Taking Your Mental Lid Off!

Zoom! Zip! Zam! Eeeeeek! What sound is made when you pretend to lift the lid off the top of your head? Does it pop, crackle, and snap? Maybe it makes that swirling, sizzling and exploding sound of fireworks! 

What movement might you make as you open up your mental lid? Does your mental lid need to be unwound? Does it have little windows that need to be unlatched? Or do you have rusty hinges that require special care as you open it?

For the April Online Global SIS: InterPlay 2020, Canan Arikan and I invited our international SISters to play around the spaces we create for our minds.  InterPlay cofounder Cynthia Winton-Henry writes about giving the mind more space by taking off your mental lid in her book, Move: What the Body Wants:

 “It turns out that we hold our minds in too-small a physical space, a box the size of a skull. To think outside of the box, you’ve got to let your mind be as big as your bodyspirit. Your mind wants to play. Your mind wants to move around, engage, and gad about with insatiable curiosity. Your mind wants to be as big as you are. Let your mind go! Let your mind grow! Let it be big!”

LIFTING OFF THE MENTAL LID, by Evelyn Pasqua (from the Philippines living in Idaho, U.S.) 

Let your mind go! Let your mind grow! Yes! Let it be big!

So that’s what we played around with during our Global SIS play. First, we each shared an action and sound of opening our mental lids, and everyone repeated it. What a vast variety of sounds and motions! After a lot of sound, activity, and laughter, I invited all of our SISters to get paper and different colored pens to create a head with an opening (see image below), write the date and time. Then for the length of a song to express whatever wanted to be released, expressed, or seen from their mental box the size of a skull. Each color, shape and line could represent a different thought.
TEMPLATE FOR TAKING YOUR MENTAL LID OFF

When the music stopped, we shared our images by holding them up to the camera on our computers. With pleasure, we saw how each of us is unique in what we think and how we express those thoughts! 
SHARING OUR OUTCOMES 
Next, we went to breakout rooms and had the leisure of telling three-sentence stories (back-and-forth) about the different markings we had made of our released thoughts. Without saying the word “exformation,” I hoped that this 6-minute period would allow SISters to release excess information. 
IN THE BREAKOUT ROOM. Yue Cao from China snapped this breakout room photo of her with Rachel in Georgia, USA. They have know each other since since the fall of 2020 when they started doing SIS InterPlay.
After sharing noticing in the main Zoom room, it was time to MOVE! Global SIS was lucky to have a guest leader-in-training, LinSun Simthong, facilitate our InterPlay Warmup and Walk Stop Run. We MOVED for 20 minutes with lots of noticing. During the InterPlay Warmup, LinSun offered intentional words around the theme of self-care, self-nurturance, and self-love. Her calm confidence created a spaciousness for us all. I wish I had recorded all of LinSun’s leading! 

DRAWING AND STORYTELLING - MOVEMENT. After a nurturing InterPlay Warmup, Leader-in-Training LinSun Simthong (Laos, Thailand, North Carolina, USA) led a Walk Stop Run that gave us the permission to run towards what we love (why do we need permission to do that?) And the walk? LinSun lifted her head and walked with a posture filled with beauty and attentiveness to the world! We got to play around with these ideas for the length of a song. Then we played around with the “lean” for the length of another song, discovering that the wall, the chair, the floor, the table, the computer all support us. And this at a time with the 2020 pandemic is preventing us from leaning “physically” on our support team.

Imagine how movement might change your thinking or your drawing! After 20 minutes of moving, everyone was invited to draw a second head and draw what was emerging from her mind. Four minutes later, we held up both of our images to the Zoom classroom! Our first and second images were different!

Chiara Pilloton, Italy

Karen Hatch, Virginia, USA

Yue Cao, China
Before our time SISter together ended, we had a chance to play around with our second images with a partner in breakout rooms. To prepares us for that 5-6 minute experience, SIS co-founder and InterPlay leader-in-training Canan Arikan led us in toning and a one hand dance. We then got a chance to move, sing, and talk about the second images we made with our mental lids off.
MAKE A SHAPE WITH YOUR HAND. Canan Arikan leads the InterPlay one hand dance.

As the orchestrator of this 2-hour Global SIS: InterPlay session, I hoped we would all have the opportunity to discover what Cynthia writes about later in the chapter, “Take Your Mental Lid Off”:

“As you dance your mind, you will hardly believe all that you become. The integrated thoughtfulness of our entire physical system working as a whole is wondrously healing. It changes everything. It is radiant and opens new vistas.” 

At 10:30 AM (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) it was time for us women from around the world to say good-bye! SISters attending were from Saudi Arabia, China, Venezuela, Italy, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Philippines, Mexico and the United States. 

What is Global SIS: InterPlay?

For more information about SIS and InterPlay:

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