About EmbodyPeace

WELCOME!

Embody Peace is an international embodied peace resource center, as well as a forum in which practitioners, students and newcomers can share questions, ideas, and experiences.

The Embody Peace blog was launched in February of 2007, beginning with the inspiration, knowledge and resources of Martha Eddy collected in her research and work since 1990. It is kept up-to-date through interaction with the worldwide community.

As part of her doctoral research at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Martha Eddy worked for over a decade to gather information about those people and organizations who have years of expertise based in somatic, arts, and activist approaches to conflict resolution, violence prevention, and community building at the grassroots or international level.

The blog was started with a listing of these organizations, and has since welcomed any posts or links that include this understanding that how we perceive our bodies and interact with one another through our bodies affects our feelings, our behaviors, and our creative work in the world. Physical approaches to peace, conflict resolution, and violence prevention accessed through the arts, sports, somatic education, non-verbal communication, and biological sciences are all posted here, and we always welcome new organizations and new catagories. We look forward to building this network more fully! Please send us your comments, your connections, your creative expressions of peace.

Please keep visiting to discover new developments. Post your related announcements and comments or send links to us to add to our listed resources. We hope that you find inspiration to take care and take action amidst these pages.

Thanks,

Erin and Martha

Enjoying space and time together

“From a base of relaxation and self-awareness any person is more equipped to take healthy action. With understanding of compassionate communication, conflict resolution, and healing responses to stress or trauma, our actions can contribute to enhanced intrapersonal, interpersonal and international peace. We invite you to learn about different ways to Embody Peace and stand up and move out from there. Please share your experiences with us.” -Dr. Martha Hart Eddy

Somatic Embodiment for Peace: PEACE, EARTH AND THE BODY – Paul Linden

Peace and environmental sustainability must be grounded in a new way of living in the human body. The old way isn’t working.

Imagine sitting on a tree limb high in a tree, facing the tree trunk, and working hard at sawing off the limb you’re sitting on. That takes a spectacular lack of understanding of gravity and lack of awareness of what is supporting you. How would it be possible for someone functional enough to climb the tree and wield a saw to be that unaware? It’s really a kind of pathology, isn’t it?

That kind of pathology is at work when we perpetrate social aggression, war, and environmental degradation. It takes a deep numbness and alienation not to know that damaging the web of life within which we all exist also damages us. That alienation isn’t merely emotional or spiritual. It is physical.

Take a moment to stop and create within yourself a feeling of anger, fear, and aggression. Notice what happens to your breathing, to the muscles in your back and belly, and to your overall posture. Most people experience a clear sense of contraction and imbalance. In that constricted state, you can’t breathe, talk, think, walk, move, or act in strong, efficient, graceful, and effective ways. In other words, anger and fear weaken us. Moreover, contraction leads to a body state of insensitivity and separation, which is the root of our ability to do violence to ourselves, others, and the world around us. Alienation leads to violence, and violence leads to more alienation.

How do we break the cycle? Alienation must be addressed as it exists in the body. By learning how to open the breathing, stabilize the posture, balance movement, and develop a radiant state of attention, people can achieve a body state of awareness, power, and love and learn how to use that to connect to the world and the people around them. Whether you are raking a garden, typing at a computer, swinging a golf club, playing a violin, giving a lecture, or trying to resolve a conflict, placing your body in a state of calm, kind strength will lead to better results. And using daily tasks as opportunities to practice being in this state of mindbody integrity makes the little things of every day life part of the path toward a peaceful, sustainable world.

The question, of course, is: How exactly do you open the body? As you read this, let your tongue hang softly inside your mouth. What does that do to your breathing? To your neck and shoulders and chest and belly? Most people experience an overall relaxation and calming. Imagine relaxing your tongue during a heated discussion. What would that do? It would take much of the heat out of your thoughts and actions. It would allow respectful contact and dialoging with your opponent. This simple exercise, along with many others I’ve developed and describe in my books, form a somatic way of training our bodies away from narrow, oppositional thinking and toward a feeling of communion with other people and the planet itself.

Responses

  1. I love your blog!

  2. This is wonderful – I immediately want to check every single category, to learn as much as I can!
    I’m not sure how to post an invitation that Martha suggested might interest all you readers, but I’ll figure it out.

    In the meantime, and in brief: Artists, educators, and activists and all readers here are invited to gather in Ithaca, NY on April 25 & 26 for GREENING THE ARTS, a symposium to explore a role for the arts in creating a sustainable world.

    This is part of a longer-term project – ARTS AT THE HEART OF A SUSTAINABLE WORLD – inspired by the UN Decade if Education for Sustainable Development. the UN Millenium Goals and the International Earth Charter.

    Martha was part of creating this vision – and I’d love to hear from you all about what YOU would like to see happen. The basic idea is to generate acknowledgement of, engagement with and support for arts-based collaborations to realize Millenium and Earth Charter goals so that the world will work better for more people.

    You’ll hear more about all this on this blog in the months ahead. If you can’t make it to Ithaca in April, we invite you to send your thoughts to be included in the symposium program to . – Patricia Haines, Level Green Institute, Ithaca, NY

  3. in sacred center ny we say this prayer for peace during the sunday service.

    peace in my heart brings peace to my family.
    peace in my family brings peace to my community.
    peace in my community brings peace to my nation.
    peace in my nation brings peace to my world.
    let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

    peace to all!!!!!!!!!!!
    and thanks martha for your DEL workshop last weekend.

  4. I love the invitation for creative expressions of peace, keep it up.

  5. Lets talk about WATER. Tonight I was able to see FLOW (For the Love Of Water) – a film that depicts the perils of the global privitization of water. Moving stories show that Nestle and Coca Cola own most of the major bottled water companies and that they are displacing millions of people and small farms on each of the populated continents in order to sell what should be in the public domain. When they do this they are also causing more environmental havoc.

    Now, what does this have to do with the body-mind connection, somatic awareness, or embodied approaches to peace.

    Here are a few links:

    1. As is well-known our bodies are made of water, and our planet and solar system was born of water.

    2. In doing hands-on healing work it is helpful to work with the flow of the fluids. Deep healing touch of the fluids can release trauma, calm the angry soul, and sharpen thinking and physical acumen, all needed in peace activism.

    3. Body-Mind Centering teaches how to support the healthy movement of the fluids through touch and also through different rhythms of dancing.

    4. Bio-Dynamic Cranio-Sacral teaches how to attune with primary respiration – a type of “breathing” that is actually based in the flow of molecules through fluids. This flow is not only a 50 second cycle that pulses through the body, it also moves through all forms of nature including protozoa. When we go this slowly, paying attention to this rhythm, the body self-regulates and deep healing can occur.

    5. In my own somatic movement work we experience improved human communication when we are able to attune with different fluid rhythms. Each rhythm is vital and each allows for attuning with our own moods, needs and desires. By being aware of the capacity to exist and move with different physiological rhythms we become more flexible. With this flexibility comes more adaptability with other people. We can appreciate differences because we recognize our own variability. We can adjust because we have a resource with a permeable membrane within us.

    Check out http://www.FlowtheFilm.org to learn more about our global water crises, and actions steps. They suggest we stop buying bottled water. Drink (and filter) your own tap water and carry your own bottle. http://www.TheWaterGeeks.com can help in figuring out about personal water needs and share more about the global situation. You can also read the books of William Marks. Check out http://www.watervoices.com/ You’ll learn that the UN has added The Right to Clean Water to its declarations and how people around the world are working to care for our water supplies and waterways. It is a spiritual wake-up call too.

    Finally, what was also emphasized in the film and is important to this blog is our connection to our physical selves. Our physical needs motivate us and enable us. We use our bodies to stand-up and march, in harmony with others, for basic human rights. “Standing up” for differently abled people has its counterpart in an erect spine, a strong voice, an in-sync wheelchair, and/or any form of a shared dance; marching for peace happens in many ways and remains a meaningful metaphor. We just have to do it. Often.

  6. What a fantastic idea! As always, Martha, you are such a creative genius and you manage to connect with other geniuses to create magnificent things! I look forward to more from this site!

    D*

  7. Thanks Denise! Please share more of your thoughts on the body, fitness, and “being black” when you have a moment.

    Relating to Paul’s new entry on the Embodying Peace page and the Water issue raised above..I also would like to introduce the notion of body conscious design.

    We numb out when we squeeze, overprotect, stop moving, hold our breath, compress for too long, or even overreach – metaphorically but also quite literally. Our interaction with objects either supports or exacerbates these physical and emotional experiences of being out of balance.

    To find furniture, vehicles, places, and clothing that are in tune with self-care and taking care of the earth please visit

    http://www.BodyConsciousDesign.com

    You might also enjoy:

    http://www.blogher.com/abcd-design

  8. Yes, your body contains about 60,000 miles of veins and arteries, and circulates about 40,000 glasses a day of your body water.
    Your body is flexible and capable of movement because the hydrogen bonds in your body water connect and disconnect at a rate of over 1 trillion times per second. This constant reconfiguring of water’s structure is why body moves in a fluid fashion, and why water is the only entity on earth that allows you to effortlessly enter into it and be embraced.
    In fact, the structure of water remains a mystery to all scientists, physicists, chemists, biologists and all other “ists”. Anyhow, this website is overflowing with great information.
    Thank you for providing such a forum.

  9. Thanks William. I hope more folks visit http://www.WaterVoices.com and http://www.FlowtheFilm.com

    Today I visited Jane Nelson’s website to learn about her fluid parenting lessons.

    Here’s an article on how providing a frame of reference can clarify communication and help us avoid conflict.

    http://www.positivediscipline.com/articles/percept.html

  10. Make Talk Work®International Video Competition

    Please Circulate as Widely as Possible. Please visit their site to submit a video this year too. Its due by April 17th, 2009!!!!

    The City University of New York Dispute Resolution Consortium (CUNY DRC) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice-CUNY, announces an international competition for short videos of up to 60 seconds using any of the themes in the 24 Make Talk Work® bookmarks. This video project, which is funded by the JAMS Foundation, seeks to increase public awareness about dispute resolution. The bookmarks, also funded by the JAMS Foundation, were created by the CUNY DRC and dispute resolvers in New York City with images designed by Susan Spivack.

    The videos will demonstrate how universal messages about handling conflicts can be shared with people from all walks of life. Each of the bookmarks, which must be used as the basis for this video competition, contains a message that can be visually illustrated through a video. The winning videos will be posted on YouTube, the CUNY DRC’s websites and will be made available for workshops, conferences and public events.

    We need your help in distributing this announcement to as many individuals and groups as you can contact. Our goal is to get as many people as possible to participate in this exciting competition. Please tell family members, fellow employees, youth workers, school personnel, religious leaders, community boards, tenant associations, neighbors, among others. Post the announcement in libraries, stores, coffee shops, workplaces, bookstores, and any other place where you can leave it. If you need flyers or can suggest locations to post information, please email us at dispute@jjay.cuny.edu or call 212-237-8692.

    To see sample images of the bookmarks or to order them, go to http://johnjay.jjay.cuny.edu/dispute

    The videos will demonstrate how universal messages about handling conflicts can be shared with people from all walks of life. Each of the 24 bookmarks, which must be used as the basis for this video competition, contains a message that can be visually illustrated through video.

    Award categories have been established for youth (17 years of age and younger) and adults (18 years of age and older).

    Award Categories
    Prizes will be awarded as follows:

    Prizes # of Prizes Age Category Amount of Award

    Grand Prize One (1) All ages $ 2,000 (USD)

    1st Prize Two (2) One Youth and One Adult $ 1,000 (USD)

    2nd Prize Two (2) One Youth and One Adult $ 750 (USD)

    3rd Prize Two (2) One Youth and One Adult $ 500 (USD)

    Honorable Mention Twenty Five (25) All ages $ 100 (USD)

    Deadline for Competition submission is April 17, 2009, 5 p.m. EST

    For COMPETITION GUIDELINES and INFORMATION, go to http://johnjay.jjay.cuny.edu/dispute

  11. Martha,
    I’m responding to your quote from “Why Dance”. What you said is so important. What dance did for me changed my life and my perception of myself. For a long time in my life, I was unhappy about two things-wanting to be a dancer and feeling ashamed of being naturally thin. Because I was naturally thin, I was too embarrassed to try out for a dance troupe when I was a young girl, so I only danced at home. When I reached my 20’s I was still naturally thin, but I really wanted to dance. When I discovered belly dancing, I finally was able to reconcile the two things. Not only did I become comfortable with my body, but I discovered a dance form that lead me to other things. Since then I’ve become an award winning dancer/performer, a choreographer, a producer, a television host and a teacher. Dance has the power to evoke change in all who partake in it.

    • Wow!
      Your sucess story is inspirational Claudia. It’s nice that you found a way to satisfy your desire to become a dancer. It makes me believe I will too.

      I thought that Martha’s comment was heart warming. There is a certain vulnerability one feels as a dancer. It can affect self esteem and self confidence. Because we live in a critical world it is important to learm to rise to the challenges and let them make you stronger.

      P.S. I really enjoyed your DEL Conflict Resolution through Movement class Martha

  12. Dear Claudia –

    Your experience says so much. While dance can feel way too vulnerable at first, especially if people are putting us down, it is the very vehicle for overcoming issues of self-esteem and self-confidence. Of course this is usually only if the dance community that one finds is affirming. Of course, some of us come out stronger even after adverse experiences. Somehow though, there is usually at least one other supportive human being that shows up to help us turn our views of ourselves around. This is a story I hear from the participants of Moving On AErobicds, a dance exercise program I designed for cancer survivors that now is used by a wide variety of people on the journey to move freely. Music is another huge component of this journey.

    Thanks for writing.

    Martha

    PS You and others might like to visit http://www.MovingOnAerobics.org

  13. Dear Martha and all that have contributed to this site

    Thank you for your time and effort!
    I want to thank in particular Michael Colwill for his posting about peace beginning at home. In a few words sums up the value of what being in your body really means to me. Being at peace with who I am , starting from the physical self. Not because that is more important that other parts of the self, but simply because the physical reality is, at the moment, for me, undeniable.

    We have started a game for the world, we called it Touch Peace. We play by going in a public space and have an experience of just “being with” others. It starts with some time spent exploring what being with is.
    We practice making eye and physical contact with others, hold it, and notice what it triggers in us. We might want to scratch, or smile. We might think of the other person appearance, or our skill level in the task. We might think of something else all together. And our game is to notice all of these things and keep going back to the task of just being present with others.

    We practice this game for 5 minutes in a public space and we are then available to have a conversation about the experience, with the people we directly shared it with and also with the so called “innocent bystanders”.
    We believe that by starting a conversation about the challenge of being with another we can, at the same time, discover and challenge what keeps us apart and unable to appreciate and celebrate our incredible creativity and diversity. We will play one of these games in San Francisco on June 7th and then on June 19th we will have a Benefit/Opening event for the project. Another game will be played on August 10 in Venice, Italy.

    If you are interested in being part of one of these experiences of humanity and appreciation, or if you want to create one where you live, or if you simply are curious to know more about this, check out touchpeace.ning.com.

    thanks again and keep up the good work
    Rita Venturini

  14. Dear Rita,

    I would love to post a link to TouchPeace. What category/categories do you feel suits it best?

    # Body Language/ NVC
    # Conflict Resolution/Enhancing Communication
    # Creative Resources
    # Dance
    # Drama/Theater
    # Games and Sports
    # Martial Arts
    # Meditative and Contemplative Approaches
    # Political Action/Political Analysis
    # Pre K – 12
    # Somatic Education
    # Sustainibility/Eco-Somatic

  15. I think either one of the following:
    # Body Language/ NVC
    # Conflict Resolution/Enhancing Communication
    # Creative Resources
    # Political Action/Political Analysis
    # Somatic Education
    # Sustainibility/Eco-Somatic

    you know better what it is under each category, so maybe you can decide between those.

    also I would like to add another invitation:

    Dear peace friends check this out and if you have it in your heart, spread the word, thanks!
    *

    Touch Peace: 5 minutes of “being with”

    June 7, 11:00 am workshop
    1:00 pm performance

    FREE
    Location: whashington@ davis,near embarcadero area, san francisco, see website for details

    RSVP (please let us know how many we will be!) & info: touchpeace.ning. com

    Being with: being present with ourselves and others without judgment and with an open heart.
    Come and participate in a street workshop and performance on being embodied and present and how it effects our availability for a peaceful life.
    Rita Venturini, Paul Loper, Denzil Meyer, Maica Folch, Peggy Hackney, Laura Maguire, Diana Lara, Simone Bloch, Valentina Emeri and Beloved Campbell will facilitate the workshop starting at 11.00 am. At 1.00 pm we will perform being with in stillness for 5 minutes in a public space, and then we will let whatever happens happen….
    Touch Peace is a community project initiated by Blue Heart Planet and fiscally sponsored by Moving On Center.

    ************ ********* ********* ******a little story below******* *****if you wish to read it********** ********* ********* *****

    Dear dream makers, movers and shakers,

    My name is Rita Venturini, I am trained as a neurologist, neuroscientist, movement analyst, massage therapist, improviser and facilitator and I improvise myself as an event organizer, dream maker, mom, lover, friend, contact dancer, cook and community organizer.

    When i was a kid i had two dreams: being a ballerina and having everybody get along, I was the youngest of a mildly dysfunctional family…
    Serendipity wanted that which seemed the total failure of my first dream (i was a terrible ballerina at age 9 and i had started medical school) brought me years later to find my way to the second. First of all I had to see what my first dream really was. I wanted to be a dancer, not particularly a ballerina. So i started to dance and in 1998, via Body Cartography, i met Contact Improvisation. It was a love at first sight, that never really left me since, and that was nurtured by my encounter with Moving On Center (MOC graduate 1999). Dancing Contact, practicing Authentic movement, meditation and improvisation, using my hands often to touch people i started to feel how much effort i was putting in not really being there with them. How much energy i was putting into hiding from them, or not seeing them, or wanting them to see me different from who I was, or wanting to see myself different from who I was.

    Just being with someone, even myself, has proven so far the hardest challenge I ever took on, and the most rewarding! Be present to who I am and who others are, without judgment, without being attached to the stories that spring in my mind like water, without wanting to look good. Hard as hell and sweet as ambrosia. In the moments in my life in which I set my intention at simply being with, many times i fail, i think of something or move, and some times, my heart touches peace, and i can fully see myself and others as the beautiful unfolding of our humanity. In those moments i would never shout at the car in front of me or at my kid….

    Together with a group of wonderful people from the larger bay area, we started a project, called Touch Peace sponsored by Moving On Center, with the intention of creating moments of being with in world. We are starting with an event in San Francisco, next Saturday June 7th, and we would like to continue with many more. If you find anything in here inspiring check out our website at touchpeace.ning. com.

    On Saturday we start with practicing together being with, in many different ways for about two hours. We then take 5 minutes of stillness to just focus our intention and attention in actually just being with…..many people, in a public space. We are curious and excited about all possible conversations that might stem from our hearts touching peace together.

    I invite you all to join our journey, on the web, in the street, in your office, in your house
    take 5 minutes, being with yourself, your mom, your boss, your teenage son
    let your hearts touch peace and create a new platform for harmony, community and sustainability

    thanks for making a difference

    Rita Venturini

    touchpeace.ning. com

  16. Here is more info from Rita

    dear friends and family

    Saturday, June 7th 2008, was the first Touch Peace event
    it was simply magical, people loved the workshop and arrived at the performance with incredible presence
    check out our blog (in progress) here. I also would like to share with you some words from Peggy Hackney, extraordinary mover,dancer, teacher, mentor and friend that was one of Touch Peace facilitators. Peggy writes after Saturday:

    My sense is that there is a revolution going on in terms of what we each know inside of ourselves contributes to “Peace”. It is not “out there”. Touching-in deeply with myself and others allows me to find that place of peace and be with others from a place of grounding.

    If you want to contribute to the Touch Peace revolution, you have a fun, lush and yummi opportunity coming up next week. I hope many of you will join us and if you cannot, that you are inspired to extend the invitation to your friends, families and communities.

    Tickets on sale now for the “Touch Peace” Benefit on June 19th!!

    Come connect with other dream makers! Touch Peace starts its public life at Fort Mason on June 19th with the Touch Peace Benefit to help cover the costs of the program and raise money for future events around the Bay Area and the world.
    Your evening includes a delicious gourmet raw and non raw foods dinner, organic wine, music and fun interactive events for all (kids welcome and free)!

    WHAT: “Touch Peace” Benefit

    WHEN: Thursday, June 19th, 2008 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm

    WHERE: Fort Mason Convention Center.
    Landmark Building A, San Francisco, CA 94123

    COST: Sliding scale $30-$100.

    INFO: http://www.touchpeace.ning.com

    TICKETS: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/36672

    A call for volunteers!!!
    Touch Peace
    If you love the arts, dance, contact improv, and support social change activism — or if you just want to be able to attend a swanky evening full of delicious organic raw foods but can’t afford the price of admission — then don’t miss this opportunity to get involved. You will be rewarded with a full belly, our enormous gratitude, and an unforgettable evening!

    Please join the Touch Peace Benefit Organizers’ Group on the Touch Peace website (http://touchpeace.ning.com) or contact Amy Kingwill at 415.939.0145 to find out how you can get involved.

  17. in a search for somatic education’s influence on peacemaking I came upon Dorothy Nolte’s award winning poem that has been used by parents successfully to cultivate peace.

    You can read it:

    http://www.empowermentresources.com/info2/childrenlearn.html

    Dorothy was trained by Ida Rolf and identified as a movement awreness specialist. She died in 2005.

  18. Dear Martha, and the growing Embody Peace community,

    It’s so great to read thru this site and resonate with the connections being made between how we live in our bodies, how we relate to others, and society and ecology as a whole.

    For the past 5 years, I’ve been struggling to connect these aspects of a world i want to live in through my collaboration with Andrea del Moral, and our company, Change of State Performance Project. (www.changeofstate.org) We bring somatic foundations to dance and theatre, and compose plays about shifting water culture and “natural” disasters, make score-based improvised dance pieces, and perform intricately composed fluidly dexterous pieces by Urbana, IL choreographer Lisa Fay. Recently we started teaching movement in the context of social change as guest artists at the School for Designing a Society’s summer school at the Gesundheit! Institute (www.designingasociety.org).

    The class descriptions are as follows:
    1. Laboratory of Embodied Change: observing and acting in the self-body-system and social group-body-system
    2. The Body Performs Desire: Generating a universe in which our desires frame movement interactions and performance.

    We investigated how to bring active perception of self to group dynamics, to train our skills towards the world we want to live, where awareness of self and group are nestled in each other.

    The classes went really well. I was inspired to hear students say how much more alive they feel in their bodies, and how they have options they figured were off limits to them.

    I continue to research how somatics can interact with cybernetics: how a body-based understanding of cognition can benefit from both the experiential dexterity of somatics and the clarity of naming systems from cybernetics. I see that embodying the dynamic balance of living systems leads towards a dynamic peace.

    Thanks to Martha for providing this forum!

    from my nervous system, with the support of my bones and endocrine system–
    qilo matzen

  19. I have been watching the democratic national convention and will add what I have seen in Barack, Hillary, Joe and Michele in a few days.
    Here is what I wrote in 2007. Much is still the same.

    The Body Politics of Obama and Clinton – Are They Moving What They Speak?

    The Body Politics of Obama and Clinton – Are They Moving What They Speak?

    Martha Eddy – September 2007

    I spent the month of August on Martha’s Vineyard this summer. I often do as my family has summered there for five generations – both in Oak Bluffs and Chilmark. This summer was different. Instead of the usual R & R of family outings at the beach, dancing at the Yard, and communing with friends I was talking and walking politics. Within days of my arrival I learned that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would be on the island and speaking. My husband, Blake Middleton, encouraged me to go to these events with my movement analyst hat on.

    As a movement analyst I use a system developed at LIMS in NYC and taught internationally. We look at where a person moves his or her body in space with attention to the personal style of the movement. That style is revealed by the effort they put into the movement and how they shift from one shape to another. An important feature of this observation process is the connection to meaning. What does every little movement mean? As it turns out, the same movement can mean different things to different people. However, there are some generalizations that do get made, especially within a shared cultural framework.

    Here is what I saw, moving backward in time:

    Barack Obama – At the home of the Davenports on Martha’s Vineyard Tuesday August 28, 2007

    Barack Obama shares his ideas with eloquence supported by a strong and well-modulated voice. Interestingly, his full body does not express this strength. Rather his body is in “constant flow;” seen in how he adjusts his position in small nuanced shifts of weight to direct attention towards the people with whom he is communicating. Obama’s language, dialect, intonation, lilts seem to express the varied cultural aspects of his personal history. As he makes these alterations of speech, he also alters his facing, taking in the eyes of people throughout the room. He is aware of cultural differences and able to adjust in his body language to different cultural styles. His ability to adjust, adapt, relate to is made obvious from a non-verbal analysis. However, the ability to carry through may be questioned from the perspective of what America is used to (white American males using American-influenced body language). This is not to say he doesn’t have the capacity to carry through but that in this American context his body movement does not exude the firm pressure that communicates strength that may be needed to stand behind his beliefs and follow-through to execution. Indeed Obama does exert force, however he does it in less familiar ways – with the use of strength in his hand gestures at key points, and most unexpected in a man, with a rarefied use of weight that can be described as delicate – firm but with gentleness. as he flows through his speech. Obama’s hand and arm gestures are strong; his on-going bodily state is flowing with delicate use of pressure.

    Obama’s range of knowledge comes through loud and clear through what he says and how he says it verbally. His verbal eloquence is supported by the refinement of his gestures in the shapes that he makes – for instance his fingers are active in making a shape to corroborate a point – they cluster together (the tips of the fingers of one hand converge into a point) and then he projects forward toward the audience (“spoking” outwards from his body center) with a controlled firmness to emphasis the import of his statement. As he does this active “shaping” with his hands, he sometimes also “shapes” his whole body. More often he changes his shape using “shape flow.” Being in “shape flow” can signify a state of self-involvement, self-awareness or self-reflection. During his speech shape flow is visible in Obama’s relaxed torso that is visibly breathing. He is so relaxed that his hands settle into his pockets exuding the message that he is confident; perhaps translatable to being capable of the job. Furthermore he is moving his entire body – feet and lower torso constantly. All told, this is a complete “shape flow” state. As mentioned before he is also changing his facing throughout his talks. Interpretation? One view could be that while tuning in each part of the audience, and indeed with diverse cultural communities he also maintains the self-confidence of someone who has what he needs, being characteristic of a successful person complete with the ease, entitlement, perhaps arrogance, of a Harvard graduate (sum cum laude).

    Obama’s gestures are in the small to middle portion of his kinesphere (the space around his body that you can reach without taking a step). I might ask him: “Why do you move in such a small space? Is this a cultural phenomenon from Kansas, Hawaii, Indonesia, Kenya? Or is there some lack of willingness to really extend fully out to your audiences, the world wide community?” He keeps his arms close to home; I never saw extensions out to the edges of his own physical boundary, “reach space.”

    So, in summary Obama’s shifting, near range, strength and focus exist with an underlying ease and flow. He has lots of integrated movement (meaning gestural and postural movements connect to work together) and plenty of detail in his plans for America. However because of the constancy of his movement and his periods of non-stop speaking, this movement can be read as “flowing” or as “shifty.” An audience member might wonder – will he change his tune with each group he is dealing with? Or is he not yet sure which direction he’ll take?

    During the Q & A, Obama pauses to answer questions, showing that this inquiry is worthy of thought. When the pauses occur frequently within a question the viewer may begin to wonder if perhaps this is a subject that he hasn’t experience with or the opportunity to think through fully. During his responses, especially about Israel, his flow spills over; he runs on both in speech and motion. This flow IS punctuated with pauses, as he makes a point. He appears to be complete, and then out of the silence and stillness, he moves and speaks again, adding more to his answer. This can be interpreted as a helpful quality – of perseverance and thoroughness, speaking until all angles have been addressed, really complete. Once or twice works, after that the pauses and thinking through can be interpreted as youthful and inexperienced.

    More questions from watching his movement emerge: Where does his strength come from? What grounds him to hold strong to one point of view, to stand behind a decision?

    He does bring his message back home, to himself – gesturing resolving at his chest, or face. With this we see he is able to wrap a key point up and accepts it himself. He’s content with his internal resources, and he trusts himself. When beyond his own means will he gather in the expertise of others? Upon leaving the event, I am not sure what he believes is most important: getting “fired up and ready to go” for some specific platforms, or being ready for change as it comes and being able to negotiate on the world stage. What speaks volumes is his interest in representing other, the disenfranchised, the Muslims who aren’t being heard, the policy makers who care about the environment. He can be the chameleon that can reach out to world leaders across class and race and nationality; a laudable quality in a world that is desperate for multiple and honorable points of view. Will he hold strong to the views that he espouses, shift easily to new policies in light of negotiation, or give over to different audiences?

    Recommendation: In questions that require more time, and more expertise than he has at the tip of his tongue, Obama might share who he will turn to for more information. Without this information we might inquire: will he feel it is okay to nurture an excellent cabinet – to reach out for information and wise experience? Does Obama feel it’s okay to gain knowledge from others?

    Movement Advice: Consider taking some stances and practice holding them strong, even with stillness and facing one direction for a while. With that solidity as a base he can use his natural flexibility in negotiating his detailed policies. On occasion he can reach out to explore possibilities and incorporate the knowledge of others. Do this by practicing stretching gestures out to be more inclusive.

    Hillary Clinton at the Oak Bluff Tabernacle and at the home of the Biondi family in Edgartown Saturday August 25, 2007

    Hillary Clinton spoke at the Tabernacle the prior Saturday. The headlines of the twice weekly paper that comes out on Tuesday (the morning of Obama’s evening talk) said Hillary Excites Audience with Stump Speech. I have to agree. Clinton was solid. She spoke with strength, clarity, passion and sharp intellect but she didn’t move me. However, later on Saturday evening she went on to speak again with an audience of 400 and a different aspect of her movement life emerged. At the Biondi’s home added to her savvyness she exhibited grace and exuded caring.

    Here are some differences in the movement that Hillary delivered her message with during “the stump speech” at the Tabernacle and her talk at fundraiser at the Biondi’s.

    At the Tabernacle (an open air wooden tent that seats 1000) she had key supporters seated behind her on the stage, hence she was essentially speaking in a theater in the round. In this setting her arms swept along a horizontal arc to include all in the room. Her arm gestures were large; supportive of big ideas. What was disturbing was that she lost energy in the arc as she reached the end – as if she was throwing her idea away (hoping someone else would catch it?) There was no precision at the end of the movement to conclude or contain it. It drifted off. This is in high contrast to what she said and how her voice carried. Like Obama’s free flowing shape flowing movements the throw-away quality of these frequent sweeping arm gestures appeared unconscious.

    When delivering specific points within a platform she did punctuate her points, literally creating points from her fingers. For instance her left hand would rise to the left side of her chest region with her fingers gathered in the same five finger point Obama uses – dabbing at the space. Unlike Obama, these points had clear whole body strength behind them. Clinton is solid on her feet. She stands wide and hardly moves from that stance. This reads as “I am reliable, consistent, steady.” Occasionally she lightened her rather constant firm pressure, mostly through her hand gestures, however more often than not the hand gestures that began firmly became limp. The gestural actions can be interpreted as – I need a rest; this is too big for my energy to sustain; I have to give up a bit. Movement experts know that recuperation comes from periods of sleep, of course, but also from finding mini-rests throughout one’s endeavors. One of the healthiest sources of rest is oxygenation, finding “breath support.” This can be called core support. It relates to Obama’s shape flow.

    When I saw Clinton speak in New York City in 2006 at the Children’s Defense Fund gala at Rockefeller Center she did exhibit moments of adjustment through her chest, subtle but visible. (Her gestures were not as grand, as if she’d been coached not to move too much but her upper torso was alive with variable emphasis.) At the Tabernacle she was quite still in her chest. This stillness could be thought to convey strength but actual is simply a lack of flexibility so also reads as rigidity. It can also be interpreted as superficial in that the movement is only coming from the arms, not from the heart. Many questions can be raised for the viewer from Clinton’s wide-sweeping gestures that fall off, punctuated points that become limp, and chest that holds rigid. She communicates being clearly determined and broadly aware of the needs of the world with a desire to share her ideas widely so all perceive their import. But is she humane or just a political manipulator? Is it difficult for her to let her torso breathe because she is a woman perhaps coached to not show any womanliness; or a woman who has been injured by numerous sectors of the American public? Do her gestures fall off because she is tired or because she expects someone else (her husband perhaps) to follow-through?

    In high contrast, at the Biondi’s fund-raising party Clinton finished her sweeping horizontal arcs by returning her hands toward her body mid-line, once even ending with her palm on her heart. It was at that moment that her audience was visibly touched – either tear-streaked or applauding.

    Recommendation: Allow some of the movement patterns that were visible at the Biondi party into other public speaking arenas.

    Movement Advice: In order to make successful speech after successful speech it will help to allow deeper breath as well as gestures to and from the body center. Spread out to show the expansiveness of ideas but also periodically come back to herself to show caring and depth of connection. This is another way to heighten inclusiveness. By circling arms back in toward center it is less likely the audience will feel that ideas are dropping off into outer space. These moments that touch in toward center can also be resting moments of more internal focus where energy is gathered This personal sustainability is a powerful metaphor for global sustainability, it can be part of the democratic vision usefully modeled in our presidents whether male or female.

    Background/Context: Getting into the party to hear Barack was much more challenging than hearing Hillary. Because the time on the Vineyard was meant to be his vacation he chose not to have a talk that would be affordable to most of the public. The word was out that it would cost the full $2300 which is the limit of a campaign gift. It did come down and get divided out into inside seating with the Senator if you paid full fare and $1000 if you just came for the group speech outside under the white tent. Hillary Clinton speech at the Tabernacle was open to anyone paying $50 AND others could sit out on the lawn to hear (and see a bit) for free. It was possible to also go to the Biondi party if you helped to raise $1000 by selling 20 tickets. This high contrast of opportunity was not received well by many Vineyardites. It took a lot of forgiving for some, especially since no press statement has been released explaining the whys of this contrast. I consorted with 4 friends to share an expensive $1000 ticket and we had to argue for this opportunity. We were thankful for it. In the case of Hillary I sold twenty $50 tickets in order to be able to also attend the private party, equalizing my view of each candidate, seeing them each within the context of supporters, giving quite “relaxed and intimate” speeches.

    I missed John Edwards on the Vineyard. I hope to have the opportunity to meet him as the campaign season progresses. Of course if Al Gore jumps in I’d be delighted to view his movement performance too. It clearly has developed in a positive direction over the past 7 years.

    Of course I have other questions too:

    For Obama: If in his educational policy teachers will be paid deserving salaries and excellent professional development, what will be done to safeguard the needs of children to have a better teacher to student ratio? School reform research sees class size as a central issue too. Is there enough money for both in his view?

    While Obama gave plenty of specifics in the domains of education, war, dealing with terrorism, and ….energy reform was stated but not outlined. What exactly is his alternative energy policy? And, why did he need to make a statement to the wives in the audience about deserving to be taken out to dinner by their husbands? Being raised in East Harlem I took it as a moment when he was grooving with the African-Americans within the audience; I personally found it awkward and a bit demeaning. From my perspective as a wife, all of the women were there to hear Obama and learn about a potential future for our country. Enough said.

    Biography: Dr. is Martha Eddy Director of the Center for Kinesthetic Education (www.WellnessCKE.net), an educational resource organization she founded in 2005. She is trained as a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) with a doctorate in movement science education from Columbia University. She was formerly director and faculty member of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) in NYC as well as being on the faculty of Teachers College. Now she is on the faculty of SUNY – Empire State College. Dr. Eddy’s interest and expertise in political movement analysis began while she was mentored by Dr. Martha Davis, piloting the application of her Movement Signature Analysis. During this training she practiced analyzing politicians movement using a combination of Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and other elements of political movement analysis that Dr. Davis deemed to be important (batons, postural and gestural movement etc.). Dr. Eddy has since done periodic analyses of debates as a Senior Research Associate and Advisory Council member of LIMS.

  20. The Chronicle in Higher Ed picked up our analysis of The McCain – Obama debate – using movement analysis to deepen our understanding of what each candidate is saying. They are now having a discussion about the possibilities of DANCE SCHOLARSHIP. You can find the full article of the debate analysis at:

    http://www.democracycellproject.net/blog/archives/2008/10/debate_analysis.html#more

  21. Remember to visit TouchPeace@ning.com

    and to check out

    ObamaRama: Pulse of Peace on YouTube

  22. Check out Obama,a stimulus plan for ARTS support Martha’s readers can benefit from – for example: http://www.nchaws.org/
    National Campaign to Hire Artists to Work in Schools & Communities
    – at a time of political transition and economic crisis, a spark of imagination
    AND from key advocacy orgn Americabs for the Arts:
    Here’s a summary analysis of how the Americans for the Arts recommendations compare to the related provisions currently in the House bill:

    Americans for the Arts Recommendations House of Representatives Proposal
    Include artists in the proposal for Unemployment & Healthcare Benefits for Part-Time Employees Proposes to extend unemployment insurance coverage for low-wage, part-time, and other jobless workers
    Boost arts projects in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) $1 billion in additional funding for CDBG
    Provide economic recovery support to the National Endowment for the Arts to be administered by local arts agencies $50 million in additional appropriations for the National Endowment for the Arts
    Include cultural planning through Economic Development Administration program (Department of Commerce) $250 million for Economic Development Assistance
    Increase community cultural facilities support in Rural Development Program (Department of Agriculture) $200 million for critical rural community facilities
    Provide more support for arts projects in Transportation Enhancements (Department of Transportation) $31 billion to modernize federal and other public infrastructure
    Fulfill the Obama pledge for an “Artist Corps” $200 million to put approximately 16,000 additional AmeriCorps members to work doing national service
    Make Human Capital Investments in Arts Job Training (U.S. Department of Labor) $5 billion for working training and employment services

    Take Action
    The Senate and the White House will likely unveil additional versions of an economic recovery package. We are calling on arts advocates to contact your House and Senate members and your local media to raise the profile of why it’s important to ensure there is support for the nonprofit arts sector in the federal economic recovery plan.
    Write to your Members of Congress
    Send a letter to the editor of your local media
    Thank you to the members of the Arts Action Fund for all their support in the ArtsVote2008 presidential campaign effort and making record contributions to the Arts Action Fund Political Action Committee in support of arts friendly Congressional candidates. Not a member? Join for free today.

  23. Rereading Qilo’s entry about her Change of State performance group I am inspired to share the inklings of a new project…

    GLOBAL WATER DANCES sponsored by my alma mater – LIMSonline.org

    I am part of a group starting with a small outdoor performance event about water usage and water problems in a community garden in Manhattan.

    We will coalesce on June 29 in the East Village.

    Be in touch if you have an interest in joining us to watch, perform, participate, teach, learn.

    Thanks,

    Martha Eddy

  24. Reading through this site makes me think of so many things! Just now, following your piece, Martha, about Obama and Clinton’s movement styles, I begin to wonder just what am I “saying” with my body, while I teach my Adult Literacy students, who need so badly to “see another way” of living that develops and draws on Literacy; while I try to support my College Sophomore son, who has dysgraphia, and try to help him navigate through his College experience with a Writing disability; while I perform my own work, vocalizing, improvising and sometimes even trying to remember and reproduce pieces. Is it “the dancer or the dance? the singer or the song?” And of course its all the same, some is conscious, more is not. And I think I see how important it is to have a teacher, or leader, who can complete each movement with the strength and surety that was in the movement from the beginning. Without that, the students following will become exhausted, maybe even before they would be so, on their own.
    Thanks again for referring me to this site and i will be returning, soon.
    Regards,
    Mindy

  25. Mindy – the connections you make are integrative and important. They reflect the unity principle. In BodyMind Centering we explore our development as human beings using the experience of the physical body as a roadmap to knowing what our choices are. We begin by dividing, enfolding, self-nurturing and self-protecting while also being dependent on nurturers and protectors for our survival. Each of these elements are important in any relationship – with our families, with our communities (which include schools), with our bodies, with ourselves. The choice to make music, to write, to dance helps elevate conflicts, tensions, and confusions to harmonic expressions of who we are. Yes making art is often the most direct way to embody peace, especially when it contains gratefulness, grace, truth, honesty pleasure, and/or joy. Thanks for modeling all of this Mindy!

  26. NEW WAYS TO USE BODY-MIND CONNECTIONS
    —————————————————————————
    “Body, Heart, Mind: Somatics and Conflict Resolution” course series (22-24 March, John Jay College, CUNY) integrates NVC, AVP and aikido methods. David Weinstock, Paul Linden and Bill Leicht each will present a different point of view of this integration. If you cannot attend the full sequence, each course will stand on its own. All will be on the “Combatives Room” mats at 899 Tenth Avenue (at 59th Street). Loose clothing for an active, experiential course is preferable. (Address and travel directions are available in the second URL below.)

    Register for the Course Series (discounted price) or any one course (no discount):
    http://johnjay.augusoft.net/index.cfm?method=CourseSeries.CourseSeries, click “Add”
    [or]
    Register for One Course (alphabetic menu):
    http://johnjay.augusoft.net/index.cfm?method=ClassListing.ClassListingDisplay&int_category_id=7&int_sub_category_id=103, click “Add to Cart.”

  27. Have you seen Climate Change Dance from the Netherlands. Check it out.

  28. Hello.
    I like this blog. It was very nice to read.
    I am curious why I didn’t know about this blog earlier.

    I will go and share. Many of my friends will appreciate this.

    Cheerz and keep’em coming!
    B)

    • Thanks B –

      How did you come across the blog? We have not done a lot to distribute the blog but we are happy to have your help!

      We also invite you to check out http://www.GLobalWaterDances.org

      It is taking lots of our attention this year. We hope to get people around the world bringing awareness to our waterways and how to bring peace to the water that we so depend on around the world. Our dayof public performances will be June 25, 2011.

  29. Wish i can receive more interesting activities.

  30. The Center for Media and Arts is wonderful! I hope more of our viewers visit your site. I especially like the Peace Pillars!

    Everyone should know about your great work in the Philipines!

    Maechille “Megz” Buhisan-Quiñones
    Director
    Center for Media & the Arts
    Community Education, Research & Extension Administration
    Quezon Ave., Poblacion 5, Midsayap, Cotabato 9410 Philippines
    Phone/Fax: o64 2297234/064 2298294
    Email: leysyem@yahoo.com
    scc_vpcerea@yahoo.com,media_artsforpeace@yahoo.com

    http://www.mediaartspeace.blogspot.com/

    Please stay in touch with your developments.

  31. Hello all –

    If you are interested in Environmental Sustainability, Peace for our Planet, and the Arts you might like to participate in http://www.GlobalWaterDances.org – On June 25, 2011 people around the globe will gather to create, participate in and/or watch large scale outdoor dances that celebrate water and its endangered status on our planet.

    Please visit http://www.GlobalWaterDances.org to learn about water issues, dance resources for water consciousness, and how to be involved this year and in years to come. We have locations on all continents and hope these will grow.

    Warmly,

    Martha

  32. Hi response to Paul Linden Blog

    How to teach remaining open in the body can be a challenge. In the midst of an argument reacting seems to take over, one person defending there viewpoint and the other defending another viewpoint. How to get to know what triggers us and or recognize when we are getting lost in conflict Getting to a place where we don’t engage in the offer to fight or argue. Knowing that walking away is also an option and agreeing to disagree. In protection the body encloses and retreats and sometimes this is a good thing simply to become aware when we are not yet fully equipped in body to deal with a situation and reflect on what happened. This is a wonderful website thanks
    Linda

  33. Linda, you are on target When you write that “in the midst of an argument reacting seems to take over.” What we all have to do is practice staying balanced in a mock conflict. for me, that would be either aikido or a body oriented role play. I’m including here a copy of a somatic conflict resolution process. It has to be practiced with specific somatic exercises. On my website, I have a free downloadable book of exercises (Reach Out).

    Somatic Conflict Resolution Protocol
    Paul Linden, PhD
    http://www.being-in-movement.compaullinden@aol.com

    1) Transparency is a requirement for the process to work.
    a) Agree to discuss openly with the partner any conflict— with a facilitator if needed.
    b) The form in which this process is shaped precludes its use with very young children
    2) There are often two elements involved in conflicts.
    a) the feelings the disputants have about the substantive issue, about each other, about being disagreed with and having their ideas critiqued, about standing alone or with allies, etc, etc.
    b) a substantive issue that is the subject of the dispute.
    c) Sometimes the dispute is about feelings. Maintaining perspective is important for the person having the feelings, so they can stay in the feelings & also talk about them calmly.
    3) Somatic work as a foundation:
    a) Recognize the Distress Response in oneself or the other person: contraction or collapse of breathing, posture, and attention – which constrains people to oppositional thinking and acting, and creates a sense of disconnection from the other person. Seeing the Distress Response in the other tends to evoke it in oneself.
    b) Expansive, Centered breathing, posture, and attention as an antidote to the distress response. Mind/body state of awareness, calmness, kindness, and power – which is the foundation for harmonious thinking and acting, and creates a sense of connection with the other person. Being Centered oneself tends to evoke it in the other person.
    c) Timeout for centering can be called by anyone who notices that the centered mind/body state is lost, and the content becomes secondary to the fight.

    Tracing: When there is a lot of emotion invested in or triggered by a situation, it can be helpful to follow the body inward to the roots of the emotion—if that is appropriate in the situation.

    This is just one slice of the pie– the body slice. It is best used as the foundation for the various verbal communication/conflict processes.

  34. Dear Marthy,
    again a connection to you. Thanks for realizing this water project. I was thinking myself in the last 3 years of doing a choreographie in nature with and around water. So – you do it. And on a global level – how wonderfull.
    Maybe this is the time to pick up on this idea again.? We have with the BMC work a rich background to go forward with this theme. Hope to hear again from you.
    dearest greetings
    Petra (1988 -1990 in Nothampton, living in Reutlingen Germany -in case you do not remember).

    • How lovely to have you enjoying this site dear Petra who I remember well!

      I hope you will join Global Warter Dances! Choreographers/Nature leaders have until May 15 to select a site and sign up on our website to be included in the project. I hope others around the world will consider it too!

      Please visit http://www.GlobalWaterDances.org and fill in the Join Us section. You can help with dancing, environmental leadership, organizational work, music, or in many other ways!

      Celebrate the earth on her EARTHday this Saturday too!

      Warmly,

      Martha Eddy and the Global Water Dances Steering committee

  35. This blog is such a great resource. I think it is important to be able to share your thoughts and ideas on Conflict Resolution mechanisms, what they mean to you, as well as how you apply it to your everyday life. As a teacher in a middle school, many students deal with conflict aggressively, resorting to fighting and bullying. I think that as students when given the opportunity to learn about other ways to deal with their frustration and conflict can really get to know who they are as individuals. In my opinion, using movement and dance to help ease the stress of conflict can help people grow to deal with their issues more effectively.

  36. The resources on this site could keep me busy for the rest of my life. I am encouraged by the sensitivity and depth of caring in all the contributors. Our world is so imbalanced with our children spending less time moving and more time in front of screens. Parents are spending more time looking at screens rather than looking into their children’s faces and conversation seems to be a lost art. In my creative movement classes with nursery school children, I have been trying to find more community building movement activities to improve their group sensitivity. Sometimes just making a circle together becomes an ordeal, but if we can make a balloon that is inflating and deflating, we unite in our task. Our dancing monkeys come to rest in a circle to pick the bugs off each other’s backs and eat them as a snack. Our busy flying bees return to the hive to make honey together. As they sample their honey, they pass a handful from bee to bee around the circle. I asked them to look into each other’s eyes as they pass their honey, making it a deliberate gesture of sharing and acknowledgment. Some children had no problem looking at their partner. Others had difficulty making that simple, straight forward contact, preferring to gaze down in their laps or to the side. It’s fascinating to watch them evolve and witness not only their movement preferences, but their approach to each other preferences, as well. I’m always looking for ways to bring them together as a dancing community and welcome suggestions.

  37. The resources on this website are invaluable. While perusing through each of the websites one thing that was clearly mentioned on one site and discussed in others is the fact that we are often trying to fit ourselves into our surroundings. We are starting from the outside and going in, and how can we not feel conflicted when that is the case? I work with severly emotionally disturbed students who are in a constant struggle with themselves and almost everyone they come in contact with. They are constantly told what they’re doing is wrong and how they’re acting is wrong and they need to act certain ways in certain contexts. They have to fit in to what everyone else says is normal. Sometimes this just can’t happen. The better option, I think, is to gain a better understanding of yourself, emotionally and physiologically, to understand what it is YOU need to do in certain situations and how to react appropriately for yourself and the situation. Not an easy feat, but something that a greater somatic education and understanding can help develop.

  38. I usually make my own spiritual connection with the Universe but seeing this blog has tapped my senses even higher. I have never written a blog and I rarely read the them. I am of the belief that the Universe will provide all we need. This came true to me after reading Spirit Matters by Michael Lerner. Some forget about the “spirit” or they think it is a hoax but it is part of the trio on wellness; Body, Mind and Spirit. In his book he ask the age old questions, ” Who Am I” and “What Am I Capable of Becoming” I see a similar theme in video, Dance for the climate NL. What Are We Waiting For? When Will Wake up?
    As I finish my studies in an Interdisciplinary Study In Dance Education from Empire State College and The 92nd Y Harkness Dance Center. I have learned many aspects of dance.Conflict Resolution and Environment Change through Dance a brilliant concept for the world.I did another study on Eco – Trauma and Eco Recovery. How an Earthquake and a Tsunami in Japan affect individuals soul, even though we are so far away. Our Universe is being hurt locally and internationally as well. The hurt is on an emotional and social state of our well being. Our “spirit” does matter. When you trust in the Universe you are using a new way learning, which is call intrinsic play unlike reason. Awareness of self keeps the body fluid when we think of it as body, mind and spirit. I have also been introduced to biodynamic method, a technique and experience using an unconscious layer working with communication and emotion. abel@beyond-self.com.

  39. Susan Komen Foundation of GreaterNYC just awarded Moving For Life/Moving On Aerobics with a grant to provide movement information to women who have suffered with the trials of cancer and its treatment. http://www.MovingOnAerobics.org

  40. Hi, what a great web blog. I usually spend hours on the net reading blogs on various subjects. And, I really would like to praise you for writing such a fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and yes you got it. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same. Thanks.

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  42. “That kind of pathology is at work when we perpetrate social aggression, war, and environmental degradation. It takes a deep numbness and alienation not to know that damaging the web of life within which we all exist also damages us. That alienation isn’t merely emotional or spiritual. It is physical.” (Linden)

    Taking a saw to the tree limb we are sitting on – that is such a powerful metaphor. I cannot believe how completely accurate and jolted I am by the mere realization that we are absolutely annihilating the very same support structures we need to exist (and coexist) on this planet of ours. I had to share this with my brother who was also struck by the implications that this brings to mind.

    Social responsibility is not an option. It has never been. Awareness is key and I am so grateful that I have the privilege to have access to such information, as well as the ability to do something about it. I cannot help but think of Peter Parker’s uncle in the “Spiderman” movie, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Perhaps this is the way we need to go about conflict resolution. Having the means and understanding to achieve peace is a gift and since we have been given this gift it becomes our duty to use it wisely. Indeed, it takes courage to want to come to terms with someone we may not see eye to eye with, but as individuals sharing space on this planet, that is what we must do.

    As an educator, it is even more important that I stress to my young, impressionable students how utterly crucial it is to be responsible global citizens. I feel that living in the U.S., it is too easy to forget what is happening in other parts of the world. Lucky enough, NYC’s immigrant neighborhoods and diverse public schools remind you of distant lands across man-made borders and God-given oceans. But remembering is not enough. It is necessary to instill a burning desire in our young ones to make the world (starting with ourselves) better.

    How to do this? I think I have always tried to achieve this in some way, but hopefully this weekend will help me clarify better practices to help my students ignite that fire nestled in their spirits.

    • Thank you for your heartfelt response to Paul’s writing and to all that we do in the Conflict Resolution through Movement and Dance workshop at DEL/92Y. It is a responsibility to have awareness. As we build skills in personal responsibility it makes it more imperative to practice social responsibility too. And vice versa, just as in the 70s we would say the Personal is Political, now we realize that to be socially responsible it works best to also be tuned in to how we treat the individuals we work and live with. I learn this lesson over and over again every day. Having body signals are another gift. Listening to them is the somatic imperative to having a Socially Conscious Body. You might like to see this video too:
      Socially Conscious Body
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVwJg1quwpk [www.youtube.com]

  43. Positive Discipline for Families and Schools-How to Motivate a Teen.

    Encouragement is the word the article used a lot; and it makes sense. I do apply this to teaching (and my own children) but what I didn’t realize was the very specific points [of encouragement] the article mentions. “Compliments, humor, let’s make a deal/collateral, motivation through involvement, joint solving and follow-through”. I was only using some of them…

    Movement and Dance for Kids in Uganda

    Being a dance teacher and having lived in Kenya years ago I was naturally drawn to this article. To my surprise the quotes from the kids about the program might as well have been kids from our towns here in the States! It goes to show how the Creative Arts is an international language.

    I will be back for more…

  44. After reading this blog I shared the suggestion of relaxing your tongue during a heated discussion with my daughter. She seems to always be in a place where she is aggravated and very confrontational with myself and others around her. She is fifteen and thinks everyone is out to make her life miserable. As a result, she receives a lot of punishments and tends to isolate herself on a daily basis. The last thing I want is for her behavior to lead to some type of violence, so it is up to me to give her some strategies to deal with her feelings of anger. I agree with the idea that when you place your body in a state of calmness and kindness, this will lead to better results. I too use to experience a lot of anger towards my husband and other family members who don’t seem to have all the responsibilities that I do. Once I started not reacting so harshly to the overwhelming things that would need attention on a daily basis and took a much calmer approach to them, I began to feel better inside. I began to learn to take things one step at a time. I tell myself I am doing the best that I can and that has to be good enough. I definitely use daily tasks as opportunities to practice being in a state of good mind, body, and integrity. In doing so I am most definitely moving to a more peaceful and sustainable world.

    I must now teach my daughter some of these strategies so that she too can find more peace in her world. She is at an age where she can be her own enemy, just as Paul Linden says in his article, she is constantly damaging the web of life in which she exists and really has no idea that this is what she is doing. She must learn to achieve a body state of awareness. She is a beautiful girl but needs to learn how to find her beauty within.

    This website will now become a resource for me and I hope it will continue to help me stay in a good place as well as teach my daughter how to do the same.

    • Thanks for sharing these experiences. We believe that how we act in community has great impact on how we act with people outside of our comfort zone. I wish you well in continuing to practice these approaches. Keep sharing your experiences with us!

  45. I have been enjoying looking through this blog and all of your links! There are so many helpful things on here. The one that really caught my eye was the link to positive discipline. As a high school teacher, I often struggle with how to address teens that are out of line without being negative. Over the years, I have come to love the comment, “You’re better than that”, as it assures teens that I believe that bad behavior is not representative of the kind of person they are, and I affirm that I think that deep down they are a valuable, caring person.

    I clicked on the ‘articles’ link at the top of the page and read several of them. I really connected with the idea of making sure that you have a decent relationship with a teen or else you will be unable to discipline them effectively – “Connection before correction”. I have found this to be true as a teacher, and when something goes wrong with a student in my class, I try to find time to have a mini conference with them so that I can be sure that we have a relationship and respect each other as mindful people.

    One idea that challenged me was in the article titled “How to Motivate a Teen”. In the article, Dr. Jane Nelson suggests that in order to motivate teens , you might “[a]llow them to fail and then be empathetic and help them explore what happened, how they feel about it, what they learned from it, and what they could do in the future if they want another outcome”. I am intrigued by this idea because often I end up pushing students and helping them too much if I fear that they are not going to finish a project in time or that it will not be as good as some other projects in the class. If they are allowed to feel naturally that their project is not as good as it could be, they could be motivated to change their tactics the next time there is a project. As it stands now, they sometimes resist my attempts to push them and prod them to use their time wisely etc. I think that very important to this idea is the empathetic exploration of what went wrong. By giving students the freedom and self-direction, I can empower them to make decisions for themselves and find internal motivation.

    Thanks again for these great resources! This is a really rich resource for teachers, parents, everyone!

    • Thanks for bringing attention to Jane Nelson’s great writing. Keep us posted on how this works out for you and your students.

  46. Asking questions are in fact nice thing if you are not understanding something fully, but this post offers
    pleasant understanding even.

  47. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not
    writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say
    excellent blog!

    • So sad to hear that your longer response got lost. GREAT to hear you find this site valuable. New links have been added recently. Enjoy!

  48. Thank you for another wonderful article. The place else may anybody get that type of information in such a perfect way of writing?

    I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the search
    for such information.

  49. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Many thanks!

  50. http://www.wellnesscke.net/downloadables/Martha_Eddy_The_Role_of_Dance_in_Violence_Prevention.pdf – This chapter provides educators and scholars with a matrix for analyzing the types and purposes of different dance forms being used in educational settings.

  51. Deborah Heifitz on a panel discussion about Conflict and Dance https://vimeo.com/113335067

  52. This is a very resourceful and informative blog. I became very intrigued in many of the articles. However, one of them resonated with me and that was “As Others See Us: Body Movement and the Art of Successful Communication.” by Ms. Ellen Goldman. Ms. Goldman identifies various aspects of Integrated movement, for example the Relationship aspect. Ms. Goldman states that “In intimate relationships…patterns blend and merge, postures develop and merge. Integrated movement flows in and out of tentative new ideas..” As I was reading this, I began to reflect on the integrated movements I had during my present and past relationships. Were they different in every relationship? Yes, they were. I remember vividly that in relationship B, I sat more upright in comparison to relationship C where I was slouching more. Now you could say that my posture could have been influenced by outside relationship factors, but it wasn’t for me. Relationship B manifested integrated movements of high Self esteem because my partner was a representative of that. In relationship C that partner was very laid back, and not to say he lacked self esteem, but it was in a different form and my body responded accordingly to my partner’s body postures and gestures.
    Yes, this was very enlightening to me. I am very curious to read the full book some day. Its just quite interesting.

    Best,
    Norlan Jackson


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