Movement is my lifeline and my connection to mystery. As a child I had many hours of blissful freedom running, climbing, and tumbling, reveling in my ability to move and play. In college, I rediscovered this joy through modern dance and long runs on back-country roads. In these two forms of movement I found a sense of grace and connection to something that felt greater than myself. My ability to move freely, easily and expressively offered me personal insight, solace and joy.
When we love something it can be easy to overdo it. Somewhere along the way I lost the sense of freedom and joy I felt in movement, and by my late twenties I was suffering with chronic back, shoulder, and neck pain. When a doctor suggested I stop running I burst into tears, saying it was the only way I really knew how to find myself. I had other health issues too—food allergies and fatigue, that were keeping me from fully living and loving my life.
I began a long journey of self-healing. Investigating different forms of bodywork taught me that releasing muscular tension not only felt good, but also changed my perceptions of my world. The practices of Zazen and Vipassana meditation helped to calm my busy, restless mind. I began to study disciplines that integrated the body and mind—Yoga, Feldenkrais®, Body-Mind Centering®, Somatic Psychology and others. Perhaps not surprisingly, all these approaches helped me to feel more natural and authentic in myself. Movement became a spiritual path for me, a road to greater awareness and presence. It gave me an experience that felt both personal and universal, a relationship to gravity, breath, weight, balance, and space both within and without. Gradually, my health issues disappeared, along with my chronic aches and pains. I made a professional commitment to help others to find their own healing path using similar tools for developing self-awareness.
Our bodies are naturally intelligent. Much of the time we simply need to get out of our own way. One of my teachers, Charlotte Selver, said “The purpose is not to make living healthier but to make it more conscious; not to make it happier but to let it come more into accord with our true nature. The more that we arrive at our original nature, the more we discover that healthier and happier living comes about by itself." I have found this to be true.
I'm grateful to my many dance teachers who taught me form, the movement of expression, and how to be friends with the floor.
From the teachers at Heartwood Healing Arts Institute, Florida School of Massage, and the Upledger Institute, I first learned the gift of touch.
Janet Adler, Founder, Authentic Movement, taught me to drop into my body, surrender to gravity, and listen for a genuine impulse to move.
From Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Founder, Body-Mind Centering, I learned there is a natural developmental process of movement that underlies and guides all our natural abilities, and how to not interfere with it.
Tom Meyers, Founder, Kinesis Myofascial Integration, inspired me to love anatomy.
Jim Jealous, Cranial Osteopath, showed me how the movement of the Craniosacral system embodies life and helped me to feel it within myself.
David Zemach Bersin, Founder, Feldenkrais Institute, taught me to notice when I begin to focus on what is *wrong* and how to shift my attention to what is *working well*. From this I learned about the body's natural intelligence and our capacity for self-healing.
From Charlotte Selver, Founder, Sensory Awareness, I experienced the beauty of simplicity, be it in thought, word, or gesture. Less is truly More.
I am grateful to Vicki Pollard of Traditional Acupuncture for always providing a port in any storm.
Thank you Arifa Boehler and Zanda Merrill, Leaders in Women's Development and Group Dynamics, for helping me embrace the inherent and messy complexity of life and the dynamic nature of relationships, and for teaching me how to think about the whole system.
Mary Kate Murray, Teacher, Anusara Yoga, continually reminds me that I am stronger than I think I am.