Poems by Eliana Lynne Uretsky

home poem

When all is said and done
there remain the essential rhythms:
the give and take of breath and blood,
the quiet circulatings and pulsings.
When words fall down
and stories lose their meaning,
there is still a home
to come home to;
there are these friends:
feeling and sensation,
breath dissolving into blood
melting through membrane
floating in fluids
slipping into cells.
When all is said and done
there remain the essential rhythms;
When words fall down
and stories lose their meaning,
come home,
this sweetness awaits.

©2000 Eliana Lynne Uretsky

There is in the
Bony forest
Slow revolve of organs
Twinkling glands
Rhythmed red rivers
Listening land of skin
Fathomless cellular spaces
A universe
Complete and
Endless in its revealing
It calls us to attend

©1997 Eliana Lynne Uretsky

Joy Ride

Ribald rufflery gusto and gusts of belly laughs bursting effortlessly out. A tumble of bawdy bodies all and sundry hither and thither teeth in a foot a mechanical arm a head in a hand in a head in a hand. What is this wild hyena land and why can’t I live there all the time. We could start a commune we could communicate like this rumbling on the land, our eyes closed, clothed or not, tune out the madness, yes you heard me, I haven’t read a paper in weeks I don’t give a hoot I think this is the real world, who cares about organizing a life and goals and cars and insurance and a whaddayacallit tax-free postponement of the here and now. The stars are twinkling, the glands secreting, what else is there but this burbling tumbling joy ride on a hip bone a head in the hand mouth open teeth wide and wild and hyena howling?

©1997 Eliana Lynne Uretsky

Authentic Movement & Connecting with Friends

I'm really glad to see that there is a forum so accessible. Thanks to all of you for putting it together.

I've been doing a bit of authentic in a way that I would like to share: I have gone to several friends over the last year or so and asked then to do authentic movement with me instead of meeting at a museum or for coffee, or even a chat. We have met usually in my living room in a small space between the coffee table and the desk. I have explained the simple format of the work and we have exchanged. It has been a wondeful way to connect with friends, to know some in a new ways and to deepen the relationship with all. Comments?

Irina Harris – New York

Authentic Movement, Yoga & Healing by Jaime Stover Schmitt

I call my work yoga movement therapy. It is concerned with personal evolution, which to me is a continuum that includes healing. For this yoga provides a very big context in that healing can be thought of as a process of spiritual development. A healing process may be thrust upon us in the form of illness, or we may voluntarily open to ways in which we can learn, change and grow. Difficulties we face in various aspects of our lives such as in relationships, health issues, even finances can be thought of as earmarked areas for personal growth. Authentic Movement is an invaluable part of this healing-growing continuum because through it we are able to step out of our ordinary orientation and develop a manner of perceiving that invites an even greater inclusiveness. Over the past thirty years of engaging in this work, I have come to believe that this manner of stepping out of ordinary consciousness is a necessary element of the healing process. Shifting our way of perceiving from a pedestrian orientation to a non-linear, non-logical, non-causal context frees us temporarily from the strategies we have in place for getting along in our lives. When we move beyond these strictures, we can open to new possibilities on many levels.

Not too long ago people in the U.S. thought of yoga practice as an embodied method for inner work; a way to learn about and consciously work through personal impediments to one’s fullest potential. For instance one aspect of yoga, posture practice can be a way to learn about personal mythology through the associations made while holding a pose, similar to what can be experienced while moving. I am sad to see the superficiality of commodified yoga exclude dimensions of inner work, transformation and development of autonomy.

Based on this lack of understanding, a “do it right” attitude toward yoga practice has become the current norm. Students who don’t measure up are sometimes criticized and unfortunately even humiliated in class. This causes students to become defensive. If you are defending because you’re anticipating criticism there’s no opening to being playful, so you will not learn anything new. From studying cellular biology I learned that even the simplest form of life, a single cell, cannot exhibit a protection response and a growth response at the same time. It’s going to be one or the other. The cell that has the greatest capacity for awareness and receptivity is most adaptive and able to thrive. It evolves through this process into an even more intelligent way of being. This is true for us too. When we are defending we are not receptive which results in our perceptions being quite limited. Our understanding as a result will be far less inclusive. We end up reinforcing our conditioning instead of releasing it into a state of expansiveness. If a state of receptivity is necessary for learning, then it may well be life saving when it comes to the changes needed for healing to occur.

Once the shift to a non-ordinary consciousness is made, I believe the next step in the healing process concerns trust. In AM it begins as an ability to trust the form and the witness, similarly in therapeutic work it entails trusting the method as well as the therapist employing the method. But at a deeper level this step is about faith. Faith is a loan without a promissory note; it implies risk. We each have our own way of assessing risk. Our worldview comes into play as we weigh what might be possible against what is at stake. Here again AM affords a marvelous opportunity to become familiar with the unknown and to cultivate comfort with the uncontrollable. And in life really there is very little that is fully known or ultimately controllable, it only appears so through the filter of the comfort-concerned cocoon of ordinary reality.

This act of faith is both an attempt to extend our zone of comfort and an opening to discomfort. We project a positive receptivity onto the unknown while at the same time surrender to that which is beyond our control. In healing, this produces a sense of direction even when one cannot be rationally ascertained. We may feel we are in a no-man’s-land but we grasp there is a purpose to it. It is not about lying to oneself or denying one’s situation, it is about walking the knife-edge between consensus reality and wonderment. AM allows us to move into this necessary state of wonderment so that we can progress along our path toward wholeness.

© 2007 Jaime Stover Schmitt, Ed.D., C.M.A., S.M.E., I.D.M.E., R.Y.T.

A Survey Exploring Witness Consciousness by Paula Sager

I am currently working on a Master’s Thesis that looks at the role of “witness” in the process of self-development and asks the following questions:

Can those who develop a greater capacity to bear witness, both internally and externally, help support the development of individual consciousness in others? How can this capacity to be a witness be strengthened and developed?

I designed a survey for Authentic Movement practitioners as part of a phenomenological study of the roles of mover and witness in the discipline of Authentic Movement. While I have already assessed the data I received from the surveys, the editors of this site suggested that I post the survey here for anyone who would also like to explore and share these questions.
- Paula Sager

A Survey Exploring Witness Consciousness

The Mover’s Experience of the External Witness in Authentic Movement
I’m curious to know anything you can share about your experience as a mover in relationship to an external witness. Here are some possible questions to consider:

As a mover, has your experience of having an external witness changed over time?
What expectations do you have of an external witness?
Are there things that an external witness does that you find supportive?
Are there things that an external witness may do that you find unsupportive?
How would you describe the experience of “being seen” by an external witness?
Have there been times when you have not felt “seen” by an external witness?

The Mover’s Experience of the Internal Witness in Authentic Movement
I’m curious to know anything you can share about your experience as a mover in relationship to your own internal witness. Here are some possible questions to consider:

How do you experience your own inner witness?
Has your experience of your inner witness changed over time?
Is your experience of the inner witness different when you’re moving compared to when you’re witnessing? If so, how?

The Experience of the External Witness in Authentic Movement
I’m curious to know anything you can share about your experience as an external witness. Here are some possible questions to consider:

Is your experience of witnessing different from ordinary perceiving? If so, describe.
As an external witness, has your experience of the inner witness changed over time?
Can you name an inner hindrance or obstacle and how it compromises your ability to witness another?
Can you name an inner hindrance or obstacle and how it compromises your ability to witness yourself?
As an external witness, are there particular considerations that you weigh before offering verbal witnessing to a mover?

Have you had an experience of clear knowing by your inner witness while moving and/or while witnessing another mover? Please describe what you remember staying as close, in your language, to the actual experience as possible?

Is there anything further you want to add about being an external witness, being witnessed as a mover, or about your experience of the inner witness?

End of Survey ©2007 Paula Sager