Being Here Now
by Daria Halprin
When our sense of breath, body and movement deepens, so does our capacity to become aware and fully present in the here and now. In fact it is only with awareness and in this being here and now state that anything can be transformed. Movement with awareness is itself a vehicle and a path that allows us to enter into a state of being in a here and now experience. In a method of embodiment through creative enactment, we work with our historical material and memories in the present tense, in movement and role play. Awareness itself can be curative. Here we are speaking of soul cure, and of resolving our past so as to live more fully, more response-ably in the present. Such a process places the body/mind in a dialogue which helps tend to the split between the authentic and defended self, between the individual and her world. This is a dialogue we undertake by being in body, in movement, with awareness, in the here and now.
There is a dynamic paradox at play, a kind of constant gravitational pull towards the past, that makes the awareness of the here and now experience particularly important and challenging. All the imprints of our lives are housed in our bodies; in our organs, skeletal structure, nervous system, blood, and muscles. The historical continuum from which we live keeps us limited to and stuck with old somatic and psychological patterns and behaviors. Our body postures, our way of moving, our behavior, and the choices we make are a reflection of our past. However while the past remains alive in the memory bank of the body and psyche, body and movement also have the potential to unlock an organic and creative process that brings us more fully into the present which facilitates insight, healing and change.
Movement evokes, reveals and channels feeling, emotion, memories, images and story. It is in movement made conscious and expressive that we can meet all our life material, and so we have a way to break the impasse between past and present. We can play with our material, grapple with it, confront it, shape and re-shape it. When we move with awareness, and when we move with the intention to express, release and transform our experiences and perceptions, then movement will change us. That is it’s inherent nature.
With an understanding of the ways in which physical anatomy and psychological anatomy reflect each other, we can use movement as a medicine, resource and transforming agent; as a means to identify, open up and re-pattern ourselves in ways that foster optimal expression and support new ways of experiencing and being.
In laughter or in tears, in the lightening upbeat or the en-lightening down beat, staying connected to breath, body, emotion, images and moving with whatever comes up, gives us a way to enact and untangle the past, experience ourselves in the present and create new possibilities for the future. Each dance has it’s own rhythm and pacing, wisdom and mystery, burning questions, challenges and resources. Like gardening, dance is a way to dig and plant, fertilize, weed, harvest, cook, compost and recycle. Rarely does one attempt to take all of that on at once, though the perspective of the whole is always present. Parts of the past, present, future continuum may very well happen in parallel and collaboration, but mostly, experience and transformation, like movement, unfolds and develops and changes in non-linear phases, cycles, seasons. Such a perspective, which allows for flux, requires the ability to stay in the here and now. The creation of a dance that has meaning, which touches and transforms, becomes a way of being with exactly what is.