Inevitable AM

© 2007 - Aileen Crow

Authentic Movement, Projections

More about projections, in response to Elizabeth Reid

The subject of how to get the good out of our projections fascinates me: not just within authentic movement groups; but in the relationships between me and other people in daily life.

These relationships mirror those between my whole self and its many different inner parts (new ones coming all the time). It’s a question of which parts get identified with, and which parts get excommunicated. If something or someone ‘bugs’ me, and I identify with the upset part, I tend to exile the ‘something’ that bugged me and blame it. It’s Not Me. It’s his or her fault. A part of me, not the whole me, gets re-stimulated (a co-counseling term) by an old unresolved problem, or by seeing someone do or say something IT would NEVER do, or by comparing itself negatively to someone who does something better than IT could ever do. That part is ‘shen pa’ (a Buddhist term). IT has taken over my identity, or been put out onto another person.

One thing that helps me is to be careful about language. I learned this from Ann Weiser Cornell, a Focusing teacher, who wants us to distinguish between only using the word “I” to mean the whole self (which she calls ”Presence”), and calling it “something”, or “a part” when there is a sense that something urgent is disturbing us.

The fascinating aspect of all this, to me, is the prospect of taking that ‘something’ that got disowned and projected out onto another person, and mining the gold within it. Here’s one way I know to do it for myself by myself, which comes before dealing with projections within an AM group.

First, I need constant practice in being aware that I am my whole self (via meditation, AM, art, Focusing, etc) so that I know when something in me is shen pa, or re-stimulated. The whole me is curious and interested to explore that something, not get rid of it, trusting that there’s something of value in it.

I personify whatever IT is: I find its rhythm and do that physically. And its sound. I can role play it, and move like it. I write dialogs between IT and my Process Mind part, which is curious about IT’s fears and desires. I almost always draw IT, and often make figures of IT. Projection is the stuff of art.

All this is Process Work (Thank you, Arnold Mindell), mixed with Authentic Movement and art, that allows relationships to be worked out, no matter how difficult they may seem in the beginning. As Cornell says in her book, “The Radical Acceptance of Everything”, “There are no enemies within.”

©2007 - Aileen Crow

Moya Powers Keating: Authentic Movement as a Spiritual Practice

Hello friends,
I have been invited to give a talk for the Circle of Wisdom at The Community for Peace and Spirituality in NYC. The invitation was to discuss my spiritual path. Immediately, Authentic Movement came to mind.

Brothers and Sisters in movement, do you experience AM as a spiritual practice?
As Aileen has do we take the practice into our life? Do we always have to be with a witness?
How is AM different from/similar to meditation? Is AM a form of meditation?

Any and all topic of discussion in relation to AM and spiritual practice is welcome.
You are all my teachers!

Moya Ⓒ2007 Moya Powers Keating

Dance Research Project

KAREN DALY Eugene, Oregon

In response to Aileen's request for sharing I thought I'd share the experience I'm having being a part of a University of OR dance department MA student's project. Loosely it's about cancer survivors who are dancers. I must qualify that I sometimes can say out loud that I'm a dancer and sometime shudder at the thought. I am a cancer survivor (right leg amputee in 1962)and have done AM fairly regularly for the past 20+ years. I studied at the AM Institute in Berkeley for 4+ years. I've performed with Alito Alessi's DanceAbility and with BodyCartography (Olive B). That's about's about the project.

We've had two videoed 45 minute movement sessions, which have felt entirely like AM to me even though the project author, Laura, does not have an AM background. I've spontaneously responded to her questions about various things in my life in 20 minute writing bursts. Laura has used my words from these, and from a taped interview, during the movement sessions, softly speaking to me as I moved with my eyes closed. Each time I have "dropped in" after just a few minutes and had wonderful dances. Each time Laura and I have shared like mover/witness after the dance.

I'm hungry for my next movement time with her and to know the results of this project. AM has been a powerful, delightful, awe-inspiring way for me to connect with my real body, those girls inside bright with all of every emotion, always looking for creative ways to reframe my mostly narrow mind's chatter.

Happy Dancing. Ⓒ2007 Karen Daly