HumanHuman E01 : From The Tips Of My Fingers

This is an introduction of what's to come, in HumanHuman - a podcast by The WonderLab Project. It is a series of conversations in the flesh, with people of all ages. Spoken word and original soundscapes compile this opening provocation on being a moving, thinking human. 
Our thanks to: Stella MalingSmith, Kim Sargent-Wishart, Bing Smith, Alastair Watts, Cathy Madden, Anouar Cunningham and Bella & Elvy Swan.

HumanHuman: a podcast - conversations in the flesh, is brought to you by The WonderLab Project - Camilla Maling & Ineke de Graaf. All interviews, sound collection & compositions in this podcast are produced and edited by Camilla & Ineke. All rights reserved © 2017

  Our ‘All Over Everywhereness’ (posted in Curiouser & Curiouser, April 2016)

What about drawing and craft making while eating breakfast, using the food processor as an oven, singing about random stuff at the top of your voice, wiping your sticky hands on your brother’s t-shirt, rolling around in delight on the kitchen floor while sticking your feet in the pantry, clearing a surface with one sweep of an arm, wailing because the dress you want is in the washing machine and five minutes later laughing about burnt toast…? Seriously what about it?

This is a regular morning in the MalingSmith household and it’s mostly the behaviour of the little people – mostly. And we spend much of our time hustling our little people to follow our much-needed order of the morning to get out the door on time! At what point I ask, does regimentation and routinisation kick in? At what point do we say this thing and that behaviour belongs here and not there? Yes I know there is the matter of our safety, productivity, cleanliness and general social functioning not to mention order to consider, but I wonder if in becoming so fixated on fitting everything nicely into where it ‘should’ belong and how it ‘should’ be, we’ve greatly reduced our capacity to feel and compartmentalised ourselves out of our embodiment. We’ve shut off our ‘all over everywhereness’.

With little people when something goes awry it’s a full-bodied, full throated and an all-on emotional episode. While joy, can induce random flying limbs, squeals registering way off the richter, human catapults and your presumed super human strength propping spontaneous acrobatic contortions. These responses are ‘all over everywhereness’. They’re not only happening in body, while spirit is off flying with the birds and mind is thinking about what’s for dinner!

Morning madness is also ‘all over everywhereness’. Life with little kids is magic, it’s chaotic, it’s uncontrolled and it’s ‘all over everywhereness’. Your house is all over the place and things are everywhere, emotions move so fast you sure as heck can’t hold onto them, you’re so physically entwined with each other it’s delicious and utterly annoying – the loving and living is right now in each action packed moment. So I want to figure out how to live like this more in my ‘out of the family’ life…and the place I find gives me the keenest access is my movement practice.

It’s my kids who have reminded me of my ‘all over everywhereness’ – both a feeling and behavioural state. It’s about how I can fully participate. Right now I can choose to feel the carpet under my folded legs, hear the whir of the air con, that passing car, notice my hair tickling my cheek, curl my spine, circle my head, watch my fingers move as I type, see the contrast of black ‘n’ white on the screen, think back to my morning, feel warmed by the thought of my children, chuckle at our madness and well register here and now all over and everywhere because that’s what we are and how life is.

Life is messy and all over the place and can be everything all at once and in a moment flip and we’re somewhere else. It’s visceral, fluid and like our systems, simultaneous. We can try and rein it in, order it and indeed this can be helpful, but not at the expense of ourselves.

If we continuously tell ourselves to be a certain way in a given context then we shut out possibilities and engrain behaviour right. Well, our need to control has spilled over into how we construct ourselves. It is now a deeply engrained cultural habit to compartmentalise the very material of you, to break you into parts and guess what… disembody yourself. We do this by constantly referring to ourselves as body, mind and spirit – it’s almost as if they’re different countries! I often hear ‘my body has let me down’, ‘I’m so in my head at the moment’, ‘the body is…’  well the simple fact is you can’t separate body, mind and spirit or head and torso, if you did you’d be dead. Or at least you wouldn’t be the living breathing human being reading this. You’d be some other version capable of astro travelling and surviving disembodied or perhaps, and this is the sci-fi lover in me, some digital organism superimposed onto the fabric of reality…Simply, you wouldn’t be you now.

For the past three and a half years I’ve been working feverishly to create a platform and a community – an epicentre for a conversation about us as magnificent human beings! We have multiple intelligences or perceptual capacities – ways of sensing, creating and knowing our world. We are physical, we are matter, we are imaginative, we are emotional, we are intellectual, we are energetic, we are breathy and spacious, we are contextual…a multi-dimensional being who thinks, feels, listens, creates, sheds, regenerates, digests, registers, archives, learns…and believe me I could go on. Here’s the big one…all of this at the same time! Yeah when it’s put like that it’s a no brainer. But really, stop and read that again, and then again. You are this, of this, arising from this.

I want to influence a cultural shift highlighting the crucial and I’d go so far as to say ESSENTIAL role a conscious and conscientious moving practice plays in our wellbeing. At The Yoga Lab, the main piece of equipment is you. We’re not heads and bodies, or minds and other, or mind, body and heart, spirit. We are highly integrated sophisticated organisms woven into the greater organism of our environment. We are in fact ‘all over everywhereness’.

And like our little people we too are delicious swirling balls of life force oosing industrious creativity and flush with emotions. We are human beings for whom thinking physicality and spirit are not separate countries but an elegantly integrated and sophisticated expression of life.

So what about your ‘all over everywhereness’ hey, paid any attention to that recently?

– Camilla Maling, April 2016

It Cajoles Me… A Prologue (posted in Curiouser & Curiouser, Feb 2016)

I hit play on a favourite track, close my eyes, breathe… let the sensation of pleasure spread through the whole of me, and move a little. Then I raise my hands to the keys and begin to write, and what I write first, is this. I wonder at this only for a moment as I quickly realise that everything I do has a kinesthetic flavour.

It’s both the kinesthetic intelligence inherent in our cells, and the fact that this is an entirely undervalued and underemphasised intelligence in our society, that fuels my work. It was there driving the creation of The Yoga Lab. It cajoles me daily to teach multi-disciplinary classes challenging people to think differently about themselves. It’s a constant pulse behind crafting and refining private work with individuals – sharing the intimate potential space of change from the level of their cells. This impetus propels me here to speak to you now.

Ahh I’ve got intense in my musing, sense a building density around the back of my skull. It’s ok Camilla…play the song again, keep moving, keep going.

I have opinions and can be pretty forthright with them. Anyone who knew me in my 20’s is only too familiar with this. I’ve spent some time quieting that side of me for fear of its effect. Well that just leads to a good deal of frustration. That’s located in my chest, my throat, sits tensely behind my jaw and broods in my head and well, it’s all over really, because we are all over, everywhere beings.

Thoughts and insights that arise from our experiential intelligence need to be expressed. They are part of our shared human experience and as a wise man recently reminded me, this is the stuff of our collective inheritance. SO I speak up! I speak up from my cells, from my sensing, my feeling – my embodied knowing, from my ‘all over everywhereness’.

Over coming months I look forward to sharing my thoughts about an industry we call The Wellness Industry. It’s my professional realm of the past 12 years – an industry now very fashionable to work in, and one that’s in equal amounts both fascinating and infuriating. It’s an industry that’s knitted, whether we want it to be or not, with New Age thinking and thus a whole set of confusing & precarious presuppositions along with some revolutionary ideas. It’s an industry often abreast of cutting edge discoveries in the world of science while at times entirely at odds with this community.

This is a contentious, commonly unregulated industry and one that would appear, essential. The Wellness Industry has grown out of our need to feel vital, alive, well, connected to each other and primarily to ourselves. And often this is a simple compulsion to feel different from how we feel now rather than a conscious recognition of the reasons or specifics, but that’s a discussion for another day.

My previous blog, Aural Us will be enfolded into this new blog, Curiouser & Curiouser. You will still find sound worlds and compositions floating throughout this blog and at it’s heart, a series of thoughts and musings on movement and the Marvelous Moving Us.

I pop my chin on my hand, breathe a sigh of relief and the corners of my mouth turn up. Oh and of course, the song finished at just that moment.

~ Camilla Maling, February 2016

Recognition (posted in Aural Us, Aug 2015)

I have a regular practice in Body-Mind Centering – an embodied approach to movement, body and consciousness. This approach was established by Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen and I study it under the guidance of Alice Cummins.

Each week a group of 15 or so movement practitioners traverse the landscape of our anatomy and physiology. We dive into the mind of a particular tissue or system so as to unravel an innate wisdom, which I believe is a marvellous guide to our daily living. 

I wrote the following piece, Recognition after several hours exploring ovaries!

 

Recognition…

A cup of tea to my left.
The golden scribe of Coffee Supreme sweeps the round.
My feet in soft leather shoes.
Warm ankles, long legs above in an easeful comfort.

My ovaries settled, cosy, supportive.
Knowing – having been, while still flush with youth, my youth, our collective youth.
These potent expansive little organs, my ‘Me-ness’.

I sit wide, contained, surfing my middle…
Crossing and spiraling,
Reconciled.
Pondering a quiet strength,
The how and what of this.

And after today, I’m here. This quiet strength is here.
Settled, potent & cosy.
Emanating, through the contours of me,
Coursing through marrow.
Meaning I move emergent as uncondensed.
Free to step as I wish.

Bergamot and honey are a deliciously necessary combination.

Fractal - Looking For Wonderland, 2007 (posted in Aural Us, June 2015)

It’s time for some music…

I feel compelled to share a work with you that’s very close to my heart. In London, back in 2008 musician Christin Rauter and I made an album, Looking For Wonderland. The track ‘Fractal’ has particular relevance to our discussion about movement – about the patterns we create in our daily dealings and the constantly expanding and condensing energetics of these experiences.
 

Fractal – the track…

A meditation on sound. A fractal is a fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is approximately a reduced-size copy of the whole. Derived from Latin, ‘fract’ means broken. This became a map of construction. Seeking to give breath, take one tiny segment of recorded sound, dive in and wonder at the patterns in this seeming chaos. Natural objects often referred to as fractals include clouds, mountain ranges, lightning bolts, coastlines, and snow flakes.

 

Looking For Wonderland – the album…

LFW investigates states, places, and the act of wonder in our contemporary environment. Ginger In Orange. was interested in the concept of wonder and the idea of wonderland as a shared human experience. In dance and music there is a kind of wonderland for the artist and audience, “we all conger our own wonderland”. Wonder is freedom, imagination, creativity and beauty. Wonder is escapism, passion, addiction and darkness.

Each track in this album tells a story. A story about the makers, about our world, about human imagination.

All instruments improvised. All recordings original. All sound found.

Fusing recordings from all over the world.

(6’43”  – Fractal by Camilla Maling & Christin Rauter – Ginger In Orange.)

Audio Diary: First Entry (posted in Aural Us, June 2015)

I’ll tell you a secret…I’ve always wanted to have a radio programme discussing all things related to movement. The radio journalist in me never really left.

So consider my blog offerings to date as the beginnings of this radio programme. And this particular offering, introducing a new component – an Audio Diary.

I have every intension of regular entires – be sure to hold me to this as I’ll readily excuse myself from it given half the chance. Funny how we do that with the stuff of our hearts.

(4’14”  – Audio Diary: First Entry by Camilla Maling)

What's Here (Posted in Aural Us, March 2015)

It’s been some time since my last post – tis the reality of having a baby. Now he’s bigger and I’m stronger I’m returning to my blogging and pleased to say that I’ve added another category – A Touch of Text. Sound and spoken word are indeed close to my heart, so too is the written word.

These words arose from a moving meditation one early autumnal Sunday morning.

 

What’s Here…

We cross time.

In the matter of us we span eons, we know we are the stuff of stars.

I share your breath.

Edge is a symptom of my perception. Integration is implicit.

So Ham, Ham Sa

Pleasure arises…

What is emergent here?

Expanse – through and through.

Day Five (posted in Aural Us, May 2014)

To share another recent piece of writing with you is thrilling. I write to read. It’s the radio journalist still lingering in me. I move to create – that’s the dancer infused in my every cell. It’s day five of my Embryology adventure with Alice Cummins and an intimate group of inspiring women… this is what arose.

(1’10”  – Day Five by Camilla Maling)

Mesoderm (posted in Aural Us, April 2014)

A spoken word piece by Camilla Maling, March 2014

I recently participated in a professional development Body-Mind Centering retreat with Alice Cummins, its focus – Embryology. This deeply profound, rich and intensive training teased stories from my cells that reached way back. Finding words for our felt experience is a challenge – during this week, they slipped from my pores. I am sharing some of this writing with you.

(1’29” – Mesoderm)