Elements of Body Tales
The following elements of Body Tales support inner exploration, shared expression, and body and earth communion:
- Moving, Sounding & Speaking
Moving, Sounding & Speaking
Participants practice coming home, listening and giving attention to their body; engaging with inner-directed movement, vocal sound, and their own sensate experience and intelligence. Movement, speaking and embodied stories are woven into "body tales pieces”, which explore and share real experience, sensation, thought, emotion, memory. Clear instruction and ground rules help maintain a safe and respectful creative environment.
"Moving, telling stories and making noise are powerful medicine. The playfulness and creativity of Body Tales makes them sweet medicine."
— Damon Miller, M.D.
Witnessing is the practice of giving full attention and support to the person moving, sounding and speaking, while staying grounded and present. One person shares a "body tale," while their partner witnesses them — seeing and listening in an attentive, non-judgmental way, without interruption or commentary. Partners exchange roles as mover and witness, and each person also has opportunities to be witnessed by the whole group.
Partners help one another remember each BT piece by re-speaking specific words, phrases, and movement — without evaluation, interpretation or commentary. Like writing down dreams, this process supports reflection and integration, and helps lift the content, insights, personal values and resources from each piece into our conscious awareness and our community wisdom. This "remembering" gives the piece back to the mover, strengthens trust and confidence, and supports reflection and integration.
"I hear my unconscious talk, often the primitive, passionate, strong part of my unconscious."
— Bobbi Ausubel, drama therapist, theater writer & director
Participants receive frequent reminders to connect with the ground and the air, and with their body and breath. This helps maintain inner balance and capacity for healthy engagement, integration and good witnessing. Participants are encouraged to stay present and respectful to themselves and to the group; to notice and appreciate the support of belonging with the natural world; and to actively release energy and emotions that are no longer helpful.
Guided thanking, blessing and conscious touch (touch is always optional) offer simple, effective and ritualized ways to respect and appreciate one another. In this way, we acknowledge each person's contribution with gratitude and without interrupting her or his creative or healing process with advice, praise or criticism.
"Body Tales is a living, present, in-the-moment spiritual and physical practice that has a very sophisticated form to it. People learn how to care for and support one another and how to have empathy for each other."
— Body Tales participant