|Rest a new world into being…|
These days, I keep hearing and feeling the sense of possibility for positive changes in our world, the pressure and need to keep on creating them, and the immense and impossible-seeming need for rest. We need rest from all the hard inner and outer work of the last year, four years, and more. We need rest to support our clear actions to come. And we need rest because it is the cold, dark, slowing season.
I keep thinking we all need a vacation from everything — and where and how will we get it?? In these moments, I’m remembering that a little bit of practice goes a long way. Where are the moments that we can allow peace, enjoyment, celebration, and nourishment? Can you create a few minutes to lie on the floor, on a couch, in a sun patch… and be a body?
A year ago I was faced with an impossible situation. The house where I’d been living got partially flooded by a neighboring building’s burst and thawed pipes, which leaked nasty smelling and allergy-inducing water into our walls. Two different elders told me: This might take a while. You’d better put your stuff in storage, and maybe move out. But as I was also heavily concussed at the time, I couldn’t imagine doing much of anything, let alone packing and moving.
At first I didn’t know what to do– I had already received so much help since my concussion, and didn’t want to ask for more. But sometimes a crisis can really stretch you beyond your self-conceptions, and I brought myself to reach out again, in detail, through emails sent on my behalf to a large group of friends and community.
What followed felt nothing short of miraculous. People showed up bearing gentle hugs, soft songs, open ears and hands to carry out what had seemed like an impossible task to me… After five surprisingly easy days, my things were washed, packed, and stored, and I had a place to land with friends and focus on my healing. Between long naps and extremely slow walks from my healing nest, I remember drawing a circle, like a navigating wheel or seed of intention, with these words around the edge:
Ask Receive Absorb
In the midst of a personal crisis, I learned that truly absorbing the support of our collective body is just as important as drawing support from within ourselves.
When guiding clients to listen to their inner wisdom, I’ll often invite them to ask their body what it is they need in a given moment or situation, and just to notice and honor however their body responds. When a response emerges— an image, thought, impulse, or sensation— I ask them to take a moment and just absorb the benefits of whatever has come up to support them. As they follow this guidance and appreciate what it brings them, they may notice something soften inside them, and a surprising new insight come to mind about how to address their needs.
This month my synagogue community began hosting and sponsoring a Salvadoran refugee family while they find footing in Philadelphia. I think of all the support we have received and absorbed that enables us to lend a hand to this family. I’m struck by the cyclical nature of giving and receiving, and feel a sense of renewed commitment to sourcing support from within and from others and supporting others to do so as well.
Here’s to you asking for, receiving, and deeply absorbing all that you need this month and beyond.
Dear Visioning Body Community,
I hope this message finds you well and resourced as we begin 2019. I wanted to share a little more, as I have been on quite a journey and away from newsletters for some time.
2018 was a year of incredible healing and transformation for me, both personally and professionally. The year began with a knock on my head (literally hitting my head on a basement pipe), and a concussion that had me in bed for 2 weeks. What followed was a period of several months in which my physical needs and symptoms (slow movement, lots of sleep, light and sound sensitivity, headaches, nausea, spacial disorientation…) held me to living my practice more thoroughly than I had ever experienced before. With the help of family and friends, I was able to slow down my work, go offline (mostly), and spend many hours, days, and weeks immersed in Reiki, Somatic awareness, meditation, rest, and creative process.
During these months of heightened sensitivity and limited ability, following my body’s needs and wisdom became a non-negotiable cornerstone to my every moment. The experience was at once exquisitely challenging, nourishing, and perspective altering. Positioned at a time when I was grieving the end of a relationship, feeling viscerally disoriented by the political environment in the U.S., and (to be honest) experiencing some disillusionment about running a solo business, these months of prioritizing my own healing directed straight back to the heart of my practice— being fully alive in each moment. I realized more deeply that my own creativity and self-care is equally as important to the mission and life of The Visioning Body as communicating the importance of embodied living, and offering Somatic Movement and Reiki experiences to others. They are all aspects of the practice I love.
The insights and offerings emerging from this time are vast and profound, and I am truly excited to share them with you as 2019 unfolds. For now, I’d just like to say thank you— for being connected with The Visioning Body and for all the ways you are exploring this grand adventure of living.
Humbly and gratefully,
ps. Check out this pic of my home studio! One of the gems that emerged from my 2018… <3
I don’t normally pray, at least not in words, but this is what I found myself saying as I sat at my window Saturday morning feeling deeply shaken by the terrors of the news which I won’t repeat here now.
“May I let my worries rest in the living intelligence of our world of which I am a part.
“May I trust and honor the ways the world brilliantly responds to disruption and finds balance.
“May I tune to the creative, sensing, rebalancing brilliance of life that supports our learning and evolution in exactly the timing that is possible.”
This is the heart and bigger context for why I believe in somatic awareness as a practice for living responsively and supporting the wellbeing of our selves and world.
I’ve been dreaming about how to create more of a community that supports embodied and values-based living, and this year I have decided to offer a year-long group program with this in mind. We are enrolling now and Priority Registration (including an additional private Somatic Visioning session) end July 31st.
If you feel called to live in deeper alignment with your body’s intelligence and you want the support of community to share your gifts from this place of deep inner connection, please take a look at the program information for Somatic Wellbeing for the Visioning Being, and feel free to get in touch. I would love to hear your story.
A couple winters ago I called up my friend Jesse White, founder of Pigeon Arts to see if she wanted to get together and make art, side by side. Jesse is a poet, visual artist and educator with a strong focus on spiritual and personal growth through the arts, and I knew she’d be the perfect art making buddy for me.
We started gettting together to make art, move, write, do what we do… and exchanged appraoches to sourcing art from the core of our beings, quieting our inner critics and outer distractions, and supporting our minds and hearts through cycles of creative flow and taking restorative breaks. Meeting with Jesse provided a solid bridge for me from a period of feeling lost from my own art-making to being delighted, curious, and courageous about having a regular creative arts practice that feeds my soul, mind, and hunger for the mysteries of life.
Our time together was so personally rich and fun that that we decided to open up our doors and create a space to offer what we’ve learned and support others awakening their creativity. And thus, Moving & Making with your Inner Artist was born.
Hope you can join us this July for this juicy mid-summer workshop!
As humans and creative beings we need a balance of structure and freedom to create, learn, and grow. We need all the support of our physiological, relational, societal, and earth structures to survive and be well. And within all of these structures we need to freedom to be responsive to all that is occurring in every moment.
Is there something you are wanting to create or discover in your life at this time? Something as simple as setting aside time to listen, journal, draw, or move with your idea can be just the invitation that your inner wisdom needs to chime in and show you a way through. When you set aside this time, you can ask yourself– what would help me feel supported here? And create your structure based on that (A 5, 10, or 30 minute timer? A really soft blanket? Some tea? A walk outside? A friend to be with?).
In my quest to create structures for creative visionaries to blossom, I have just begun enrollment for a *new year-long program*, Somatic Wellbeing for the Visioning Being. Check it out! I’d love to hear what you think.
Here’s to all the right support for your learning and transformation…
I am so very excited to welcome Mary Abrams back to Philly next month, for the 3d year in a row, this time to teach her Moving Silence Weekend! During this 2 day weekend of silence on May 21–22, we will focus on dreaming, integrating life desires with reality, and allowing our bodies to guide us to balance ambition, big picture plans and visions, with moment to moment living and self-care.
Mary is a phenomenal teacher, and I highly recommend you do not pass up the opportunity to learn with her in May! Read more about her and the workshop here.
Living a thriving and meaningful life aligned with your callings may seem like a daunting goal. I want to encourage you to know that every step of the way you can be guided by wisdom that moves through your body in sensations, impulses, thoughts, and images… Everything you need and everything you need to know is right there, accessible to you any time you slow down and listen.
Here is a 4 step practice for allowing your body to support you through any challenge or question you face. *adapted from Mary Abrams’ teachings.
When you are experiencing something challenging on your path, bring your awareness to the present moment of your experience and your wisdom by asking:
1) When I am experiencing this challenging emotion, decision, task, etc, what am I sensing in my body?
allow your body to respond. notice any sensations, internal movements, and impulses.
2) When I am sensing this in my body, what do I need?
allow your body to respond, rather than having to come up with an answer in your thoughts. it doesn’t have to make cognitive sense. allow your body to sense, move or become still, think, imagine.
3) When I need this, what will support me?
again, allow your body to respond.
4) See what emerges from this experience. You may have new perspectives, or you may just feel different in your body. You may have a new way of engaging with your original challenge, or you may be prompted to do something new for the time being. Trust whatever you find. This is your body’s wisdom!
I am pleased to announce the 5th run of my training program Somatic Wellbeing for Visionaries and Leaders, where people come together in community to deepen into their body’s wisdom around their self-care, time, money, emotional wellbeing, and life/work visions. It has been a powerful learning journey every time!
I feel really deligthed by the group that is forming this time, and I’d like to ask for your help in guiding just the right other members to our circle (We are capping the group at an intimate number of 10 members).
Would you take a moment to feel into or consider if there is anyone in your community who would benefit from an in-depth, creative and body based journey towards living in deeper alignment with their wellbeing and callings?
If you know someone who may be ready for this kind of experience, please share this newsletter with them or send them to www.VisioningBody.com/Springto sign up for a time to connect with me one-on-oneabout their emerging visions and needs!
In deep gratitude for our connection,
I’m feeling incredibly grateful to have gotten to see both my two-year-old niece Emma and my 100-year-old Great Aunt Ruth in the last couple of weeks. Being with these people I love has been so inspiring, and I want to share a couple of sweet morsels and lessons with you:
At the end of Aunt Ruth’s 100th birthday party last weekend, I got to go up and visit her apartment filled with all her nic-nacs and plants (and even a new avocado pit growing), and see the first painting she ever made, at a painting class she went to last week. My lessons from Aunt Ruth: Always keep learning, life can be full of many things, there’s lots of time, and it’s never too late.
I got to go to the beach with my family, and Emma was delighted by the ocean — running all around, shrieking, laughing, making little piles of sand on her feet. She was curious and a little scared of the little tidal pool waves, and she repeatedly ran up near them shrieked and laughed and ran away, until hours later she was able to peacefully and happily stand in the waves. Lessons from Emma: Enjoy meeting your fears — learning to adapt can be fun. Laugh, shriek, run around, don’t bother keeping it small.
I hope to enjoy many more sweet, fun moments of learning with you this fall.
In particular, I’m gearing up for another round of Somatic Wellbeing for Visionaries and Leaders beginning September 16th and am very excited and grateful to delving into this rich learning environment with a new group. We still have some spots open so if you know anyone who might like to join in, please share this info with them! It would be best to sign up by September 1st to get the most benefit out of the pre-program materials. Register at www.visioningbody.com/fall
Here’s to a rich end of summer and beginning of fall,
One of my favorite things about teaching and learning somatic practices for living well and on purpose, is the transformational affect this learning has on those around us and our communities.
The more I respect my body’s subtle signals as the guiding light of my every day experience and the way I structure my time and life, the more others around me do too, and the more I am in turn supported by their presence of being.
This happens in simple and direct ways:
We relax more into our chairs, delight more in the food we are savoring, breathe more fully, connect more deeply…
We also affect each other through inspiration:
We inspire each other to see beyond what we know to be possible in life and work. We imagine and show each other that we can create livelihood, community, timing structures, etc. that support our full potential as human beings.
The truth is, every time you deepen more into your body and allow your callings to speak in and through you, you are creating an opening in the world and transforming not only your life but also the lives of those around you. And when someone in your community deepens into their body wisdom, they are creating more ground for you to live into your right life as well.
In just a couple of weeks on July 25th, I will be offering a workshop at my dear teacher Mary Abrams’ studio in NYC! I hope you can join us for Becoming Your Dreams: A playful and embodied approach to life visioning.
On the Philly side of life, we are enrolling now for The Visioning Body’s fall group training for creative visionaries. Click here to sign up for a consultation before our upcoming Early Bird Discount on July 31st!
It would be a joy to work with you personally in either of these contexts. If you can’t join us, please consider sending someone you know so that they can make strides in their own life and be a more embodied and inspirational presence in yours!
In gratitude for our revolutionary community of learners,