As a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert, Licensed Psychotherapist and Coach, I rarely talk about the beautiful and profound bodymind work I learned many years ago. This gentle, healing, empathic listening work has set the framework and the foundation for my counseling with clients and for the way I live my life.
Recently I spent a glorious week in a town that feels like days gone by – Ashland Oregon. This small town is surrounded by mountains looming in the distance, people dressed in simple clothing and Birkenstock type sandals with hairstyles reminiscent of Woodstock in the 1960’s. I traveled from the southeast to the northwest corner of the U.S. for a very special conference, the International Association of Rubenfeld Synergists, being held in the town where my teacher and mentor has been living for about 10 years.
Transported from the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City, Ilana Rubenfeld is as feisty as ever in her new, much more laid back environment. Back to her love for music, she has found a home in this idyllic town working with and supporting a group of dedicated and highly skilled young musicians.
At a time when women were not given opportunities in the music world, Ilana was a skilled orchestra conductor. But she developed pain in her back and shoulders which led to her life’s work and the creation of a whole new method of healing. Her favorite story is about her trips across town going from one session to another. First she would see her Alexander teacher who would guide her to let go of tension she was holding in her body. But then her emotions would rise and the teacher did not deal with that. So, she would traipse across town to see Fritz Perls, the originator of Gestalt Therapy, to express, explore and handle her emotions. She also studied with Moshe Feldenkrais who developed a method of awareness through movement exercises.
When people started asking Ilana to teach them how to do that “magic” that she did so well, she began a series of trainings in Gestalt Synergy which soon became known as The Rubenfeld Synergy Method. Using gentle, respectful, listening touch, allowing emotions to emerge and long held body tensions to dissipate, she taught so many of us how to be present and aware with another person. And her work led to the realization of a powerful set of principles which can be found in Ilana’s book The Listening Hand , in Healing Journeys: The Power of Rubenfeld Synergy (a series of chapters by certified practicing Synergists – my chapter is “Sexual Reawakening”), and my article and others at EzineArticles.com (Learn the Principles)(Relaxation Techniques)
I had the privilege of graduating from her 4th and largest training intensive that took place over several summers at Dowling College in Long Island. Now, after many, many years of training hundreds of students, Ilana has gradually let go of the helm as she watched her “baby” begin to develop in the arms of the next Training Directors, Joe Weldon and Noel Wight. At this point, the 17th Training has reached completion and the work continues to grow and expand.
What a world this would be if each of us could receive this type of listening touch and be fully present with each other through our life issues and transitions. Ilana’s elegant and magical work has been the foundation of my life’s work helping individuals and couples heal their bodies and their relationships through love. And in that room what I share with my clients is more than talking, more than empathy, more than gentle touch. We have a meeting of our souls, we meet each other at the contact boundary between life as we know it and that other realm.
What a treat it was for me and for my fellow synergists to enjoy delicious food and superb music in the home of our beloved teacher, Ilana, and to share in the experience of life as she lives it in Ashland Oregon. And, to top off an incredible week, I was in one of the best places in the world to view the solar eclipse that occurred on Sunday evening, May 20, 2012. The trajectory headed toward Medford, Oregon, the exact direction I was heading in a taxi to the airport with my friend and fellow Synergist, Judy Swallow, who happened to have a pair of special Eclipse glasses (which resembled 3-D glasses).
Ask me more about the Rubenfeld Synergy Method. I would love to tell you how you can experience a session with me or one of my many well trained colleagues throughout the U.S., Canada and some European countries. This is an experience like no other. Your body will know what it is like to be unencumbered, relaxed and aligned. Your mind will know what it is like to be at peace.
Here’s to living your dreams.