December 1, 2010

HealingHeartPower Newsletter

Reclaiming the Power of the Heart
In This Issue
The Possible Relationship
Desire in the Twilight Years
Join Our Mailing List!
About Linda
Me and Flora

Linda Marks, MSM, is pioneer in body psychotherapy who has developed, taught and practiced Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy (EKP) for more than two decades.

Author of LIVING WITH VISION and HEALING THE WAR BETWEEN THE GENDERS, she co-founded the Massachusetts Association of Body Psychotherapists and Counseling Bodyworkers and is the founder of the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network. She holds degrees from Yale and MIT, and has a vital 14-year-old son.

To find out more about Linda . . .


HealingHeartPower Calendar
Would you like to learn how to do Emotional Kinesthetic Psychotherapy
(EKP)?


Applications are being accepted for the 2010 EKP Apprenticeship Program. The apprenticeship group meets once a month for a weekend training session beginning in September 2010. For more information, contact LSMHEART@aol.com or call Linda at (617)965-7846.


If you would like to apprentice in EKP and get involved before January, you may want to consider participating in a half-day EKP workshop or a special seminar for current apprentices.

The Thursday night EKP Therapy Group has room for new members. If you would like to be part of a committed long-term group using EKP, this is a very special group. An interview and one EKP session are required to apply. Contact Linda if you are interested at LSMHEART@aol.com

 
Now
Thursday Night EKP Therapy Group
seeks new members
7 - 9 pm
 Newton, MA

December 4th
Community As Healer
 1/2 day workshop
11 am - 2 pm
 in Newton , MA
 
December 11th
"Healing and Nourishing Your Heart" workshop at Healing Moon in Norwood, MA 
 
January 2011
EKP Apprenticeship Program begins 


If you are interested in being part of an on-going EKP group that meets once a month, let me know. We had run a Sunday EKP Process group for many years, and could consider forming another one, if there is interest. Whether your schedule is too busy for a weekly group, or you live far enough away that a monthly session is more sustainable, if a monthly group would best meet your needs, we can try to put one together.

EKP opportunities in Newton include:
* Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
* Apprenticing in EKP

If you would like a Healing the Traumatized Heart workshop near you, or have a group of people who you would like to bring EKP to, please contact LSMHEART@aol.com.


To find out more . . .
Upcoming 
Special workshop on Making Peace With Money
 More details to follow soon
 


The holiday season is ripe with commercially coined shopping opportunities which permeate the airwaves, namely Black Friday and CyberMonday.
It seems that the spiritual and relational grounding of the holidays can be lost in the chaos of overly crowded parking lots or e-waves as people rush to get a bargain NOW.

Perhaps, a counterbalancing force, we might create Peaceful Oasis days, where we sleep in, cook lovely breakfasts and hang out with friends and family instead of going shopping in person or on-line!  The gift of one another's presence is priceless, and can be lost in our cyberage!

Last week I had the privilege of leading a training on Emotional Safety for some of the core members of HandReach Beat Brigade in Jamaica Plain.  This wonderful project uses drumming to help people heal from trauma.  I look forward to returning again and journeying deeper with this wonderful group of people!

This winter, I look forward to leading two workshops in Emerson Hospital's innovative Health and Wellness Program.   "Healing and Nourishing Your Heart:  The Physical-Emotional Connection," will take place on February 16.  The date for "Understanding Your Child's Emotional and Spiritual Needs" is still being set.
 
December 4 will be a, Community As Healer half-day workshop in Newton.  This workshop provides an opportunity to explore and experience what is involved in literally lending a helping hand.

The next "Healing and Nourishing the Heart" will take place on December 11,  at the Healing Moon in Norwood.In an effort to create more ways to connect with community members, dialogue and share ideas, I have created a new blog at HealingHeartPower.blogspot.com. Sign up for new posts and please add your thoughts to discussion threads.
  
Articles in this issue focus on relationship matters: "The Possible Relationship," shares wisdom on what it really takes to love and sustain an intimate relationship, courtesy of my colleagues from the UV Family and "Desire in the Twilight Years," looks at the too often taboo subject of love, intimacy and sexuality in our elder years.

You can also "like us" on our HealingHeartPower  Facebook page. By "liking us", you will be notified whenever a new blog post is published.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome!

Heartfully,

Linda


What is EKP?
EKP is Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy, a heart-centered, body-centered psychotherapy method Linda Marks developed and has taught and practiced for nearly twenty years. Working with the heart, touch with permission, the wisdom of the body and the intuitive guidance of the spirit, EKP creates a special sense of intimacy that deeply touches and transforms most all who participate.

Participants can be "client," witness or helper as an individual group member has a "turn" to do deeper heart-centered, body-centered psychospiritual work in the center. Since the electromagnetic field of the heart extends out 10 - 12 feet from our bodies, as we go deeper and open our hearts, we are all touched.

EKP helps restore our capacity as organs of perception. The skin is our largest organ, and a source of soul deep knowing, perception and expression. When our hearts and hands can work as one, we move beyond defenses safely and respectfully and find freedom, connection and expression.
 
The Possible Relationship
  
As I was digging through my archives, I discovered a wonderful article my colleagues, Joe Dominguez, Vicki Robin, Evy MacDonald and Monica (whose last name I cannot recall) wrote in 1985 on "The Possible Relationship."
Their reflections on what love really is and the personal responsibility each person needs to take for a relationship to succeed were powerful, and worth sharing.  
 
 Here is an excerpt from their article:

"Through our heart sharings, we encountered our next unexpected lesson in relationship.  When we listened without judgment and shared without editing, we found that we were consistently "in love with each other."  But it wasn't love as we had known it--love as a reaction to another person.  It was love that came from simply removing all the resistance to each other."

"Love wasn't an emotion (though wonderful emotions went along with it) and it wasn't a response; it was more like a choice.  Love was a space.  It couldn't be given or received, only entered."

"Love is a limitless space that any of us could enter by letting go of our protective games.  Each one of us had our own door to the room of love, one uniquely shaped in the image and likeness of our naked selves.  We had to leave our masks and armor and baggage outside the room of love and could only retrieve them by leaving love.  Judgment, taking offense, blame and guilt are a few of the components of that baggage.  They exist only outside the room of love."

"We found consistently that when we based our relationship on shared residency in the room of love, every aspect of our relationship, from the sexual to the intellectual, was easy to work out.  But every time we'd run to play with some of the baggage outside, be it sexual attraction, or anger or desire to rescue someone, suddenly there would loom insurmountable problems.  Solution:  stay in love.  Absurdly simple, and not always easy to live."

"These discoveries clearly shifted the responsibility for all aspects of our relationship back onto each of us as individuals...The quicket access to love is giving it..."

"If any of us feel unloved, the first step is...to love."

"Personal responsibility extended to every aspect of our relationships:  to perceiving, initiating, and completing jobs to communication to sexuality (when, where and even how good), to decisions about our future focus.  In essence, each of us took a vow to be 100% responsible for the quality of the relationship (not 50-50l, not 100% for our part only, but for all of it) and for the positive outcome of it.  We gave up the right to blame each other."

"Miraculous breakthroughs can happen when the energy normally focused on assigning blame is instead dedicated to create re-perception of the 'problem,' so that the solution can become evident.

*  What am I not seeing that makes this look like a problem?
*  What is the most skillful way to work with these circumstances so that it turns out perfectly for everyone?
*  From the perspective of love, what does this look like?
*  What would it take from ME for this complaint to evaporate?
*  How can I provide what I think is missing rather than demanding it?

These are the questions we trained ourselves to ask.  So, there was lots of growth."

by the UV Family
from In Context Magazine, Summer 1985

Desire in the Twilight Years

In mid-November, the Wall Street Journal published an important article, "Desire in the Twilight of Life," addressing the often invisible and unspoken issue of intimacy and sexuality as we age.

Our culture equates sexuality with youth, and offers images of twentysomething men and women as icons of sexiness and desirability.  What happens when we inevitably grow older?  And what happens as we not only get older, but become elders?  The notion of "retirement," suggests stepping out of the mainstream of life, reserved for young and middle-aged people building careers, raising children and supporting families.  If having kids is "unsexy," going gray and gaining wrinkles is even more "unsexy."

However, love, intimacy, nurturing touch and sexuality, are fundamental parts of healthy adult expression and relating.  And these human qualities don't simply evaporate or go underground as we age.  They remain important and central human needs.  And giving voice and vision to the reality of love, intimacy and sexuality in our elder years breaks through common media imagery.

"At a time when almost every kind of physical intimacy is discussed with increasing candor, the erotic feelings of empty nesters, retirees and the residents of assisted living centers remain a taboo subject, except in tiresome jokes about Viagra.  But there is nothing unusual or deviant about romance between older people."

Human sexuality allows a depth of connection with others and a depth of expression of self that cannot be found in other media.  This connection and expression is about more than reproduction and propagating the species.  It fulfills our emotional and spiritual needs as much as our physical ones.  It allows a sense of unity and oneness that is a powerful force.

As baby boomers age, more and more people will join the ranks of older Americans (aged 65 - 84).  And as the article notes, this generation has "grown up more preoccupied with sex than perhaps any generation before it."  The article cites a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, that states that poor health is not the main reason older people abstain from intimacy.  "Loss of desire is also not nearly as common as our popular culture would have us believe."  For many women, the main issue is the lack of a willing or able partner.

While Viagra ads would have us believe that all men over 50 struggle to achieve arousal naturally, even in the oldest age groups studied, the majority of men report having little difficulty in this way.  While for some, libido decreases, other problems such as "premature ejaculation in men and painful intercourse in women, actually become less common with advancing age."

Because of the imagery of "asexuality" as we age, as we age, we forget the reasons for condoms beyond birth control.  STD's, including HIV, become a real risk for people 50 - 80, who think they are "beyond the need for safe sex."

Too, we forget the emotional and spiritual aspects of sexuality and sensuality.  Emotional comfort and spiritual bonding are human needs that are important and relevant throughout our adult lives.  If we begin to open our minds and expand our vision to a more humanistic view of aging, our lives will be richer and more fulfilling, including sexually and sensually, as well as psychologically.

It is never to late to love, and it is also never too late to have intimate connection.  If we break down the walls created by stereotypes about again, we will offer better role models to the next generation, and have more fulfilling, connected lives, whatever our age.

My first blog at www.heartspacecafe.com/blog will still be active, but it is built in forum software, which many people find more cumbersome to use than official "blog" software.

In an effort to cultivate more dialogue in more contemporarily relevant ways, my new blog at HealingHeartPower.blogspot.com is user friendly, and even something you can subscribe to.
Please let me know what you think of this new blog.

Heartfully,


Linda Marks


email: lsmheart@aol.com
phone: (617) 965-7846
web: www.HealingHeartPower.com