April 28, 2020
"I had no idea to what extent I was taking certain seemingly simple everyday luxuries for granted. Going to the grocery store is now both a challenge and an activity to cherish. Planting our own vegetable garden is now both a joy and an imperative. We hoot and holler for the doctors and nurses down at our local hospital from our front porches every night at 8 p.m. It’s hauntingly beautiful to hear the neighborhood singing in this way together. I think we are all praying that this, finally this, will provoke change.—Daria Halprin
Spring ventures forth and along with it COVID-19 and a global pandemic that forces us all to pause, reflect, readjust our lives and practice self-care in new ways. Embracing this fact, The Embodiment Conference is hosting a free online conference on April 30 with a timely theme: Embodying Resilience.
The one-day global conference features an array of world-renowned change agents—from relationship coaches, dance instructors, yoga teachers and spoken word artists to musicians, social change titans and Esalen faculty Micaela Boehm and Daria Halprin.
And so many others, in fact. There’s even an eco-psychologist on the roster.
Facilitated by Mark Walsh of The Embodiment Conference, the event offers vital tools and techniques that attendees can apply to their lives immediately in order to benefit themselves and others during this unique time in history.
Speakers joining together for the day will present on a range of topics including:
- What makes us resilient or not
- Practical tips and tools from COVID Calm (an online resource for doctors and nurses we can all learn from)
- Trauma patterns under present conditions
- Yoga for self-care
- Adjusting your meditation for self-care
- Social justice and resilience
- Humour and creativity for the apocalypse
- Reconnecting to the planet
- Crisis leadership
- Dancing as the world burns
For Daria, who is a dancer, teacher, therapist, author and co-founder and director of Tamalpa Institute, it is an opportunity to connect with a community of diverse individuals and be of service in a new way during the global pandemic. A leading pioneer in the field of movement, dance, and expressive arts education and therapy, Daria leads Empowering Creativity Through Movement & Metaphor, August 16-21 at Esalen. She shares more about the conference in this candid interview.
Esalen: How would you define resilience?
Daria Halprin: The dictionary definition actually offers up some great words that can be applied to so many different arenas—strength, flexibility, elasticity, to spring back. I’m curious how we would not so much define, but rather observe, experience and facilitate resilience in ourselves, in our communities and in our environment. Imagine resilience on the physical level, on the emotional level, on the mental level, on the community and global level. I would define resilience as the ability to overcome and recover from challenges to the balance and integrity of a system.
What are several things that truly stand out about this event?
The Embodiment Conference is a platform that gives free access to students and teachers from all over the world. It makes it possible to connect and communicate with a huge community of people interested and working in the field of body/mind awareness and creativity. It is free access for embodiment practices. This is a remarkable event and platform that Mark Walsh created.
What do you hope people take away from the event?
A sense of creative and heartfelt interconnection, and perhaps some new inspiration or affirmation for some contribution we can each make in our communities, especially where we find need.
Why was it important for you to say yes to this?
I always want to foster connection with and learn from others in the field of movement, art and embodiment as a pathway of learning and healing. I want to be part of and contribute to the community. I say yes to these generous invitations when I am able to.
What do you feel this time is attempting to teach us?
Even for those of us who are quite aware of the challenges that face us with climate change, racial inequity and environmental devastation, this pandemic makes it painfully clear, real and now. I had no idea to what extent I was taking certain seemingly simple everyday luxuries for granted. Going to the grocery store is now both a challenge and an activity to cherish. Planting our own vegetable garden is now both a joy and an imperative. We hoot and holler for the doctors and nurses down at our local hospital from our front porches every night at 8 p.m. It’s hauntingly beautiful to hear the neighborhood singing in this way together. I think we are all praying that this, finally this, will provoke change. It is so clear in this, isn’t it—that we are all interconnected and that we need to do a lot more active caring for each other and for the environment.
Why are online events like this important right now?
I realized pretty quickly that Tamalpa Institute needed to offer classes and training online. Never would I or could I have imagined such a reality as this. But I wanted to support our work, our institute, our teaching artists and keep our connections alive and well with whatever means available. I wanted to find a way to stay resilient in these very trying times. I was also just amazed at the outpouring of participation we got in response. People want more than ever to stay and feel connected. Especially now. COVID-19 is colored by so many different levels of suffering: loss, fear, economic hardship, food and health inequities, personal and community isolation. I see people longing for contact and for ways to keep the healing spirit alive. Many of us are privileged in the resources we have available to us. I always hope, and that hope is intensified now, that those of us with resources seek ways to provide free access to an even wider and more diverse population.