Sonntag, 20. August 2017

My Statement to the WIYS Community of Europe


Greetings Walkers of Europe!

I am very excited to be back in Germany for the WIYS Winter Tour 2014! As many of you may know I will be doing WIYS workshops and trainings with Christian Assel for the next 3 weeks in Munich, Hannover, and Berlin. This is my second trip since the very successful tour of 2012. I wanted to come last Summer but was busy making a new film (my other passion besides WIYS) and so we decided to try a Winter Tour and start the New Year in a special way. I am excited to be meeting and working with new Walkers and eager to connect with friends from the 2012 tour. WIYS is growing in Europe, more trainings and groups, and it feels like a blessing that I am able to share with you in doing this work that I consider my spiritual adventure for the last 25 years.

I wanted to make a personal statement to the WIYS Community of Europe and so about a week ago in the WIYS Office in Santa Monica, CA, in true WIYS fashion, I Walked it! Here is what my Statement to the WIYS Community Walk had to say:

I am now..."My Statement to the WIYS Community of Europe". As I walk, I have a lot of energy and my walk feels strong, invigorated, with my feet firm on the ground and moving forward at healthy pace. My whole purpose seems to be to feel my aliveness and feel the positive forward motion of my body. I feel open to new possibilities and I want to see how far I can go. I stretch my arms out to extend this feeling, to see if I can reach further in space and expand the scope of my energy. Arms are completely out stretched like an airplane. (I can even hear an airplane in the sky somewhere). I take in the room and see what my immediate world looks like. I am drawn to the green plants in the room that also match my feeling of growth and aliveness. I notice that my arms are a little tired from holding them out like an airplane and I drop them. I feel this is important. I want to extend myself and feel my expansive energy, but I don't have to be obsessive about it. I can trust my body and my awareness to continue without pushing too hard. I'm not worried about the future. If I keep doing what I am doing, I will be in the right space. I notice certain objects in this room (a therapy office) such as the Zen sand tray, a Buddhist mandala, and there is even a Carl Jung action figure which I find very funny. I feel connected to all these traditions but like the Carl Jung figure, I have a sense of lightness and humor and I don't take them, or myself, too seriously. Then I have thoughts about Carl Jung, Freud and Europe and how much of modern psychology and many other positive healing arts have flourished there and feel happy that Europe has opened up to WIYS and has embraced it so easily. Through all this my body keeps wanting to move ahead and be bold, climb a mountain, go on an adventure. I feel I give myself the permission to move ahead, explore my world and not apologize to any one for it. At the same time I am not irresponsible or insensitive to the work or others around me.

Now I ask myself, "Is anything missing?" I notice I have been walking in the same strong, energetic way for a while and my lower back starts to feel sore and tight. So I allow myself to slow down and be present with this soreness. I need to breathe more deeply, and take time with this ache. The ache says" I ache, I need attention, support, and I need you to attend to me with a variation in your movement." So I use my hands to press and massage the sore area and make more space between the vertebrae and muscle. I need to move my hips side to side, like swaying. I need to go deeper, go inside and tune into my breath. My breath goes all the way down into my stomach which really feels good. My body says, "Stay moving forward, but don't neglect me." What comes up for me about WIYS from this condition are the words, "Nurture your practice". This is what it's really all about. Go deeper into the real work with WIYS yourself. Are these "growing pains"? Is there always "soreness" after a lot of new "motion"? That seems true. But more than this, we are all on personal journeys with WIYS. This wonderful process has a growing presence in the world and there is an organizational presence through the WIYS Institut Europe, and this is all very important. But we must remember to go deeper into our own WIYS practice, just as my Walk asks me to go deeper into my body and release tension, and that this is the heart of it all. We are changing ourselves. Our bodies. Our minds. Our hearts. WIYS asks us to deepen out ability to be open, responsive, to acknowledge pain and joy in ourselves and others. In my Walk, my pain has dissolved by moving the body in one place, tuning into my breathing, and actually not being concerned with moving forward. I feel centered and full of energy and ready for anything, but not neglecting my deeper work. I am amazed that I am standing in one spot and feel whole and don't need to run around the room to feel my aliveness.

So it seems there are messages from my Walk that are my Statement to my fellow Walkers: Feel your positive forward movement in the world, both personally and as a WIYS community, sharing your energy and enthusiasm, AND remember to nurture your practice by moving deeper in your personal experience of WIYS. Christian Assel summed it up best when he said of my Walk: "To move forward is to go deeper."

I know many of you experienced discord in the last few months when the WIYS Institut introduced the idea that in addition to WIYS certification, there should be additional "teacher training" for facilitators who want to do train others to be trainers. I want you to know that I fully support this idea and it is something that John Cogswell and I talked about for many years. We always said there should be a minimum year of initial training, plus group work, and then continued training for trainers. I believe we need a training framework that gives people the tools to face the many challenges of doing this very sensitive work. In many ways, peoples lives are in the facilitator's hands. There isn't any modality in the world from massage to yoga to psychotherapy that does not have some form of teacher training. WIYS should be no different. All of us need to ensure a level of quality and depth. A little specific training seems a small thing to ask and is a way to protect and benefit us all. I hope you agree.

I also know that many were surprised at Regina Hauser's decision to create a new name for WIYS and to break off on her own. I was very sad to hear it, and I know it has caused confusion. I do not have a clear answer for her reasons. All I know is that we are growing, and we need to follow the paths that are best for each one us. There are many facilitators out there now, and while I advocate unity, and believe in its benefits, you all need to decide what is best for you.

Thank you so much for welcoming me back to Germany to share this wonderful work with you. May it inspire us to create a greater community of Walkers, to feel the exciting energy of this powerful process, and to deepen our experience of transcendence, compassion and service. "To move forward is to go deeper."

Warmest regards,

Joseph Culp
WIYS Co-founder