Aileen's Response

First, I want to thank all my friends and colleagues for their appreciative comments.  Everyone should have such an opportunity – to be showered with love and appreciation and to be able to process the feelings and thoughts that arise.

At first I was delighted, and cynical.  I thought, “Well, people die around my age.  They’re expecting me to die soon, so I’m glad they’re giving me a party now before I go, instead of a memorial after I’m gone.”

Then an odd saying popped into my mind.  I don’t know where it came from:  “Praise to the face is open disgrace”.  I hunted it down on Google.  It was Hemingway’s response to what he thought was excessive praise for his own war heroism.  He said that all the soldiers deserved praise for their heroism, not just one person.  Hemingway was glorifying war, but there is something about singling out one person for attention among such a sensational group as ours. And just recently, I read a quote from Marilyn Monroe, “Everyone’s a star and deserves the right to twinkle.” And for sure, our Authentic Movement community is full of amazingly wonderful stars, each one deserving special attention.

I have “belonged” to many groups in my life, many of which gradually became Insider/Outsider pyramid clubs with increasing degrees of certification and fights over who’s in and who’s out.  I am proud to belong to this loose group of uncertified, high quality Authentic Movers and Somatic Inquirers.  I will do my best to help keep us inclusive, in the tradition set by A Moving Journal.

Thank you all again for your kind words of being loved, wanted and appreciation.

When the Blog letters started to arrive, I thought, ”Wow, now I’m getting the praise I always wanted.”  Soon I realized what I really wanted was my own self-appreciation, and that self-identifying myself as unloved, unwanted and unappreciated (UnUnUn) was past trauma-derived history, and far from the reality of the woman and artist I am now.

This is very personal for me.  I have felt UnUnUn and miserable too much of my life.    I didn’t know then that the misery I thought was mine belonged to my Mother.  As soon as she knew she was pregnant, she tried to get rid of me.  Of course.  She was at that time unmarried, poor and uneducated, a victim of the “Great” Depression.

Today I am preoccupied with the bad news of the current war on women and the cruel attempts to do away with abortion, and birth control.  I am ardently pro-choice, and I honor women’s right to choose if and when to have a child.  I thank Planned Parenthood for doing their best to ensure that every child will be a wanted child.

The Blog letters have certainly given me a large dose of feeling wanted, loved and appreciated. But I don’t want to be only the paragon they imply.  There are parts of me that might be considered “negative” which I want to include.   These parts interest me mightily, and I‘m keeping them until I get all the good out of them.

Here they are, so far:

HARPO   I had 12 pictures of Harpo around before the idea came that he was a projection I had not yet owned, a lusty, mischievous Part of me.

My OBSTREPEROUS Self is BIG, LOUD and not NICE.                                                                                      

My DECREPIT Self donwanna always have to stand up straight.  She sometimes likes to slump.

My ODDBALL Self is already one of my favorites.  She delights in Oddity, mine and others’.

My FIEND Part is strong and fierce, and wants me to be more extreme!

My TIRED AND PISSED Part is tired and pissed about being old.  She wants me not to act like an old lady, but to summon up the young-ness I still have plenty of.

My DISGRUNTLED Self wants me to Speak Up! Loud and Resonant!

Now, about the value of making Positive Projections, you all!  So many of the lovely things you said about me are also you talking about yourself.  So don’t give it all to me.  “How is that about you?”


  1. Aileen,
    My brilliant part thinks you are BRILLIANT! And loves how we are loving more and more of our (selves) !
    Can those selves become brilliant stars : ) Can the world and all it's parts somehow. Thankyou Aileen for using yourself and your life as a model for this!
    I love you (and me), Lucy
  2. Dear Aileen,

    Happy 88th Birthday to you! I have been working out of town and returned to this wonderful blog-posting and am so moved by everyone’s reflections, and your response!

    You are such a wonderful mentor and light in our community! As I think of you I can see the twinkle in your eye, hear the vitality of your laugh, and sense the creativity and richness in your movement, your art, your writing, and your way of Be-ing…. un-afraid to be your true self, and to welcome and support wholeness in so many others! Imagining you awakens the delight I have felt as we met at conferences over the years, as freshly and vibrantly as if it were this morning!

    I wish we lived closer so we could dance together more often! Meanwhile, I join so many others in our wonderful community in celebrating your deep wisdom, profound curiosity and creativity, authenticity, compassion, playfulness, courage, and so much more!

    And here’s to all of ‘un’ things you spoke about, the flint for life’s fire, that called us to this wild and sacred practice in the first place, and keep us dancing! ☺

    With much respect & appreciation,

    Tina Stromsted

Dear Aileen,

  1. Thank you for still being around and still saying things the way you say them! 
  2. much love,
  3. Wendy Weinrich

  1. One more thought I had today Aileen. 
  2. Can I sign up to dance for you at your 90thbirthday party. 
  3. : ) lucy

Love, Soraya gratitude to Aileen

dear Elizabeth, I just wanted to send my grattitude to Aileen, directly from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
This journal was and continue to be a place where I feel less lonely and I share some themes.
But I cound´t find a place to write this short note.
Thanks for receveing this message.