Mindful Movement Research Interview – 6 Dec 2017. MI1KNO.
AUDIO link.

[The movement exercise referred to in this interview had the basic premise of beginning from any position – sitting, walking, lying down – and searching for micro movements that, in any way, produced an even 1% increase in ease or comfort. The idea was to be able to become familiar with some possible shape/s. One might bring themselves to said form, in order to find greater access to an overall sense of ease, safety or comfort.
The next portion of the exercise was to recall a difficult moment. There was instruction to sense how this memory felt in the lived, entire physical self; to notice the sensations present in relation to the memory. Should this prove too difficult, they were invited to return to any position which brought them ease, safety or comfort – at any time.
Next, the participants were invited to explore in larger movement. They were assigned to test, play, mirror, experiment or recall any kind of movement which seemed appropriate in relation to their sensation of difficult memory.
After a short time, the instruction was to return, again, to the form the participant had found earlier, which related to some sense of ease, safety or comfort.]

30 Nov 2017
k.
So, a moment in the class. A memorable moment. Um, so, I’m going to talk about the exercise, sort of like the trauma, invoking your, finding the place of ease and the way you carry yourself in your body, to be the best you can feel. You know, in that time, to the hard. The, bringing in the hard thing and then coming back to the place of ease.

Um, and so, for the, the place of ease thing, um, for me I guess it was very much chest-centric. Right, like we’re moving about the room but like, like I had an upright, I would, you know, hold myself upright. Like straight spine as much as possible and like head up, shoulders like out and broad. Like not a protective mode. Like very much like a chest open, like strong; strong but vulnerable position.

Um, and…for extra holding, like holding chest and like diaphragm kind of. Like holding in what I refer to as the ‘baby place.’ You know, right here. [gestures to upper chest/sternum.] Because I feel like we’re held here as children, as infants, and not so much after. Other than like intimately, you know. Lying in bed with someone with a hand on your chest or something. Or with erin bell outside the St Roch Tavern. [laughs.] Um, which feels like parental and comforting but not in a creepy way.
Um, so those were like always for me, like always returning to like chest strength and openness.

Um, and then like I guess, inviting in the, the like hard place, um, felt like, like again a sense of dread. Um, feeling more aware of the body being bounded. Um…I dont, I have a, I have a hard time with words for like, for the place of ill-ease. Like…definitely like a, like really faster heart. Perhaps more aware of body temperature. I feel like, I feel like the place of un-ease is kind of more obsessive. So there’s more awareness of things in that moment that I might not have been paying attention to outside of it. Even though I don’t know how much has actually changed. But I’m noticing it more.

Um, and I don’t know, like the body, the body wants to curl and wants to self protect. But also wants to expel. Right, and, um, in like the movements to, to like, to release the thing were, like I always felt really compelled to like keel over. To like forcefully like bend and with forceful breathe. To let the thing out. And like did shake out limbs, but it was predominantly chest and breathe. And like dumping. Like moving towards the ground and dumping and expelling breathe.

Um, I guess I could also say that like the feeling of un-ease would also be a crawling in the skin. Like a discomfort in the skin. And definitely aversion. Um, and the…so, yeah, doing the dumping-bending over thing. And then to bring back the place of ease, once again it was about conscious breathing, holding the spine upright and shoulders open.

Um, and, it felt really transformative to me to learn in that class that like by making subtle bodily shifts that you could influence your emotions. Because I didn’t know that before that. Um…so, yeah, that’s a short, that’s a short version.

e.
The, um…the…ok, so there’s kind of two different thoughts that I have. Err, um, and one is, like a question of “Oh, what is the…what’s the, like, frame of the moment for you?” And then the other thought is, um, towards where I am particularly interested. Um, in: how less inhibited movement is different than inhibited movement mindfulness. Um, and so, I mean, I think of it again because what you were saying is so, like so much touches on what I’m interested in.

k.
Mm-hmm. I don’t think I understand the first question, about framing the moment.

e.
Yeah. I guess when I listen to your narrative then I was a little lost of like, how much time was that? Was that five minutes? Or was that…

k.
I’d say it was probably five to ten minutes.

e.
Ungh-hungh.

k.
Yeah. Yeah.

e.
And so then I’m wondering, um, because of…Maybe, I don’t know. Yeah, because of like, like for example last time we spent like an hour on like what was maybe like 45 seconds. [laughs.] Or like maybe a minute. I don’t know ‘cause it was meditative time. And like really lost of time. But, um, that it was a very quick transition of, like, the moment right before you didn’t feel you had a body and then coming back to the body. And that was a really quick, um…

k.
So you’d like to select a moment from there? To, to…

e.
It’s really a question. Yeah, it’s um, I, I don’t know that that’s the best way to go because I feel like the transition is the really interesting thing. And so then like, my sort of like, “hungh.” Like “how to approach this? Is that too much time for us to try?” But let’s just try it and then see what happens.

k.
Ok.

e.
Um, because…And yeah, maybe focusing on the transition.

k.
Ok.
The transition in or out?

e.
Both.

k.
Both. Ok.

e.
Yeah. Um, from, from a place of ease. And then we’ll see how far we get. And ho…yeah…

k.
And that could be, yeah, cool.

e.
Yeah. And maybe we make a part two or something. If like that doesn’t sound horrible to you [laughs.] …
Um, ok, so I guess kind of like the last time, going back, um, kind of going back into that dropping-in-your-body-memory of…the moment right before you transitioned to sensing the dis-ease.
So, like going back to describe, I guess, your body and the thing that I can think to add, for kind of directing it, is um, as much as you’re able, uh, to leave out…’probablys.’

k.
“Probablys?”
Ok.

e.
Yeah. Just going with, what you literally remember. So it’s like…um, a place where…yeah, like you are there in that past moment. And you’re only speaking from what is in that past moment.

k.
Ok.
Um, so before the moment of inviting in ill-ease…um, um, I was walking around the room. I think with, walking around the room with eyes open and with eyes closed. And focusing on spine, um being upright. On broad shoulders, on strength. On chest openness. On like breath. Um, on…I can feel hands…um, just on being like a strong embodied…like, looking up. Um…body. Um…

e.
Um, when you say you can feel hands, what, your, your own hands? Or?

k.
Yeah.
I could, I, like I could feel, like I can feel, I can feel having arms and having, having hands…

e.
Ungh-hungh…

k.
Um, in the awareness. In walking around…Umgh-humgh.

e.
Can you feel, um…can you feel your chest?

k.
Yeah.
Mm-humgh.
I can feel chest. I can feel breathe. Yeah. Yeah, I feel, I feel…I feel quite embodied at that moment.
And like calm, like relatively calm. And…

e.
Can you describe anything about any of those places?
Like any amount of quality that could be super abstract. They could be made-up words.

k.
Mm-humgh.
Mmm…I feel, like smooth pattern. Like, um, I feel safe…

e.
Is the, does the safe have a, quali…like what does it feel like to feel safe?

k.
To feel safe feels, I feel safe when I feel held. And, um, like having…in that place like holding self. Actually it was holding, holding chest but also sometimes holding lower back too. So like a, a dual prop. It wasn’t just front it was back also, um, that my own hands felt sufficient. In that moment. Which isn’t always the case.

e.
Mm-humgh.

k.
You know. Um, so I guess, I guess that could be described as like a, a trusting, firm holding. Like a pressure. Was part of that feeling of safety. Um…
And I guess there’s, there’s heat. There too.
And it’s soft.

e.
Um-humgh. Cool.
And then, um…yeah, what, how, how, what happened next?

k.
Inviting dis-ease looked like…um…visual, like visualizing an unpleasant situation. Or visualizing something that I feel really averse to. Or have felt averse to. Have felt triggered by. So, it was, it was, visual. Um, imagining I guess…

e.
Um, and…I don’t know if you remember this or not but when you just said that, “imagining,” um you had your hand kind of go over your eye and forehead.

k.
Mm-humgh.

e.
Was there any, any kind of sensation in that area? Is that, is that where like, you felt the imagining?

k.
Yeah. That’s where I, I felt like I guess like I feel like it, it lives in the head and eyes.
e.
Ok.

k.
Yeah. Um…

e.
And then is there any, like if you remember, any descriptor of, just the piece of the imagining itself? Um, because I know it was a, you, you said an “ill-ease” memory, um, but like the sensation of the, maybe the coming thought. You know th…if there was anything there?

k.
Yeah. Like even doing it now. [laughs] Right, it, um…there’s, like a…like a feeling phah…I don’t know what words. In the guts. In the belly. Like low. And in the chest. Um…

e.
Can you tell, do they come after the, the forehead eye area?
Or at the same time? Or…before?

k.
Not before. For sure. Can’t say if it’s at the same time or after.

e.
Ok. Cool.

k.
Yeah.
Um…mm…yeah, it feels like it, it translates into…
I’m trying to find words….like it, it feels like “crawly.” It feels like, like almost itchy on the inside. Like just, just uncomfortable. Um, more sweaty. Like anxious. Ugh…[fingers were about mid-chest level and the digits were rotating in a circular motion. Approximately the speed of a Kitchen-Aide on level 1 or 2.)

e.
Did it have the tempo of how you just moved your fingers?

k.
It doesn’t…I don’t know if it’s doing this. I could can say that it doesn’t feel, it doesn’t feel smooth.

e.
Ok. Cool.

k.
It feels like ho…like holy. Or jagged. Or…it feels irritating.

e.
Mm-humgh.

k.
Um…and…and, yeah again like more aware of, of boundaries…um, inward turning I guess. Yeah.

e.
Um, when you say “more aware of boundaries” do…I, I don’t quite understand what you mean.

k.
I think I mean that, that, in these moments…like…I feel like I can ac…[recording glitch] my skin…

e.
Oh wait, hold on one second. It said, um…I heard that “in these moments” and then the phone cut off.

k.
I…In these moments, like I feel, perceive my skin. Like I can, I’m aware. I’m more aware of like the container.

e.
Ungh-hungh. [traffic sirens in background.]

k.
Um…I’m more aware of the container. Yeah.

e.
And then when you fe…like when you’re more aware of your skin is it, um, do you remember how far that awareness encompassed?
Does that make sense?

k.
Like, is it the whole body? Or is it…

e.
Yeah.

K.
Um, definitely, like, like torso, arms, I’d say into thighs. Less, less focus on feet…but core, thighs. Yes.

e.
And then cou…and then skin in the, the face, head, too, or no?

k.
Mm, awareness that there is a head but…not distinct. Face. Like just, more like a head, more like mind-head, awareness, and core.

e.
Ungh-hungh. So the container really was around the core and thighs and arms? The container feeling.

k.
Yeah.

e.
Ok. And then, so just to recap what I understand so far is that there was, um, you were in the position with your chest open and feeling smooth, warm pressure on the chest and lower back. And then when the thought-imagination came of a prior difficult moment that you experienced, that difficult moment – either first or at the same time – in your forehead-eye area and then an irritating, and many other adjectives you used, um, sensation in the chest and the lower belly. And, and then, or at the same time? Feeling the your skin as a container in the torso, arms and thigh.

k.
Yeah.

e.
Ok. And then, yeah, and then what happened from there?

k.
And then, and then I think, and then you invited us to try to move it, out. To, like

[…tangent 21:35 – 22:19…talking about class.]

e.
…I think I’m just like, “I’m sorry,” My memory is just, “I’m sorry I told you to get rid of it. I don’t know that you should have.” [laughing.]

k.
Well, I don’t think, I think that trying to get rid of it, like, it’s an exercise, that doesn’t. You know what I mean, like I still feel like even trying to get rid of it or move it or shift it, it doesn’t actually go.

e.
Yeah. Yeah.

k.
You know, there might be a little bit of relief. You know, in like breathing deep and like doing something with the body, right. And attempting to shift the thing. But, it’s still there. And that, the like learning moment to me was being able to return to the place of ease, with knowing that it’s still there. But you can still be ok.

e.
Um-humgh.

k.
With the shit. [laughs.]

e.
Ok, so, um, sorry I taught a class in a way that I think was not the best. Um [laughs] when you were instructed to release this, so like going back to that moment since my tangent was tangential [laughs.]

k.
[laughs] Um, yeah. I guess like, that instruction wasn’t something that I believed I could do. But I tried. You know, and so…

e.
Oh, that moment right there. Or, if that was a moment, did you have the thought “I don’t believe I can do this.” at that time?

k.
Yeah.

e.
And then do you, do you have any, just that thought, do you have any memory of the sensation of that thought at that time?

k.
Yeah. That sensation feels like, felt like a, it felt like a pause.
You know, it felt like…it felt like, mm, like there wasn’t, it wasn’t possible to, to, to begin to like move with gusto. Like it had to be a really intentional, a really intentional like attempt to do something. ‘Cause the body, the body was just like in this place of like, that I, again, I associate like a loose sensation in…like in chest and arms, of not knowing what to do. Not feeling like anything is going to actually like change it. Like a, a disbelief in the chest and arms.

e.
And did the disbelief have a quality? Like th…in the chest and arms of like the disbelief sort of being in that area, and then is there anything that you remember more, in the way of description, about that? And if not, it’s fine. Just…

k.
It feels, it feels amorphous. It feels like, doesn’t feel like, doesn’t feel like a place of energy. If feels like a place of, of halt. That like, that would halt the body from doing the next thing. Without the actu…without an actu…without a like, a, I’d say a forceful but not erratic. You know without like the application of an intention. Like it’s an attention halting place because of disbelief.

e.
And do you remember if the disbelieving thought happened before or after the…sensation in the chest and arms?

k.
Um, I feel like they’re the same.

e.
Same moment? Ki..in your…

k.
Yeah. Yeah that it’s a feel…a feeling of disbelief. Yeah. Yeah.
Um, and then…of kind of feeling like sheepish, you know. Like when you have to get up in front of the class and like do something. Or do something like, do something creatively improvised. But that time [is?] just with yourself. But like feeling that place of like “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know why I’m doing this.” [laughs] But then making yourself do a thing. Um…

e.
I don’t know if, um, so I’m going to ask this question in sort of more words but I’m, you know, still going for like the sensational relationship. Um…this quality of halting, and not-knowing, um, in my own experience there’s a lot of different qualities of not-knowing and halting. And some have words, like, ‘calm.’ A calm not-knowing. And some have, I would use words like ‘petrified.’ And each of those words have different qualities to me. And I wonder if there’s [? this was said unintentionally, without enunciation, which left the question of it’s tense – of past or present – open for interpretation] any qualities in the kind of halting that you experienced. Not that you need words for them, like the words I just used. But more going for the sensations that might be associated with words.

k.
Ok.
Mmm…[traffic honking]…Whoa, New York. Hesitant. There wasn’t, it wasn’t fear, it wasn’t frozen and it wasn’t, like to use your words, it wasn’t frozen it was hesitant.
It, it was…mm…there was still, it was a halt, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t totally calm in that it felt like there was, there was still an impetus, there was still, like, like an energy or a push to move, behind it. You know, like it wasn’t a place of like, of calm stagnancy. In that, it was a halt but you could feel that there was still this, this, yeah this push for the body to move, behind it. Even though it wasn’t ready.

e.
And then could you…so, like, uh, yeah I, um, was the not-ready area the chest and the arms area? Is that…er, I’m not sure what ‘it’ is.

k.
[laughs lightly] Yeah, good question. Um…

e.
But it doesn’t need to…I mean your description is great…

k.
I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know that I can, like the chest and the arms…f…I can conjure, they’re the places I associate most with it. But I can’t, I don’t know exactly where…the, hesitation, like the hesitation is in my body…but I don’t know if it’s only in the chest and arms.

e.
Mm-hm. But the, the pushing from behind it, um, did…

k.
Is also in the body. Yeah.

e.
Ok.

k.
But I don’t know exactly where.

e.
Cool. Ok.
And then? And then what happened [lightly laughs.]

k.
And then, and then, so that was a moment of some length. I don’t know how long. Um, and then…like I pushed myself to try some things. You know, to like shake out arms. To, to breathe deep. To forcefully exhale. To like that’s when I began to like, to like keel over, to drop from the waist with forceful exhalation and stuff. And that felt like a, a move that did feel like relieving, somehow. But it was just trying out things that…you know, moving in some, in some way. Not necessarily like super mentally directed. You know, just like doing the things that felt like they were coming. But that, but to begin required a push. Yeah.

e.
And then the, the beginning push…um that, so you were experiencing a push from behind, it was in the body but without a location particularly, remembered. Um, and then you pushed yourself to try something, did the “and-then-you-pushed-yourself-to-try-something” come from a different area?

k.
I don’t know.

e.
Ok.
Um…do you remember if um, when you say, like, the initial push, um, was forceful and then, and then not…and then after that it wasn’t forceful. Like it just did its thing. Um…am I understanding you right, is it, was it a thought? Like you directed yourself cognizantly? Or something different, in terms of, when you say that you forced yourself?

k.
It, I think, I think it was…it was thought directed, initially. And I guess I clarify that it, it got easier. Like, you know, as you start to move. It, it felt easier to keep moving. But it was…I guess it, to say that it just did [it?] itself isn’t really true. Because it…there was still some effort. But it wasn’t as like, like to begin felt harder than to continue. If that makes sense. Like there was, like to break the hesitation was the hardest thing. But then there was still a combination of like, of mental deciding, right. And then, but also with more free movement. Yeah.

[end of part 2a.]
[beg part 2b.]

e.
Ok, talking through from the time, having the ambiguous feeling in your chest and arms in relation to not knowing what’s, feeling you couldn’t do the thing requested. And then a push coming from in the body. But in an unknown location, behind that. And then…

k.
Or under it. Or just, like, like it was a feeling, a feeling of some like pressure or push somewhere. Yeah.

e.
And then, the, um, from a different place, direction to yourself, to force yourself to move.

k.
Um-hmm.

e.
And then am I correct in that that direction didn’t have a physical-location memory? Or sensation memory?
k.
Yeah. It feels like mind. It feels like intent. Like intention. You know it, it…but I can’t say that it was in the head. Yeah.

e.
Ok. That’s really great to know. And then, from that place without remembered location of intention, do you remember like the next moment?

k.
Umgh-mm. The movement part in memory, I can remember some moments in it. But it feels like a memory of just lots of movement. Like, like energy. And trying out different things. Um, but, the awareness was not longer just highly concentrated inward. It was…it was kind of like, it was less, there was less pointed focus. And, it was I guess more scattered outwards. And with movement coming. Like it, I think the movement created some space between the experience of the hard thing. Yeah, between the experience of the hard thing and awareness of it. In that there was just a bunch of other things then happening with movement.

e.
And the, the…the hard thing…what, are you referring to the itchy? Ok.

k.
Yeah.

e.
Ok.

k.
The itchy as well as the visualizing of it. Like with the movement then…then I perceive like the, the moving the thing out to, to be, like a shifting of attention into other things. Right, and so you’re not focused, you kind of lose some of the intensity of the thing dissipates because you’re no longer like concentrating on it as much. You’re doing something else so you’re kind of, I would say like it feels almost distracting, you know. It like, some like, “Oh there’s other things to be done” you know. And so you’re doing them and you feel it, the thing, a little bit less.
And there’s a relief in that…

e.
Um…
Do…do you remember feeling the relief at that moment?

k.
I remember feeling the relief in, um, in keeling over and breathing. Forcefully.

e.
And then do you…um, can you describe…that?

k.
Mm…
Relief…would be…noticing that, the uncomfortable feeling is not there, for a moment. Or, or…feeling some distance between the experience, the uncomfortable feeling and the, and where you are at right now.

e.
Ok.

k.
Like instead of it being right here, it’s right there.

e.
And does it, do you feel that distance. Like in, in relation to, um…yeah, do you, like how do you describe that distance?

k.
Mm…It, it feels like a…uh, like a, like an…a…a spaciousness that you, I ca…that I can kind of
like see in my mind’s eye as a space. But that isn’t anywhere. Really.

e.
Ungh-hungh.
Um, so…mm…to, ah, hold respect for it not being anywhere and then to ask…

k.
[laughs lightly.]

e.
Um…because you talked about having a sense of, your, your boundaries earlier. Like was it, like was it close to your physical…perception of yourself? Or…like, I wonder more like space and relation versus, not how much space, but space in relation to the wall in the room. Or space in relation to your own skin. Or…

k.
I guess, I guess like…when I, when I feel the space, I don’t, I don’t percieve the bounded body.

e.
Ungh-hungh.

k.
But there is an awareness of something. Right. There is an awareness of, I guess a self of some kind. And, and the thing that, to which I am reacting. Or have been reacting. Is, is like some, space that is a physical, mental space, away.

e.
Mm-hmm. Cool.

k.
It’s not right here.

e.
Ok.

k.
And there’s some calm in being like, “oh like that thing is still, that thing is there and I’m here. And I’m being triggered by it right now.” There’s like a relief in that. Yeah.

e.
The, the relief and the calm experienced, um, as a cause of that space? Or in relation to that space, um, does that…do you have a memory of how that sensation manifested?

k.
Mm…
It…it…yeah, it, it manifests as like a calm stillness.

e.
Ok. Cool.

k.
Yeah.
That the body might be doing other things but it’s a momentary awareness of a calm stillness and a distance. And a st…

e.
And do you remember if it had any of the…fir..um, for example when you were calm before you entered the space of ill…feeling, um…did it have a similar, did it have similar qualities or was it a different kind of calm stillness?

k.
It, yeah, it, I’d say it, it, it felt similar except that difference in that the calm stillness of the beginning was highly embodied. It was, there was very much awareness of, a chest, and like a diaphragm. Of like the physical, of the physical self to actually like hold.

e.
Mm-hmm.

k.
And the, the spaciousness, the other one, was less distinctly tethered to awareness of a body.

e.
Ok. Great.
Um…and then…um, from another, sort of going back to, this thing that you were talking about, and I think that I’m going to paraphrase it. Well, it’s a paraphrase; I don’t remember your exact words. Um, but in relation to…kind of trying to cull out a little bit more information about the experience of…the…intention…without physical location of intention, to move and the movement that was happening…um, can, can you describe anything, anything about that?

k.

It, it, it feels like a, like a…a low level stress. You know, to, this, this, this like stress, this feeling like the body shhhould be doing something. Um…uhhhhh….I’d say it’s like a generalized feeling of stress. That would then, that like with the application of like a decision, you know, then like I told, my mind told my, you know decided that I would like shake out my arms. You know, in response to this feeling of stress there was a, a decision made by the mind to do something.
Yeah.

e.
Does it, is it, that…kind of overall feeling of stress, is that related to the pushing that you had mentioned?

k.
Yeah. I’d say they’re the same.

e.
Ok.

k.
Like..yeah.

e.
Um..

k.
But that, kind of underlying…um, everywhere…motivating, pushing-stress feeling.

e.
Ungh-hungh. And then…so, if I have this right then you had this…intention from your mind, the se..this directive but you didn’t feel it in your brain, you didn’t feel it in your head. Sorry you said that, I think. And the pushing-stress was overall, maybe from behind or under…perhaps…[observes body language of disagreeance]…No?

k.
No. I think, I think, like it’s, it’s there at the same…like I guess it feels more…temporal than like under or behind.

e.
Mm-humgh.

k.
It’s like, it’s like what’s coming next.

e.
Ok.

k.
If that makes sense. But then….

e.
Um…th….

k.
But it’s not, it’s not, it’s not being manifested yet. Like, like the action that’s coming isn’t there yet. But you can feel it there. Kind of waiting; temporally.

e.
Yeah.

k.
Yeah, um.

e.
Um….
So interesting. I mean, right, because it, it like it…I have, you know memories of, maybe something similar. But like, you can feel it…coming, you know. Um…where do you feel it? How do you know? Like how…agh…

k.
I don’t know. [laughs.]

e.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

k.
…From whence it comes.

e.
Like in your, in your memory, of like…cause it’s like, the, when you talk about the stress and the pushing. The overall, um…that…it, which makes logical sense, right. That you could sense that more and you have more memory of that sensation. Versus the thing that doesn’t feel like it’s quite there yet. But like, how do you feel that it’s on the horizon?

k.
Right.

e.
Like, do you have any memory of that sensation of a horizonal-sensation?

k.

Well I guess it’s like it’s…it is there, right. It’s there at the same time. It’s horizonal in the sense that…

e.
When you say that, do you mean that logically? Or do you mean that like, in memory?

k.
Well, like I guess it’s both, right. Because, because like the, the stress or the, like the, the feeling of the stress, the, the, it’s there. I guess. It’s horizonal in the sense that what it’s, what you know it’s telling you to do isn’t yet happening. Right. But it’s the feeling in that place of hesitation, the stress is there. It’s just not directing you in the way that like cognitively you understand that, what the purpose of that stress is.

e.
Mm-hmm.

k.
The stress isn’t just for it’s own sake. It is like, trying to go somewhere.

e.
Mm-hmm. And then the…the…the sensation that you’re describing that was ambiguous in the chest and the arms, do I understand right, did that, did that dissipate from a location? Was it there and then it didn’t have a location?

k.
Mmm…Yeah, I guess. Like as, as…like the exercise kind of progressed there was less in, less focus on, on particular body parts.

e.
Ungh-hungh.

k.
Like it just, it became more energetic and movement. And not, not a like a one pointed or like, I wasn’t holding my chest and my, you know, in the way that I was initially. It was just like, it was more diffuse and less focused. Yeah.

e.
And that, and that shift, you don’t remember that precise shift?

k.
I don’t remember the precise shift.

e.
Ok.

k.
No.

e.
And then, um, so…from, from shaking your arms, so, um, like to back up a tiny bit in the narrative. So there was the mind intention to do something that was like more of a like…direct verbal, verbal self telling.

k.
Yeah. Not necessarily verbal but like mental. Yeah.

e.
Yeah. Ok. But there wasn’t words formed?

k.
There were not words, no.

e.
Ok. So, um, a, a not-worded directive to do something. And the shaking the arms was that, um…how did it go from ‘do something’ without words to arm shaking?

k.

It feels the same as that moment that you’re standing on a rock in front of a stream, right. And it’s a little bit scary and there’s this impetus. You generate an impetus to jump. And it is not…there isn’t a, like full trust in the thing. Like it just, you just manage to like there’s like, you push yourself. There’s an energetic surge and you do a thing.

e
And so it just happened that the arms were the thing.

k.
Yeah. The arms were the thing. Yeah.. And then like forceful breathing and hunching over was the thing. I’m sure other things I can’t fully remember all the things. But, just, uh, after that initial, like the hardest thing’s the first movement. And then I think because there’s, like there’s less fear after the first movement, you know. You could keep trying a thing, you know.

e.
Mm-hmm.
And, was the, as you moved from shaking the arms to the, um, did you say hunching over?

k.
Mm-hmm.

e.
Um, do you remember if the stress was still present? The pushing?
k.
Hmm…No. I don’t remember.

e.
Mm-hmm. And then also in the forceful breathing. Same question I guess.

k.
Like there was, I guess, there was still a tension but it was less stressful.

e.
Ughn-hungh. Ok. Cool.

k.
Yeah. Like it was less hard to do it. Once it had, once it had, once some movement had happened. But it was still intentionally directed. But with more, I don’t know, like, it was intentional but it was also more free. Like, it feels, that part feels really like not hyper aware. Yeah.

e.
Um, would it be, could I phrase it like um, the quality of the intention remained the same while the push-stress dissipated?

k.
Um…perhaps.

e.
Not quite?

k.
Definitely the second part. Like the push stress dulled. Um…Yeah, I guess, I guess that is a good way of putting it. Because the intention was still there to do things like the, the response to the intention was a little bit different. It’s a little bit less hard.

e.
But the, so like, yeah, if, I don’t know, cause you…described it as being not super hyper aware, but if you remember the intention without body location changing quality at any point?

k.
No, not, not really. I don’t remember the intention shifting.

e.
Ungh-hughn. And is it that it didn’t shift or you don’t remember? Sorry, just to be clear.

k.
I don’t, I don’t, I don’t remember. Yeah.

e.
Ok. Totally. And then, [sighs]…yeah that I, I mean I feel like, so, ok, I’m at two thoughts. And one is like, uh…wh…getting a little bit back to the transition back to uh, less ill-feeling.

k.
Mm-hmm.

e.
Um, and then also if there’s anything that you can say more uh, in memory of…and this is like…I feel like you’re saying so much more than I can say myself in doing a really similar meditative improvised movement. Um, it’s so, it’s, I mean it’s pretty incredible to me. But if you can remember any more about what, like any…located or un-located, vague, anything that decided what was happening next. Or that made the next thing happen?

k.

Well, we were in a room together also, right. And so I think some things that I chose to do were influenced by like what I was, what I noticed other people doing. [laughs.] It’s like, but yeah, that person’s breathing hard. Maybe I should try that. Or kicking in the air. Ok. Might as well try that. [laughs.] Just being receptive to other people’s creative modes. [laughs.]

e.
Totally. Ok. That, um, and then I guess the last thing, um, the moment of transition away from the ill or – and it doesn’t have to be in relation to what the class directive was – but in your own feeling, like when did it shift from like, when were shifts that you feel like you wanna talk about?

k.
Hughn. It, so for me it was before the class directive. Um, with, with the movement, with moving and um…and feeling some space from the like bodily reaction to the hard thing, like noticing that, that, like the, the place of ill ease wasn’t, I wasn’t feeling it as strongly as initially as when it had, when I’d like invited it in and it felt bad essentially, in chest and core. Like a certain point of, of movement and just feeling like it, it just, I wasn’t like in the grips of the thing as much. And in that space, like consciously, um, like breathed into the body again. Like breathed into the chest. Like straightened my spine and held myself. Did the things from the beginning, you know. Like posturally noticing that I needed, that I wanted to feel strong and upright. And chest open. And like brought hands back to the safe places, you know. But it was, it, it was from a place of like already noticing that, that like some level of ease had been restored less consciously.

e.
Mm-hmm.

k.
Or like some space from the thing was already there.

e.
Yeah.

k.
And then actively bringing back the like…the safe well things form the beginning.

e.
Do you notice if, if there’s a difference between, um, coming back to the space from the, the ill…

k.
Mm-hmm.

e.
Um, from what I remember you saying, you had described that um, perhaps the intensity of the ill was less because your awareness was not totally focused on it….

k.
Mm-hmm.

e.
And also there was this intent happening to move. Um, do you have any…I guess my basic question is oh, how, like is there any discernment between, what brought about and if both how differently the same – relief in relation to the movement versus the diffuse awareness?…Or diffused awareness?

k.

What? [laughs.]

e.
Totally. Ok, so like, what I’m wondering is like, if you’re fe…you know I’m like, ok, uh, you’re, you’re task was to feel the sensations of this difficult moment in memory. And so you were feeling that. And then what if I said instead of “and now move”, “now do this algebra problem” which is also moving…

k.
Mm-hmm. Right.

e.
Um, but in a different way. How, um, if I gave you a different directed task verses “now do whatever” as your directed task. Versus a specific thing. Was it ju… like was the relief because you just weren’t paying attention or because yo…there was something in what you were doing? Or both? Does that make sense?

k.
Yeah it does. I feel like the, the relief was primarily because there was less attention on the thing.

e.
Um-hmm. Yeah.

k.
I feel like, I feel like there, there might be some relief through, through movement. Through like actually like shaking and you know that you’re, you, in, in feeling unease like you, your body like there’s, I don’t know I feel like there must be like tightness in your body and stuff. So moving in some way like shaking and I feel like there’s some relief, through movement. But it’s primarily distraction that, that was helpful.

e.
mm-hmm. Yeah.

k.
Yeah. Doing something else. yeah, that’d be curious if an arithmetic problem would do the same thing or not. I don’t know.

e.
Yeah. I mean, just thinking of like another still activity or you could be in the same exact shape and now your activity, in the same way that um, like we do the pendulation between just like feel the difficult spot and now just feel a neutral spot. Or good feeling spot.

k.
Right.

e.
Um…

k.
I guess I wonder if it was not an embodied, not a physical activity, if, if there’d be a difference in the ability to task shift. As, as easily. Like would you be doing the math problem feeling the hard thing super hard?

e.
Ughn-hughn.

k.
I don’t know.

e.
Yeah.

k.
Yeah.

e.
But um, and so then, that’s a really interesting open question to me. To figure out how um, in, in continuing this experiment, how to lead in relation to addressing that as a question. As like Ok I need to be a little more nuanced about how to get to this question. Um, in experiments. And then one piece that you did say that I do feel like speaks particularly to movement, um, is…the shift that you felt when you changed your physical position, intentionally going back to the place that you remembered that felt good before.

k.
Mm-hmm.

e.
Um…

k.
That that was a, that was an empowering thing to do.

e.
Yeah.

k.
Know that you can remember it and that you can go back there.

e.
Ungh-hughn. And then, I guess so then maybe just looking at that for a second. When…so there, if I’m correct in saying this, there was an intent to go back there. Of, “ok, now I’m going to try to re-find this physical position. That felt good before.

k.
Mm-hmm.

e.

In that moment, and then to the moment of arriving there, and then how it felt to arrive there, can you describe, if you have a memory of the sensation of, that?

k.
Mm-hmm…um, well it was, it, it…the intention became, like the, the not focused awareness that was, that feels just like a memory of a lot of movement with some distinct memory, became like, like the body became refocused and awareness of the breath. Um, yeah. Like, like, I can, I can perceive my chest and back and arms and like walking. Like, I could perceive what I was doing, distinctly again. Like it was reapplication of embodied awareness. What did that feel like? [laughs.]
Uh…
Like there was intention, right. There was energy but there wasn’t stress. It wasn’t, it wasn’t hard to, to, to invite th…to do, to make the, I gu…uh…I don’t know. I don’t know. [laughs.]

e.
Mm?

k.

It was a shift back into direc…into awareness and to directed, directed movement. Like, um-hmm.

e.
Like you were going to a shape?

k.
Mm-hmm. Like trying to find the shape again.

e.
Yeah. Um…versus go…going into unknown shapes. Um..

k.
Yeah.

e.
And in that….when you, how did you know you arrived at the shape? That you were seeking?

k.
I don’t know if it was exactly the same shape.

e.
Ungh-hughn.

k.
Um, I know that it was, the, the pieces or the components of the earlier shape. There was an attempt to replicate those. It wa…um, I don’t think there was awareness of arriving.

e.
Or maybe to say it in a different way…when did it feel good?

k.
Um, I’d say it felt, there was awareness of feeling some level of good just prior to, to eve…to intentionally welcoming the good. That it had already been there but it wasn’t, it wasn’t like, there wasn’t full cognizance. There was like uh, uh, already some feeling of ease before. And then the invitation. Then I invited it back. And, yeah, became more aware of the body but also then became aware, more aware of other people.

e.
In that moment, right before you invited it back, do you have any memory, like could you describe that moment at all? Like it sounds similar to the, the thing coming, you know? Of like you…the…

k.
It was…yeah. It was like a, the, that moment of noticing space from the thing. Like…but, like not feeling in the grips of, of the hard thing. But not highly bounded. You know? The bodily awareness was…was, was diffuse. It wasn’t, it wasn’t like feeling, feeling the body specifically in any particular way.

e.
Ungh-hungh.
So, um…in this moment, so you, there was like diffuse awareness and there was movement happening. This is like going back to the moment when, um, you were in the directive to move.

k.
Um-hmm.

e.
Um, and so there was this like trying out of things and being um, as I would describe it, cognizantly inspired by others. Seeing others do things. And then…and then there was an intentional move to shift back to a known form.

k.
Um-hmm.

e.
And there was a feeling of relief even before the clear intention to go there happened.

k.
Um-hmm.

e.
And so, before, as I understood when you were talking about being in the diffuse moving space, that there was already space between you and the discomfort of the itching or irritating. And so then when I heard you just describe the per-intention to arrive at the known shape, that I heard you describe the space again. Was that space different than it had been, as you described it already happening?

k.
Unghn-ungh. No. I’d say that this, it’s a similar quality of distance or space from something triggering.

e.
Ungh-hungh.
And then, some, somehow but unknown there was an awareness of some more ease and then a more cognizant intention to return to a former shape had happened?

k.
Right, yeah. Cause initially the, like when inviting the hard thing in it was…like it had a place, right. It was like in, it felt uncomfortable in the core. And that after moving and distracting and doing, like it wasn’t that, that sensation wasn’t there. You know.

e.
Um-hmm.

k.
It had moved. It had dissipated. And so noticing that it was no longer there was like a moment of ease already. Noticing that attention was like no longer like, you know, you weren’t just like stuck in this thing that you were just kind of shhhhhhhhhh..you know, felt, there was relief in that noticing.

e.
And then, um, was that the moment that then like the next moment was the intention?

k.
Yeah.

e.
Ok. Ok. That makes sense. Err, I think, I think, I got, I follow. Um, and then when you did arrive to that form, or to a similar form, um, did the sensation shift again? Or did it remain the same, as the moment right before. Like there was the ease and then the intention. And then you shifted form and…

k.
Shifted form and shifted into being aware of the body.

e.
Ungh-hungh. Ok.

k.
Like, like distinctly. Like, like in the, in the movement place, like there wasn’t, there wasn’t distinct awareness of the body. There were moments but it wasn’t that like it, I very much perceive it as a re-embodying. Like where you’re walking around in this container that you can shift, that you can, you can change the way you feel by the way you carry yourself in it.

e.
Ungh-hungh.

k.
Not mindlessly moving. Somewhat mindlessly moving in it.

e.
Yeah,

k.
Yeah. Attention became a lot more focused and precise.

e.
And focused now, instead of on…the sensation associated with an ill memory, an ill sensations – but awareness back to…

k.
Back to trying to return to, or like foster that place of ease.

e.
Um-hmm.

k.
That, remembered from before. But I also, I also feel like there’s still, it’s different returning to it. Because there’s still…like, there’s still an awareness of the hard thing, close.

e.
Um-hmm.

k.
Right. So the quality of the, of the attempted return, it’s, it’s, it’s not as like simple or as like neutral or something as the original one. Cause the other thing is still close by. Even though, like lurking kind of, even though you’re not feeling it fully. But it’s still like having some influence on you in the next, in the return stage.

e.
And then when you describe, when you say this word “empowering,” can you describe how that felt?
…Like it…because it sounds like, if I understand correctly, it sounds like there was a moment that, that was like an awareness of empowerment.

k.
Aungh-Hagh. Um…I guess like comparatively, like often it feels like when in the grips of hard emotions that there…that…you know like I’m just being carried by a current that is strong and forceful and that like I have no, no ability to like control or fight or whatever. And, and that in, in your class like, noticing that, that it was possible to, to generate, err, feelings of wellbeing by subtle bodily shifts. Namely in the spine and the chest and the shoulders and…it…felt really empowering. To be like “I have some, I can do little things to live in this body in a way that I feel like, like I have some control and I’m not just being tossed around in the storm. [laughs.]

e.
Yeah. Um….

k.
Like it felt really new. To learn that.

e.
Is there, um…I, like I think what you’re saying is really understandable to me. And then I’m just wondering, like wh…the last kind of dive in and then [laughs] let it be, is if you can remember any, again descriptors, sensations, relating to “empowered” or “new?”

k.
Hmm…
Like, in terms of newness it, it…like it felt like a revalatory moment. To be like “Kkkkkugh!” Like, “Haah, what?!” Like “Oh I can, I can, I can move my body from the inside?! I can move my body from the inside and it can change my emotional state?!” Like, like it was like a revalation, like a moment, a moment of like totally new consciousness. That ha…that hadn’t happened before. Like it, it fe…it felt like a moment of opening, it felt like an exciting moment of possibility. Um…

e.
Like all over? Or do you remember if it was, um…

k.
It feels chest. [sigh-laughs.] Yeah.

e.
Yeah.

k.
Yeah.

e.
That is so helpful. [Sighs.] Thank you…

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