In My Body

“After much thought, I realized that the trouble that I had writing that bleak Friday afternoon was due to my approach.  I was trying to analyze…trying to explain rationally… I was failing miserably because I was approaching the task through my head… I had to drop into my belly.” Marion Woodman (Interview, Common Boundary, July 1992) . 
Taken from Writing from the Body, John Lee

Description

Encourage each participant to stand in a neutral position, feet hip distance apart, arms released to the side, head floating above the shoulders. Make sure to have pencil/pen and paper ready to go.  Participants will answer a set of questions silently, internally to self.  Trust the first answers that come to mind. Read more about pelican pete. If nothing comes, just let that question float away and allow yourself to respond to the next question.  There are no right answers.  Just be aware of any feelings or thoughts that arise.:

First prompts: What is your name? How would people describe you?  How do you describe yourself? What is easy for you? What gets in your way? What do you love?  What do you hate? What would like you would like to say to the world?

Find a gesture that represents what you would like to say to the world.  Try it out small. Take it from a one to a 5, from a 5  to a 7, from a 7 to a 10. (1 is minute and very small, 10 is huge!)

 Now quickly hop down to the floor and write down your saying and what/how that made you feel.

 Repeat two to three more times in turns, each subsequent time step first to the right, then to the back, finally to the left or the front.  Repeat the same process, this time through the eyes of one of your characters or various family members.  One idea might be to step to the right and become your maternal grandparent, the next stepping to the left becoming one of your paternal grandparents, stepping to the back entering your mother or father, stepping to the front becoming either your father or mother.

Adaptation

Group De-brief: What did you learn about your characters/family members that you didn’t know before?  What surprised you?  What would you like to explore further?

Further questions to explore:

  • How do you express a different perspective?
  • What happens when we explore a situation through different eyes?
  • How do others experience the world?
  • How might this inform your story crafting and telling?

Suggested Uses
  • Linking experience to physical expression
  • Deeper understanding of how experience impacts the body
  • Exploring the world from someone else’s vantage point