Why the body?

tree writing (c) Holly Troy 2013We live our lives through physical and energetic lenses. My creative and intellectual approach to teaching and making is informed by deep embodiment. Once I realized I could apply a somatic strategy to writing, my experience of writing expanded in surprising, sensual, and delightful ways. I was so excited by this discovery, that I began to guide others through the expansiveness and depth of creating through physicality.

A friend once asked, “It’s a writing course. Why are you teaching movement?” At the time, my answer was, “Trust me, it works.”

Knowing that “trust me” is not a satisfactory answer, I’ve listed below several reasons for why I teach writing the way I do.

  1. The body is how we experience the world. It is through our bodies that we gather information for our brains to process. Lively writing incorporates the senses.
  2. When we pay attention to our bodies, sometimes we are able to bypass brain chatter and “notice” on a deeper level. Rather than pushing our thoughts and words around, we open and notice thoughts and words that arise.
  3. Sometimes people get really wound up about writing. How many of us put our research papers off until the last minute while we were in school? What about some of us who have taken on copywriting as a job – and we are strictly bound by rules and deadlines? Or maybe someone told us we were stupid or had nothing important to say – and that stuck with us? Movement lightens things up – it’s fun.
  4. Most of us simply don’t move enough in our day – so why not get some exercise before doing a practice that pretty much requires us to sit?
  5. Personally, I’m hyper and easily distracted and bored. I need to let off extra energy often, and I find that movement helps. Music helps. Dancing helps. Singing helps. If I try to fight my need for action, my mind gets stuck in a loop. A shift in focus breaks the thread.
  6. Yoga body/yoga mind. Stimulate the body/stimulate the mind. Sometimes the body just needs a little attention in order to relax, and when the body relaxes, the mind can relax.
  7. I am coming to believe that we ignore our bodies at the peril of not only ourselves, but, our planet. We need to remember that our lives are lived not only in our heads and on our computer screens. We are beings in bodies experiencing a physical life. We physically live on Earth. Our disconnect with the planet mirrors our disconnect with our bodies – we cannot live without a planet nor our bodies. (Common sense, but . . . ) Paying attention is important – denial is dangerous.
  8. Our heads sometimes have ideas about things that our bodies completely disagree with – that’s worth exploring.
  9. I’ve found that what works for me works for others, too. Write what you know . . . teach what you know.

I also wrote a piece called Why Write? It touches on creativity, sustainability, our physical and energetic bodies, and why I created Writing the Energetic Body to begin with. I’ve included the piece below.

Why Write?

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ― Anaïs Nin

concrete and writing (c) Holly Troy 2013When we value our individual talents, rather than strive to conform, we contribute to the diversity of our society. When we can find balance and honor ourselves, we lose the need to constantly consume “stuff” in order to feel normal or happy. Our world is rapidly changing; more and more of us are finding that “business as usual” no longer works. We are at a point in our history where it’s imperative that we trust our intuition and innate creativity in order to survive.

If we believe our own vision and drive are valid, then we naturally want to take care of our world. If we feel that our ideas matter, then the desire to do “good” becomes even more powerful. My intention for Writing the Energetic Body is to explore coping with change, healing, and taking responsibility for our selves, our society, and our planet, through creativity and the creative process.

“It is a heroic challenge indeed, to identify our programs and rewrite them all while continuing to live our lives – yet this is the task of healing.” ― Anodea Judith

The point in using the chakras as a backbone for writing is the chakras are connected to memories, emotions, and physical experiences – they are like processors of specific experiences. Most people think of writing as a “mind” or “head” activity – but to really access true information we must connect with the body – the body is where we hold our emotions. Really, by connecting with the body, we connect with the whole mind, not just from the neck up.

How many times have we stopped ourselves from feeling because it wasn’t a good “time” for that feeling to surface. Maybe we were at a meeting at work, or we just had to “get through the holidays” or “through the end of the semester” before dealing with the illness, break up, divorce, etc. Our bodies remember the feelings, even after the mind (the head) forgets.

If enough feelings get stuffed, our chakras get blocked, and our bodies may also begin to malfunction.

The chakras contain programs – some of which we don’t have languages for yet. They give and receive information. By letting words roll out, we can find the language. The words don’t even have to (seemingly) make sense together, we can just write what is revealed.

In Writing the Energetic Body, we will notice our bodies, hopefully open to what emotions arise, and get the chance to express ourselves through writing.

Besides being incredibly empowering – writing is fun. Why not write?

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