|February 1, 2011
Reclaiming the Power of the Heart
Marks, MSM, is pioneer in body psychotherapy who has developed, taught
and practiced Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy (EKP) for more than
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 15-year-old son.
To find out more about Linda . . .
Would you like to learn how to do Emotional Kinesthetic Psychotherapy
Applications are being
accepted for the 2011 EKP Apprenticeship Program. The apprenticeship
group meets once a month for a weekend training session. For more
information, contact LSMHEART@aol.com
or call Linda at (617)965-7846.
you would like to apprentice in EKP, you may want to consider
participating in a half-day EKP workshop or a special seminar for
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
Sunday Night EKP Therapy Group
seeks new members
6 - 8 pm
Healing and Nourishing Your Heart
Community As Healer
1/2 day workshop
1 pm - 4 pm
Community As Healer
1/2 day workshop
1 pm - 4 pm
EKP Apprenticeship Program accepting applications.
EKP opportunities in Newton include:* Being a guest client in the Student Clinic* Apprenticing in EKPIf you would like to sponsor a Healing the Traumatized Heart workshop, a Community As Healer workshop, or have a group of people who you would like to bring EKP to, please contact LSMHEART@aol.com.To find out more . . .
It seems that everywhere I turn, I find more and more inspiration to develop a team of heart-centered healers who help bring "Community As Healer" experiences out into the community, where people need them.
I did a wonderful radio interview with a heartful colleague, Doris Jeanette,
speaking about the importance of living from the heart in an
emotionally unsafe world, and the need for heartful contexts for a
healthier, happier and more sustainable culture.
pointed out how rare it is to find emotionally safe people, including
amongst therapists and helping professionals. Not enough people are
aware of the importance of emotional safety, and the need for us all to
be doing our personal emotional introspective work and healing in an
Our next Community As Healer gatherings will be in Newton on February 20 and March 20.
we can create safe healing space in the larger world, and
empower people to literally, "lend a helping hand."
you have an organization, community group, school or other situation
where members might be interested in learning these skills, please let
long-standing Thursday night EKP group has transformed into a Sunday
night EKP group. The group meets from 6 - 8 pm in Newton. We have room
for a couple new members. The group is a wonderful way to do deep
healing work in a safe, community space, and work on vision and goals as
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.
This issue's articles are "Equality, Vulnerability and Well-Being" inspired by an article by NY Times writer Nicholas Kristof and a talk by University of Houston researcher Brene Brown, "It's How We Live,"
which spotlights the inspirational film my high school classmate Kasia
Clark, MD, has been making during her 9 year journey as a survivor of
advanced ovarian cancer, and "Tiger Mothers and Other Approaches to Parenting,"
building on a series of articles about parenting practices that do not
include or recognize or prioritize the emotional or psychological
well-being of the child.
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!
What is EKP?|
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
|Equality, Vulnerability and Well-Being|
While when many of us hear the word, "vulnerability," we run the other way
as quickly as we can, vulnerability is actually a critical human capacity, necessary for connecting to self and others.
Thanks to the wonders of
the internet, on the very same day, two people in my network sent me
links to two very powerful pieces: an article from the New York Times, "Equality, a True Soul Food," by Nicholas Kristof, and a video clip of Brene Brown of the University of Houston presenting on "Wholeheartedness"
for TED. While the two pieces seemed unrelated at first, together,
they got me thinking deeply about the nature of vulnerability, and how
equality and vulnerability relate to well-being.
Few people I know like
to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is usually given a bad rap, bringing to
mind images of being hurt, taken advantage of, powerless and
unprotected. In "Equality, a True Soul Food," by Nicholas
Kristof (New York Times, January 1, 2011), the cost that comes with the
vulnerability of being low in the social pecking order is made clear.
The kind of vulnerability that comes from not having what you need for
physical survival (food, shelter, clothing) or psychic well-being
(connecting, meaning, inner peace) is an emotionally unsafe and
disempowering kind of vulnerability.
Kristof reflects on the
"stunning" levels of inequality in America, which "seem profoundly
unhealthy for us, and our nation's soul." We live in a time of
"polarizing inequality," where the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans
possess a greater collective network than the bottom 90 percent." The
inequality is not just economic, but soul deep, marked by high rates of
violent crime, drug use, teen birthrates and even heart disease.
Kristof refers to a book
by British epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The
Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger. "Gross
inequality tears at the human psyche, creating anxiety, distrust and an
array of mental and physical ailments," concludes the authors.
Inequality not only makes us vulnerable, but even polarizes
vulnerability and invulnerability.
To read the rest of this article....
Copyright 2010 Linda Marks
|It's How You Live|
first met Kasia Clark at Beacon Nursery School, when we were both
pre-school aged kids. She was one of several artistic-leaning kids from
artistic-leaning families, and we remained schoolmates through grammar
school and high school.
Many years passed before our paths
crossed again, but when they did in the early 2000's, Kasia had become a
physician practicing at Hudson River HealthCare in New York state, but
even more shockingly, had been diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian
cancer in 2000 at the age of 42.
As a woman who had always
possessed great courage and a strong spirit of determination, after
radical surgery and chemotherapy, Kasia pursued a path of great effort
and focus to "reclaim her body and spirit." She maintained a strict
nutritional regiment, pursued extreme athletics, and studied violin with
the masters of the Manhattan String Quartet.
Liz, who is a visual artist in NY, joined Kasia in making a series of
short films as part of her recovery, which became a documentation of her
cancer journey. In 2002, Kasia joined with film professionals to
create "The Kasia Project," a chronicle of her cancer experience that
could become an educational medium for a wide audience to learn about
living with a life-threatening illness. Film became a way to marry her
interests in art and science and help others.
have ups and downs, and Kasia experienced the challenges of bringing her
vision to fruition. In 2006, as she battled her first recurrence, the
film she was putting together evolved into "Outside In," a 1 hour
documentary about nine years lived with advanced ovarian cancer, drawing
from over 170 hours of material with a score by computer Cyrus Sink.
film tells Kasia's story, with interviews from doctors, patients, and
many scenes of inspiration, wisdom and enlightenment from Kasia herself,
as she makes real and vivid the experience of living with a life
There is an inspiring trailer on her website www.outsideinthefilm.com.
perhaps to say it all, Kasia's site includes the following quote:
"We're all going to die, it;s choosing how to live that counts."--Kasia
Kasia paints an inspiring and transformational picture of what it really means to live.
|Tiger Mothers and Other Approaches to Parenting|
past month, the Wall Street Journal has managed to run an article each
week presenting very different and even extreme approaches to
parenting. While perhaps not intentionally envisioned as a "series,"
this series, nonetheless, was kicked off with Amy Chua's article, "Why
Chinese Mothers Are Superior" on January 8. Chua proudly states that
her two daughters were not allowed to do what we in the Western world
consider, "normal" activities, such as attend a sleepover, have a
playdate, or be in a school play. In addition, more severe disallowed
behaviors include, complaining about not being in a school play,
choosing ther own extracurricular activities, getting any grade less
than an A, or not being the number 1 student in any subject other than
gym or drama.
Chua assumes that American parents are wimps,
psychological and emotional factors don't exist, and if you don't get
what you want from your child, you humiliate them, berate them and shame
them into submission. Chua suggests that this is for the child's own
good, since children would not be motivated to be successful without
such a heavy hand and rude mouth coming from their mothers.
details vignettes of parenting her own daughters, speaking to them in
ways those of us who are psychologically inclined would consider
verbally abusive, such as "Hey fatty--lose some weight, " or calling a
child "garbage, stupid, worthless or a disgrace," and psychologically
abusive, such as forcing her 7 year old daughter to practice a piano
piece she was struggling with for hours and hours, including working
through dinner and not being able to get up for water or to go to the
bathroom for days, weeks and months.
While books may portray
these "Tiger Mothers" as "scheming, callous, overdriven people
indifferent to their kids' true interests," Chua posits that maybe
Chinese believe they are more committed and caring to their children
The second article in the "series," appeared on
January 16, a sort of rebuttal to the "Tiger Mother" article, entitled,
"In Defense of the Guilty, Ambivalent, Preoccupied Western Mom" by
Ayelet Waldman. Waldman identifies herself as a modern day Jewish
mother of four, who allowed her children to quit the piano and violin,
sleep over at friends' houses and participate in any intercurricular
activity they wanted to, with a few narcissistic caveats thrown in.
was delighted if the child quit their instrument near a recital, so she
wouldn't have to be "tortured" listening to other children play or if
the sleepover was on a holiday or night she wanted to go out with her
husband to save her the cost of a babysitter. More narcissistic was her
insistence that she not have to drive more than 10 minutes to get her
kids to an activity or "sit on a field in a folding chair in anything
but the balmiest weather for any longer than 60 minutes."
practicality aside, the thread of narcissism strikes me as just as
troubling as the streak of domination expressed by Chua. For the most
extreme article on parenting, the January 22 Wall Street Journal
presented the case of a Russian-born Christian couple living in Oregon,
who were arrested on criminal child abuse charges. When their 14-year
old son escaped to a pay phone to report his beatings (and that of his 6
siblings) to the police, all 7 children, aged newborn to 15, were taken
away from the parents, as the parents were sent to jail.
their isolated and non-assimilated Slavic Christian community, the
brutal beatings of children for wanting to wear Western clothes, trim
their hair without permission or wear eye make up were considered
"disciplining their children according to Biblical law." Being whipped,
struck and beaten with wires, branches and belts was considered an
expression of their faith. In the Western world, it is considered child
All 6 of the older children, aged 5 - 15, were sick of
their parents' abuse and told police they wished to be removed from
their home. At times, their beatings were so severe, they could not go
to school. Eventually, the infant was removed from the parents' home as
While cultural differences do account for differences in
parenting styles, too few take into account the actual nature and
developmental needs of human children. Religion, narcissism, and
historical norms do not allow for or even recognize psychological
needs. As I studied the reality of family life in early Colonial
families in the US, I discovered just how rampant domestic violence was.
while those who practice Tiger Mothering or Slavic Christian parenting
can rationalize and justify their behavior saying they must shape their
child to be "successful" or even "good," their children often have
serious mental health issues as teens and adults. The suicide rate for
Chinese teenage girls is much higher than for their Western
Perhaps the cultural model I find most appealing is
that of my Siamese chocolate point kitty, Prayer. When Prayer had her
kittens in April 2008, she was a present, attentive, nurturing, loving
mother. She knew to stay close to her kittens and keep them warm, fed
and safe when they were tiny. She knew to give them more space to
stretch their paws and explore as they grew ready to do so. She nursed
them gladly until they were ready to start eating solid food. And she
carried them in her mouth by the scruff of their necks when she
perceived they were in danger. Prayer occasionally "disciplined" her
kittens with a growl or a gentle tap of her paw. But she never beat
them, humiliated them, rejected them or hurt them. All of her kittens
grew up to be well-adjusted, loving cats. Might there be something to
learn here for human parents?
Copyright 2011 Linda Marks
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