I went to an afternoon of Interplay yesterday. It's an amazing experience.
The leader for the afternoon, Rebecca, explained that the whole idea of Interplay is play--to have some fun with movement, rhythm, voice and vocalizing....And it IS fun--I had a great time. As we move and let go, however, some deep emotions may come forth. People find themselves crying or angry or sullen for reasons they might be conscious of, or not. Our bodies carry unexpressed emotion. Our cells have their own kind of wisdom.
I knew everyone there, except Rebecca the leader, [Jan, your dear friend JT was there] so I felt safe from the get-go.
Interplay has four basic movements: swing, thrust, hang and...4th--oops, can't remember. Anyway, one of the most interesting moments came when we were doing hand movements with a partner. As the music played we were touching hand to hand, and moving, dancing--at some points I led, and at other times, my friend K led. Much of the time we had our eyes closed, but even with my eyes closed, and during those times when our hands were NOT touching, I knew where K's hands were. If you've ever taken T'ai Chi, you know why. I could feel the chi between us. Really. My hands tingled for long after this exercise was over.
Another memorable moment came when we were doing some vocalizing. Rebecca asked us to "sing" a song about whatever came to mind. Not easy, but I came up with something, so I was asked to sort of take the lead on the next portion, which was to continue the "song" while the others each added something to it. Again, not easy! But in the midst of it I spontaneously rose from the floor (we were all seated) and sort of walked/danced the song, and I did this with great expression, raising my voice and really moving my body rhythmically. Ha! It was great fun! And Rebeccah especially enjoyed what I had done, it seems. After I sat down, she said something like: "Oh how wonderful! thank you, Katherine. Everyone, we had a Big Body movement here!"
My rapture ended at that point. She described me as a "big body." And the shame came, and the shame took over. Oh, God; it was a public humiliation.
I wanted to leave at that point. Really. Just walk out the door and run, get the hell OUT.
But instead, I talked to myself. I'm not sure how, (definitely a God thing), but I began to tell myself: "OK. So what? So what? These are my friends. They don't care. They like and love me. So, don't go there. Do NOT go there. Remember who you are."
So, I stayed, much of time wanting to hide, but I stayed. And during one of the last exercises, which was follow-the-leader dancing (in which the leader just spontaneously changes from one person to another), I decided, what the hell? Just dance and have fun. And I did! I danced and danced, and I was the leader at some point, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
As we were talking at the end, I found out that when Rebeccah said "Big Body Movement," she was NOT describing me, but naming what I did, in Interplay terms. When I realized this, I didn't say anything, but inside I was having a hearty laugh with myself.
Of course I do have a big body. "Big boned girl," as my mother and othes used to say. Which is true. And I have gained weight in the last 3 years. BUT....BUT!!! The point is that I overcame the shame that, for a while, dominated me. I overcame it, really, completely, and was able to simply be me and have some Embodied fun.