Greetings from Shelter Island, New York,
For the past two summers now, I’ve begun the season teaching a workshop on one of my favorite places on the planet – the Greek Cycladic island of Folegandros.
Inspiration in the Aegean is a labor of love, as it brings together elements I’ve been intrigued with for decades: the timeless, borderless archetypes that manifest so dramatically (and playfully) in ancient Greek mythology; ancient Greek art; poetry and text, both ancient, contemporary and everything in-between; Jungian approaches to archetype; movement/dance improvisation; the local and very distinctive physical environment and culture of Folegandros. And, the challenge of joyfully finding cohesion of these elements through the guiding tenets of the Alexander Technique. Letting these elements land in the body, seeing what it is to live an image or idea versus forcing it, inviting versus demanding change. Manifesting in the body’s intelligence. This is an overarching goal and a rather glorious, intoxicating puzzle!
To prepare for Inspiration in the Aegean, I spend months reading and poring over images and ideas – a great pleasure (I’m a geek who loves this stuff). Opening it out to share for six days with the workshop participants is inevitably a marvelous reveal. Students play an enormous part in educating their teachers to what their teaching is really about, and how best to convey and celebrate it. I am so grateful for all that participated this year. They were amazing, one and all, and altogether! I especially enjoyed seeing how much they took pleasure in meeting and being with each other – it was wonderful and deeply, soul satisfying.
In 2019, I will take a hiatus from the Greece project. However, assuming forces align to let it happen again – I’m planning on another installment of Inspiration in the Aegean in mid-June, 2020. If you’re interested in participating, please put it as a possibility in your longer timeline! And, please be in touch with us to let us know of your interest. The past two workshops have sold out very quickly, so planning ahead is worthwhile if you wish to attend.
Onward: After 30 years of teaching the Alexander Technique in a wide variety of settings, and because of how the world is these days, it’s all essentially about this for me:
What does it mean to be human on our beloved Planet Earth??
How do we fulfill and evolve this missive, our humanity? It seems that honing ourselves as sentient beings with the ability to imagine is essential. Landing at home in our bodies is essential. Our minds needn't be filled with habitual, distracting thoughts of endless, repeating tapes running ad nauseam in our heads. The mind can just as well serve awareness and an honoring of our timeless, human response-ability to safeguard our planet and live together. Oddly enough, just learning to use our own instrument, our body, as it is designed, to include it as a lively part of life’s daily equation – amps up our sense of humanity. Mister Alexander was on to something with this, and here’s to taking it further, as he indeed encouraged us to do.
I return to NYC this week to teach at the William Esper Acting Studio, and to start back up with my private practice. Please be in touch if you are interested in studying, or have any questions about what’s involved. Or, any responses to this missive! I’d love to hear from you.
All my best wishes for a beautiful autumn.
love and peace,