This is a blog about some functional changes that I am making to one of the workshops I offer regularly in my hometown of Columbia, MO. The changes are inspired by my experience while offering a workshop based on this same movement form, Express Yourself, in Willow Springs, MO at the women's meditation retreat center Hearthaven.
To folks in CoMo: Please note that this will be the last month that registration for Express Yourself will be handled by Heart Body and Soul. This is also the last time I will be offering this particular movement form when the number of early committed participants is less than five.
Starting in August 2018, I will be asking folks to commit with payment a week in advance and will offer that specific month's workshop only if I have a core committed group of at least five. The fee for those who pre-register will continue to be a non-refundable $15 for the 90-minute workshop. (If I get a core committed group and the event happens, anyone who has not pre-registered will be asked to pay $25 for the luxury of waiting to drop in!)
This decision to change the way I approach this particular movement form is, in part, because of my recent experience with offering it to a sizable committed, curious group - and the experience made me realize that I do a disservice to myself, my craft and you, the participants, when I try to "wing it" for one or two people. (I do use this form in private and small group sessions, however, this is possible because the session is thoughtfully planned specifically for the individual(s) involved.)
The experience that brought me to implement this change was this: I was recently immersed into the energies of the Goddess Bast for four days with 20 or so women at the annual summer retreat of Hearthaven in Southern Missouri. For those who might not know about Bast, she is the Goddess of Cats. She is playful, sensuous, mischievous. She is the embodiment of contentment & self-care as well as the embodiment of wild aggression in her protection of innocents harmed by abusers.
As a part of this retreat I lead the group in an exploration of some of the dynamics of Bast: Tame/Wild and Angry/Contented. I used the movement form of Express Yourself and the template I had developed for last month's exploration of Shedding the Tame that did not get used because there were only a couple participants.
This workshop at Hearthaven was powerful and transformative. It was awesome for me to witness it unfold. Over the course of 120 minutes, I watched women change the way they lived in their bodies, carrying themselves with more ease, less tension. I heard women shift their understanding as they discussed their experience of the prompts. Several of the women involved told me after that they had been able to touch their wildness and/or their anger in ways that they had never before experienced.
Some have called Express Yourself an embodied movement class. This is true, however, it's also more than that. The intention of this movement form was and is to be a vessel that supports embodied, safe healing around living fully while in relationship with concepts like Anger, Desire, Power, Trust.
Unfortunately in my well-intentioned desire to make this workshop happen however I could for whoever showed up each month, I kind of lost hold of what my own creation was all about. In this recent experience at Hearthaven my vision of this movement form as a healing modality was re-ignited!
And so, here we are:
I am beyond excited at the possibility of bringing this supportive, safe, kinesthetic exploration to you, my community of Columbia MO. My life's work is about finding embodied safe ways to support all of us in our process of exploring and healing our relationships with difficult subjects and concepts. If you haven't done so already, I do hope that you will soon join me in an upcoming session of this unique opportunity for conscious, mindful, embodied healing.