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send in the clowns.....

Ok so I have written this blog three times and Pip has said no.

My problem is that the world we are working with is so heavy and serious and so I feel like I need to write about what we do in a serious way- as if to give it more weight. This is crazy!

There is a serious side to what we do- but actually I need to trust that you will only know what this means when you do it.

That ain’t easy is it! Throw yourself in to a ridiculous experience to find out things about yourself you didn’t know??

But when you live your life telling yourself all the worst things about yourself, positive experiences can change this. So why is that not a part of the answer, the offer, the go to when life sucks?

It isn’t easy to find or take part in something that might be lively not passive, enjoyable not unsatisfying, energising not tiring, light not heavy- it takes effort, if you are desperate- there is a way out and it can be fun.

“Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.”

― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

At 24 I had the rug pulled from under my feet with a whole new story about my life and who I was. I buried this for many many years because it was too big to deal with and I didn’t want my life to change. When it started to get the better of me in my 30’s I went down the therapy route for a while and I am not saying this wasn’t useful but it didn’t make me feel good, it did teach me how to cope, I still didn’t feel like how I wanted to feel.

This only happened when I booked myself on to a stand up comedy course. (I dance, I don’t talk, so this was way out of my comfort zone). I did this course because I wanted to find a new way to talk about myself and I can remember walking in to the comedy club- sweating and my heart was pounding. I didn’t want to be there… but I sooooo did. There was a voice in my head telling me really clearly- I want this, I want to be me again. I want to change.

There was no messing around on this course… the first thing to do was to get up on stage, stand with the microphone and talk about who we are- introduce yourself- ahhhhh what do you say to that???? 'I don’t fucking know' I wanted to shout. I was 39 or 40 at the time, FYI, I can’t quite remember. But this was definitely a moment I will remember forever.

I got up on stage, in my hoodie and jeans, arms folded and then flapping a bit and then on my hips and I said…

'When I was 24 I found out I wasn’t who I was. What I wasn’t was white, blonde haired and blue eyed’

I burst in to tears and everyone laughed, then I laughed so hard.

Say what - I was funny! - honestly I realised in that moment, this was the most ridiculous thing I could have said. The heaviest thing in the world to me, changed in an instant, and it changed forever.

The thing is, sending in the clowns is essential, because they are already here- they just need to be set free.

Want to SHOOP? Or just find out more about SHOOP? Or just peek from the sidelines… it’s all good

- Catherine

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