When Girls Don’t Move – Part I

Photo Credit: Pixabay

My focusing practice is mostly about my relationship with my moving body so you might think that moving is easy for me. That is not the case.  I have a difficult time maintaining not only my WBF practice of moving but also being able to stick to an exercise plan.

For most of my young life, moving was not encouraged and many times vociferously discouraged. For me, not moving was a way to contain the anger that I felt being a member of my family. If I didn’t move, I didn’t feel anything. As an adult, I can choose to move. My question has become, “When I move, what happens on an emotional level?”

For my mother, keeping me still contained her anger and fear of the sexual abuse she had experienced as a young girl. I spent the summer of my twelfth year sitting on the steps in front of my house as an observer of the movement of my neighborhood. A friend joined me because I was forbidden to go anywhere else and our other friends stopped playing street games.  They now had responsibility for running their households because their mothers were working.

How Not Moving Moves Us

The funny thing about this restriction is that it turned our focus on what our parents were trying to avoid. All we thought about was boys, being sexy, being competitive, and imagining ourselves as independent sexual beings. We had nothing else to do. Our favorite activity was determining whether another girl or woman who went by was “competition.” If a boy or man passed by we calculated whether or not he was a potential liaison. After a few weeks of seeing the same people over and over again, we developed elaborate narratives about each of these unsuspecting neighbors—we never; however, made any attempt to act out the stories in real life.

Our stillness was not only the result of our parents’ fear; it was pervasive at that time that girls should not move. We should not play sports because it might cause infertility. We should not swim because there might be human predators in the water. Dancing was no longer okay even if we had dance lessons when at 6 or 7 years old. I got to high school never having played on a sports team.

When I tried joining the basketball team in grammar school, the nuns banned the idea of a girls basketball team. In high school, my parents felt it was not their responsibility to get me to and from basketball practice. There was no other way for that to happen. One night of being left on a street corner alone to find my way home was enough for me to get the message of their intense disapproval and enough to stop me from playing basketball.

As an adult, I tried to integrate movement and/or exercise into my life. A pattern emerged. I would start to move. At first, it was a big struggle. It then began to become more natural. Then, one day it felt ecstatic. That put an end to my movement. I would stop whatever type of movement got me there. This pattern has repeated itself throughout my life no matter how determined I was to change it.

What is your experience?

I’m in my sixties now, and I am a Wholebody Focuser.  I hold space for the part of me that is screaming to move while another part of me needs to put a stop to all movement no matter the cost.  Sometimes I hold space for both while I’m moving.  Sometimes I hold space for both while I’m still.  That’s all I know right now.

How do you manage to hold both in situations that present fundamental challenges to moving forward?

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In Response to the Question “What’s Alive in Me?”

Photo Credit: Eddie Nunns

I don’t have to solve that problem.
………………………fix

I don’t have to solve that problem.
………………………fix

I don’t have to solve THAT problem.
………………………fix

I don’t have to RESOLVE that question.

I don’t have to.

and then…

Just because it’s sometimes fun for me to brain-storm with mySelf
doesn’t mean that I’m obligated to.
Something in my body is recognizing the ways I storm my brain.

I don’t have to do that.

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Finding the rightness of the FRIGHTENED in me

Photo Credit: Bill Lazar

It’s different from worried or concerned.
And letting it be there without story or explanation or searching for meaning… lets there be an opening within.

… a releasing around my aorta. Then a further releasing…, a lengthening and unwinding on my left back.

A sort of uncurling. And a filling in.

It’s quite specific, this uncurling. It is uncurling rather than unwinding. The words are right even if they don’t seem to fit the usual meaning of each word.

There’s a new openness in me. An opening-ness that’s continuing, in a settling-in way.

And surprisingly… a quiet pride. And a comfort that goes along with it.

Yes, the QUIET of it. The QUIET of being touched by the NAKED TRUTH of… frightened.

……….<a deep sigh releases itSelf>

And I feel even more… a settling in to comfort. Into mySelf.

Into the ironic safety of knowing that I’m frightened.

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The Inner Core Muscle of “Holding Both”

Welcome to the third video blog of a heartfelt conversation between Kevin McEvenue and WBF trainer Addie  van der Kooy.  In this part of the conversation both share their excitement and experience of the practice of “Holding Both” – an inner dynamic that naturally comes alive when you not only make space for a body sense of your suffering, but also include the bodily felt connected-ness and aliveness of “Me Here.”  This  inner core muscle of Holding Both opens up new possibilities of deep healing and even transformation.  Enjoy,

Addie van der Kooy (email: avdkooy@outlook.com)

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The Path to Presence

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Dear Blog Readers,

A new Contributor has joined our ranks. Wholebody focuser Steven Jabokovic writes about a rarely discussed element of Wholebody Focusing—wordless, movement-centric sessions that make us new without narratives, words or cathartic thoughts. What he describes is how pure movement can bring him what he desires most—a connection to self. Join us in welcoming his insights to our blog.

Diana Scalera – Blog Administrator

For me, the path to presence is winding, but also an unwinding. It begins with a twitch in a toe or a finger.  The twitches are followed by a slight shudder or a shiver down my back.  At first, the spasms are intermittent; lightly flitting every now and again.

By now, I know what’s coming and wait. I feel carpet fibers between my toes. Through two sit bones resting upon the seat of my chair, I become aware of the weight of my body.  My eyes are closed, but I sense sunlight coming in through the window.

I speak of my bodily experience over Skype, and my voice instantly reaches Toronto, Canada. Kevin’s warm scratchy response encourages me. “Yes…good,” he says.  I agree with a nod that he cannot see with his eyes – we only use audio, but I am sure he ‘sees’ it.

The twitches become more intense and violent. My shoulders jerk back; my head turns from side to side as far as my neck allows; my wrists shake with enough force to toss my fingers across the room if only they could; my toes grab for the carpet fibers. This goes on for several minutes or maybe only thirty seconds; I’ve never counted.

The spasms slow down. A few final twitches make my body pop before it becomes quiet. Sometimes traveling this path makes me tired, but I always end up feeling loose and open.  I am neutral and quiet; a quiet that I long for, but have trouble finding.

Continue reading The Path to Presence

Wisdom from an Unlikely Place

How lucky am I
to be able to turn
to see these gnarled trees
through this train window
stopped
waiting
for some unseen obstruction
ahead

Sunlight illuminates
my friends, the trees
their trunks, their limbs.
Orange-khaki-colored brush
crouches in front of them
Unashamed of their winter attire
Take me as I am
they signal in their own
private language
I have no need for adornments.
I am here.
That is enough.

Elizabeth Morana

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Felt Sense Naming and Reflecting a Body Experience

Kevin invites us, here, to join him in an exploration that covers some really revolutionary material that most of the world doesn’t entertain—that we can develop a relationship with our own bodily experiences.  There’s a whole lot here, so feel free to pause this audio to really take it in, as he draws us forward through the many nuanced steps toward a relationship between our consciousness and our felt sense.

I was especially energized to hear his words:  what emerges is not of your own making.  Years of socialization make that difficult for me to take in.  And another personal favorite:  it’s almost as though the body waits for your connection….  ….almost as though it appreciates your attention.  Even now, I have a sweet spark of surprise when I realize that a relationship is forming:

Here I am, and there that is.  We are in relationship.

 Eliabeth Morana

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The Power to Pause and Wait For!

This intunement is the last one in the “Coming Home” series of intunements that is the simplest and most gentle guide to grounded presence.  All that is needed is a desire to be with Kevin in grounded presence.  It is also a transition to the next series of intunements that support a deep level of being with all that is present in our lives.  Being able to pause is essential to being able to hold whatever comes. The pause allows these parts to find their own way home when they are ready.

Repeated use of this intunement can lead to the deeper sense of self that supports our ability to observe and hold, with equal regard, all our felt senses and body wisdom that emerge.

This intunement is especially suited to those of us who have learned to live our lives moving ahead at all cost without enough time for reflection or observation of what is there for us.  This intunement can be bookmarked on your computer and/or mobile devices in order to be easily available whenever there is a need to pause with a guiding voice as support for us to connect to our own “Me Here Now.”

Diana Scalera

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