Category Archives: improvisation life

shelter in the storm


I have been reflecting on the effects of long-term, chronic stress.  I have also been feeling them.  I recently read about the phenomenon of “biological weathering.”

The term “weathering” describes how the constant stress of racism may lead to premature biological aging and poor health outcomes for black people, like disproportionately high death rates from chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and most cancers.

Mental anguish and stress from “fighting against larger structures and systems can have an impact on your health,” Joia Crear-Perry, M.D., founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, tells SELF. This, in a nutshell, is weathering.

The pandemic is weathering us.  A disastrous, divisive, ugly presidency weathers us.  Witnessing the endlessly brutal effects of racism on our black brothers and sisters is weathering.  And on and on.

There are things that we can do to mitigate the harms.  Practical, heart and mind strategies to help us find shelter in the storm.  Many of them are simple, some are deeper and more detailed.  In my work as a trauma-informed somatic practitioner, I am helping folks discover ways to navigate the turbulence, the uncertainty, the anguish of these times, and open to greater ease and heartful engagement.

I am offering telehealth, teletherapy sessions based on the principles of  Somatic Experiencing®,  a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine. SE engages both body and mind, focusing on regulation and repair. Listening to the body and our emotional responses, helps us to gain balance and calm. By establishing effective defensive responses, we create better boundaries and a feeling of greater empowerment and agency. Somatic Experiencing® focuses on the sensations that lie beneath our feelings and uncovering our habitual responses to these feelings. Clients develop increased tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions, helping them to gain access to greater resilience and expressivity, while learning how to stay in the present moment.

During this time I am offering sessions on a sliding scale.  If you would like to schedule a session and explore some supportive possibilities, you can contact me at

In the meantime, be well, be safe.


finding fluid resilience

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Here is your weekend meditation.  Just spend a few minutes watching the jellyfish (video below).  Notice the pulsation, the opening and closing – letting in, letting out – the softness and ease of their movement, the drift, and the ways they are carried and supported by their watery environment.  Their effortless, casual connection with each other – sometimes the bells touching and other times, just the long tendrils passing by.

I like to feel that even as we are physically apart, that the tendrils of our love, our deeper social connections – the ones that do not rely on physical proximity – are passing near, gliding and drifting together, all part of our communal knowing, our social expression.

Can you allow these images to support your own watery, flowing body? Enjoy!





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I was listening to a podcast the other day and someone mentioned finding comfort in the Monterey Bay Aquarium live jelly cam.  Now I have that floating on one of my screens basically whenever I am in my study.   Something about the pulsation, the flow, the grace, the every-changing landscape is mesmerizing, soothing, Jellyfish is one of the transformational, basic neurocellular stages that human embryo passes through in its development.  Perhaps I am having an embryonic memory, a yearning for a more womblike, oceanic experience right now.

The title “sanctuary” came to me last night, but as I began to write, I was overwhelmed by the vastness of the  embodied experience of sanctuary. Last night I enjoyed a Zoom class on embryology with Lorelei Bond.  As we began, she invited us to settle into our cellular beingness.  Sanctuary!

I have been cleaning, moving precious objects, wiping down shelves, treasures, photographs – everything that creates the sanctuary of my study space.  Yesterday I began my movement practice as a jellyfish, undulating, pulsing, nourished by the profound refuge of the moving body.

I have a large mountain laurel in full bloom outside my study window. I walked outside to see it more closely and realized that I had never smelled the blossoms and found that they are delicately fragrant. Sanctuary.

Pam and I are meditating together every morning.  Sanctuary.

So is sanctuary aligned with pleasure?  I think so.  With comfort?  Yes.  With place? Of course.  With people?  More than ever.

I am making more calls, writing more letters, hanging out in more Zoom rooms than ever.  I am filled with an incredible sense of connectedness and appreciation.  Sanctuary everywhere, all around, holding us, together apart.

How are you discovering and creating sanctuary in this time?  Tell me.

Just a reminder.  I am working with students and clients virtually at this time, with both movement and talk.  If you would like to arrange a Somatic Experiencing or Somatic Movement Therapy Zoom session, you can contact me at

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.