Engaging with Your Ancestors

Towards a Practice of Embodied History

Taught by Amanda Faye Lacson & Mary Abrams
Saturday May 18, 2019
10 am – 2:30 pm
Fee:  $70

Building family trees is hardly new (though developments in DNA testing have given it a new spin); so what do you do with the dates, names, and family stories that have been passed on to you? While there are many ways to present your ancestors’ stories, practicing an embodied history through movement, body awareness, and writing offers immediate ways to be in touch with your ancestors, to honor their stories, and to connect them with your own.

Moving, breathing, and embodied writing are tools to awaken all of our senses. In this workshop we aim to connect you with your ancestors’ lived experience: we use breath and movement exercises to deepen your bodily awakening; and embodied writing prompts based on poetry, myth and ritual. If you write about the taste of salt and iron in a slippery oyster, or the clanging and hiss of your steam radiator, your reader is drawn closer to you with a direct feel for your experience. When applying these embodied writing skills to creating your ancestors’ embodied history you can draw your ancestor closer to you and to your readers through sensory experience.

We define “ancestors” very broadly: ancestors can be from the family you were born into, from your chosen family or community, from the land you call home, and/or from your evolutionary, biological, and elemental origins. Engaging with all our ancestors through an embodied history practice, helps us honor the traditions and elemental processes that root us in the history of the world. Embodied history can also help set us free from familial and historical patterns that no longer serve our growth and development.

All people are welcome. No writing or movement experience is necessary. Please wear or bring clothes that are comfortable to move in. Bring a notebook and pen, along with an object (photograph, stone, textile or other) that connects you to your ancestors of any kind.

Amanda Faye Lacson, MA is the founder of FamilyArchive Business, a studio designed to meet the family at any point in their archiving process, from organizing photos in boxes to creating a final product to share with family. Amanda’s love for preserving family stories came from a young age, when she borrowed her parents’ typewriter to record her mom’s family tree on onion skin paper. With her background in Art History, Humanities and Transformative Language Arts, Amanda brings her skills in writing, facilitation and visual storytelling to each family’s unique project. While Amanda was born in the U.S., her parents and older sister are immigrants from the Philippines. She is particularly fascinated with immigrant kitchens from all over the world, and how our ancestors held onto their cultural traditions while incorporating tastes and techniques from their new homeland.

Mary Abrams, MA, RSME loves moving, learning, and being in business. She has professionally explored her passions since 1984 as a dancer/choreographer and somatic movement teacher. Mary offers dynamic, detailed attention to breath, sensation, emotions, expression, and creative process. With curiosity and enjoyment, Mary supports groups and individuals in environments that enhance creativity, healing, and transformation through body-self awareness and movement explorations. To the best of her knowledge, Mary’s Midwestern ancestors originated from Scandinavia, the Netherlands, British Isles, Eastern European and Jewish cultures; and she also feels very connected to her primordial ancestral roots alive within her cellular matrix.

To register via email or phone contact Mary Abrams:
mary@movingbodyresources.com  or 212-206-7542