Kate Conroy, MA, GCFP, and Marty Correia, MFA

KATE:

Ten years ago Marty’s was the first head I rolled. As a dedicated spouse she was my first volunteer outside of my training cohort. Marty’s absorption of the work and her feedback was profound and encouraging to me. 

MARTY: 

At first, Kate’s Feldenkrais® sessions seemed too slow and incremental for my taste. I wrote this off to Kate’s learning curve until I went into the Feldenkrais studio for a session with a seasoned practitioner, which proved that the pace is at the core of how the Feldenkrais Method works. As a writer, I saw the connection between the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education and creativity. I see the practice as the embodiment of Robert Frost’s poetic insight, “The only way out is through.” I have found myself using Feldenkrais as a way to tune into my body to activate and deepen my creativity.

KATE:

Over the years I have worked regularly with Marty giving her Functional Integration® lessons (FI®) and doing Awareness Through Movement® lessons (ATM®) together. The results expanded from regular movements becoming easier, agility improving to gracefulness, and novel movements becoming surprise achievements. 

MARTY:

As I wrote my first novel in my MFA program, my characters’ physicalities made their way into their stories. An old man didn’t struggle to get off of a couch, he tried with his thighs only and couldn’t make it until he dipped his head low, like one of those old bird toothpick dispensers that used to sit on a diner’s cash register. During our FI sessions, I don’t talk with Kate since that would interrupt the conversation my brain has with the rest of my body. The focus on myself, in an unself-conscious exploration has enlightened me and my writing.

KATE:

As well as working with Marty I began taking clients six years ago in my final year of training. During that time I was also working with my LGBTQ+ peers in higher education on trans awareness and trans positivity. This work lead me to give a peer training with my Feldenkrais Training cohort as we approached our practicum and would be working with gender non-conforming and trans clients. I formalized that work in an article for FGNA, “The Elusively Obvious: Choice; gender, [dis]ambiguity, social influence, and self-determination”. I have delivered this paper to another training cohort and it has been shared widely in the LGBTQ+ and Feldenkrais communities.

MARTY: 

For several years now I’ve integrated what I’ve learned through the Feldenkrais Method into my creative writing teaching and coaching. While teaching memoir, one of the most frequently asked questions are, “How do I write about the tough things I’ve been through?” and “How do I write my story without hurting people?” Feldenkrais helps by allowing us to first do what’s easeful. Writing our stories isn’t like jumping into a cold pool and swimming until you feel warmer. It’s finding the place where you can enter the story gently. Maybe it’s not a pool to dive into, but a fitted leather glove that molds to your fingers after months of wear. Every writer is unique and every writer can learn what their entry points are through sentient experiences such as Feldenkrais. Once I had such success with deepening my writing practice from my work with Kate, I invited her to co-teach my memoir classes. 

KATE: 

Working with Marty’s students I divided an ATM into three segments. Marty opens the class and works with students on the craft of writing, we break for a lesson segment, then go back to writing, back to the lesson, and around again until the final round of sharing work and reflection led by Marty. I choose lessons for the class based on physical abilities and creative needs. I have found that lessons with reversibility experiences are particularly effective for recovering details of memories. Re-discovering physical abilities that have been suppressed have shown to unlock long-forgotten experiences, which the writers now have at hand to process and develop into their written work. Learning new movements tends to open up creative channels that are complete surprises.  

MARTY:


“No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader,” is another Robert Frost gem. In memoir writing we endeavor to harvest memory and discover details that surprise us and in turn surprise the reader. I thought I knew how my body worked until Feldenkrais awakened in me a new way of moving (or perhaps a forgotten way.) I find that discoveries about my movement present discoveries in my writing. And when I bring this into my work it is more deeply experienced by the reader.   

KATE: 

After bringing ATMs into Marty’s memoir writing classes we realized we have a winning blended learning recipe that we call Awareness Through Memoir. It is a collaboration that marries our specialties and strengths: Feldenkrais’ Awareness Through Movement with Memoir writing. While we each have successful individual practices, Marty’s in writing and mine in sharing the Feldenkrais method, this project is a remarkable collaboration that helps students go deeper into memory in order to process, write about, and evolve through their life’s experiences. 

Join Kate Conroy and Marty Correia at the Feldenkrais Online Conference

Awareness Through Memoir

Bring your writing and Feldenkrais practices to the next level. This workshop welcomes artists, writers, and practitioners of all levels. During this blended Awareness Through Movement and literary craft class you will generate fresh writing from your recovered memories. Learn methods designed to reacquaint you with yourself, validate your experiences, sharpen your focus, and even rediscover forgotten joys in this safe and welcoming learning environment.