By Carey Ann Hunt and Colin Walsh
Leif in Motion and Shamaniclown.net are holding their first free Playshop titled Begin Big Change!. It will be Sunday July 22nd, 10:00am to 12:00 at Davis Holistic Health Center. 1403 5th Street, Suite B.
You read that right - Shamanic Clown.
Should the idea of a healing shamanic clown experience even be taken seriously? Yes and No and that, folks, is exactly the point.
There is a lot more to this seemingly strange juxtaposition of words than one might at first think. The idea is the use of clown and improv techniques and practices that can unlock parts of yourself and stimulate emotional healing. Humor is more than good for the soul; humor can be a key that assists in delving into the depths of who each one of us truly are. The inner self becomes a landscape for exploration. Humor softens the landing as we trip and fall and stumble back up to standing. In this way we unlock our inner selves.
“Shamanic Clown Healing is a blend of ancient disciplines, archetypes and technology. The Shaman walks between worlds to communicate with spirits and ancestors and helps the seeker find parts of themselves they have lost.” (Shamaniclown.net)
Like the Shaman, the clown too walks between worlds. “The Clown lives in the moment, speaks truth to power and loves the dark parts of our psyche. The Clown is vulnerable and invites us to join in that sacred place.” In the place of vulnerability and self-awareness is where growth and transformation thrive.
This is no joke. The idea of a clown as a sacred figure exists in many cultures, and has so for countless time. Keen humor touches that youthful awe-seeking mind, allowing wit to dance around mind-wrapped ideas of subtle grandeur. Humor touches a myriad of juxtaposed feelings. Charlie Chaplin offered the beautiful cold hard truth wrapped up in a bundle of humor.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted. A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure. To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it! Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles.”
In the Tarot the clown, or the fool, is a nave at the beginning of a journey, and this is a good place to start to Begin Big Change. Trusted Tarot writes “The Fool is… usually representing a new beginning -- and, consequently, an end to something in your old life.” Now is the perfect time for big change. Now can be when you begin to re-pattern old patterns with new, more effective ways of relating to yourself while in turn relating with the world. With each self-learning individual exposing our human frailty and innocence, the more we can grow as community.
The new Shamaniclown Playshops are led by Leif in Motion, aka Thomas Sterling, a licensed clinical social worker. (http://www.tsterling.net). Sterling has been in mental health services since 1988 and works with people facing a wide range of emotional and behavioral challenges.
Leif also studied under Heather Ash Amara in the Toltec lineage of Don Miguel Ruiz and is “the survivor of three firewalks, two death rituals, countless journeys to the origin of the Universe and other assorted celestial shenanigans.”
In 2006 after a conversation with a friend, Leif grew interested in the virtues of Commedia Delle Arte and embracing and celebrating the dark side of the self. When facing the dark side of the self, fear, anger and grief can dissipate allowing space for new beginnings to occur. A fresh outlook and an air of excitement are key to allowing the essence of who we are to permeate into the world around us. The child knows that. The adult oft time forgets. Play is essential to life, without which we wither no matter our chronological age.
Leif studied clowning with Christina Lewis, Elizabeth Barron and Melusina Gomez. Who, Leif notes, are “all powerful shamanic clowns themselves.”
Leif also has a certificate as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, having completed the training developed by Dr. Peter Levine, PhD in January, 2018. Leif incorporates principals of Somatic Experiencing in his clown and shamanic clowning Playshops.
In advertising Leif asks “Do you hunger for deeper connection? Is your life missing clear direction? Are you afraid to ask for what you need?”
Leif explained to us, that through clowning you can, “bring your most shameful parts to light and celebrate them.” Clowning can be a “healing modality.” In this way the Playshop can “help identify core challenges and identify a path to resolution” and it can all be done in a good natured playful way.
More can be read about the sacred clown and trickster in other cultures in the article The Path of the Sacred Clown: Where Trickster and Shaman Converge By Gary Z. Z notes that, “Almost all types of sacred clowns combine trickster spirit with shamanic wisdom to create a kind of sacred tomfoolery that keeps the zeitgeist in check. Their methods are unconventional and typically antithetical to the status quo, but extremely effective.”
You can follow Leif in Motion on Facebook and at his website: