Sources of Inspiration
April 20, 2015
As my initial post, I will summarize and describe a few of the sources of my inspiration for this journal. (While knowing that I am the river of many different sources, and one post can’t possibly name them all.)
Global Somatics Process. I describe the form of bodywork I offer as Somatic Massage. The primary source for the techniques I use are grounded in Global Somatics Process. In 2009, I enrolled in a two-year, 1400-hour Practitioner Training Program. Our learning-cohort was myself and four other students. Our primary teacher and guide was Suzanne River, with guest teachers and apprentice teachers. The Global Somatics Practitioner Training program was deeply informed by Body-Mind Centering®, as well as Reiki, Craniosacral Technique, Rolfing*, and Ceremony. Through this training I learned a variety of techniques in Somatics… a process of mapping of the body — developing a keen awareness of all systems of one’s own body — with movement as a way of sensing, as well as other forms of sensing including touch/massage, breath, voice, art, and play. This experience and training me a deeper and clearer relationship of my own body, important information about being a healing the world one cell at a time. Suzanne insisted that the place we were learning not be called a school — I studied at the Green River Dance for Global Somatics. She called it a Dance because she was there dancing, learning, and mapping beside us. I could best describe this experience as an initiation, an evolutionary boost towards being more of myself, through practices of embodiment.
*While I have learned and practiced aspects of these techniques, I am not certified nor have completed full training as a practitioner in these modalities.
Eternal Spring Chi Kung. I began studying this artform shortly after graduating from the Green River Dance for Global Somatics. I was looking for a practice to ground myself in. While I was in the Practitioner Training Program, I noticed how the regular rhythm and structure of having a clear focus of study and deepening my understanding of my body was helping me, in so many ways. In the summer of 2011, I found a flyer at my front door for a class in Tai Chi. I called the number on the flyer, met with the teacher, Jeremy Hubbell. Jeremy had been studying Tai Chi for 7 years, under C.K. Chu, in New York City. He was just beginning to develop a branch of the school in Minneapolis. I started with Eternal Spring Chi Kung, a series of exercises developed by C.K. Chu, specifically to help westerners approach the form of Tai Chi. (To learn Tai Chi requires stamina, strength, calmness of mind, alignment and breath. These skills are developed through practicing Eternal Spring Chi Kung.)
I had heard about Tai Chi many times, and had always thought this may be a good match for me. I wanted to meditate, but had a hard time sitting still. I wanted to connect with my body while meditating. I wanted to learn how defend myself. Tai Chi has benefited me in all these ways and more. I’ve been steadily gaining a greater awareness of my body, breath, and mind. I have methods to clear my energy and to renew it. I have greater strength, flexibility, and grounding than ever, and the philosophies within the movements have informed much of how I am in my everyday life.
Four years later, I learned the entire short form of the Yang Style of Tai Chi. I traveled to New York City to train at the C.K. Chu School of Tai Chi. I graduated as an Eternal Spring Chi Kung Instructor in February 2015.
People’s Movement Center. The People’s Movement Center is a newly-emerged Healing Justice Collective, of which I am a member. I have offered Eternal Spring Chi Kung classes there weekly, and practice Somatic Massage in the bodywork rooms. This collaboration was founded by Alejandra Tobar-Alatriz, and is co-stewarded by circles of supporters on many levels. The beginning shape of this space is profoundly revolutionary and evolutionary in its structure, process, and approach. I am participant and witness to its emergence.
My experiences as a Community Organizer, and advocate for protecting the Earth, and working for justice and equality in human society.
My experiences as an Artist.
What I read, witness, and observe happening around me, and in the world.