clown 3 – clown slump
I am in a slump with my clowning. I can’t easily connect with my clown, like I had done in the Autumn.
This makes me very sad. My clown gives me such joy and life is so much easier when I am in better contact with her.
I have tried not to forced her to appear in my life, but to accept that is the situation now. A simple practice in mindfulness: noticing without judgment what is present (or not) and accepting it.
That was January.
clown come home
In February, I missed her too much. I decided I had to do something, so I tried bringing attention to creating conditions and activities that she likes to see if that helped me to feel her presence more.
I set a target of spending one hour with her in small snatches of time throughout the day.
For example, she likes music, singing and dancing, activities which I (the person) am hopeless at, but my clown is a superstar in her own category. She also likes taking the dog (Lula) for a walk and playing with her in the park. And she makes household chores easier, more pleasant by bringing a light and playful attitude to the work.
As I hoped, this special attention has helped. My clown will come out to play and is more present, still it’s not a natural, easy relationship like before. She doesn’t simply show up unannounced like she used to, which I really enjoy. It’s like discovering my team (well, me) suddenly has extra capacity and can accomplish more because my clown is on the scene.
So I have kept up this one-hour a day clown-time exercise and I have started “talking” to her and inviting to confide in me. What is wrong? Or maybe nothing is wrong, what does she have to tell me?
new year, new school schedule
I think my slump may be a simple case of the blues, or sadness or grieving for the way my “clown school life” was last year with the mix of teachers and approaches.
Tuesdays for two hours at the circus school, Wednesdays for two hours at the community center and once a month intensive weekend courses.
I imagine too that the newness of the whole experience (the actual classes, the homework or practical exercises, the people/other clowns, performances and events, and on and on) both required and generated a lot energy and passion from and for me. A slump or pause is natural. Perhaps exactly what I need to let the learning settle.
I have truly tried to be self-compassionate and curious about the slump to better understand it.
time in the learning zone
Since January I have just the class at the circus school. The teacher is very good at what she does and she cares about us a lot. But she can be very strict and demanding and has an authoritarian attitude. Strict, demanding and authoritarian are not words that I normally associate with community life-long learning courses, nor with clown classes.
But that’s OK, she is very conscientious teacher and many of the things we do are helping me to find and integrate my clown, which is one of the reasons I’m in the class.
And the other stuff, the strict demanding and authoritarian moments that violate my personal boundaries, well that’s OK too. I know that deep-learning happens in the discomfort (learning) zone and I have the inner tools to flow with strong emotions or whatever is alive in the group.
I simply put on my participant-facilitator’s hat and feel into class moments both as a clown and as a member of the group that is trying to help the collective work together well. It is excellent practice in noticing what is going on for me, for the group and trying to read the group dynamic, and maybe or not take some kind of action.
smashed open a door
While I haven’t fully untangled the knot of what has been holding my clown back, in class this week we did an exercise that has smashed open a door between the inner worlds of me and my clown.
How exciting is that? Can you imagine?
It’s hard to describe what this opening or new sense of mutual access is like, there’s many facets to it.
For now I’ll sum it up by saying it’s a sort of deepening of self-awareness that is also mixed up with a wider world view. It’s like I have 360 degree vision and I can zoom out and see the bigger picture and AT THE SAME TIME I can be completely consumed by the micro, mundane detailed personal picture!
How wacky is that, I know? That’s my clown-world. That’s where I went and where I want to keep going. How did I get there?
create an identity card
The exercise was to write an identity card for our clown, to develop our backstory, our life narrative. Our name, describe our family, where we are from, what our mission in life is, and on and on …
It is stuff that I have thought about a bit but not so deeply and deliberately. Time in class writing and the homework forced me sit down and review my notes and pull together ideas and sort them into lists and to have good conversations with my clown to find out things about her.
It has been a delightful experience. A bit like meeting someone like me who has some similar yet also completely different life experiences. She comes from a “world” where completely different rules apply but she is thoroughly comfortable here on planet Earth. She is of both worlds (the so-called real world and the clown one), completely bi-cultural and a polyglot!
So now instead of waiting for her to show up when my team/me could use a “resource boost” I can be more fluid with her. What a gift huh?
And what a …. What a …. ?
It is also something else (and perhaps much more) that I really can’t describe yet.
I will keep experimenting and living my clown, so check back here soon. I may have more tell you about this far-out and wacky yet truly wonderful, fun and lovely relationship my clown and I are nurturing.