Tag Archives: Body

Letting the Light In

Candle and Wrought Iron

Weekly Tips:

For: Adaptability. Strength. Flexibility. Stability. Mobility. Ease. Pleasure Longevity.

Tips that are short, sweet and to the point.

And free.

Tips to increase awareness.

Tips for exploring and reconnecting to Body, Mind, Spirit and Emotions.

Tips to re-define aging and enjoy more of life than we believed possible.

Mind. Body. Heart. Spirit.

Every Friday night, a new Tip will arrive in your inbox, just in time for the weekend!

Once a week, you’ll receive a PDF with your your tip for letting the light in.

To sign up, email me at MovementAlchemyHeals@gmail.com with your first name and you can start receiving them.

Body Speak

Stones and Water 5


To what’s going on inside you.

Every movement and position has a different “voice”.

When you swing your arm, your shoulder communicates information in one way. When you sit for too long, your sitz bones communicate information in a different way. Pay attention to the tone. Is it a murmur or “yum” or a shriek of “nooooooooo”? Is it flat ache of a body part asking to move or the weary moan of a body moved too much?


For your way to move. You’ll know it, even if it’s buried in technique and relentless instruction. It’s voice may be almost too soft to hear, but it’s there. Shut off


this way

suppose to


And hear what your body has to say – for itself.

Your body needs no translator or interpreter. It only needs a willing listener.

Your mind does not own your body nor does your body own your mind, therefore one doesn’t know what is best for the other.

To take care of your body, don’t rely on your mind for the answers – ask your body and LISTEN.

Don’t look at your watch. Your body follows natural time and will give you the answer in that time. Listen.

This may be your meditation. This may be what you journal about.


It’s your body rediscovering it’s voice.

Listening is never a waste of time and energy.

Want to be more productive? More efficient and effective?

Listen to your body.

It’s A Body Thing

Hands to Hara

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest and I’ve given my mind its turn, I can move on.

To my body.

This post is a bit longer than most as I’m taking you along with me in real time exploration.

I have been aware for most, if not all of my life, that when I have an experience I actually have multiple experiences.

I know a few people who might suggest that I have the experience in four realms, body, mind, spirit and emotions.

Yes. That, for me, is the abridged version.

My mind, like most, tends to box stuff into categories with nifty little labels and beautiful packaging. Purples that glow, reds that pop, silvers that glisten. It’s really lovely.

My body, however, doesn’t give a snert about packaging. It is my body’s snerty attitude that gets my attention. My mind attempts go go about business as usual and my heart is being expressed through my body sensation.

(I have this visual with my mind happily bringing in the pretty wrappings and calmly believing it is safe, starts wrapping. My body shows up. My mind proudly shows off the trappings of its own process. A flurry ensues. Silver dust everywhere. Little fires gather and release. Purple odds and end lay like tiny corpses strewn across a Martha Stewart holiday program.)

Without malice or deliberate intention, my body has its own experience. This experience is pre-verbal. It needs no words and no permission and it doesn’t wear a watch. I have come to understand that my body doesn’t process an experience in any way I cannot manage. Unless I get in the way. This is worth repeating.

I have come to understand that my body doesn’t process an experience in any way I cannot manage.

Unless I get in the way.

Since I am a whole human and not four separate Catherine copies, I have four experiences, impossible to separate yet separate nonetheless. Four experiences that flow like fluid around ball bearings being both the fluid and the ball bearings at any given moment. This process even has its own gravity, which, unlike the external gravity we know, is not a constant. It pulls and pushes in what often feels like unpredictable ways. My body sends me a sensation in response to an event, then another but in a different part of my body with varying degrees of intensity and longevity.

What I’m talking about is not my own genius discovery (dammit), I’ve just uncovered my way to communicate the concept. David Berceli talks about it. Peter Levine talks about it. They have not only written books about it but created programs around it. Actor Josh Pais has even coined a phrase, “Ride it, don’t hide it” and offers video and workshop advice on the topic.

I’m one of those people who gets the jitters when speaking to an unfamiliar crowd. Even after teaching movement classes for 18+ years, I still get a heady adrenaline shot when subbing or teaching for a Jam. I’m not talking about “oh gosh, I’m a little nervous about this”. I mean my hands shake, my legs shake, my voice shakes, my breath-pattern becomes so erratic that I might see stars and threaten to lose consciousness! I’m not exactly a do-things-halfway kinda girl.

It’s not too terribly noticeable since there is usually so much movement involved, I get to more completely release the adrenaline. If I’m speaking, though, well, you can imagine.

Processing an experience in general is not a one-time freeze frame. Two days ago I felt emotionally lost, mentally flat and dull and my body was heavy and resisted movement encouraging me to spend some under-the-covers or better yet under-the-bed time. Yesterday, my heart was lighter but more fierce, my mind a bit jangly and unfocused and my body nudged me to “blow off some steam”. My spirit, that had remained quiet (not silent) until this point also began to speak up.

Now I’m restless;  a familiar sensation. This is my body’s way. My mind is at a different point, clear, humming softly; leading me forward. My wise heart knows that I’m not out of the woods yet; there’s more to come and my spirit has aligned with my heart. Rather than popping inspiration in, there is a sense of patience as if my creative side is waiting to be informed by my heart to inspire me.

Flesh and bone. Wind and rain. Lightning and thunder. Sun and moon.

I trust my body.

I know that it will lead me through every experience with clarity. That is its nature. Pragmatic. Essential. Honest. Authentic. My built in compass.

Awareness. How? Listen.

Every time I teach a class, somewhere I utter the phrase, “listen to your body”.

This morning I woke up with the following churning in my brain:

Why is it so difficult to connect to our bodies and do it OUR way?

            From the time we were born, our mothers said to us, “listen to me”.

When you would sit on the ground, your mother might have said, “don’t sit there, you’re going to get wet”. Did she ever say, “listen to your body, it will keep you from getting hurt”?

Did our mothers ever say that?

Mine didn’t. No mention of a body of any sort.

After our mothers, it was,

“Listen to your father”, then

 “Listen to your teacher”, then

“Listen to your coach” and

“Listen to your doctor”

“Listen to your boss”

“Listen to your financial advisor”

“Listen to that woman hawking weight loss medication”

“Listen to your friends”

“Listen to that politician”

Some are beginning to say things like “listen to your intuition, but without a connection to  body, what does that mean? And when “intuition” has such a negative connotation –  tied up in “women’s over emotional/hysterical state” – where is the value? What do they mean?

 When does anyone say “listen to your body”. Intuition is not about what you think, it’s what you know in a different way – what you sense in your body.

When others ask “how do you feel about that?” what they often mean is “what do you think?”

Interestingly when we stop listening to our parents, we start listening to our friends and anyone with the appropriate “coolness factor”.  So now we’re being told what to wear, when to wear it, how to wear it, how it should look on our body and the most challenging – how our bodies should look. Still looking outwardly – still listening to others.

Our entire lives, we’re told to listen to sources outside of ourselves. We’re told early by people we trust implicitly, so we must do it and it must be what’s best for us.

If no one tells us to listen to our body, it must be b/c listening to our bodies has no value.

Now, as Mind-Body guides, we tell our students to listen to their bodies. When they look back at us with a blank or “deer in the headlights” expression, we’re surprised and even frustrated.

I tell my students that they know their bodies better than anyone.  Sadly, I’m not sure that’s actually true.

What we have come around to is this:

  •         adults do not know what it means to listen to their bodies
  • adults do not know how to listen
  • if adults cannot listen, they cannot hear

We hear the body loud and clear and we tend to act when it hurts.  Even that can be situational. If we believe we have to be at the job, or that pain equals weakness or that to get through we must endure pain, we may choose to stuff down the pain, suppress. “Suck it up”, “be a man” (although interesting to contemplate the levels of pain women endure during childbirth…) – the belief seems to be that pain is of itself. In other words that there will be no repercussions to what we expect our bodies to endure.

        It has been made clear that the value is in listening to sources outside of ourselves. This mentioned (several times) I realize that there is no trust in this process – there can be no trust.

Without putting too fine a point to it, distracting us from listening and responding appropriately to our bodies is in the best interest of those around us who are in positions of “power”.

In order to exert control, we must have another’s attention and we must keep it. If they start thinking for themselves, we risk losing control. This does not speak exclusively to malicious or dangerous situations. We may be referring to a mother crossing a busy street with her small children. She must be in control of some element of the situation; she cannot control the traffic so she must control her children.


            It’s vital to our quality of life that we learn how to listen to what our bodies tell us. The next step is then to respond with self-care. Self-love is a goal. Not only for ourselves; we have to share this with others. We have to share this information with our children,  our friends, with our lovers, spouses and anyone else in our lives.

            In order to create the ever-elusive Balance in our lives, we must first experience Balance in our bodies.

We are more than a mind in a bag of bones. We are a body inspired by a mind.

BODY, Mind, Spirit and Emotions.