In my teens I read novels, lots of novels. I always had a book in the back pocket of my jeans as I read the stories that shaped an adventurous spirit. In my twenties I read psychology and philosophy thinking that one told me how the mind works while the other told me why. I was most influenced by the work of Alice Miller, Erich Fromm and Carl Jung; and one book in particular called the Crack in the Cosmic Egg: Challenging Constructs of Mind and Reality, by someone named Joseph Chilton Pearce, ripped my young mind apart.
Here it is some twenty years later and for no reason that I know of I am teaching people how to walk and helping them work through long held trauma. Those writers and thinkers I studied in my twenties are still influencing me today. And while I like to think that I am somewhat well informed when it comes to the world I dabble in, the truth is I only know so much and it is never too late to learn. I learn any way I can and in the last couple of weeks I learned about two different movement approaches from readers of the blog.
Eutony, a movement practice created by Gerda Alexander, seems to have developed somewhat from Eurythmy a movement practice developed by Rudolph Steiner and practiced in the Waldorf schools. Eutony seems to be a practice of conscious awareness that leads to muscular control and regulation.
The second person/practice I was turned onto was the work of Magda Gerber, the co-founder of RIE, (resources for Infant Educarers). The RIE website has this description:
The RIE philosophy is based on respecting infants as if they were fully functioning, spending quality time with them, learning their individual ways of communicating, not treating infants like objects, involving infants in the things that concern them, being honest with infants, and allowing infants to try to solve a problem without adult interference.
Not that I am an ego maniac that needs constant reinforcement, but my worldview is often supported by other practitioners who do similar work. The interest I have in trauma work today dates back to Alice Miller and reading the RIE philosophy about respecting infants took me right back to the initial and deeply intuitive lessons I learned reading Millers book over and over again. The Drama of the Gifted Child laid the groundwork for the simple philosophy of respect your children as individuals that I have applied to parenting and to the walking work I do as well.
Everything I offer in my work is about helping people help themselves and these two practices I just learned about, Eutony and RIE, just like Alice Miller, are based in a deep seated respect for the individual and the individual’s ability to live a self-directed life. It is never too late to learn how much amazing information is available to the willing student.