“There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life. There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine. O traveller, if you are in search of That don’t look outside, look inside yourself and seek That.” Rumi
The Discipline of Authentic Movement
The Discipline of Authentic Movement is a practice of embodying what we know and the longing of what we have yet to fully discover.
It is a multidisciplinary practice that allows the wisdom of the body to emerge, becoming a potential channel for deep transformation. This aspect of Authentic Movement stems from the on-going work of Janet Adler which acknowledges its early origins in dance/movement, depth psychology and contemplative practices (mysticism). The delicate weaving of these three strands allows for the development of embodied presence, clarity and compassion.
In its most fundamental form there is a mover who moves with their eyes closed and an outer witness that sits at the edge of the space, attending openly to the mover with curiosity and presence. As the mover begins their exploration into the depths of their inner world, there is the possibility that unconscious material in the form of past experiences, memories, unknown parts of the self and hidden energies may be discovered. This material is always held in the safety of the containing relationship between the outer witness’s embodied presence with the mover.
After the mover has completed their movement journey which may be scored with ‘stillness’ and yet still rich in experience, through dialogue with the outer witness, there is an opportunity for the mover to share parts of their experience. With permission, the outer witness speaks to these moments of the mover’s experience, reflecting back to the mover in a compassionate, non-judgemental way taking great care to own her own projections and interpretations. Here language becomes the essential bridge for both the experiences of the mover and witness such that previously unknown parts of the self that arise can be made more fully available to consciousness and thus hold potential for further integration.
The essence of the practice is the development of the inner witness which affords the mover a growing sense of compassionate curiosity to see and relate more consciously to themselves, to the world around them and to subtler energies.
As time progresses, the practice of being present to all that is through movement and stillness, the mover and later the mover as a witness, develops their inner witness. This allows for clarity and loving kindness to become consciously integrated. It is possible that such integration opens the opportunity for clearer self-expression that reflects one’s essence and truth. What becomes resonant is the longing to see oneself, to see others and be clearly seen in the world, which comes to bear as the practice matures.
In this way the Discipline of Authentic Movement supports personal growth grounded in the embodied self and a developing consciousness to relate clearly.
Working with People of Colour
One aspect of this work, although not exclusively, is working with People of Colour and those who identify as non-white. I’m interested in providing a unique space to support issues that people from minority ethnic and oppressed groups might face. Historically, non-white, black and brown bodies have been subjugated to violence, stigmatisation, generational trauma, exclusion and objectification and negative stereotyping. Wider socioeconomic structural inequalities of racism and sexism further compound these issues. Concerns of unchecked implicit biases and micro-aggressions continue to erode the humanity of black and brown people in society. These on-going systematic oppressions impact on the whole person; our sense of self, and how safe we may feel in the world.
Authentic Movement practice can support an individual’s relationship to their lived histories, past experiences, hidden stories known and unknown that may rise from the unconscious. A chance that it might be processed and integrated in a way that best serves the individuals conscious expression, voice and right action in the world.
By providing a safe container through the practice of clear seeing and being seen clearly, people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to develop a consciousness that engenders self-compassion, grounded in all the experiences of their bodies. These experiences are seen and acknowledged with great care in the wider contextual realities that People of Colour live in.
How do I proceed?
I offer Authentic Movement 1:1 and small group sessions if you are interested in:
– Personal development and growth
– Creative process and those working in the arts or research
-Exploring the connection with the Sacred and supporting ones spiritual practice.
The practice can help support and develop:
– A clearer connection to our bodies inner impulses, emotions, sensations
– Ways to communicate these embodied experiences by developing clearer language that conveys this.
– An attitude of loving kindness towards the self and acceptance
– Coming into conscious relationship with the numinous, subtle energies or the Sacred.
Individual sessions can be between 60 – 75 minutes long and are taken in a block of 8-10 sessions or over a longer period of time.
If you are interested in sessions in Bath or London (coming soon) then please fill out a contact form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My background with the Discipline Authentic of Movement
I have been a practising the Discipline of Authentic Movement since 2010 as part of my MSc research dissertation in Transpersonal Psychology and Consciousness Studies examining the impact of transcendent energies whilst engaging in an embodied spiritual practice. It indeed was transformative becoming pivotal in my own personal transformation and my relationship with the Sacred on my own spiritual journey. I have worked extensively with Dr Jane Bacon and trained with Linda Hartley (both faculty members of the Circles of Four, the organising body that teaches the Discipline of Authentic Movement).
I am currently on the learners program of the Circle of Four.
I have also trained with renowned Authentic Movement teachers in the field such as; Dr Tina Stromsted and Professor Helen Payne. I am a founding member of a regional Authentic Movement peer support group, now in its fourth year, which meets on a monthly basis. Other training experience in embodiment work and therapeutic holding I have are:
-Co-facilitation with Annette Schwalbe on the Body Mapping intensives courses
-Certificate in Group Analysis Group Analysis South West (GASW).
-Advanced module in Somatic Psychology, part of the Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy Diploma