Advent 2016 begins
December 1, 2016
What we seek
December 3, 2016
Show all

There are forms of espionage in every day life

All kinds of subversive things find their way into the body. Bessel van der Kolk writes about this in his book The Body Keeps the Score.

Here’s a bit from the books’ description:

In The Body Keeps the Score, van der Kolk uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity.

The harvested text in today’s collage reminds me of this book, and how personal and professional growth often takes an incredible amount of internal spying to understand one’s patterns and actions. “It takes tremendous energy to keep functioning while carrying the memory of terror, and the shame of utter weakness and vulnerability.” Terror seems to be rampant in our world, we all likely know someone who has experienced something traumatic, and may be that person ourselves. The body holds these memories in physical and emotional ways. Making art, writing, dance, movement, those activities that encourage the shift into flow, into the present moment of expression, are often the best cure and a needed way of processing something too difficult to put into words.

Maria Popova wrote a great piece in her blog Brain Pickings about the book. If the idea of trauma and the body interests you, van der Kolk, who lives in Boston, frequently gives retreats/workshops at Kripalu, a yoga center here in the Berkshires, if that is your kind of thing.

One of my students asked for an assignment to go with each of these entries–and how this relates to Advent. Here you go Joanne!

Advent is about anticipation, preparation, getting ready for Christmas. For many that means buying gifts. For me, I think about this time as a reminder of the importance of light and love, and what I may be doing or not doing to foster that further in the world. When I make these pieces, I am looking at myself and my world, but mostly at myself and trying to figure out how I can be that change I want to see in the world, as Gandhi charged.

Today’s assignment:

  1. Write for three minutes about a traumatic event. Don’t try to solve or fix it, just see what it is trying to tell you.
  2. Pick out the top three words that resonate with you. Write for another three minutes.
  3. Spend the next 20-40 minutes making a collage, drawing, moving your body, writing a poem that gets at the writing.
  4. Post it to the comments. OR Post on Instagram and tag it #adventcalendarcollagechallenge





1 Comment

  1. Valerie Carrigan says:

    This is very poignant for me. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *