“It is important to learn that you don’t have to set things up in your life to get clear. Don’t have to go on vacation to relax. Don’t have to be in quiet to relax. That this way of being is always there- it’s about choosing it.”
– Pema Chodron

There are certain core teachings that can forever shift the way you see the world. “Joy is within you” is one of them. If you really hear it, it’s going to help you recognize one of the most empowering truths there is: It is actually possible to feel happy regardless of how the world is treating you, or how horrible your childhood was, or even when you’re failing at something.
– Sally Kempton

We tend to limit the range of sensations and movements we permit ourselves, eventually freezing up the incredible range of sensations which are our birthright, and which we knew as babies. We limit our range to a narrow rut “we pop toast in the toaster, we turn on the TV, we turn the doorknob, we hook into exercise machines that “strengthen” us according to the limited pattern of movement which the machine permits rather than expanding us into the infinitely complex movements which our bodies have the potential to express. By moving in ways unusual to our patterning we feed our nervous system a variety and new worlds of sensations and intelligence for ourselves./div>

– Gil Hedley

Express yourself in a way that serves something higher. Be with people in a way that feeds something. Shit-talking doesn’t serve what’s genuine and authentic. Language is powerful. It can either open the door to new ways of seeing or it can close off creativity. What voices do you hear in your head when you’re moving? Where is your bias in the body? You can’t push through growth; you can’t learn if we’re negative. It is the encouragement and the hope that makes for the healing.

– Jennifer Durning, Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired, as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts from books and from what the teacher says, collecting information from the traditional sciences as well as from the new sciences.With such intelligence you rise in the world. you get ranked ahead or behind others in regard to your competence in retaining information. you stroll with this intelligence in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more marks on your preserving tablets.There is another kind of tablet, one already completed and preserved inside you. A spring overflowing its spring box. a freshness in the center of the chest. this other intelligence does turn yellow or stagnate. it’s fluid, and it doesn’t move from outside to inside through conduits of plumbing-learning.This second knowing is a fountainhead from within you, moving out.

– Rumi

Core is relationship “with ourselves and to gravity, with others, and with our environment. It is about constantly being present with what the body needs and what the body is experiencing. It is beyond the heady intellectual awareness. Sensing, feeling body awareness is about what the body wants which  may differ than what we want from our bodies.
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle,  Jennifer Durning

How much effort is enough? There is a releasing of the superficial that needs to happen in order for one’s body to be able to tone it’s’ gravity-based muscles which then allows for more freedom. The reason to give support is not to make it easier but to allow for the superficial release so that a deeper experience may be had. It is hard to accept that release is important to strength.
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

Advanced thinking is the distinction of doing what is actually good for you vs.  just doing something you think you should be doing. Advanced  thinking, you learn, is about the process. It’s not about just doing something with your body.
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

Questioning habits is how we evoke change. Quality of thought makes a huge difference to our well-being. The way we tae care of ourselves can make us feel alive and vital. We are constantly creating ourselves through our habits and daily practices.Whatever we feed, grows.
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

Over and over again people come to me and tell me “you don’t know how strong I am.  They say Strength and I want to hear balance.  The strength idea has effort in it “this is not what I am looking for. Strength that has effort in it is not what you need “you need the strength that is the result of ease.”
 – Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.

We shall not cease from exploration”¦”¦and the purpose of all our exploring shall be to arrive at the place we started from and know it for the first time.
– T.S. Eliot

By labeling it Core Connections ®, it makes it sound like another thing to “get.” Core Connections ® is more about putting you in your support, feeling gravity, and feeling what gravity evokes. How it wakes up the body. The key is to keep questioning and asking what is working for you. Core Connections ® is a way of being in your individual body. It’s not meant to be a list of cues that, if you do well, will result in X. it’s about being in the moment and the moment and noticing what’s going on.
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

Core Connections ® uses certain language like “up the front” and “down the back.”  “Soft crura, shoulder blade to belly, soft, wide back, foot to head”  etc.,  not because these cues are “right” but because it is a poetic starting point to opening up conversations within the body.  More and more, I see that the body doesn’t know cues, it knows itself . We name it only so that we can talk about it. It’s like talking about love. We use the word “love” to talk about it but the word itself doesn’t really begin to describe what love actually is. We just know what it is, just as our bodies know ground force reaction and gravity and reflex to upright.
– Jennifer Durning

Feeling like there’s not enough time. What is this about? It relates to  our desire to be perfect and feeling like we’re not. When time feels scarce, it’s a good time to ask if you’re giving yourself enough space. Put time in for the “Pause” in order to be more present. What is the possibility of presence?
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

Injury has the ability to teach the body. It creates chaos and when there’s chaos going on, there’s an opportunity for change. When everything’s great, we don’t feel a need for change and growth plateaus. In breakdown, we consider what needs to change. We grow.
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

Be more present to what you’re committed to than to your fear. It’s so much easier to sit in your fear. It’s so much safer to stay within the confines of you know. It’s much harder to be with the uncertainty, to stay curious, and to remain open to what’s possible. It takes more courage acknowledge the fear you have, to hold the space forward, and to move forward into your fear anyway.
 – Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

Isn’t it interesting that we put tremendous attention on what’s wrong and what’s not working and we’re so general about what’s right? It’s such a pull for us to focus on what isn’t working. It’s a huge shift to build on what is working. How can we provide a successful set up, with a smart sequence of movements that instead reinforces what’s god, and what is working. How can we shift from “right/wrong, good/bad” and shift towards partnership with our clients where movement is explored, where we get to understand why a movement is important rather than just doing a movement for the sake of “doing” it.
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

Words are a map. Words frame the feeling but the point is for the body to cue itself.
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

What is listening from a space of open attention? I have noticed that when I listen to clients from an agenda of fixing them or doing it right, I put a lot of pressure on myself to have to know what to do every step of the way. There was always a right way and wrong way to their movement. This model sees the body as an object or machine to be fixed. By shifting my attention to that of listening for what the deep intelligence of the body is communicating, my focus becomes  how to develop a way of noticing what is actually working. Then I can build on that with the client. Problems become less of a focus if the perceptual lens we are looking through views the whole body supporting the part that is having a problem. This model sees the person as the expert in their own body, and the body as a deeply intelligent organism that is capable of self-healing.
– Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle

We sit and walk as we think. Watch any man as he walks down the avenue, and you can determine his status in life…Behavior is rarely rational; it is habitually emotionally. We may speak wise words as a result of reasoning, but the entire being reacts to feeling. For every thought supported by feeling, there is a muscle change. Primary muscle patterns being the biological heritage of man, man’s whole body records it’s emotional thinking.
– Mabel Todd

In self-expression are the mental and emotional equipment, temperament, personal experiences and prejudices, influencing and controlling the relation of all bodily parts to the whole. This equipment includes the working unit for motion “the nerve-muscle action on bones…Mechanically, physiologically, psychologically, the human body is compelled to struggle for a state of equilibrium…The individual is a totality and cannot be separated as to intellect, motor, and social factors. They are all interrelated.
– Mabel Todd

In the neuromuscular mechanism the oldest and therefore the strongest associations between one part and another, center along the vertical axis of the spine. Here lie the tubular structures of the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems, constituting the “service supply” for the whole. Along this axis, also, safely protected by the spine, lies the “service of communication,” the nervous system. The spine is the power center, the protective center and coordinating center for both structural and organic rhythms.”
– Mabel Todd

The weights of the head, trunk and pelvis are balanced upon the jointed column, and these combined weights are transferred through the legs to the ground. Muscles should not be called upon to hold special parts away from center in response to notional concepts. The muscle task is to move the bones, balance them at their spinal contacts along the axis of the spine, and transfer their weights as directly as possible over the base. Holding them in any preconceived position results in strain.
– Mabel Todd

The solution of the human structural problem depends primarily upon the mechanical principles of dynamics and statics. Bones are weight-bearers. They are compression members. All other structures involved in the movement and arrangement of bones, including muscles, ligaments, fascia, are the tensile members, and should be freed so far as may be from the direct support of weight. Conscious direction of moving function rather than a holding function should be the emphasis where bones, muscles, and ligaments are concerned, since man presents a dynamic problem.
– Mabel Todd

Posture attitudes (in man) are largely determined by preconceived notions as to how he ought to look. “Stand up straight.” The chest is thrust out, the head and chin drawn stiffly back and up, in the effort to look “tall and straight.”  Actually the spine may become more curved than before, though in another direction. The height may thus be shortened, while the whole structure is handicapped for general support and for movement, as the spinal curves are thrown out of relation to the vertical axis….The sensory-motor chain of reactions in our nerves and muscles has been gradually modified through association of ideas derived, not from mechanical or physical considerations of what balance means or a how a really straight back looks, but from moral, that is, social concepts…The words “straighten up” imply  traits of integrity and self-reliance. We try to look like someone brave and strong….Conditioning the reflexes, thus establishing fixed muscular patterns follows the imposition of these mechanically false ideas.
– Mabel Todd

Teachers and coaches are distinct from mentors in that they have a broader agenda to adhere to a lesson plan of focus on the interests of the team – not the individual. They may develop a special interest in you, but they don’t choose you, nor you them.A mentor doesn’t tell you what to do – more importantly, they tell you what they did or might do, then trust you to draw your own conclusions and act accordingly. If you succeed, they’ll take one step back, and if you screw up, they’ll take one step closer. Whatever they teach, pass it on.Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. manage and watch your words, for they become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they become your habits. acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values. understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny.
– Gandhi

What is is that we want: to fully experience our aliveness. To feel our bodies streaming, like the rush of a river over stones.  To be awake, alert and responsive in our limbs and sensitive in our fingertips.  To feel as if our inner and outer reality are congruent and that our efforts are rewarded by a sense of satisfaction. We aspire to have our private lives nestle within the valley of the public world…which we can affirm.  We long to feel connected with ourselves and each other. We want to be able to embrace and be embraced.  We want to live the lives of our bodies and we want our bodies to permit us….to fully live our lives.
– Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide To Chinese Medicine

The Way of Transformation

The man who, being really on the way, falls upon hard times in the world will not, as a consequence turn to that friend who offers him refuge and comfort and encourages his old self to survive. Rather, he will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexplorably help him risk himself, so that he may endure the suffering and pass courageously through it, thus making it a “raft that leads to the far shore.” Only to the extent that man exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible arise within him. In this lies the dignity of daring.

Thus, the aim of practice is not to develop an attitude which allows a man to acquire a state of harmony and peace wherein nothing can ever trouble him. On the contrary, practice should teach him to let himself be assaulted, perturbed, moved, insulted, broken and battered – this is to say, it should enable him to dare to let go his futile hankering after harmony, sucrease from pain, and a comfortable life in order that he may discover, in doing battle with the forces that oppose him, that which awaits him beyond the world of opposites.

The first necessity is that we should have the courage to face life, and to encounter all that is most perilous in the world. When this is possible, meditation itself becomes a means by which we accept and welcome the demons which arise from the unconscious – a process very different from the practice of concentration on some object as a protection against such forces.

Only if we venture repeatedly through zones of annihilation can our contact with Divine Being, which is beyond annihilation, become firm and stable. The more a man learns whole-heartedly to confront the world that threatens him with isolation, the more are the depths of the “Ground of Being” revealed and the possibilities of new life and “Becoming” opened.

–  Karlfired Graf von Durckheim