Milky Way

Turning Your Confusion
Into an Authentic Art Form

January 2014

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In our workshops this past year, we have together discovered the power of authentic movement. Authentic movement is a practice developed by Mary Starks Whitehouse in the 1950s as a way to allow the body to free associate. Intrigued by Jung’s idea of active imagination while studying with Martha Graham, Whitehouse fused the two ideas into an experiential psychotherapy. In our workshops, we have been experimenting with authentic movement as a complement to astrology, which when combined with drawing exercises and other imaginative experiential components, seem to work well leading those who are ready to strike the blow that yields the final chip.

This has been a bit of a trial and error process, and with each successive workshop we intend to refine what we do, chipping away at a living form that does change lives – consistently and by intention. May we never arrive at “The One True Formula.” May we always be surprised by what happens. But may we create a space where the final chip may fall and fall again.

OK – perhaps I am over-reaching here. Perhaps there is no final chip. Everyone is a perpetual work in progress, and can anyone really say what the ultimate goal of human existence is? Or even an individual life? As one who has spent a lifetime peering deeply into many lives, I gave up that bit of hubris years ago. In the end, I can only marvel at the infinite variety of soul tasks it is possible to chip away at.

I do know that something fundamental about me feels different now, and that by addressing my core issues and moving them, the horizon toward which I am moving has shifted. From the feedback we have gotten to these workshops, I suspect the same is true for nearly everyone who was there, even if words remain elusive.

As my partner Sara put it:

"In this workshop, we learned how to turn our confusions about who we are and what we are here for into an artform. We came away with some powerful personal expressions of what each of us is capable of in voice, body, art and deed. No doubt there are many other aspects of our individual potentials yet to track."

I would add, no doubt there is more chipping away to do – but later, after the echoes of our gasps of self-recognition have begun to fade and the tears of wonder in our eyes at what we have seen to be possible begin to dry.

Next year’s Tracking the Soul workshop will take place somewhere in Missouri, some time in the fall. Let us know if you’d like to join us. Since there is a bit of preparation to do, it is not too early to start chipping.

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