Monday, July 28, 2008

Creatively Ignited!

This last Sunday I offered "Writing from Your Body," the first workshop in my "A Year of Living in Your Body" series. For four hours I led my lovely and creative participants in exercises with breath, sensory experience, movement, and physical touch. We wrote from our feet, intestines, and hearts; engaged with all of our senses; took a centering walk; breathed into our bellies; wrote in different positions and locations; shook out stress and balanced our brain hemispheres; and shared the messages we received from our bodies in a safe and open setting. And much, much more! Wow!

I want to send a scrumptious thank you out to my participants! You were sensorily-activated, bodily-focused, and creatively-ignited writerly rock stars! This was my first time leading such a long workshop--and yet those four hours felt like absolute PLAY for me. And even though I played facilitator, I did have some interesting moments of my own writing, including the discovery that "my pelvis is a bowl in my body, catching the contents of my desires--a bowl to catch my heart when it drops." I think there's a poem hidden in there.

One of the books that I introduced to the group (and that influenced my workshop) is Laraine Herring's Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice. If you have any interest in how breath (and being fully in your body) can allow for a deeper writing experience, Herring's book is a must-read.

In honor of my workshop, here is a little exercise you can try as a way to engage with your body in a different way. Choose of these pairs of words and write from the part of the body with an awareness of the sense listed. For instance, if you were to draw "elbow" and "smell," imagine what your elbow might smell on a daily basis. Lemon pledge? Pizza dough? Printer toner? And feel free to write in the voice of that part of the body. You never know--perhaps your teeth have something to get off their chest, so to speak!

teeth - smell

eyes - touch

knees - sight

hands - taste

heart - sound


cjink said...

Being one of the participants, let me say a THANK YOU right back atcha. I learned so many wonderful tools to make it possible to listen to my body, to write from a different point of view and "when you're stuck, move."
I look forward to delving into books presented on your handout list too. I am surprised to hear this is your first, because you led us so naturally.
Peace be with you, dear "teacher."

Jenna said...

I absolutely loved this workshop. Some of my friends before hand were like "4 hours? you're going to write for 4 hours?" but it absolutely flew by...thanks for being such a great facilitator!

can't wait until the next one :)

Kristen said...

As one of the participants in Courtney's workshop, I too must say thank you. Those 4 hours of body-discovery, sense-play, and writing were playful, fun, and thoughtful. Thank you for such a well thought out experience. It was a treat.

PhinneyS said...

This looks marvelous! What a wonderful way to listen more deeply to our bodies. So often, I've found when I get it on the page, things are able to shift and move and be separate from me, rather than a big jumble in my brain. The way you express your creativity in everything you do, including designing and leading this workshop, continues to amaze and inspire.