The process of being seen, understood, and accepted by an attuned, empathic other engenders a sense of genuine self-acceptance, a feeling that we are profoundly okay. We feel safe enough, strong enough, sure enough to venture courageously into the world and develop the competencies we need to deal with life’s challenges.
The ground form Authentic Movement involves a mover and a witness, each with the shared purpose to track and tend to their own embodied experience while the mover moves in the presence of the witness. The space is generally clear, perhaps with some blankets and cushions, and the body moving within the empty space is given space to be.
The invitation is to move with authenticity, whether that be to rest, to stomp, to be still, to sound, to follow subtle delicate movements or large expressive ones. The intention is with staying present within each of these movements, to know where you are in your body and being as you move, to be in your own process as it emerges.
Following the moving time, mover and witness engage in a process of embodied inquiry and feedback in service of the movers experience. This serves to illuminate unconscious and, perhaps, better known patterns within the compassionate holding of a witness whose intention is toward clear seeing.
The witness does not offer advise, does not try to fix anything or tell the mover how they should be moving. Rather, the witness offers a presence in which all of the mover is welcomed and beheld in compassionate holding.
Within this practice there is a deep trust and understanding that what is meant to be expressed in any given moment will be expressed, and all that is yet to be expressed will emerge within its own right timing.
Authentic Movement is an opportunity for you to be just as you are in this moment and to allow all you are becoming to unfold with an ever widening compassion and clear seeing.
As a mover in Authentic Movement, you will develop skills to track your lived experience by learning to tend to experiences of sensation, movement, emotion and image. Personal, collective and transpersonal material may arise through the practice. You may have an experience of direct presence, being fully emerged within the moment.
With space to both express and integrate your experience, Authentic Movement offers a container for you to explore the raw material of your own lived experience and allow meaning to be made from it as your process unfolds.
Some of the key figures who have been important in the birth and evolution of Authentic Movement include Mary Starks Whitehouse, Janet Adler (Discipline of Authentic Movement) and Joan Chodorow. A third, and emerging fourth, generation of facilitators continue to share the practice to evolving generations. My mentors Fran Lavendel, Linda Hartley and Jane Okondo are amongst these third & fourth generation facilitators.
There is no music, no choreography, no agenda to follow, and no “right” of “wrong” way to move. Instead there is an attending to and surrendering to one’s own feelings, rhythms and authentic response. In this way, one brings awareness to, and more fully “inhabits” what is already going on in the body, rather than trying to control the process with an outcome based on old patterns or notions about how one “should” be. By being willing to engage …with one’s own somatic experience, one embraces the mystery of not knowing what is yet to come, a trust that allows for new material to emerge and be explored. (Pallaro, 2007: 204)