Today I begin a 3 month, 60 hour certificate course with The Embody Lab.
I applied for a scholarship, and was granted 25% off tuition, for which I am very grateful.
The post below is my scholarship essay.
How I intend to apply and offer the learnings from the certificate program in my community:
Moving through the Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy Certificate Program is the next right step in my personal healing journey, and vital to my evolution as a creative leader and meditation teacher. As a cis, femme-presenting, able-bodied, queer, white woman who can weave through nearly all places and spaces with high privilege and blinding ease: I desire to create culture and opportunities for myself and others that seed new legacies of collective liberation and radical self-love. Seeding new legacies speaks to the belief that when we heal on a personal level, we also heal all those who came before us and all who will come after us. Finding my way to The Embody Lab, committing to the program, and integrating the learnings into all aspects of my life and work are actions that claim responsibility for my personal healing. Because our world is interconnected and interdependent: I trust these intentional actions ripple out, growing myself, my community, and the collective toward greater peace, dignity, and freedom.
The multi-disciplinary, freelance work I do as an actor / audition coach / acting instructor / director / producer allows me to engage with a wide and diverse community. In an average work week, I teach on-camera acting to youth ages 5 and up, counsel and train teenagers applying for the country’s top collegiate performing arts programs, offer private coaching and audition taping services to professional actors of all ages, identities and experience, and collaborate creatively with theatremakers, filmmakers, and advertisers. In every case, I remain steadfast to my mission statement:
My work uplifts and amplifies queer, feminist perspectives and aims to guide us out of a solitary headspace and into an embodied journey together.
Applying trauma-informed practices into my creative leadership business is essential to this mission. Here is what this could look like in my work with creative professionals of all ages and experience. Comment and let me know what sounds interesting to you!
Design and lead a workshop/class aimed to heal “artistic injuries” of the past and disrupt cycles of burn out through education and empowerment, equipping creative freelancers with practical tools and practices that cultivate more balance, joy, and sustainability in their careers and beyond.
Educate performers about the ways in which “our bodies don’t know the difference between what is real and what is imaginary.” Guide actors to understand the ways in which their bodies accumulate and release stress, the mechanics of healing and release, how to use the window of tolerance and resource themselves in each stage of a creative process or performance schedule.
Expand offerings to include holistic body based warm-ups and cool downs to aid actors working with high-stakes, dramatic, vulnerable, and/or potentially triggering material.
Integrate trauma-sensitive language that sets clear expectations for a private coaching session and keeps the client “in choice.”
Create a workshop that utilizes a holistic, body-based approach to activate creative freelancers to reclaim their power within a toxic work environment, growing skills as advocates, allies, and changemakers.
Currently, I am in the final weeks of a rigorous, 14-month Vedic Meditation teacher training with Mark Price of Alchemy Collective. On paper, I am ready to launch my meditation business. But in my heart, I know I need the education and resources provided by ISTT certificate program to begin teaching responsibly. Program learnings will be incorporated into my work as a meditation teacher (self-induced transcendent style & mindfulness) in the following ways:
Build a process to discern if working together will be a good fit. Learn pertinent questions to ask prospective students on intake form, and cultivate a list of resources to share with students should their needs be outside my area of expertise.
Launch a 5 day trauma-informed self-induced transcendental meditation course that connects learners to grounding tools and embodiment practices that support the nervous system’s capacity to evolve and heal with this powerful, ancient stress-releasing practice. Note: Learning Vedic Meditation is traditionally a 4 day course.
Implement a system of accountability for students to report harm should it occur.
Utilize trauma-sensitive language in all communication. For example: inclusive language surrounding gender and correct pronouns, craft group agreements and commitments, guide mindfulness meditations by “invitation” rather than demands so that participants may remain “in choice” at all times and develop agency over their practice.
I am a natural born leader and spiritual seeker. I know my ability to unite people with diverse voices and opinions is yearning to be in skillful action. I also know that my own personal traumas, if left unhealed, will continue to yield disconnected, distracted, unimaginative action or in-action which betray my commitment and keep me complicit in broken systems. I was not called into spiritual communities or the wellness industry to be another white-bodied person serving capitalist, white-supremacists norms through spiritual bypass, superiority and cultural appropriation. I am here to disrupt the violence enmeshed in wellness culture. To do this humbly and sustainably, I must cultivate a deepened awareness of somatic experience and compassion within myself. I am ready to transform personal and collective challenges and traumas into opportunities to disrupt, heal, and celebrate our interconnectedness and interdependence.
Questions to consider:
I invite you to journal or hold conversation about the following:
What does interdependence mean to you?
What are the qualities and values embodied by "responsible teachers?"
Who is your community? How are you impacting them? What would you like to see more of?
In what ways have you bought into, benefited from, or been complicit in the violence of the wellness industry? How can you disrupt this?
What does healing mean to me? How do I recognize when healing is occuring? How do I recognize harm or the potential for harm?
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