(Unabashed) Ode to my Self

This was written at the annual wild-women annual Maine get together (my name for it), and is submitted to the blog at Aileen’s urging. Ego was on my coat tails as I wrote it, wanting to own it, panting at getting credit, making its squeaks at taking over, tamper with, wanting to be in front of it. That was as interesting as the session.

A meditation on stacked block cushions. Wide-legged Indian stance by a sunny window turns to a self-healing session, going over every nook and cranny of the body’s terrain. Everything gets smoothed out and over. Feels so good.

I begin walking the bar and the wall. It becomes walking my life continuum. I am touched by how I/She loves me best. Knowing exactly how to satisfy, entertain, listen and respond. It’s beautiful. I become a gorgeous lover, an open wanderer/adventurer, a playful/fun mate, an astute see-er/listener. Back and forth I go, sometimes forward or backward, sometimes sideways. The light contact with the bar and the wall is imperative.

After many many back and forths I can leave the bar and travel the wall, delicately mostly, but sometimes with great strength and athleticism; pushing, leaning, resisting. I am the wall, I am the body resisting the wall, I am the folding into the wall. It’s all lovely, nourishing.

I am the best person I know. I love her so. I have loved walking this life with you. She knows me so well, can give me exactly what I most need and want when I am engaged with her. Time spent with her is pure joy, pure rightness. I even love that she is not perfect, and am charmed by her sometime misalignments, mistakes; she elicits generosity when her woundedness surfaces. I feel so grateful for everything that she is, that I am. So lucky! I feel excited about living with you for the rest of my life.

posted anonymously by request

Anonymous said...
XXXXXXXXXXXXhow delishluscious you are!


The Vienna AM group that I participated in last year came up with the idea of doing a long distance AM session and I joined them.

Saturday July 31st 2010, 08:00

With my dog I go for a long walk in the woods. The weather is beautiful, after some cool rainy days. The sky is blue, there is a wonderful smell in the air and the trees are comforting.


The candle is lit. I am imagining the room in Vienna where we all moved together for days last year. I see faces and hear sounds. I feel human beings around me and I feel protected in and from that image.

1st movement 10:35 to 10:55

I am alone with my dog. I decide to keep him in the room as my witness or my peer. He goes immediately onto the sheepskin which I had put on the floor in case I want to lie down. He starts to lick at his feet, I can hear it. After standing for a while and waiting for what wants to come, my torso moves forward and down, slowly and gently until I am on my knees. The arms go down and the back of my hands go on the floor. They are open and are welcoming my skull to comfort in them.

The operation on my cheek 4 months ago has not allowed me to go into full body movement – I am a little anxious about what will happen. My skull is moving very slowly in my hands – I am very aware of the skin and the bones. There is a big range of movement in the skin. The skull is hard and strong. My face starts to relax and muscles after muscles let go, my breathing is getting deeper and deeper. The spine moves delicately like a snake. Slowly and gently my whole torso and my head are moving in that position, while the arms and legs become part of the movement. It is like being in a fluid state, very comfortable and safe, satisfying, calming and soothing. I am in a silent trance.

After getting up I feel an ongoing movement in my head, my eyes are seeing from deep inside into the room, my breathing is carrying me. My body feels light and at ease. My mind is peaceful.

2nd movement 11:05 to 11:25

I am very aware of being „on“ the world. I see the world like a big living ball and I feel very connected with it. I am standing on my sheepskin, my feet far apart. My body is searching for its perfect balance. The arms move up and out, the fingers are streching out. My body is aligning itself like the needle of a compass. It wants to go into length, width and depth as much as possible in these moments. All the bones of the skeleton become very clear. I see it like a drawing in motion, in the position of the Vitruvian Man, in the famous drawing by Leonardo da Vinci.

The heart beat is strong and the breathing gets very deep, it moves my belly. What strong muscles! I am representing a priestess, a goddess or a shaman. It feels very archaic. It is not about me. I am representing someone who makes people aware of what „IS“.

For quite a while it feels very light and easy to be in that position. What a body feeling, to be so transparent and light at the same time. My body farts several times. The sound is deep and wide and reminds me of a drum. Oh, my inner drums make sounds. The smell is very spicy and good.

I lie down in the same position. Legs apart, arms way out. I become aware of the difference of my left and right side. In my left side the heart beats and I feel my poor cheek, my right side is still. Both sides are very present in their own quality. The left side has the quality of the moon, the right side of the sun. It is not what I would imagine the sun is like, but that is what it tells me. The two sides are very separate and very different. There is no judgment. The left side feels more alive, the right side more still. I feel very connected with he world in my dance of beautiful colors and changing forms. I realize that I am lying on the world. I am lying with the whole length of my back on this big big ball – surrounding the whole ball and embracing it while looking out and listening to a big silence. I am embracing the world and breathing into it – I am seeing in all directions.

It is the big IT IS, the big I AM, the big WE ARE.

The moving has been very interesting, satisfying and fulfilling. Thank you all for being there and giving me the chance to move with you in time and space.

I have sent my writing to the Vienna group and asked that I hear from all of them about their experiences. (Maybe to be shared on this blog).

Love to you all, Annette


Julia Morozova said...
Thank you for sharing this, Annette!
i would like to share my experience, I joined the session from my place.

I close my eyes and listen to my body. My body feels a bit numbed, as if I am still sleepy. In my mind I am making a connection to the people moving at the same moment in Vienna and in other places.
There are sensations in my fingers and palms as if they are electrified. I start moving my hands, observing how these sensations change. The image comes to me as if there are strings connected to my fingers. i think of movers in Vienna, but suddenly images from my dreams of the last days are coming up. I have dreamed about people I saw for the last time about 20 years ago and didn't hear anything from them anymore, but in my dreams these persons were very important, it felt like they brought very important message with them. I feel excitement and sadness. I spread my arms and stand up, I am turning around the room with spread arms, trying to reach not only the ones who are far way from me in the space, but also the one who are left in the past. the feeling of sadness is still present but is getting lighter, i feel released. Tears and smile. Hope. Gratitude
Thank you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010 7:20:00 PM EDT

Donna Kuhn asks:

How is this done long distance?

Friday, June 10, 2011 5:27:00 PM EDT

A GARDEN WITNESS, by Roberta H. Whitney

The plant stems, supporting sagging leaves during a summer’s drought cast long shadows across earth and rock as I walk a small garden. My whole body stands in imitation of the stalks. My skin feels puckered like a plant craving water.

Muscles draw in protectively, in imitation of the flowers. My chin turns upward, mouth soft and vulnerable, open and begging water from the sky. Waiting thus, a flutter flashes my line of vision and I look sideways to see a black butterfly settle on a purple cluster of tiny flowers. Stalks shimmy in a dry breeze.

The butterfly’s wings turn upward, revealing an inky coat splashed with orange and white edging. I am reminded of lace. I stand transfixed with its beauty. I do not know how it is called. As the wings settle, I delight in a pale blue strip accenting the black. I had not seen this before. I expect its departure any moment. I leave, having imbibed all I can for now.

Witnessing when I stand in nature opens me in deep ways. I feel easily what impacts me, whether beautiful or ugly. Yet even here, as real as it seems, I can be subject to projection. For example, moments earlier, I stopped to watch a large brown beetle ramble over mulch beside a blue hydrangea.

The evening air was thick and there was no rain. I scanned the hydrangeas and then my eyes grew wide at the sight of what seems gigantic…a cockroach on spindly legs? I studied it…a large beetle I named it. Even as part of me wanted to step on it lest it hurt the plant of my affection, something else wanted to get down on hands and knees, observing this being’s movements more closely. My mind got busy: In what pattern did its legs move?

I simply stood. But I noticed that my inner conversation was not strictly scientific study. “Too fast it’s going…Why, it can’t get over that large chunk of mulch? Look, it missed that way.”

Noting this, I smiled. Was I looking at this being as if it were a tiny child?

I witnessed the witness. My gaze settled into appreciation of the moments…and I noticed what each movement told me about myself.


I enjoyed reading your writing. A reminder that movement and witnessing happens minute to minute, it is as easy as bringing awareness to it....Corlene

Sunday, August 8, 2010 2:41:00 PM EDT

SUMMER MOMENTO, by Germaine Fraser

After reading Roberta's entry, I was struck at how familiar it was, having had one or two like experiences this summer: summer momentos in a way. I attach one. It's affirming of these short-in-time sessions and the power of them.
My home is filled with young-adult offspring visiting for the first time in a long while. It is early morning, everyone is asleep but me. I have my tea and meditate begrudgingly. Resistance reigns constantly day in and day out these days. It’s been a “dark night of the soul” time for me; not sure where I belong in the world, vague on the purpose of this life.A transition is here. I feel lost and ungraceful navigating the waters when I am trying not to completely avoid the discomfort of it. The meditation brings me some material; something about intimacy in my relationship to myself. My life is my own. This being and body I inhabit the only thing that I will ever truly be able to count on as being there for me through this life’s continuum. My chronic eight year mind-meanderings of where I should go, where/how should I live is somehow answered, “what does it matter? You are at Home in yourself (right this minute, anyway). You just need to have a space, an empty room to welcome You.”

I putter around the still house on this warm summer morning and find myself sitting on the edge of an overstuffed chair in the living room. My eyes close and open periodically as my arms lift and slide across each other and my face in this sublime, tender way. The soft belly of my forearm turns inward slowly with a pulsing attention. Love and care and intimacy are invoked into the torso’s trunk, the planted pelvis and legs. Everything takes it’s own time. Something is hugely respectful in me of me. My cool inhale-breath matches the air lightly playing in my armpits as these forever arms and wrists and hands do their thing. It’s a short but very complete little session.


Teri said...
Your description of moments of just being with awareness inspires me to cherish such treasures.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 12:51:00 PM EDT

NIGHT BODY by Roberta H. Whitney

The clock shows me the time: 2:51AM. I turn over and draw the blankets up tightly around my chest. I debate through closed eyes whether I should get up to move. The inner dialogue sounds something like this:

You’ll feel better if you do.”
“Yes, but it is going to be so cold downstairs.”
“Only for a bit-you won’t notice the chill for long and the carpet is warm.
“It’s the perfect time. It’s so quiet.”
“It’s quiet here too. My mind will settle soon.”
“And what about the body?”
“Oh, alright.”
Folding back the covers more with reluctance than gentleness, I pull on my fleece robe and secure the tie at my waist. My left hand taps into the blackness that is a chair, locating some slipper socks. I bend to put them on and proceed to the door, turning the knob to close it behind me as I head down the stairs.

My mind presses forward, “Well, if you’re going to be up, you could answer those emails and read the article on…”

I pass through a lower doorway on the staircase and scuff across the dining room into the living room, pulling closed yet another set of doors separating me and sleep.

I raise the blinds at the bay window, drawing in light amid the blackness. I breathe. I sigh. I don’t have the slightest idea why I have lain awake since 12:23AM. The mind has kept running…decisions…issues…conversations…even existential matters. Arms break through this cloud hanging over my head. My back arches slightly and then curves like a silky snake.
I come to hands and knees. Cat/cow yoga stretches move through my spine and back. I rest in child’s pose. My mind wants to grab onto something known here and I wonder if I should go ahead and work on a yoga lesson plan for later in the week? I seem wide awake. My mind feels clear. Or does it?

I close my eyes with a gentle intention. I want to be with my body. I invite the mind to rest. I kneel then, again arching my back slightly. Arms lift. I have an image forming of lifting weights. In my arms I feel resistance…

I lean over, ‘washing my hands’ of “it”…slowly, deliberately. There then is an interlude on my back. Something is gentle and opening. Movements are more unstructured. I lose a sense of specifics playing through my body.

To use Janet Adler’s terminology, in the next pool I remember, I am on hands and knees, my belly hanging down. I shake back and forth, then wildly throw my weight from side to side. Hair sweeps my face and shoulders like hard rain on a car windshield.

I pause. I feel my heart beat. The living room feels too small. I want to run. Instead, I move on knees like a bull—I bounce into the side of the sofa, several times then I slide my head down between my breasts and suck air from deep in my lungs. Exhaustion spreads over my shoulders. There is a sense of wasted energy…something about futility…loss…a scattering. Now seated on my knees, hands massage my head. Then I drop to the floor, knees bent. My head is in my hands.

I roll to my right, hands gathered at my heart. Nurture…care…ease…my breath changes.
I lie still and sense something within that is forming around a need in my life. I lie still, being with it all until it is clear. My body speaks.

I rise slowly after a few more minutes. My breath has slowed. My body feels relaxed and slightly heavy. I pad back upstairs through the three doors…I sleep almost immediately.

I’m not sure how many of us move in the middle of a night or use Authentic Movement to treat insomnia. However, I would welcome other’s insights and experiences.

I am not a scientist but I am intrigued by how a few moments of being with my body has repeatedly, on many occasions, calmed my whole being and restored a natural balance. I sense these movements in the night come more easily perhaps because I am more tired and my mind is less guarded. I also sense that night itself pulls me inward, in the quiet and darkness.
On night duty, if I allow it, my body shares what it is holding. Whether I give it a detailed witness or simply allow a general sensation to come, the time offers me release. Something shifts whether named or not.

The sessions in these night meanderings are often brief, each interlude lasting perhaps ten or twenty minutes. Many times I don’t jot anything down. The next morning there may be some details, or not. But I do in all cases, find rest and because perhaps I gain an inner congruence, I often feel less fatigued…certainly more than I might if I simply remained awake in bed, without the “night rising”.


Mie Sato said...
there have been times also awake in the middle of the night when I listen and follow my body impulses. I do not get out of bed..I lie there quietly until my body finds what it needs. Sometimes it is a rocking motion from side to side from vigorous to softly. Other times it could be shaking out limbs as if the days energy was caught in the muscles of my legs preventing the ability to surrender to deep sleep....Recently my mind decided that being without a lover did not mean that I had to do without tender touch.I started with my right hand following the skins surface down my left arm, traveling over my body like a forgotten landscape. I allowed myself to linger when the movement needed repetition. This became a loving experience of touching myself as I would like to be touched ending with a strong pulse deep in my chest. Then I lay quietly and fell into a deep sleep.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 7:52:00 AM EDT

Teri said...
What a beautiful vignette by Roberta and comment by Mia. Using mindfulness and embodiment to integrate deep layers of the psyche and body remains my favorite path. This includes writing and painting and making music. It is so joyful to be free from judgment as you observe your body and allow it to be the observed while your witness consciousness remains the observer.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 12:46:00 PM EDT

Emma said...
Really appreciate this post and the following comments. Since reading, I have practiced Authentic Movement when I can't sleep. Not sleeping has been a bit problem for me when I am anxious or stressed, and I am amazed how this helps me to switch from a chattering brain to mindful awareness even in the dead of night. I step out of bed and lie on the floor, waiting for movement impulses, my breathing changes, then often movements arise and finally I crawl back into bed and drift off to sleep.
Thursday, December 2, 2010 9:15:00 AM EST