I have spent the last 50 years of my life training, clearing, exploring, and figuring out my body, mind, and spirit. I studied: how the body is designed to move most efficiently, how the mind forms patterns and functions as one with the body, and how spiritual practices affect body, mind, heart, and consciousness. My life has been rich, and full. I have laughed, cried, wondered, suffered, and searched, as all humans do in their own way.
Humans have evolved with this most incredible design, including the potential to move with ease, recover from stressful events, and feel comfortable and congruent in body, mind, and spirit. However, often we are not able to do this, and we are discontent with our condition—as if we have strayed from our true nature or humanness. This can create disconnection, discontent, and disease.
This separation can show up as a physical ailment, pain, or nagging discomfort. It can be the result of an alienating emotional, racial, gender, or class encounter or thwarted artistic endeavor. And for some people the difficulty is a spiritual disconnect from one’s source. Our inner wisdom and connection can easily be lost in these situations.
From a young age, I have been aware of this discontent in myself and others, and I have searched for ways to alleviate and change it. I have come to the conclusion that to enact real healing and change we need awareness of, and exercises for, the whole mental, physical, spiritual self and a direct human experience of past and present. The transformation includes understanding the built-in principles of human design and function, as well as the biological and cosmic influences that have allowed the evolutionary force to survive and flourish. This process includes non-doing, or withholding consent to habitual patterns, and listening to your body. With these significant changes, wisdom and connection can be gained.
The formal education for my passion of exploring deeper levels of consciousness began when I was a teenager in 1966. In that year I was initiated into transcendental meditation after seeing the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. That year I also began practicing Macrobiotics, the study of food and the order of the universe, with Michio and Aveline Kushi. I did many experiments, exploring how food affects the body and mind. My formal dance training began in 1968. Many wonderful teachers helped me sort out how to make this six-foot body move gracefully and expressively. I learned how bodies move most efficiently to prevent injury while dancing or to recover from injury. For the next ten years, I continued to teach this movement analysis and macrobiotics, and wrote a book on this subject, Macrobiotics in Motion: The Yin and Yang of Moving Spirals.
As a yoga practitioner, I attended the international conference of yoga teachers in Japan in 1978 and studied with Swami Satchidananda and B.K.S. Iyengar. My spiritual practice never stopped. I prayed and meditated with many traditions. I studied the wisdom of ancient as well as modern spiritual masters and visited holy temples and shrines in many countries.
I had my first lesson in The Alexander Technique in 1978 and have had many insightful teachers. I am now recognized as a master lecturer. I spent many years with Carl Stough as he taught me his brilliant discoveries about breathing. Before he died he named me as one of the few qualified to pass on his work. I learned about trauma from Dr. Peter Levine and other very skilled trauma experts who helped me work through and heal my own past as I learned to work with others. I am a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP).
I have taught thousands of lessons to actors, artists, musicians, chronic pain sufferers, and people from all walks of life in private sessions and master classes. I am currently a full-time master lecturer at Boston University College of Fine Arts (since 2000) and a guest teacher around the world at conferences and workshops. For the past five years I co-teach an ongoing traveling workshop, “Trauma in the Public Eye,” with Peter A. Levine, PhD. My book, The Actor’s Secret: Techniques for Transforming Habitual Patterns and Improving Performance, has helped many people discover their potential on stage and off.