Bearing witness in SOLO practice

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Ulissija
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Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:55 pm

Bearing witness in SOLO practice

Post by Ulissija » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:23 pm

Bearing witness in SOLO practice.
What are you feeling right now?
Yes, exactly, right now. How the air smells? What noises can you hear ? What images are recalled from your memory?
Do you have one minute? Look around. May be, you will notice something, you have never noticed before? That was out of your attention… And now?
And if you can scan your body by your attention – in what position is it right now? How your feelings are reflecting it? Have you noticed? Are you keeping pace?
Is it important to you? The life passes over, what memories are remaining?
And what, if you will remember this minute? Forever? Because you have experienced it. Filled it in with yourself, in direct contact with the world.
When we are listening others, when we really interested in them, our time is not spent, it is gained. We are feeling, as well as filling in ourselves. We are living. The process of bearing witness is equally important to one, who is the object of Witness, is heard and watched, as well as the one – subject of Witness, who opened his attention to other person. Both of them become more powerful. Both are filling in themselves. Both become more “alive” and positive thinking. In “classic” practice of Authentic Movement there is a tradition of sharing after the movement process, bearing witness to each other after the movement process, and exact rules for that. Here they are, in short: the one, who is moving, is speaking first. It is also used, that he is speaking in the present time, not in past, as if he is still in the process of movement. It is considered, that this helps a person to live through his experience once again, not being distant. The witness-one is listening closely, concentrating, but not saying a word, before the first one has finished his sharing. After a small pause, the witness-one asks the question: “May I reflect?” And only after positive answer he starts to talk himself.
Witness-one never breaks the speech of moving-one, never behaves as a “yes-man”. He is listening, that is important. In some schools of Authentic Movement practice, the Witness-ones of the first year training are not allowed to tell anything at all. Only listening. In our training programs we are not so strict, but you still have the instructions for bearing witness. Out Witness-one is speaking, yes. But only with “I”-statements. Not “You were looking so tired in this process as an aged man”. But “when I was observing your process, I experienced the image of an aged man”. You have correct approach and are avoiding the exposure of your emotions and matching to the other person. While bearing witness you are not addressing directly to the Moving-one. You speak only about yourself. About the response in feelings and in body, about the images, those appeared, and in what movement moments that occured. You can describe the movements of your partner. In Authentic Movement groups it is used to speak as about “third person” : “I am observing the Moving-One, who is leaning towards the earth, his face is covered with the hair….” And so on… You can also tell your story, that was composed during witness-bearing – but only as your own story. In more advanced trainings we sometimes are “ordering” different types of feedback-witness, but we will not go in these details right now.
Usually, my suggestion is to decide yourself, if you want to write about your process in present time. You can make experiments. You can make a spontaneous writing practice right after the Moving process, then go through group witness, and then write down the reflection to the whole process. We also will make experiment with different types of sharing.
But the rule of bearing witness from only “I” perspective, to witness only your own feelings – that is important to us in SOLO practice.
Crucially important. If it is too difficult to somebody right now, you can bear witness in practice group, commenting the story of Moving-one with only one phrase – “I am witnessing ”. Or “like an echo” – just take a phrase from the Moving-one story – and just return it. The phrase that found response in your own feelings.
We will practice the creative forms of feedback as well.
And also – sharing in pairs. And much more.
But at all time – witnessing – based on physical sensations, on own feelings, realizing our boarders, “I”-position.
What is happening, when we are witnessing each other?
We are sharing the experience. Empathizing, and enriching and empowering each other by that. Of course – we are not in a managing position “I know, what you have to do, I understand everything about you”, what states in these cases: ‘You are small, you are weak” and will give us back only aggression or codependent relations. This is not our way.
In spite of that we are listening each other carefully and co-operating in group - on one level, gratefully and openly. Each of us (that statement comes from many years of my practice) has a possibility to see “big picture” and realize, where to go and how to live. But it is necessary to slow down a bit, open the feelings and receive the support from the group. Confident and unconditional. In which everybody matters. Everybody is unique. It is enough just to remind yourself about that – by body, not by mind, and the consciousness and contact with reality will grow up, the clearness of mind will appear. Witnessing is not about “teaching and diagnosing”. But just about being. About living. Fully. Jointly. Right now. In this minute.

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