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  • Stefanie Cohen

Clearing For New Growth

I, perhaps like those others of you in this shared hemisphere, am riding the erratic waves of lower and higher temperatures that the season brings. One minute has my shoulders drawn in, head tucked in protectively towards my chest, huddling against the winds; the next, seemingly, spread wide and lifted towards the sun. Likewise, the springtime reveals the need to clear and clean the corners of both the rooms of my home and those of my mind. To suspend the expectations, energies and concerns that would seem to have belonged to the previous seasons. To begin anew.

Recently, moving in one of my Authentic Movement groups, I experienced the presence of familiar thoughts and worries in my head as the image of red, empty, crumpled chip bags -- "Flaming Hot" some snack or another -- blown by the winds and tucked among a heap of last autumn's leaves. Over the course of the session, with curiosity and presence, I yielded to spontaneous movement impulses and gentle breath. In time I witnessed as the chip bags and other detritus, the worries and concerns, gradually right sized and dislodged themselves.

Out from under the pile, now able to breathe and receive the light and air, the uncovered earth could prepare to give way to new growth. To new possibilities and meanings.

Somatic movement practices support new perspectives and prospects -- creative, healing and interpersonal. They yield ground from which our bodies can sprout renewed versions of ourselves -- those simultaneously nascent and fresh, ancient and wise. I am humbled, relieved and deeply grateful to witness the transformations that take place within my own life and those with whom I work, when we are able to uncover the ground and nurture what flourishes.

With love to you,


I.D. Fern tendrils emerge through a covering of brown, dried leaves. Photo by Stefanie Cohen

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