With multiple planets colliding energetically as well as lunar and solar eclipses happening during this waning Moon cycle, we are each feeling the intensity in our own way on an internal level. As is the macrocosm, so is the microcosm and vice versa. Each informs the other. Inner to outer and outer to inner. It is here at this intersection that we are given an opportunity. Using the physical body as an entry point into the exploration of our surroundings and then seeing what arrives on an internal level can be very informative. In the Tamalpa Life Art Process (TLAP) as well as in Paolo Knill's unique Expressive Art Therapy teachings, we see landscape work as a very intentional resource for self development. For me, landscape work has been very foundational this past year and has helped me experience my needs for stability and support more effectively.
Start where you are. Yes, right here and right now. You may wish to begin with a three level check-in to start your navigation process. Scan the mental body and note the experience, images, shapes, words that come to mind. Do the same with emotional body and physical body. This is step number one in self tracking. The next step is to start moving. Use your immediate environment to inform your physical movement. Are you sitting, standing or walking? How are you moving and why? How does the immediate environment (chair, floor, wall, window ledge, desk, sidewalk, trees etc) inform your physical movements? What body parts are you utilizing, not utilizing? What body parts seem to be your default?
Work with themes of resistance, push and pull, repetition and pause/hold. Make sure the breath is always moving you and moving through you. Let the breath initiate the movement in other words.
Your homework for the next two weeks is using the "landscape exploration" practice regularly. Take it outside on a walk in the woods or through a park. Take it into your office space and work with the local environment and any furniture or walls present. This doesn't have to be a long and lengthy practice, even 5 to 10 minutes can be highly informative. Keep working with themes that arrive and patterns that emerge and build off of them each time you start your "landscape exploration". Harvest your experiences and three level check ins and look for patterns and themes that emerge. Remember: work with what is present.
What body part am I working with right now? What is it telling me about the landscape and my environment?
How is my body/parts connecting to the available surface?
How is my body/parts working with the space in the environment?
How can the immediate environment inform my movements?
How do my mental/emotional bodies show up in my movements with the environment?
How does the environment appear to interact with my mental/emotional bodies?
In what ways does the external environment inform my internal landscape? Vice versa?
What themes arrive? What body parts continue to be relied upon as I move through the landscape?
What resources and insights do the environment and surfaces offer me?
What feelings surface? What sensations arrive?
Connect with me and my Creative Rituals here.
Gut Response ~SJM
Last week we worked with our gut- digestion and assimilation.
This week's theme is about support, sustenance and taking steps forward. Our feet connect us, root us- to the ground- our biggest support system. In the Tamalpa Life Art Process (TLAP) as well as in Paolo Knill's approach to Expressive Art Therapy, the landscape is a huge metaphor for navigating and transforming the inner and outer experience of life. Landscape, and how we connect to our landscapes, can be a huge resource and awareness tool for personal growth.
Use foot awareness and great sensitivity to root and find a connection with the earth. You can do this in your studio, outside, on carpet or wood floor- anywhere! Sense the surface you stand on. Explore your standing surface with feet. Shift your weight and continue your foot/surface exploration. How do you relate to the surface you are connected to? As you move into your dance, continue to keep the awareness of your feet alive and how you are interacting with surfaces- the landscape. Explore with stomps, tip toes, heel activation, leaps, etc- use the full range of your feet.
When your foot and surface exploration feels complete, come to your journal and answer these questions:
I feel supported when?
I feel grounded when?
I am safe when?
I am secure when?
I connect with?
I connect when?
I connect while?
Where in my body do I feel connected?
I step forward when?
I step into life with?
Circle ten words that stand out to you and then create a three line poem with your words. You can use Haiku or prose. Your choice.
Extra credit: Step into your poem. Take your poem into movement- one step at a time. Integrate words with body by saying your poem as you step. Find the rhythm of your words in your body.