Writing from the Bodyvoice

Mapping and Tracking Bodily Experience through Writing and Remembering

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The primary text of a mystic. . .is his human body.    – Antonio de Nicholas

Embodied writing seeks to reveal the lived experience of the body by portraying in words the finely textured experience of the body and evoking sympathetic resonance. [E]mbodied writing is itself an act of embodiment, entwining in words our senses with the senses of the world.  – Rosemarie Anderson

Since beginning this practice, I was encouraged by my teachers to write down what happens in Authentic Movement. Writing is one way of developing the Inner Witness.

As a mover closes her eyes and steps into the empty space, questions may arise: Which inner impulse or prompting do I listen to and follow? What am I doing now. . .and now? How am I feeling? Do images appear? Sounds? Sensations? What of my witness – am I aware of her and how do I feel moving in her presence? Will I remember all that’s happening?

In addition to the speaking practice that accompanies Authentic Movement, writing can help to expand our conscious awareness of the bodysoul and strengthen the Inner Witness. Writing regularly is a practice, one that helps to reflect our journey with the discipline over time, tracking our bodies, our questions and their answers.

Moving and speaking are ephemeral; writing is tangible and can be returned to later. I have journals that span over two decades of moving and witnessing and I periodically revisit them. Reading, I am pulled in again to the living story of my body. . . into the experiences, images, postures, gestures, energetic phenomena, emotions and memories that have moved and continue to move my flesh and bodily tissues. Reading, I recognize a hidden order, patterns which have unfolded over time in postures and gestures, at once unique to me and universal. I am certain of the brilliance of my body, of all bodies. I return to remember. Writing is an entry point and a destination.

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name. – William Shakespeare

How to Write

I like to write before speaking about my movement, while the experience is still freshly reverberating. Writing first offers an opportunity to continue steeping in the movement, to become even more intimately acquainted with it. Inviting the postures, gestures, sensations, and sequences to imprint themselves in my bodysoul, my pen serves as the conduit from body to page.

I choose journals with spines that open easily and lay flat. I like pages without lines. . . pens that glide easily on the paper. I write in present tense, as though movements are still happening. I name the movements: postures, gestures, sensations, where I am in the room – what am I doing? What is happening NOW. . . and NOW? I start at the beginning and track what happens, in sequence. Feeling, seeing, sensing into words  – waiting for them to climb the long ladder of the body into conscious awareness – they slowly or quickly find their way onto the page. Naming body movements first honors the body, privileges its voice over thought and idea.

Embodied consciousness requires a study of articulation not only of body but of word. – Janet Adler

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Solo Authentic Movement Retreats on Whidbey Island

Disconnect to Reconnect: Moving Closer to the Self

Drink from the well of yourself and begin again. – Charles Bukowski

A solo retreat focused around the Discipline of Authentic Movement offers a mover the opportunity to dive deeply into the ground form of the practice of Authentic Movement and the journey toward Self, guided by a dedicated and experienced Witness . . .held and contained in the arms of Nature in one of the most beautiful locations in the Pacific Northwest.

Why a Solo Retreat

~ Distractions and interruptions are minimized and the freedom of greater time is welcomed.

~ Silence and access to Nature are emphasized.

~ Ritual space is created through safe container, mindful intention, deep listening, the right balance of structure/freedom and beauty.

~ Opportunity to sink into the body through listening, moving, 1:1 witnessing, writing, artwork, walking, reflection, silence, and mindful eating.

~ Deepen in the one to one relationship between mover and witness, often referred to as the ground form of Authentic Movement.

~ Increase access to body, felt sense, imaginal realm and energetic phenomena.

What It’s Like

Retreats center around the needs of each individual. Typically, there are two sessions per day (morning and afternoon) each 2 -3 hours in length. Each session may include talking, moving and witnessing, and (if desired) Jungian sandplay. Between sessions there is ample time for writing, artwork and walking in Nature. Time spent in silence and in Nature as a Solitary is encouraged, serving to deepen the concentrated session practice time.

Who Can Benefit

Beginners and long-time practitioners of Authentic Movement seek the containment, focus and silence of a solo retreat to deepen their connection to Self through the practice of this form in the presence of a dedicated, experienced Witness (guide).

A guide is someone who himself or herself has been guided, who has been shown the way, who has walked through a certain terrain, certain landscapes within, and has learned to know the stations along the way…what to expect on the path, what may be found at each station and what leads from stations to station. A guide should be one who himself or herself has the blessing of a lineage…   – Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

I’m Interested!

Further contact by email and phone followed by an application process will help fine-tune your needs and focus your retreat.

Learners in Circles of Four may choose this way of meeting for individual, retreat or supervision work.

Contact me below to express interest and for further information.

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Discipline of Authentic Movement

“There is no body without soul, no body that is not itself a form of soul.”                    – Sri Aurobindo

The Discipline of Authentic Movement is . . .

~ An embodied mindfulness practice sourced in mysticism, depth psychology, attachment theory, indigenous healing and dance.

~ A process grounded in the relationship between a mover and a witness.

~ The practice of compassionate witnessing of body movement becoming conscious.

~ A mystical practice centered in the development of embodied witness consciousness.

“Being seen, seeing oneself, seeing another, movers and witnesses move closer to their true nature because of the development of witness consciousness. With increasing trust in themselves and in the discipline, through this mysterious developmental but non-linear process of enduring commitment, individuals can journey from the experience of duality to unity consciousness.” – Janet Adler


Finding one’s own natural movements – which have often been buried under the rational, ordered body-ego for decades – can feel like coming home again . . . in the best sense.

Experiencing the body as holy, intelligent, and alive can be a revelation. . . a rare gift.

Finding a practice that develops mindfulness, compassion for self and other, helps heal attachment wounds and traumas, renews one’s sense of grounding and trust in one’s bodyself, and cultivates witness presence using the wisdom of the moving body as the compass and primary vehicle is often nothing short of a revelation.

Over time, when a Mover practices with a dedicated and experienced Witness, a compassionate, embodied inner Witness grows within the Mover. Memories, sensations, images, symbols, archetypes, postures, gestures, dreams and energetic phenomena arise through the body, because of the body, and may offer profound influence and help for one’s own life and the lives of others.

A Lifetime Practice

Like all true Work, this practice invites time and commitment. There are many embodied awareness practices. Many who choose to commit to the Discipline of Authentic Movement see it asa primary path, as a mystical practice. Time spent practicing deepens the longing to practice as one is led further in and farther on.

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