaling, and performance…in less than a week…

I will say his name * meet him in-person * hold him in my arms.

Personal Story, Birth, and the Real Deal We Call Life