Queer Femmes Respond – Opening to Uncertainty, a One-Minute Practice with Constance Clare-Newman

How lovely to be hostessing Constance this Friday, my femme co-conspirator in bringing more butch/femme and femme community to Provincetown, and so much more!

Deep Gratitude to Constance for her wisdom, love, and generosity in caring for our precious femme bodies and souls.  

One-Minute Practice: Opening to Uncertainty

Our brains are wired to perceive ambiguity as a threat, and when we are threatened, we tense up. Tightening and contracting and trying to “figure it out” we try to create certainty where there is little. It may be instinctive, but it doesn’t actually work, it feels bad and it doesn’t have to be our destiny.

Even when things are out of control, we can still decide what we pay attention to, and how we respond. When we pay attention to our breath, our feet on the ground, and what matters to us, we can make the best of whatever situation we are in.

But first, shake it out. Stand up and shake a leg, shake the other leg. Shake an arm, then the other. Shake your hips, your shoulders, gently shake your head. Do a little shake and jump. Then feel your feet on the floor as you come to stillness. One more shake and exhale the tightness out and then gently let your breath in while feeling your aliveness.

Now simply notice your length, your width and your depth (front to back.) Notice the room you are in and the air around you, above you, below you. Let yourself take up space in your room.

As you think about how you can move forward amidst all the uncertainty, can you imagine doing it with a relaxed jaw, easy breath, not tightening inwards? Can you imagine an outcome different from a worst case scenario, can you imagine a previous un-thought of way to help with what really matters to you?

Maybe you are already doing a lot in service to what is most important. Can you do it while not-tightening, not contracting, but continuing to release into openness? It’s not easy, but it sure feels better when you practice this way. And you’re probably more effective too.

Wishing you less contraction and more openness this summer.

Over the last 30+ years of teaching embodiment, Constance Clare-Newman has developed a trauma- sensitive, neuroscience-informed approach to embodiment practices that focus on wholeness of being.

Grounded in her own deep study of embodiment practices, dance, improvisation, meditation, breathwork, trauma work, contemplative traditions, deep ecology, social justice work and addiction recovery, Constance facilitates a path to wholeness.

Constance currently works extensively with on-line lessons and classes. You can sign up for quarterly “One-Minute Practices” and/or find more about working with her here: https://www.constanceclare.com/

As a movement artist, Constance has explored many forms of dance, including serious study of Hawkins, Cunningham, Corvino techniques. She danced with Westwind, an international folk-dance ensemble, and spent time with Irish step and ceili dance. More recently improvisation has been a focus and she has collaborated with other improvisors in a WhatsApp project inspired by Remy Charlip’s AirMail Dances. Find her moving on Instagram at @constanceclare.

 Embody Wholeness 
with the Alexander Technique
and Constance Clare-Newman

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

 New Femme Friday feature starting spring 2020: Queer Femmes Respond. Are you reading more poetry? Are you navigating various technologies in order to see your folx and not be so isolated? Are you still going out to work? Are you able to get out for walks? Who’s home with you? We queer femmes are meeting these unsettling times with queer femme panache, and I want to hear about it! Along the lines of the Corona Letters over at the Sewanee Review, please send in what you’re doing, how you’re staying centered and sane! Write me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com with questions or ideas or a full-on post (with bio, if possible)!

 At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.