Category Archives: the body

practicing caring

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My friend Carol Hinson sends out an email daily that lists what she is grateful for and what she is attracting and manifesting.  Today the attracting list included this:  “Covid19 leaves as quickly as it arrived and the world is a kinder place.

I think that is a good place to orient ourselves in a time of such overwhelming unknowns and fear.  Besides the disinfecting and handwashing and social distancing, there are other important things that we can do as we experience this collective trauma.

I am reaching out to people on a daily basis, checking in, telling them that I love them and am thinking of them.   In doing that, I can feel a gentle softening and opening in myself.  I see so clearly now how much my life is defined by what I love, what I cherish, and my great hopes for all beings.

Watching the “presser” this morning, I had a pretty fierce panic, which gave me chills and prompted me to take my temperature.  I am fine. I often (not always) feel that I am porous, and have to be particularly careful about what I take into both body and mind.

It is a good time to cultivate an interest in sound mental hygiene.  What that means will be different for each of us, but has everything to do with keeping one’s mental/emotional surfaces wiped down.  Not ruminating, not binging on news, and moving the body.

About moving.  Sometimes when we just try to calm ourselves, we are skipping the important step of allowing the body to actually discharge the trauma in a way that helps us to find a balance – not overwhelmed and fleeing nor locked down or frozen.

Simple steps like taking a walk, dancing freely to some music that you like, even just listening to music that you find pleasing can help to channel the body’s pent up energy or unfreeze what has frozen.  Because we are living in virtual connection now, maybe sharing an activity on FaceTime can be an option that offers activity and connection.

If you are struggling with what seems overwhelming at this time, I am working with clients remotely via Zoom or FaceTime, using the principles of Somatic Experiencing. You can reach me using this link. 

 

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Following Gillian

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I just learned of the death of my dear friend and inspiration, the artist Gillian Jagger.  I first met Gillian nearly 20 years ago when I had just finished choreographing RIDE.  I had seen her work “Absence of Faith” in New York, and was so moved that I reached out to speak with her and interview her for my book. That first conversation lasted more than two hours, and was followed by many, many more.

Gillian was an artist of fierce passion,  deeply generous in her vision, ever curious about others’ work and ideas. The world feels at once dimmer for her absence, and more brilliant for her having lived so fully among us.

Please watch these videos.  They will give you a beautiful sense of the woman, the artist, the visionary.

 

 

 

remember this

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The Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry ~

(The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry)

Balkan horses, touching, moving

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I have just returned from teaching a wonderful workshop in Bulgaria with a herd of 17 Balkan horses and a human herd of lovely, curious Bulgarian women.

Despite the challenges of language (helped by the heroic efforts of Millena, our translator) we were able to ground our communications in the shared language of the body, and find meaning in the always perfect teaching of the horses.

I am so grateful to Teodora, our organizer, for her vision and persistence.  For now, as my jet lag fades, I will let the photographs speak.