Catherine Fallis is leading Moving into Connection at The Haven, November 4–6
I’m very excited to be offering a new workshop that brings together two of my passions. The first is a well-seasoned passion, since I have been practicing Authentic Movement for about thirty years now, and I still love it as much as ever. This is a practice that enables me to tune into my inner landscape, express in movement and sound whatever bubbles up, and be seen by one or more witnesses holding the space for me to explore whatever is there for me in the moment. This practice is built on the premise that we all both crave and fear being seen as we truly are. No matter what comes up for me on the movement floor, I leave feeling more connected to both myself and the others with whom I share this practice.
Anyone who has taken Living Alive Phase II since 1993 has had a small taste of Authentic Movement during the two days of movement work that I lead. Often when people first have an experience of this form, they speak of what happens for them during the movement time, and what it feels like to be witnessed in this way. It is equally important to develop the witness consciousness, and is part of the reason why this practice can be so beneficial for therapists, group facilitators, and those who work with people in many contexts. The practice invites the witness to track not only the experiences of the mover they are witnessing, but also their own inner experience as they witness. As Janet Adler, one of the main developers of this practice writes:
“There are two separate but intimately connected centers in the development of witness consciousness. One, which is intrapersonal, concerns the developing inner witness, the continuing desire from the moving practice to see oneself more clearly. The witness does not look at or observe her mover, bringing her focus solely over there, onto the moving body. Instead the witness is participating, opening to the complexities of her own experience from moment to moment, here within her own being, in the presence of the mover. The other center, which is interpersonal, concerns the desire to see another more clearly, to be in service to the mover, which is what brings the witness into the presence of a mover.” (Offering from the Conscious Body: The Discipline of Authentic Movement, 2004).
This capacity to track both the inner and outer unfolding of experience at the same time seems to me to be critical for group leaders at all levels to cultivate.
The other passion, the study of attachment theory is a newer interest for me. It wasn’t until I had completed the training in Somatic Experiencing, and was also learning more about Daniel Siegel’s work in Interpersonal Neurobiology, that I began to understand my own attachment patterns and those of my clients and workshop participants more clearly. It wasn’t until I was sensing deeply into my own physiology that I recognized the “felt sense” of secure connection with another. There is much we can learn by studying the various theorists who have written about attachment theory, but to witness ourselves in relationship, with the intention of remaining attentive to our embodied experience, can reveal new layers of insight and growth. It wasn’t until I was sitting in the witness circle at an Authentic Movement retreat with the San Francisco Bay Area peer group with whom I have been practicing for the last eighteen years, feeling my profound love and sense of connection with this group of people, that I realized that Authentic Movement and attachment theory was match made in heaven!
I invite you to join me at The Haven for a deep dive into the mysterious realms of moving into connection.