My passion is supporting others to expand their aliveness by helping them activate their Inner Agency, so they can access their aligned, authentic awesomeness!
I am a somatic empath and a spiritual pioneer. I cultivate and facilitate Presence, through awareness in and as the body. An inclusive partner dancer and "physical DJ", I have been active in the dance community since 1996.
I’ve been dancing, teaching, and ‘transmitting’ CI for over 25 years. I have developed simple exercises to help others quickly find the ‘felt sense’ of CI, what I call the CI ‘handshake’. I provide precise physical feedback dancing with my students and clients. Feedback that helps them notice how the way they are moving in the moment strengthens, or weakens their self-connection, and also strengthens or weakens the dance connection between themselves and others.
I’m a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, (a somatic movement-based learning modality), and am well-steeped in developmental movement patterns, relationship attachment theory, and trauma healing modalities. These, plus other studies and practices, give me a broad range of resources and avenues from which to approach teaching and the learning process for my students, clients and mentees.
I’m especially interested in exploring the intriguing intersection between touch-based and CI partner movement, and our capacity for healthy relational intimacy. I personally initially discovered CI when I was deeply confused about how to maintain my autonomy and agency while engaged in close interpersonal relating. Through my practice of CI, I learned the body energetics required to physicalize dynamic, interactive communication between individuals. This energetic template, this ‘embodied knowing’, applied to my social interactions, has helped me embrace and navigate even very difficult relationships with self-awareness, empathic attunement, clear focus and confidence.
The Deeper Stuff
I have moved from a place of feeling terrified and hopeless about ever being able to lead my own life, about ever being able to experience genuine intimacy, about ever discovering or living my passion, about ever creating a supportive, collaborative community, about ever feeling free enough to express myself fully and openly, and about ever receiving acknowledgment, appreciation and love; to a place where I feel deep satisfaction, sacredness rich reward and new possibility in these areas. And the journey continues.
Some of the important resources and practices that I've discovered that inform and influence my work are: Meditation, Contact Improvisation Dance, Theater Improvisation, Speaking Circles, Original Play, 5 rhythms Dance, Ecstatic Dance, Dance Alive, Essential Motion, The Rosen Method, Feldenkrais, Authentic Movement, Body Tales, Focusing, Life Training, Non-violent Communication, Gestalt Therapy, Soul Motion, Breema, Shamanic Journeying, Buddhism, Taoism, and Abraham-Hicks.
My vision is to establish, support and grow a community of 'Embodied Loving'. In this inclusive community, we interact with each other with unguarded open, caring, curious hearts; with loving speech, loving thoughts, loving feelings, loving actions and loving touch.
I am passionate about sharing the Body-based wisdom I've discovered because I want everyone to experience the power and magic that I've found in these practices, and because I'm committed to cultivating companions that will join me in sharing this exquisite, supportive, intimate journey called life.
My Healing Journey
I’ve come a long way from the isolation and disorientation of my early childhood. I was raised in suburban southern California. My mother was alcoholic, narcissistic, anxious, and depressed. I had seen 2 divorces by the time I was 13. I had 3 brothers. My older brother suicided at age 19. We had money, but little emotional connection. My mother’s moods dictated our lives.
Later I would come to understand what insecure emotional attachment means. I would find myself variously ‘diagnosed’ as bi-polar, depressed, anxious, PTSD. Much of my emotional disconnection manifested in chronic somatic symptoms. Probably extroverted by nature, what I experienced in the presence of others was extreme social anxiety and a deep longing for intimacy thwarted by a deep a terror of it. What I would come to realize was that what I was truly longing for was intimacy with myself. I longed to know, trust, and love myself. Once I learned to connect with my Essential Self, I became able, and even confident to share myself in relationship with others.
So, my journey has been and continues to be about intimacy with self and others. About finding my True Self, my True Nature. And relating to the world from that Source.
My journey includes a BS in Communications from U.C. Davis, entrepreneurships as an artisan working with glass jewelry and cake decorating among other things. In my effort to resolve my chronic digestive distress, I’ve studied nutrition and hand crafted food, eaten every kind of specialized diet, (sprouting, raw, macro, vegetarian, vegan, and many others). I found myself in Hawaii for a year and a half and loved living there. I was especially nurtured by spending long days in pristine natural settings. But I remained mostly ungrounded in those days.
I joined a religious cult in my early 30’s. It took me to Montana, where I lived for 12 years. I was involved 24/7 for 3 years in the cult. That in itself is a big story. When I finally emerged, I still had no idea how to guide myself, but it was clear to me that I couldn’t hand this responsibility to anyone else. It was mine. And that’s when I began my healing journey of self-inquiry. I rediscovered movement and dance and after several years discovered contact improvisation dance. I was already doing bodywork, which allowed me to make genuine connection with others through touch, without having to be social/verbal. With the discovery of Contact Dance (CI), I’d found a way to relate mutually with another. I learned how to listen and how to stay connected to myself even while engaging another. It was huge for me and is at the foundation of the work I am so passionate about and continue to pioneer.
The Contact Dance passion brought me back to the Bay Area where I’ve resided now for almost 17 years.
As I continue to come out of hiding (a strategy that protected me through my childhood), I continue to discover the delightful being that I am. And as I embrace myself more and more deeply, I am able to embrace others in turn. I am passionate about creating and participating in environments where we hold space for ourselves and each other in order that we may discover and embrace ourselves and each other more fully. I work primarily with partner movement, (informed by Contact Dance, Bodywork experience, Feldenkrais, authentic movement, and others) as a practice, and an environment for self-inquiry.
I dance in the barefoot free-style and contact dance community 3 to 4 times a week. This is my meditation and spiritual practice. It brings me into my body fully, into the moment fully, and opens me for authentic connection with others. I call myself a dance igniter. I love supporting others; calling them forward into deeper self-love, self-appreciation, self-expression. I am also exploring performance art. I’m currently creating monologue performance pieces using presence as performance. This work is called, 'Being Seen Being'.
"Harmony is a life-long explorer of movement & subtle sensation. I've watched her evolve this form, and it is luscious."
- Marci Javirl
"Harmony, I have never met such a free soul in such a loving personality. You are wonderful. fabulous. lovable, loving, harmony."
-- Jill From Option Institute Weekend:
'Radical Self Trust' 2011
"Nobody embraces me as fully as Harmony."
---Billy Ray Boyd