Brain Dance

What is the BrainDance?

Listen and follow along to a 40 minute BrainDance Meditation Practice

The BrainDance is comprised of developmental movement patterns that healthy human beings naturally move through in the first year of life. As babies, we did these movements on our tummies, sides, and back on the floor. However, cycling through these patterns at any age, daily or weekly while sitting or standing, has been found to be beneficial in reorganizing our central nervous system. Repeating these patterns over time may help us fill in any missing gaps in our neurological system due to birth trauma, illness, environment, head injury or not enough floor time as a baby.

We do this work in the way that works best for the individual: standing, sitting in chairs, sitting or lying on the floor, in a swimming pool, and with props.

The BrainDance was developed by dance educator Anne Green Gilbert at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, WA. For more information, see

Additional diagrams for BrainDance

Effects of the BrainDance

Most of us have heard about the great benefits we receive from exercise, not just on body function, but also on brain function. BrainDance  feeds the brain – increases oxygen & blood flow to the brain; it re-patterns neurological system / reboots the computer; it develops body connectivity and alignment; it creates deeper understanding of our bodies and it aids in healing our mind, body, emotional and spiritual selves

Enhanced balance, connectivity, and alignment:  The BrainDance reviews for us the early baby patterns that lay down structure in the neuromuscular system, influence brain development, and help us cope with the world in an embodied way. These patterns, done in an orderly progression, help us remember the parts of our visceral and muscular system that support our body structure. Each pattern underlies and supports the next pattern. When done in succession, they bring a wholeness, aliveness, and connectivity to our use of the body, which reflects an integration of body and mind. By separating the eight patterns we become more aware of each pattern. This allows us to focus on a particular pattern to ease blocked body/mind areas. The developmental patterns are the foundation for all movement. Patterns establish internal and external gradated rotation in proximal joints, laying foundation for correct and clear alignment in the upper and lower body and correct use of scapula and arms and rotation in the hip socket. Awareness of body mechanics and inner connectivity develops physical balance, and coordination needed for moving through our lives.

Benefits of Brain Dance

Sacred music

We  move and meditate to sacred music including music that is shared at Calvary by the Sea on Sunday mornings.   We are framing the Fall 2016 session ofmusic from this time of preparation and celebration in our church year.  Thank you to Calvary by the sea choir, congregation, Ina Young organist and pianist, and Tom Poole, Calvary by the Sea Liturgical Arts Director for the music.  Compliments to Erin Day and Fletcher Young, sound engineers, for supporting our use of this music.

My kaleidoscope

Once long ago, and maybe far away, the first hurt happened.

It was was easy then, when the hurt happened the response was a heart-centered response of the mind, body, and spirit. When we were much younger, hurts happened to us and we responded. When I experience the loss of someone, someplace, something, some….. I now don’t see them as totally gone, I see them as always being fluttering in me, a butterfly of a memory. Sometimes the Butterflies affect me emotionally and it can be overwhelming, joy, sadness, fear, peace or most anything. I see this as a sweet memory, spreading it’s wings filling me, sometimes  I hurt everywhere, or I’m filled with peaceful joy. But whatever the butterfly tickles I need to feel it.

Long ago you experienced your first loss. I invite you to close your eyes and envision that first loss that moment, whatever it might be, a person, a pet, a place, a tooth.  ofFind your moment, now if your moment is a butterfly what does it look like?

monarchheartMy first memory butterfly is pale yellow and it was just my size at the time, it is the memory of hurt caused by having to move across country with my family, when I was 5. Scared, confused, as life went on I grew in all ways,  always from the heart, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and of course physical changes too. But I changed and the butterfly from this moment stayed the same.

Sometimes this memory touches me again, a connection to that moment,  or perhaps as I face a change, it adds to the emotions I’m having in the moment, I see it as a butterfly resting on my heart. I’ve collected many butterflies as I’m sure you have too. All kinds of shapes and sizes, and I’ve grown around them till they take up less space. We are more of companions, a way to co-exist and enrich.

Dancing Butterfly Pulelehua

Shane dressed as a clown age 3 hiking the ranch
Shane Quirk Stowell age 3, a rodeo clown

Do you know what the collective noun is for Butterflys? Kaleidoscope. Really. It is. Love it!

The most recent addition to my internal kaleidoscope is my sweet son, Shane. He stopped breathing. Has it been 26 weeks or is it 11? I don’t want to know, or count, I know it’s been forever and a not even a minute. The butterfly I see for Shane is a giant blue iridescent butterfly that overwhelms me and takes over sometimes. It’s always here, but sometimes its wings are quiet. Already I can feel myself growing, but not away from, I’m growing around and including this lovely, horrible, memory of a life full or faith, struggle, joy, love, pain,disappointment, creating, hugs, music-ing, dancing, loving, but ended too soon.

Oh. I have a toy kaleidoscope that is so beautiful but created from the broken pieces of glass. That is how if feels when the butterflies of memories are all shook up from a life adventure. Like rubbing broken glass.

Today I feel like a butterfly. Memories leak from my eyes.  Sometimes, with a breath and a moment, laughter might turn the tears to rainbows of love. So when my eyes are leaking, please leave me be… Treat me like a butterfly, lovingly watch me and let me be free to flutter by. Of course sometimes the butterfly lands on you and rests in your gentle support. That is wonderful too, but wait for the butterfly to come to you.

Close your eyes again. Do you see, feel, sense a butterfly memory? Or something like that?  A fluttering gentle touch. Or maybe yours is a different image.

heartbutterflywingsFor me when I get overwhelmed by one memory, I close my eyes and see the kaleidoscope and somehow I know it will all be okay again.

So my dear ones, would you be a butterfly for me? Take a scarf and feel the first butterfly memory of feeling you have. And let’s dance it in this space, as we sing. Turn turn turn..

I’ll be a butterfly for you.

Come dance with the Kaleidoscoping hearts

Love and Light, Pulelehua

Welcoming Prayer

Welcoming Prayer is a tool to help quickly center and hopefully reduce painful emotional responses.

Listen to a 2.5 minute introduction to the welcoming prayer :

It’s purpose is to help one “let go and let God,” naturally heal old emotional wounds, and  show you better paths to take in life.  People who know how to effectively use Welcoming Prayer can often quickly recover from an upsetting situation within just a few seconds.   For example, it can be used to help you sleep by clearing the mind of bad feelings that wake you up in the middle of the night.  Practitioners also eventually start seeing life more clearly because they naturally repeat less blind, unconscious, survival reactions.

A variety of emotional & physical knee jerk reactions were stored during childhood deep within your body to help you “survive.”  An example might be the fight or flight reactions to unusual noises. Many of these automatic reactions are quite useful for dealing with simple physical threats; however, in a more complex world, blind reactions often make the situation worse.

Welcoming Prayer is designed to lead to better cooperation between your big-me, your higher self, and your little-me, the survival conditioning that has accumulated over time within your body. By welcoming blind emotional reactions for what they are — automatic survival mechanisms — one begins to see them from an observer’s viewpoint rather than from a victim’s viewpoint.

Welcoming Prayer starts by deeply experiencing feelings within your body and then welcoming your increased awareness of these feelings.  This awareness naturally leads to healing and to better solutions.  Letting go of your little-me‘s death grip on these feelings allows them to naturally pass by and disappear, like leaves floating by on a stream.

related links

Thank you to Thought-Management tools, tips, ideas, discussion

Note: The commentary above relies heavily on and includes quotations from these resources. Look them over yourself.

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