The Practice of Finding Safety Within and of Reaching Out with Confidence

When we use phrases like "going within," "getting in touch with myself," and "reaching out for help" we are cognitively calling on physical actions that are supported by the Bartenieff Fundamentals, especially the use of Developmental Progression and Connectivity.  Developmental Progression is one of the twelve basic Bartenieff Principles of dynamic movement.  It is the series of basic movement patterns established within your body through stage-specific developmental sequencing from conception until about two years of age.  

These patterns of this early life development are then access by all human movers throughout the entirety of their life span:  the adult version of these early development skills are called
Patterns of Total Connectivity.   These Patterns of Connectivity are an active component of all that I share in my somatic movement work, whether I explicitly talk about them or not!

When we use phrases about getting in touch with ourselves or reaching out to another we are more specifically cognitively calling on our physical inner wisdom that is supported by the Pattern of Total Connectivity called Core Distal or Navel Radiation.  This pattern develops early in the womb and builds on the growing/shrinking foundational pattern of Breath, our very first developmental building block of movement!


Physically, Core-Distal is the pattern that supports us in moving toward the Core or Navel area of our bodies as well as in radiating outward to the farthest reaches of our Distal points of fingers, toes, tail and head.  Our ability to withdraw into ourselves and to extend to the farthest limits of our personal space is dependent on this early pattern.

Psychologically, Core-Distal is the developmental and connectivity pattern that supports us in safely going within and claiming our sense of self.  It is the skill of safely and comfortably going within that allows us to more confidently find connection with and move out into the Outer world.

Enhancing your skills of consciously moving with your Breath and Core-Distal Patterns of Connectivity supports you to more fully and resiliently move in all your more-complex activities of daily living!


Recently I have had several wonderful opportunities to introduce and explore the Breath and Core-Distal Patterns of Connectivity with folks at the Heart, Body and Soul Mindful Move Groove class,  in my monthly Movement Fundamentals workshop, as well as with some of my private clients In both the clinical and in the somatic education settings.  This blog post is my way of supporting the home exploration and practice experience of those who have moved with me recently as well as introducing this basic and yet powerful movement concept to those who didn't have a chance to be a part of one of these sessions.

To support your understanding of this pattern, I offer three videos.

In this first video she gives a brief explanation and then she moves the basic action of Core-Distal movement.

In this second video the dancer uses the Core-Distal pattern as his inspiration to create a series of complex movement phrases.

In this final video we have the opportunity to see several different young dancers exploring and sharing their perspective of moving with the Core-Distal Pattern of Connectivity (which they call Navel Radiation) as well as moving the other more complex patterns in the developmental sequence.

I hope that these videos are helpful to inform your understanding of this small basic part of the more dynamic and encompassing Principles of the Bartenieff Fundamentals.  I also hope that they inspire you to move yourself more consciously, whether with my support or otherwise!

As you move, I invite you to ask yourself:  do I move from my Core, or is my movement usually initiated by my appendages and/or, possibly, things outside of my Self? 

I wish for you, in all ways, to move so that you can Live Life More Fully!

If you have questions or comments, please share below or email me.  I look forward to moving with you in some way very soon!



What is Embodiment? A coffee and conversation talk

This morning I share my thoughts on the topic "What is Embodiment" at a local free Saturday morning event called "Coffee and Conversation."  Here are the notes that I have prepared along with this previous blog entry. 

As embryos, fetuses, and infants we did not have thoughts or emotions as we have them as adults.    We began as an organism, a collection of cells, with sensory receptors and movement.

Our movement abilities formed from amoeba-like to the most complex of walking, jumping and running as a naturally organized process of development in response to the information we received from our environment through our sensory receptors.

Given this, embodiment is…the sensory experience of breathing and of our weight on the Earth, of pressure, texture, temperature, light, smell, sound, taste and rhythm.   These are all the things that prompted us to move in the earliest days of our existence in the body we are in.  We experienced a sensation and we responded or reacted, in pleasure or in pain, in response to comfort or discomfort.

Then we learned words.  Words give a symbolic form to our experiences, a way to communicate sensations, thoughts and emotions.  Words are valuable and words can be spoken from an embodied perspective, but words are not themselves embodied.  Similarly sensory and emotional words are just labels, not things themselves. Emotions are actually a collection of sensations we associate with a specific experience.

The map is not the territory.” A. Korzybski 

We learn, as individuals, and have learned, as a culture, to override the sensory information of our body for many reasons.  Pain.  Traumatic events we witness or experience.  Devaluation by other people’s words or actions.  Descartian split of mind from body. Some religious beliefs, especially dogmatic Christianity.  Consumerism that views sensations as something to market to.  Capitalism that views sensations as a nuisance, diminishing the value of the workforce.  Incompatibility between the design of our sensory systems & the sensory information in our environments.

My perspective is that the result is overwhelm, anxiety, depression, disease, disconnection from ourselves, each other and the Earth.  And that a  regular practice of noticing, deepening, inviting, enhancing embodiment is healing and powerful, in all ways.  This includes breath awareness, sensory awareness and conscious movement exploration to re-pattern what we have learned, as young children and into adulthood, about our body.