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clown 6 – new beginnings

concentration and discipline

On Saturday and Sunday I am taking part in a short clown course at the “Escuela de Clown de las Hijas y los Hijos de Augusto”. I am thrilled and excited.

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It was almost one year ago that I took my first course with them and began what I call “my year of clown” so I am treating this weekend as a landmark event in my clown’s life. A year ago I didn’t even know her name or understand much about her. All that has changed. Reason enough to celebrate, right?

sm_popcorn0006

I have been celebrating, creating ritual and psyching myself (and my clown) up this week by giving special attention to my clown in lots of different ways. For instance I am beginning each day by dedicating my daily creative practice (meditation, writing and drawing) to my clown.

clown dcp

What does that mean, I’ve been dedicating my daily creative practice (dcp) to my clown? Let’s start with drawing, it’s the most obvious. I try to spend at least 15 minutes a day painting or drawing, and so this week’s theme or inspiration is “the clown”. When I began on Monday, this poem and image ran through my head.

sm_powerofclownThe power that makes the grass green,
the bird sing,
and the sun shine is within all of us.
It just takes concentration and discipline.

I asked myself, who is that? That sounds familiar, who said that? The closest quote I could find is from Muhammad Ali – “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

So, in the end I guess I said that!

sm_danceintheforestclown0001The power that makes the grass green,
the bird sing,
and the sun shine is within all of us.
It just takes concentration and discipline.

So making art and writing from a clown’s perspective or to pay attention to my clown, a conversation perhaps, that’s what I mean by dedicating my dcp to my clown.

The meditation practice is just my usual sitting. I don’t do anything different than other times, except I keeping in mind how mindfulness is also key to clown life and to apply it during this weekend (and all the time!).

clown and mindfulness

So not that much new here, but also so much new here, if I choose to live more mindfully and integrate the practice into daily life and not just keep it as something I do when I sit each morning.

concentration and disciplineThe essence of mindfulness and clowning is being alive, open and present with whatever is happening in the here and now. The clown steps into that here and now and responds authentically to whatever is going on, including not knowing what is going on. A clown always says “yes” accepting the facts or the reality surrounding her, and just like with mindfulness, then can choose to dig deeper, try new things or stick to well known patterns and habits.

Uncertainty or not knowing panics some people, but for a clown it is where magic begins. A clown feels at ease, or whatever is there and is OK with that. It’s the starting point.

lessons learned and integrated

I read through my learning journal from my year-long clown class and the 4 short courses I did last year as a way of wrapping up year one and I started a new learning journal. This week of clown and this weekend course will be the first reports in my new log.

learning_log

There’s a couple of lessons that stand out for me from last year, that maybe I haven’t 100% integrated but I’m on my way and they have changed my life completely, so I’ll share them here. They are good life tips for everyone, not just clowns.

Celebrate mistakes, accidents, screw-ups.

Accidentally step on a new pair of eye glasses? Yippee! Celebrate. I had been feeling precious about them, not wanting them to get scratch or bent just yet, well that period is over. Done. And accept it. It is the first of many more dings that will mark the lens and frame some day.

ecodharma_clowns0002

Miss the bus? Yippee! Time to take a deep breath and look at the sky above, count the clouds or pause to feel the sun and breeze on your skin. And remember to send a text and to say you will be a wee bit late.

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Celebrate screw-ups is a clown basic that is mentioned again and again in every class.

Last Autumn as homework, Sandra asked us to to pay attention to every mistake, accident, screw-up we made and to celebrate them. Notice that urge to scold ourselves, swear or get angry, and set that aside and celebrate whatever went wrong, and to find a positive way forward.

This exercise was one of the best things I have ever done and I invite you to try it.

In constant movement.

sm_dance_clown0005My clown loves music, dancing, singing and performing. I am also grateful to Sandra for the music she chose to accompany our work in class. I (and Pop Corn) have always had a wide taste in music and Sandra’s choices have stretched me just a bit more.

The fact that each week as a group we jumped, danced and moved around the classroom space doing exercises the teacher proposed, led to me being more movement oriented at home. I already do daily stretches to maintain flexibility but I have started putting on music while I cook and dance, or clean. It’s not rocket science and it’s not yoga or pilates. I simply move more, dancing, bouncing stretching, looking down the tunnel to my inner clown world and putting what I see or feel into movement. Yes, it’s goofy. It’s perfect clown. Again, I invite you try. Or maybe you already do.

caballo_rojo_clown_01Well there’s more. But two tips are a good number, easy to remember: celebrate screw-ups and have greater movement (dance, exercise, silly walks) in daily life. Give it a try, from now for the next hour. Or the rest of the day. Or for a week.

What happens? Let me know below in the comments and thanks for reading. Check back here soon. Could it be that my year of clown is turning into my clown life?


more about Pop Corn’s story

clown 1– clown classes for professional development

clown 2  – the red nose, the smallest mask in the world

clown 3 clown slump

clown 4 – welcome to the (so-called) normal world, Pop Corn

clown 5 – clown school year finishes

payaso  -es:  Más reflexiones escritas en español sobre la vida payasa.

 

2 thoughts on “clown 6

  1. Very good tips Denise about moving more- when and where you can. I”m happy you and Popcorn have had a year long relationship! Long live Popcorn!

  2. Hey Tara, thanks for your comment and I can imagine you already practice the dancing around bit, while you cook? Clean? And thanks for anniversary felicitations, I actually think she told me her name one day in February, but yes, we have been hanging out now since September 2019. Yipppeee! Do you know what your clown is called? The one who hangs out with Cooper? xo

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