I was recently traveling in Europe teaching Breema workshops.
Halfway through the journey it became clear that I needed to make a decision whether to stay in Europe or to go back to the States. The borders were closing. A friend sent me an email asking, “Are you home? Where is home?”
I had just completed an introductory evening of Breema where a group of mostly new students had gathered to find out about Breema. The requirements for social distancing had not yet come to Stockholm. Still the influence of the media made the people a little nervous to get too close to each other. They were a bit apprehensive to find themselves in a group of strangers. Continue reading “Where Is Home by Birthe Kaarsholm”
Recently, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, the urgent thought “better hurry up!” came, with its familiar twinges of anxiety. I spontaneously took an impression of myself as I sat there, trying to hurry while sitting still: mind, convinced I should be closer to my destination than I was, and that somehow I was wrong to be where I was and not somewhere else; feelings, afraid of being late, critical of myself; and body, generally constricted, breathing shallowly, pronounced tension in belly and shoulders.
Fortunately, the Breema principle of “No Hurry/No Pause”came to mind, inspiring me to do as I do when doing Self-Breema or giving someone a Breema session—get the mind to drop its concept (“I should be elsewhere at this time”) by asking it to take on the task of registering the presence of the body. I did that, was nurtured by it, and felt grateful to be alive. Continue reading “Be Where You Are by Mary Cuneo”
Body-Mind Connection in Daily Life
I first heard the term “body-mind” in the ‘70s while in the Milwaukee University dance department. I was introduced to many evolving approaches that explored the interaction between these two parts. During that time, I learned how to use the mind as a tool to discover the nuances of sensory-based states, conditions, and stored experiences in my body. These methods are currently the roadmaps for the field of somatic practice.
Continue reading “Off the Mat and Into the Marketplace by Susan Mankowski”
Lately, patients have been asking about conditions that are commonly considered natural consequences of aging. They are interested in synthesizing information from other doctors, friends or the media, to explore how to really support health and vitality. They have a wish to experience for themselves what can best support their body, not just rely on someone else’s advice. Through this process, they hope to develop an active relationship with their body, mind, and feelings. Continue reading “Entering Into Health by Alexandra Johnson”
I want to be more present in my life;
I want to be more present with myself;
I want to be more present with my family and friends;
I want to be more present at work or school.
What does that mean? How do I do that?
Presence is the matrix through which we experience all aspects of our human experience. It is fundamental to all relationships with oneself, family and friends, work-life, a sense of meaning and purpose in life and connection to community, nature and to the divine. When we are “present” our mind body and feelings are working together in alignment and we experience more peace and clarity. Without presence we don’t know that we actually exist, nor do we have access to any real information or understanding of what is happening with ourselves or anyone else. Anyone who cultivates presence in their own life and work can, with acceptance, empathy and understanding, relate to others more easily. Continue reading “I Want to Be More Present in my Life by Eileen Sendrey”
While at the grocery store the other day ready to check out, I looked from line to line doing my best to figure out which line would be the quickest. I waited anxiously for my turn as I continued to scan the other lines to determine if I had made the “right” choice. Still considering if I should make a last minute change, I began to unload my groceries on the conveyor belt just as the cashier asked for a price check over the store intercom. Frustration and anxiety were my first reactions before realizing there was nothing I could do to change my current situation, but there was something I could do to change my relationship to it. Continue reading “Relating to Life in This Moment by Steve Brodsky”
A client came to see me for a consultation last week. She was frightened about the condition of her body, and had researched her concerns and options thoroughly. The more she spoke, the more tense she became. As I listened to her, I experienced the tension in my own body. I saw that I was identifying with her suffering as if it was my own.
I recognized that instead of feeling bad for her situation, I could offer support by fully listening to her, without commentary. I connected to my breath and the weight of my body on the ground. I put my medical mind on hold, not trying to ‘fix’, or ‘change’ the state of her mind, body, or feelings. Continue reading “Body-Mind Connection Anchors You by Alexandra Johnson”
At a recent gathering, two guests began a conversation that created a palpable tension in the room. I was asked what I thought, and saw the pull to present my opinion to the group. Then I remembered the principle of Firmness and Gentleness. If I spoke without forethought, there was the possibility of erring on the side of too much Firmness, increasing the polarization. If I stayed passive, the dialogue could likewise continue to be increasingly reactive. I placed my hand on the shoulder of one of my kids, who was standing next to me. I wished to have Firmness and Gentleness in my touch. Continue reading “Supporting Harmony in Relationships by Alexandra Johnson”
When I started studying Breema, I was captivated by the unusual yet totally natural way of moving with the whole body, both in the Self-Breema (individual) exercises and in the bodywork (two-person) sequences.
Having first trained as a dancer, I felt constrained by the almost exclusive use of my arms, hands, and fingers while working in massage for several decades. I stood alongside massage tables and leaned forward and over them, often reaching in uncomfortable ways. That’s why I immediately said “Yes!” to the total body participation that is intrinsic to doing every Breema sequence and Self-Breeema exercise.
Continue reading “Breema: The Dance of Existence by Susan Mankowski”
My son came into my room the other night in a panic, after watching a movie about the state of the world. He asked me what he could do to help. I wished to answer him in a way that could support him to find strength and confidence within himself.
I realized that to help him develop his own sense of direction, and not just give him my agenda, I have to look at how and where I find guidance. I know that when I try to tackle the world all at once, I find myself exhausted and frustrated. But if I can remember the principle of Single Moment/Single Activity, then I have a chance to approach each activity with Full Participation. Instead of a looming forest of responsibility, I have the potential to prioritize and bring my full attention to each event of my life. Continue reading “A Practical Approach to Advice in Parenting by Alexandra Johnson”