If you are interested in exploring your inner world, as expressed through the body, you might want to try Authentic Movement, a form of mindful movement. Its form is quite simple, yet the results can be quite profound.
The practice begins with an invitation to close your eyes (or keep your focus inside) and to pay attention within, without judgment, and to follow any sensations, feelings, or impulses that may arise.
The only goal of the mover is to attend to oneself, and to open to whatever movements or sounds may emerge spontaneously. Or to remain still if that is what the body prefers. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do this. We are simply bringing mindful awareness to what is happening in the body, moment by moment. If or when an inner critic arises, we simply witness what it is saying, and remind ourselves that in this space, all parts of us are welcome to express in any way they would like. (It can take a while for inner critics to relax, but there is no need to push for this, it happens in its own time.)
You might be thinking, okay, that sounds intriguing (and maybe a little odd?)…. But what does it look like exactly? Well, each group or individual session has a different feel, and different sounds or movements that may emerge, even while the overall structure is fairly consistent.
Ideally in this work there is a trained “witness" who facilitates the process and helps to maintain safety (both inner and outer). Rather than “watching,” the role of the witness is to create a safe container for the work to unfold and to offer their non-judgemental, compassionate presence. This acceptance is profound: the mover’s "inner witness" more easily emerges in an environment of “outer” acceptance, free of evaluation or criticism. The presence of the witness also helps the mover set aside his or her conscious mind, which can often be directive or critical in nature, and instead to internalize the non-judgemental acceptance and freedom that is offered.
"Lose your mind, come to your senses."
Photo by Mieke
Sessions close with an invitation for the mover to speak about the experience of moving, sounding, or being still. The mover may wish instead to reflect on their session in silence, or they may chose to journal, or to do some free-flow artwork. But frequently the use of words can really help a mover to integrate the movement experience and to bring the richness that emerged in the session more fully into conscious awareness. The mover also has the choice to hear feedback from the witness, who may share what she saw, heard, or felt during the moving session. The witness does not analyze, evaluate, or attempt to interpret the mover’s experience, but rather shares only their personal experience of being a witness to the movement. The mover and witness may enter a dialogue, which often enriches the mover’s experience in unexpected and deep ways.
In addition to feeling more vitality in their bodies, people who engage in this contemplative movement practice often experience feeling more in touch with their body, their feelings, their creativity and with a sense of something greater than themselves. Many also report feeling more centered, grounded, clear-headed, and more open to life in general. This work is at once simple and deeply transformative.