Learning to be a Facilitator

By Elizabeth Reid, Averill Park, NY

For the past three years I have attended Alton Wasson's Facilitator workshop. This year Daphne Lowell joined him in leading us through a very rich three days.

Ann Mcginity said..."Once again I'm noticing those ripples that spill out into my life after our time together...confidence, contentment...Thank you all so much."

Here are some of my(Elizabeth) thoughts on what I learned from the weekend:

On the practical level I learned again that set up and sharing takes more time than I think it will. I learned to practice reading the poem I want to read a few times out loud so I don't stumble over the words quite so much. I learned that if I do stumble or loose my place or lose the poem to take a breath and slow down and just be kind to myself about my humanness and lack of perfection in the leading process. I learned that if I cry a bit it is just because I am touched and that is a special part of the process.

On a more reflective level I learned that my own ambivalence for being a facilitator has do with the leadership having a performance quality to it. So the more I can focus off of performance and onto presence the more deeply nurturing it is for me to be a facilitator. I learned that even when doing a simple leadership structure I will likely be nervous, but by the end of the time my nervousness has transformed to excitement about what has unfolded in the session together.

I learned that my own design of workshop time is likely to reflect who I am and what I need, so I want to be sure to give lots of room for other choices beyond my own design so other participants can find what they need. At the same time designing from my own authentic place of need and desire likely enhances what I have to offer. I learned I want to make room in my design for my own participation as a mover because of my own needs for that and because it reminds everyone that we are all in the end peers in this process.

© 2009 Elizabeth Reid

Hi Elizabeth,
I really enjoyed your blog entry. Thanks for sharing!

I wish I had more time to contribute to the blog, but I'm soooo happy to have this as a resource.

Thanks so much for all your efforts.

Be well,

Hi Elizabeth! It is lovely to read your thoughts about facilitation. So honest and resonant!

I hope to take another workshop soon....


Germaine said...

Elizabeth, you write so practically and yet with a burgeoning wisdom. It is so good to hear your clarity. thank you.

Poem Inspired in Peer Group Meeting 2008

By Stig Hjelland, Norway

Gods Touching Everything Human

In the authentic movement much energy is moved,
in simple, godlike ways.

Nothing is wasted, every condition used-
contacting the furthest reaches of human beauty.

Every single gestalt is beauty,
never is anything off the track.

The crawling, the walking, the snake and the prey,
the shivering life of an innocent sinner-
unfinished gestalts, almost deepest of all.

A being tries to crawl, but cannot fully,
a spear is in its side:
We see gods, touching everything human
turning it to perfect beauty.

From this is all and every art derived,
every drama and poem, any dance or display-
are like stills, humbly pointing at the actual movie.
This illumination of souls,
this abundance of energy-
where God´s beauty emerges in human form,
in time will call forth
the willed love, in every witness.

© 2008 Stig Hjelland

Irina Muterperel said...

Seems like I hear your voice again and I see you reading your poem to us as a witnessing respond.

It's inspiring for me to hear it.

Germaine said...

we are so lucky, aren't we?! yow.

Query: AM and Creative Process


I am a student at Marlboro College and I am doing part of my senior thesis on Authentic Movement. I was wondering if you know of any, or strongly remember, any articles that were published in A Moving Journal that have to do with Authentic Movement and the Creative Process. I'm researching how and if AM has been used by anyone as a place of harvest for the choreographic/dance making process.

Michaela Wood


Ann McNeal said...

Hi Michaela,
if you look in you'll see the titles of back issues, one of which was on performance. You can order these or perhaps find in libraries.

Also, see the Authentic Movement Vol 2 edited by Patrizia Pallaro.

Have fun with your thesis.

Monday, April 13, 2009 6:47:00 PM EDT

Elizabeth Reid said...

There is a complete index of all the articles from AMJ at:

Amazing resource still available to all of us.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009 5:56:00 PM EDT

Kathryn Kollar said...

Thanks for listing those sites and making it easy for us to research other questions.
Though I have such limited time now to visit this site when I do it's like an old friend.I am always grateful to those of you who keep it alive and moving.

Kathryn Kollar
Saturday, May 2, 2009 10:36:00 AM EDT

Paula said...

Hi Michaela

I recommend the AMJ interview with Eva Karczag in the last issue Vol. 13 #2 also, Lauren Baldock in England did a dissertation called Finding A Voice about sourcing dance from AM. You might be able to reach her via

Good luck with your research!

Saturday, May 2, 2009 11:15:00 AM EDT

Meg Cottam said...

Hi Michaela,
In addition to these other great ideas 'Contact Quarterly' also published an issue on Authentic Movement including a variety of articles relating to sourcing and how AM works with performance/choreographic interests. I believe it's CQ, Vol.27 #2
Best wishes,

Monday, May 4, 2009 12:57:00 PM EDT