Thoughts inspired by noticing impulses and experiencing numbness

Following impulse always feels like a bit of a gamble.

Though I participated in the “Making a Mask: Stories From the Body” workshop series, I also approached the series from a perspective of study. A belief of Charlie’s is that if you find the right gradient for the workshop and build safety this allows for incremental shifts in theatrical sharing.

This rang true in exercises such as “slow flow”, in which essentially, you improvise movement, inspired by a combination of the music, and the idea to constantly move on a slow and regulated level. When doing the exercise, it doesn’t feel like following impulse, but it is. Also, the fact that it is a group exercise, removes self-consciousness. The exercise also asks that you listen inward, and to experience sensually.

This meant when it came to moments such as when we explored the landscape of our masks - physically - it felt as though we had already been provided with some of the tools we needed to move with more freedom than we would have previously.

The largest obstacle I personally faced, was the sensation of numbness overshadowing my sense of impulsiveness. This was tricky to navigate, and brought into question why this bodily reaction of numbness occurred in the first place. Upon discussion with the group and with Charlie, though this is not the definitive answer, we all agreed a significant part was culture. It is our culture, in the UK and particularly London, to be closed off. Both physically and emotionally. And if you deny impulse long enough, you begin to not even realise when you have them.

Moving Pieces work - to move in a non goal orientated sense - to move sensually is extremely counter culture. To listen to your body is extremely counter culture. We treat our bodies like machines.

Much of Moving Pieces work combines with Feldenkrais practice. Exercises from the practice promote emotional openness, in a way that further proves the symbiotic relationship between the mind and the body. By massaging my collarbone and breast bone, I can tangibly feel myself open up emotionally. And in becoming more physically available and emotionally open, the channel reconnects with impulsivity… Which can only invite new possibility.

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