Everything you know…

Rebecca Haseltine  03/28/16

To continue with the embodiment question (see two previous posts) I’ll tell another story from the early days of my practice. It was in the mid-90’s and I was referred to a new client, M., by a friend of mine, a physical therapist. I entered into this relationship with the mistaken idea that I should in some way approximate what a physical therapist would do. The family had been disappointed, to say the least, with the physical therapists that had worked with M. so far. I brought all my tools from Body-Mind Centering® and dove in with a strong sense of purpose. I would succeed where all the PT’s had failed.

M.’s neurological injuries were profound, and I was overwhelmed. I came three times a week to roll her on big balls, to move her arms and legs, and to help her change positions. Frequently a phrase would clang through my head: ‘Everything You Know is Wrong.’ This was the title of a comedy album in the 70’s from a group called Firesign Theater. I couldn’t remember anything about the album, but the title was plastered inside my skull for the first two years I worked with M. We would gamely work our way through our sessions, but we would both end up exhausted. After an embarrassingly long time, I began to realize that to be a successful somatic practitioner, I didn’t need knowledge, I needed presence. I didn’t Continue reading


Drawing Out

Rebecca Haseltine 03/28/16

To continue with my friend’s question: “What do you mean by ‘embody’?” I’ll share another story. When I tell a story about a client, I change and leave out personal details to share the story without identifying the person. It’s important to protect privacy.

In the early 90’s my second client, S., was living with chronic pain, and I was a fresh student of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s. I had witnessed what seemed like miraculous changes in people that Bonnie worked with. A child would be unable to walk and after an hour would begin walking. So I was overly optimistic about the wonders I could offer S. I placed my hands on her arms and legs, and invited her to bring awareness into the fluid pathways of her body. She cried for most of every session – for months. In the middle of the night I would think about her nervous system and imagine how I could help her find the key – a molecular key, a physiological key – something in her body that would be the key to her healing. She felt that nothing I did was giving her lasting relief, and I was trying everything I could think of. Yet we continued to work together, I with my hope, and her with what I imagine was desperation. One day I showed up with a drawing pad and some pastels. She drew and looked at her drawings and talked about what she saw in them. Continue reading

Embody ?

Version 3

Rebecca Haseltine 03/21/16

‘What do you mean by ‘embody’?’ my friend asked.

‘…it’s bringing presence to your body,’ I offered.

‘But how do you do that?’ my friend wanted to know.

We bring consciousness to the body, but we also tune in to the consciousness that exists within the tissue, within the cells, within the DNA. So it is reflective.

‘But how do you do that??!’ She wanted to know, ‘are you visualizing it?’

Continue reading

Welcome to my new Body Learning blog

IMG_1329 med

Rebecca Haseltine 03/17/16

Here begins a project of writing – to bring 25 years of practice into language. I will be sharing ideas about body learning in all its forms: learning about the body, learning from the body, and learning with the body. There will be posts on specific topics, such as embodiment practice, sensory integration, balance, joints, pausing, feet, and many, many more.

I’m very interested in creating community here, so if you feel called to enter a discussion, please contribute your thoughts and questions!

Heeere we go!