Friday, October 7, 2011

Have you forgotten how to play?

I have and I am trying to relearn this valuable skill.

One of the best presents I received for my half century birthday was a coaching session with the wonderful Gina LaRoche. We met last week to discuss the deep journaling that she was having me do in preparation for the session and uncovered some interesting things. One of those “things” was the lack of play in my life. This was not a surprise to me - I simply hadn’t had time to reflect on it. Subconsciously, I had already started addressing this by scheduling a weekly half hour Laughter Club at the University. We meet in the Blackbox Theater and laugh and breathe and clap. Sometimes we dance. Sometimes we meditate. Sometimes we speak gibberish. We laugh through obstacles. We laugh through failures. We laugh through successes. We laugh for no reason at all. No matter how depleted I walk into that room, I leave transformed, rejuvenated and de-stressed.

I have led Laughter yoga classes for special events, but I haven’t, until now, been able to create a weekly practice. It is possible and positive to laugh alone, but it isn’t as powerful as a group experience. There is something about the eye contact, seeing others laughing and hearing their peals, giggles, and guffaws that transports the experience. How often do we give ourselves over to uninhibited joyful communing? The weekly refresh and refocus has started to have a profound effect on my overall well being. Is it a biochemical restructuring at the cellular level? Neuronal plasticity? Rebirth of my inner child? None of the answers truly matter to me, because what I am noticing in my life are significant increases in my laugh capacity, lung capacity, and joy capacity. Imagine, all that in 30 minutes a week.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Denmark Roadtrip 2011

Denmark Roadtrip 2011

We have just returned to Oslo from a two week road trip through the Danish countryside.

I have posted some pictures:
Denmark Roadtrip 2011 - a set on Flickr

I try not to take the same pictures over and over, so here are last year’s pics:
Tivoli 2010 - a set on Flickr
Copenhagen 2010 - a set on Flickr

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Life on the Fjord

My favorite beach

I have finally gotten around to posting some pics of our Summer life in Norway:
Norway Summer 2011 - a set on Flickr. We don’t have much internet access (a true blessing!), so we are limited to checking email once or twice a day at most.

Yeah, I know, I have trouble holding the camera straight and I didn't take the time to fix them in Photoshop... ;)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

Williamsburg, Xmas 2010

It was a lovely end to 2010 with a long road trip through the South to visit friends and family. After stops in Harrisonburg, Atlanta, Charlotte & Richmond, we spent the night in Williamsburg for a romantic 18th century Christmas evening right as the blizzard hit. We have been hibernating since we returned to Connecticut in preparation for a very busy semester. I have finally learned, after a few decades, that it is critical to have some complete “down time” in order to maintain balance and productivity. I schedule it in now. Purposefully. Of course, everyone’s idea of “down time” is different...

In other news, some of my iPod drawings have been published in a UK drawing journal along with a short essay about the work. TRACEY: Drawing and Visualisation Research, published by the Loughborough University, School of Art and Design, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK: The Drawing and Technology Issue. I'm very pleased with the drawings, but never happy with the writing. Forgive me - I am an artist, first and foremost.

My first semester as Chair of Visual & Performing Arts has passed, but the tasks continue to mount for this next semester. I am learning so much, which is good, because I love learning. I am also being stretched and challenged in new and different ways each day, which also fulfills my desire for growth. Not all is sweetness and light - I do experience growing pains on a regular basis.

Here’s to a happy 2011, everyone. Best wishes to all.