Yesterday I received a transmission from Mick Dodge the "Barefoot Sense Say" about training and connecting with sticks and stones. He then graciously gave me an object that brought tears of gratitude and joy to my eyes as he encouraged me to begin to practice with it. The object is a walking stick that was carried by foot up Mount
Fuji. It was branded at each station on the way up to remember the journey (see video of entire stick below). Today's daily dance lasted at least 20
minutes, so this 5 min edited version is longer than the usual film but I wanted to give a sense of the energy that builds through this kind of
training. It feels so inspiring and effortless to keep lifting, moving and building strength. Because I am working outdoors with natural
materials I also gather energetic support of surrounding elements and living things as well as the Earth itself; especially when I am barefooted. I am really so excited to be moving toward a new and unexpected level of strength, flexibility and balance by including these new practices in my daily butoh training. Thanks again Mick!
Recently I heard of research stating that being barefoot and "earthing," in footwear that is not rubberized like skin moccasins or felt bottomed shoes, tends to neutralize the harmful effects of all the EMFs from electronic equipment we are
inundated with these days (cell phones, computers, electric appliances, etc.). This, added to the building craze (even in Harvard research now) that recognizes the benefits ofbarefoot running and exercise for the body, are making being barefoot (or in footwear that is nearly bare) more and more appealing. Since I lived many years in Japan and Hawaii, I already take my shoes offindoors. Now, being around Mick and the springtime is reminding me of this regularly, so I am being shoe free outdoors more and more often these days....Hooray!
As you probably know if you follow the blog, I tend to be a very free form mover and definitely believe in letting the soul move first and the body follow. Actually, this is some of the most soulful and freeing body strength training I have
experienced; even considering the very rigorous body training I have done with Jingju Bejing Opera, Body Weather and other butoh teachers.
Mick's transmission with metal, stone and wood objects was to create a pattern and repeat it then release it--literally let the object fly out
of your control. That is powerful really, the body knows and grows from this type of patterned movement repetition as we well know because we
learn to crawl, walk, run, etc. Of course this is also old news to the folks who lift weights in gymnasiums but it is totally different practicing reps with Mick. He invites you to freely choose the movement pattern then repeat it a few times till it is well established in your body and finally release the object (rock, stone, stick, etc.) you are moving with and open to even more freedom than before. Suddenly because of the contrast, you feel lighter and freer than before you did the lifting. If you love something set it free! He calls the training items "mass" rather than "weights" because he feels each different material has a totally different lesson to teach and way of moving. I totally
agreed and felt huge difference immediately with how I was moved by metal balls, the carved stones, the wooden sticks and the stones that
were not carved. Many people who train with weight believe; the higher number of pounds that you can lift up means the stronger you are. I now
experience and agree that the measurable weight alone can not determine how strong you will get. The various materials, how close or far and
with what (hands, feet, mouth, etc) you hold them in relation to your body; the directions you move; and so much more each contribute to overall fitness.