Snippet Blog #4 - It Can Do A Backflip, but Can It Hold Down a Desk Job?

I am excited to share this fun article written by one of my classmates in my first Module at the Laban Institute of Movement Studies. Amy is a unique woman, combining her love of dance and robotics to bring a unique perspective to both!

I love how, in this article, she brings to light the complexity of what we think of as the simplest of our everyday human movements - from unsticking a label from itself to choosing how to respond to an inappropriate joke!

She asserts what I too know to be true: you, yes, even you who do a desk job and believe you avoid any sort of exercise or physical activity can make claim to the quite incredible and complex things that you do EVERY day with your body. You are often doing intricate amazing things that you may not yet understand or, often, even value.

I especially love the line "this requires leveraging your full mechanical complexity to indicate shades of approval and disapproval simultaneously." Yes, folks, the way you express yourself is also movement.

Living one’s life as a moving, functional, expressive being requires a set of skills that, for the most part, we developed through responding to biology, reacting to the environment and practicing patterns and conditioning in our every day interactions! And while, like robots, we can simply follow our programming without question, as humans we have the capability of exploring the possibilities beyond what we have learned in the past. As humans, we have the capacity to develop consciously an extensive range of versatile competencies that we can choose to explore, refine and challenge as we live our daily lives fully. Unlike the robot programmed for a specific task, we (and our lives) are complex . You could say that we are “programmed” for growth and change!

We get to choose. Being human means we can be like the robot, adept at functional, repetitive, patterned movement that requires a narrow set of rules and conditions. Or we can be fully complexly human, taking risks, making conscious our habits, exploring the places where we are no longer or not yet competent, playing with options and possibilities! As humans, we have the capacity to continually deepen and expand our expressiveness, our variability, our resilience! Unlike the robot, we always have the option to be curious and to question our “programming”…and sometimes this can mean, simply, taking the time to be curious and to notice what is involved as you pick up a paperclip or negotiate an uncomfortable moment in a conversation.

Snippet Blog #3 - The Brain, The Gut, Stress and Anxiety

If you haven’t yet heard or read about the important relationship between stress that overwhelms, chronic worrisome thinking, your gut and your health, then I offer to you this brief article from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

I share this with my clients who have not yet learned the importance of mindful, constructive, nourishing regenerative calm and rest, especially related to health for digestive process! It is a nice introduction to the topic because it is short and to the point, and it gives some easy to access tips for increasing health, calm and regeneration.

Let me know what you think!

Snippet Blog Post #2 - Practicing Health as a Daily Act: Seated Constructive Rest

In my cleaning and clearing, I found these two small items that really resonate with power within me. They are just two random pieces of information, like so many, that I collect as I move through my days because they remind me of something important and valuable to me. These small bits reminded me of the thing I desire in my own life and to share with all of you: this knowledge that one can choose to live understanding that each moment is an opportunity to invite health and well-being and to practice rewiring unhealthy patterns, and, likewise, to persist in the practice of patterns that deplete and deprive us of health.

The first piece of information I share with you is a quote from an unknown source:

the energy we expend defending and protecting unhealthy patterns, thoughts, behaviors, attachments could be spent practicing health

Voila! Right on! This energy we have within us is ours to do with as we choose. And yes, we may not have been taught ways to use our life and life-force to live life fully and it may feel like a daunting task to shift how we use our energy, but we can know that we COULD, if we chose to, use our energy to practice health. Yes. Yes. Yes.

The second piece of information is a nicely written essay on the practice of Constructive Rest, which anyone who has been a client of mine in either of my professional worlds should recognize as one of the key daily practices I suggest for supporting one’s health. Constructive Rest is normally done in the semi-supine position, which means lying on one’s back with knees bent and feet placed standing on the floor; however, in this essay she offers the practice with a twist, she outlines the practice of Seated Constructive Rest. Although her intended audience seems to be the harried New Yorker waiting for the subway, I invite you, my Midwestern friends, to enjoy this piece and use it as an inspiration to become more mindful and proactive about how you use your body throughout your day - even and especially if you spend your day seated.

As she says in the article, this is not a substitute for the lying down version or for taking part in other more active movement in your day, but it is an accessible option for you to gently transform possibly unhealthy patterns of posture while just living your every day life!

Practicing seated constructive rest is an opportunity to expend your energy to create more presence, relaxation, alertness and confidence in your day.

And it is yet another easily accessible tool that you can wield in your practice of health if you choose and you can do this one without ever leaving your chair!

A snippet Blog #1: Rae Johnson on Embodied Activism

Hello my Embodiment community -

a brief explanation of what follows: I have committed this Imbolc weekend and this first week of February to completing, filing, recycling, shedding, shredding and whatever other verb is appropriate to describe the action of clearing my office space of its clutter. As a result of this, I what I think plan to post what I think of as “snippet blogs” - brief blogs containing interviews, quotes, not fully formed but interesting thoughts, videos and articles that I have been a part of or was influenced by this past Autumn and Winter. These are interesting tidbits that I held on to because I wanted to share them with you folks - and find that NOW is the time!

The first snippet blog - and possibly most exciting for me - is on the significant topic of Embodied Activism, inspired by the linked article of the same name. As my first time back on the air as a programmer with KOPN’s feminist radio collective Women’s Issues Women’s Voices, I had the great honor of interviewing Rae Johnson, somatic educator and activist.

If this topic intrigues you, here are the links to part #1 and part #2 of this interview originally aired November 1, 2018 on Mid-Missouri’s only community radio station KOPN:

Part #1 VDay interview with Rae Johnson: Embodied Activism

Part #2 VDay interview with Rae Johnson: Embodied Activism

I would love for you to comment with your thoughts!

A New Year, a New Dawn

Here we are, folks, at the end and beginning of another cycle of the human-created year. A segment of time based on the real travels of this planet Earth as it moves around the Sun, the greatest star in our universal body (at least from our everyday perspective here on Earth.) A new dawn, a new Year.

Consider this for a moment, if you will: as I write this and (possibly) as you read this, our planetary home returns back to approximately the same place in its orbit of the Sun, the same general place in Space that it was a year ago as we ended 2017 and began 2018.

This cycle by our home planet, around and round the Sun, is a glorious and dependable pattern on which we rely, often without any thought to it. The planet is constantly in motion and, as its residents, so are you and I. The Sun and our relationship to it is a powerful force in our lives and each day - whether with intention or not - we interact with this great being from different perspectives as we dance around its metaphorical throne in the middle of our solar system. As far as most of us are concerned, the Sun does not change course: it is stable and constant. It is the basis on which we measure time. The relationship of the Sun and the Earth determines our seasons. We need its light every day just as we need time to recuperate in the darkness that our spinning in orbit gives us. And it is gravity, the thing that supports us and keeps us grounded, that allows us to maintain this orbit.

As you absorb all of this information, I invite you to add this to your thoughts as well: imagine yourself as a speck of cosmic dust riding on this body of Earth orbiting the Sun, and remember that even as you sit still, even while you read this, you are always moving through Space. Notice the sensory experience of this. (This exercise can be ungrounding, so before you move on please take care to return your attention to yourself as a physical presence resting on this big planet, securely held in place by gravity.)

Now, I invite you to layer in this idea: you, as an individual, started your personal dance around and with the Sun at the moment you emerged from the womb and have been doing it ever since. At that moment in time and in a specific place on the planet, you moved from your watery confines and entered into existence at a unique placement somewhere on this great elliptical pattern that is the Earth traveling around the core of our solar system!

When we each celebrate our individual birthday, we are not only celebrating the date of our birth, but we also have the opportunity to celebrate the unique place where we initially landed on the wheel of the year and started our cosmic rhumba with the Sun. Our birthday can be our individual relationship within this cycle of the Earth’s year dance, if we choose to consider it this way.

Likewise, when we celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on Dec 31 and Jan 1, we are acknowledging the beginning and ending points of this annual cycle as determined by some human (a Roman guy, if my memory serves me!) Observant astronomers had determined that the length of this cycle was 365¼ days but it was Caesar who decided the point in the cycle on which the year would end and, as a result, begin.

In movement work we call this type of conceptualization a “phrase.” A phrase always has a From, a Through and a To. In other words, I can describe the movement of this new year as coming From the time and place of 12/31/18 and moving Through the 365¼ days To the time and place of 12/31/19 when we will once again find ourselves approximately in the same place in Space in relation to the Sun that we were previously…or, in this case, are now.

Within this phrase of a year, we have many phrases because all movement has phrasing.

Phrases that are general to all of us as part of this cosmic dance are those like the moon cycle of approximately 28 days, the day cycle of 24 hours, the hour cycle of 60 minutes and on and on.

In addition we are always living and choosing and moving phrases that are specific to us such as the unique phrasings of our daily tasks and events, of experiences we have, or actions we take, of each breath.

Within all this movement we are constantly invited to recognize where, when, what and how we are moving From some experience or place, Through something and Toward yet some other place, experience or thing. We are invited to recognize that we can choose how we conceptualize our movement, whether it is how we relate to the phrasing of the larger cycles of the Earth moving around the Sun, or other similar cosmic scale patterns or how we attend to the smaller, more personal phrases like how we move in our everyday life, in relation to our Self, in relation to Others and in relation to our environment.

Some folks consider the Sun as a metaphor for our Soul’s purpose such as in astrology where we have something called the Sun Sign based on the date and placement of our birth (as I described above). Regardless of whether you believe in astrology or not, I invite you to recognize that we all have patterns that often relate to or orbit around one Core issue or theme throughout our lives, even while we are also dealing with smaller, everyday challenges and joys. As humans, we get to explore, choose, resist, consider and/or engage this metaphorical Sun around which we orbit. Unlike the planets in their orbits, we get to choose about how we move our own bodily universe in relationship to itself and to its world. We get to consider whether and what we orbit as well as how and when.

For example, when I tell my story, when I wake in the morning, when I show up to a meeting, when I become aware of a conflict or any of the other things I do in a day, I have the ability to ask myself, “what is the core issue around which I am dancing or around which this group is dancing?” “what do I bring to this moment From the past or do I have an intention I am trying to get To?” “Is there a larger phrase that I am also moving through?”

I can wonder: Is this the beginning of a new cycle and if it is, then how was I as I moved Through the place or experience that I am coming From? Is this the end of something? If it is, where and when did this cycle begin?

We can, if we choose, attend to such questions as:

Is this where and how I want this body or this body part to be in this moment?
Am I using a pattern of movement, reacting in a familiar, safe way?

Is the quality, mood, or attitude of my movement in tune with my intentions?
Are my movements communicating what I desire to be experiencing or sharing in this moment?

Am I carrying a story or belief with me from the past into the present moment?
Is there something I desire to change in how I am moving in my thoughts, my emotions, my energy and/or in my physical body?

The reality is as living beings we are always in movement. Life is movement. Change is movement. Breath is movement.

The Earth moves through the Solar System. Autumn changes to Winter. December turns to January. Your birthday will come around once again. Yesterday becomes today and today becomes tomorrow. You wake from bed. Your return to bed. You live one day at a time. You breathe one breath at a time. All movement.

Things - such as body parts, bank accounts, traffic, your mind, your belly, your concept of time, trees, tulip bulbs, the electric bill, your anger, your satisfaction - grow. They get larger. They extend or widen, lengthen or bulge. They advance or rise!

Things shrink. They get smaller. They flex or narrow or shorten. They hollow, retreat or sink back to the Earth.

This is movement at its most basic.

Movement is what tells us we are alive. And as humans we can attend to the movement, to the phrases of each breath. We can notice our actions From the moment of a thought Through To where that thought takes us. We can be conscious of our choices as we phrase a moment, a day, a month, a year, a lifetime. We can ask ourselves the questions like the ones I listed above or below at any time:

Where am I in Space in this moment?

Who or What am I interacting with?

What pulls or pushes me to move from Stillness?

What parts of my delightfully complex and physically, spiritually, emotionally, cognitively-able body am I using to support me as I move?

What is the timing that works best for me?

How am I moving?


These are the kinds of questions we can use at any time to deepen our relationships with our Selves as living beings on a living planet.

We can ask these questions as cosmic specks of dust, sitting in stillness. Even as we attempt to be motionless or even passive, we can, if we choose, let ourselves wonder about our unique place on this big glorious ball of energy and substance as it dances it way around and around its bright-fire ball center.

And we can ask them as we move like we are our own universe, on it less predictable path through its own solar system with other planets, stars and cosmic dust! Dancing, spinning and moving our way around our metaphorical Sun, through our days of Light and of Dark, we can ask at any point as we journey and return, each hour, each moment, each breath, each phrase.

We might be tempted to believe, when we find ourselves in what seems like the same place once again, that nothing has changed and that we are stuck in an endless cycle, but this isn’t really possible. Something has changed because there is movement. When we find ourselves in a familiar place, following a well-known pattern and we recognizing all that is the same, we can also be curious and ask “how is this also different?”

Consider this: the dancer never does the same dance twice. The choreography might be the same, with actions and placement on the stage consistent for each performance. But each time the dancer moves that known series of phrases (s)he brings something unique and different to the experience in that moment - sometimes intentionally and sometimes not - because, simply, the body has no choice but to be only and always in the precious, always changing present moment supported by the planet Earth as it rotates it way around the Sun.

Happy New Year’s Day...on whatever day you might be reading this!

To view the source of the image used, as well as for more information on the motion and cycles of bright objects, please click here!