The Empatharian position/movement for “Peace-Building” is a swinging side to side motion with arms and fingers straight and outstretched reaching up, arriving at the top point with the arms about parallel, crossing the body. Arms swing down and up again onto the other side with the arms about parallel, crossing the body. Legs can bend slightly as you go to the middle and then stretch tall on the reaching up motion. Your eyes will follow the fingertips, which are filled with energy and pull the body along, reaching for peace. The body is loose and flexible and turns with the head to the arm and fingertips that lead the movement.
This movement is the central one of the website, the video that’s on our home page. Taking it nice and slowly, methodically, is a wonderful exercise. Doing it fast and energetically is amazing too. This exercise will build lung strength as you breath in with a belly breath on each upswing, hold for a second, and then outbreath as you swing down, and then inbreath as you swing up to the other side. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, lips softly open.
The whole Empath Stretch is:
“Everyone, everywhere Triumphs Communicating Peace-building:
enthused dignified energy, seeking heart connection with innate joy
So, Peace-building is the key to the meaning, inspiration, and focus of the whole “Demonstration”, as my mother used to call it. Every sentence was an amalgamation or a demonstration of her work: Telesymbols. This demonstration is one she created in 1972, nearly 50 years ago. It has never been publicly performed, until I’ve been performing it and videoing it since 2009.
At the time I lived with a renowned peace activist in Marin County, California, and she inspired me to take action, at last, with my mother’s project, two years after her death. I staged events, printed flyers, sent out press releases, got some interest, some really good quotes…
I took videos of myself, at various beautiful Marin locations, outside. Then after moving to Los Angeles, I continued doing videos, and one was luckily accompanied by a mariachi player on a park bench nearby…
I’ve tried to preserve my mother’s legacy, despite there being very little interest in it, that I could tell. I will someday complete the docu-drama I’d like to do of her life, . Using several videos that she made or that were made of her. I’d like it to be a happy story, so I think it would be really nice to have a whole lot of people in a video doing the demonstration that she created. Of course, I’ve changed the words, to make them clearer for our generation. The movements are about the same, some slightly modified by current gestural usage.
Now, I’ve changed the name of the work from “Telesymbol Movement for Peace” to “Empatharian Movement for Peace”, to denote the empathy building process that the work is, for learners, performers, and viewers.
Empathy is the single most important leadership skill needed today, according to Bridgette Hyacinth, author of “The Future of Leadership”. Psychiatrist Helen Reiss, author of “The Empathy Effect”, says “The ability to connect empathically with others—to feel with them, to care about their well-being, and to act with compassion—is critical to our lives, helping us to get along, work more effectively, and thrive as a society.”
This work starts with the premise that in Communicating our truth, all human beings can findcommon ground, no matter what their culture, language, upbringing, or experience has been. Authentic presence, being in or bodies, mindfully listening, and building on this practice, is truly what Empatharian Movement for Peace is about.
The movement of the body is one part of the education, the rest is a study of human beings, and of ourselves. We free our own inner spirit, enabling the body to express without barriers, in full health and energy.
Today little birds flew up to my picturewindow to watch as I did Empath Stretches to the world. It felt likean omen of my realization, at last, that I could do this project. With help from the world, who is ready to listen, ready to act, ready to awaken to its own potential. A little bird flew inside, and we communicated, me with reassuring words, and he, just looking at me as he perched on the window sill inside. As I reached for him, he flew up andlanded on my hand. I thanked him for bringing me the message, and brought him to the open part of the window where he could fly outside again, which he did.
My mother passed away on March 31, 2005 in London, England- 15 years ago. Time has flown…