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  • Stefanie Cohen

2020: A New View. The Same Wise Eyes.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Taking my first steps in to this new year and decade, and in anticipation of some exciting upcoming transitions, I'll pause to reflect for just another moment; to acknowledge the resources and gratitude I carry forward. In each of the groups with which I was so honored to work last fall, we dedicated our Solstice movement sessions not to our "resolutions" or commitments to fix or change in ourselves, but to that which we wish to cultivate further. To those aspects of our lives, the sources of support, and the connections with others that nourish us to take the space we must, in order to do what we’re called in the world.

For me, along with a list of attributes and imperatives I'd scrawled along the borders of a drawing I'd made from the prior year -- "rest", "courage", "honesty", "structure, "consistency", "enjoyment", "vulnerability", "passion", "faith", "foundation", "community" (I sensed, rightly, that 2019 was going to require all of these from me, and more!) a life-long thread I unquestionably bring in to the next decade is "collaboration". Collaboration with other artists and teachers. Collaboration with the earth. Collaboration with my animal body. Collaboration among my own past, present and future.

From as far back as I can recall, it has been my co-creative engagements with others that have held the most power, meaning and satisfaction for me -- the collaboratively made art, stories, performances, meals, events; and not least, the co-parenting of my children, (now both poised upon adulthood). February marks the tenth anniversary of my longest-running artistic collaboration, Upended Teacups, with my husband Corey Gearhart, and the beginning of our next adventure in making work together alongside others in our Detroit community. 2020 will have us begin to create under a new name (actually, our own -- Stefanie Cohen and Corey Gearhart) and within a new, cooperative structure in support of ourselves, other artists and community! We look forward to the potential this will bring as we move and make in to the future.

The somatic work I've likewise been honored to be able to do with students, clients, and my own teachers and colleagues with particular momentum over this past decade, has been definitively co-creative, as well. The last year alone featured collaboratively-led Joyful Noise authentic voice and movement workshops with Tia Imani Hanna; the six weeks-running Embracing Loss embodied grief training with Joya D'Cruz; and the A Place in the Circle V retreat founded and conceived by Barbara Boyk-Rust and co-facilitated with the magnificent @Peace Makita, Teresa Myers, Julie Brigham, and Tia Hanna. 2020 will feature work with many of these powerhouse teachers, and others.

The individuals with whom I facilitate sessions and groups are writers, visual artists, movers, musicians, theater directors, healing artists, clergy, parents, teachers… each of whose work in the world tasks them with leading lives of authenticity, integrity, courage, and expression. I accompany them in the process of listening to the callings and requests of their bodies. We discern the ways in which connection, embodiment, contemplation, and creative practice -- and the rich images and sensations their bodies reveal -- conspire to meet their needs. I am floored, each time, at my privilege to support the work that these talented humans do in the world. I get to see them stand in their truth and purpose. I get to witness not only their tender process, but the amplifications and ripples that extend beyond them through their art, communication, relationships, and service.

I look forward to continuing these sacred, creative, funny, raw, vital investigations in 2020 and beyond, and to welcoming more brilliant bodies to explore with us. To this end, I have increased my client hours for individual work in both Detroit and Ann Arbor and now have three on-going groups throughout the week to invite people to join. More information follows! Finally, I am poised to make a move in my Ann Arbor practice— the “new view” I mention in the title! Beginning in February I will close SOMA — the sweet studio I have run for the past decade — and move five blocks north west to a light-filled, fresh, and most importantly, thoroughly accessible space. It's so young as not to even yet have its name, but stay tuned! I am delighted to turn the Kerrytown studio over to “The Yoga Collective”, and to expanding and extending into the possibilities that our new, Water Hill space will afford.

So, I light a candle and raise a virtual glass to more interconnection, agency, inclusivity, and co-creation in the decade to come!

Brimming with wonder and gratitude,


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