In-bodied Memories: bitter-sweet stories for better organizational well being

A good story is like a bitter pill with the sugar coating inside of it —O. Henry

We all have stories; they create a frame for our personal and professional development. They give meaning to our lives. Even when our stories are full of pain and mistakes, we love them; because they are Our stories. Our stories are shaped by and shape our experiences; the mind is the storyteller, and the body is the archive. And like O. Henry suggests, to get to the sweetness of our stories, we must face some initial bitter coatings.    

The communities we belong to, companies, leisure clubs, schools, families are all parts of our stories. Communities are systems made of people that have their own stories; each different and at the same time inextricably connected. From a system’s perspective, all people (and their stories) create and impact the system and its form. We easily feel attached to our own stories in the same way that our communities and social systems are attached to us.


Being able to tell our personal, professional, and group stories can allow us to become more aware of our pains, that which we have not been able to address, and what is changing. Our stories are powerful because they give us a sense of security, and they work until they don’t, or until they break. When our stories start to break they create dissonance between what is real (our direct experience) and what we imagine to be real (our invented experience). That dissonance can feed cycles of trauma and pain, get locked inside our bodies, and drive the mind to avoid suffering and seek compensation or relief. When this happens, we can easily find ourselves confronting perverse and self-destructive behaviours. To truly free ourselves from this cycle of pain, we must re-connect the mind and body. One of the most powerful ways to do this is to rebuild the ‘me’ story and connect it to the ‘we’ story. The benefits of doing this are both personal, social and political.

If we are to heal our broken and traumatized social systems, we must first create containers that allow us to expose, process and integrate our ‘in-bodied experiences’ with the structures and stories of our minds. Theatre arts and mindfulness practices are two old traditions that are effective to this day; they are brilliant ways to create contemporary containers, which could allow us to heal while having fun. The fusion of the personal, the social and the political increases our well-being on the micro and macro scales.    

IN-BODIED MEMORIES INTRO-ACTIVE* PRESENTATION EVENT 

This is a “process-oriented screening” of In-bodied Memories, a video art that has premiered and THE BODY LANGUAGE exhibition (Venice 2020) that is tapping into the potential of embodied awareness and grounded knowing as a source of personal and organizational wellbeing. The video art becomes a co-sensing of self and story through embodied practices. Integrating insights and practices from visual arts, generative scribing, and social presencing theatre to reflect on the resonance from the artwork and story it reflects. The intention is to develop inner and inter-personal well-being through cultivating emotional intelligence, open awareness and a sense of play.

If you are interested to bring this kinda work to your organizational context you are invited to schedule a scoping consultation to discuss and sense that.

* “Intro-acting: Acting within or upon itself; loosely, reciprocally active.” – The Century Dictionary.