spiritual navigation & intuition development

INTERVIEWS

Authentic movement session with Laurienne Singer, Los Angeles choreographer & dance therapist

Authentic movement is a Jungian-influenced, improvisational dance practice and one of several modalities that I employ in order to cultivate more awareness of my "inner" environment - where thoughts cease and feelings arise. Like most people in the U.S., I am usually looking at, reaching for, and focusing on things outside myself. I see this obsession with the outer world as a distraction tactic - a coping mechanism that allows us to avoid uncomfortable feelings, but to our own detriment…like Jung says of the unconscious, if we expend large amounts of subconscious energy repressing our shadow, then we can never access our full potential. Authentic movement allows me to be present with what is going on inside me, be it joy or pain, so I can flow into a healthier, more liberated space.

An authentic movement session consists of three parts: 1) relaxation and warmup, 2) movement in the presence of a witness, and 3) discussion about what was experienced by both the mover and the witness. This video contains footage of all three parts shot during one session, and the audio you hear was captured afterward, while viewing playback of the session.


Alison Smith, Los Angeles MFT

Alison Smith was my weekly therapist for 3 intense years of dealing with breast cancer. She is the first therapist, out of 8 over the past 20 years, who made me aware of the role emotions play in my obsessive compulsive disorder. It seemed that former therapists thought that if they could just change my thoughts and alter my behaviors I would stop feeling bad (which never worked in the long run). Alison's approach was the opposite - she brought my attention to painful underlying emotions (past traumas triggered by present stressors) that created toxic thinking and behavior patterns (unhealthy coping mechanisms like OCD and addiction). Most importantly, she taught me that, instead of repressing these feelings with obsessions and addictions,  there is a healthy way to go through them, and that they are gifts - the key to my greatest potential. This experiential, empowering approach to therapy helped me stop feeling like a victim during the most vulnerable phase of my life.

Topics covered include: emotional avoidance, addiction, OCD, societal impact, psychotherapy, mindfulness, self-regulation

Additional footage from interview not included here: trauma, fight/flight, emotional triggers, panic response vs. healthy response, perfectionism, self-soothing (healthy and unhealthy)


Gen Kelsang Rigpa, Buddhist monk, Hollywood

Gen Kelsang Rigpa, resident teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center-Hollywood, has been a good friend and spiritual mentor through my darkest of days (e.g. post major surgery). His teachings of Buddhist wisdom have allowed me to use my fear, pain and suffering as fuel for spiritual connection, growth and personal transformation.

Interview topics include: Buddhist teachings of wisdom, patience, emptiness, lojong practice, and karma

Additional footage from interview not included here: spiritual practice, samsara, inner & outer problems, Buddhist virtues (e.g. love, compassion)



FUTURE FOOTAGE

Sal Romeo, Los Angeles acting coach

A devoted friend and coffee shop compadre, Sal Romeo is also an artistic mentor. Now and again I drop in on the relaxation and sensory portion of his acting class, because the emotional awareness that it helps me develop enhances my ability to emotionally self-regulate and channel my experience creatively. Interview topics will include: relaxation, sense memory, emotional history, awareness and release


CREDITS

Cinematography: Christopher Lockett
Second camera: Scott Inbody (movement session)
Interviewer, Director, Editor: Elaine Smith
Production Assistant: Shannon Norton
Special thanks: Karim Ghahwagi