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* SUNDAYS IN THE SLOPE *
I will continue seeing Corner Kids and providing school consults for parents during "Sundays in the Slope," and am excited to announce a new location at Birth Day Presence, on 8th Avenue--between 1st Street and Garfield:
I am very grateful to the folks here at Mommy Groove Therapy for their generosity and graciousness, so that I can host sessions on Sundays. Here is a picture of the Brooklyn branch for the cozy Corner on the weekends, starting in January 2016:
I plan to serve clients here for the next year at least (and perhaps for quite a while...) and have to admit that when one of my juniors threw a fit about wanting to make sure that I'd be available for his college essays next fall, during his senior year, IT MADE MY MONTH.
There is currently a waiting list for a standard slot on Sundays, but if you would like to schedule a Skype session or coaching call, I am always available for virtual support via technology!
* OUR PHILLY DESTINY *
Here is a little picture of the outside of our Corner chapter in Haddonfield--it has a porch for kiddos and creatures who need fresh air, as an extra "outdoor waiting room" in nice weather!
* CORNERSTONE CHANGES *
This edition of the Cornerstone is the last of its kind. With the current template of pictures and research, it's been a big project midst all that's required to be successfully self-employed. As a result, I have decided to simplify the format into more of an educational letter and less of a coaching column.
I look forward to staying in touch with folks here and adding new subscribers as well. To facilitate this process, my old student, Razie Alter, a graphic designer, is helping to create a streamlined template--which will launch a new look in the New Year. It's been really fun to work with my grown-up friend, who is now married and living in Israel!
* YOUR OWN MOVES *
I take inspiration from innovators and creators who dance to their own drummer, and Martha Graham was one of those souls. It's important to encourage our young people to study these individuals, and to be willing to follow the guidance of their own inner compass...
There is no perfect path--we must have the courage to create it...As Graham once said, "Dancing is just discovery, Discovery, DISCOVERY."
* GIVING THANKS *
I am so grateful to have spent over 13 years in magical NYC, and to have had the opportunity to build my business in Brooklyn for the past 9 years. Each and every soul who has been a part of this chapter is a Cornerstone in my heart.
Please stay in touch.
Brooklyn Branch: 182 8th Avenue
Park Slope, New York 11215
Philly Edition: 20 South Haddon Ave, #2
Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033
* THE CORNERSTONE *
~ Happy Thanksgiving ~
"Great dancers are not great because of their technique,
they are great because of their passion."
One of my favorite composers is the American, Aaron Copeland, who crafted a symphony echoing an old Shaker tune, "Simple Gifts," originally written by Joseph Brackett in 1848:
- 'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
- 'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
- And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
- 'Twill be in the valley of love and delight...
- When true simplicity is gained,
- To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
- To turn, turn will be our delight,
- Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.
I have always loved this melody, and discovered that scholars have actually attributed it as more of a "dance song" than a hymn--so it's no surprise that Copeland's creation was composed for a Martha Graham ballet called "Appalachian Spring."
But here we are in autumn, and the words I write today fall with a heavy hand. As some of you now know, I recently lost the lease to my office building in the Heights--and must vacate by December 31st. The delivery of this news was literally like the Universe pulling away the rug of security, midst this ever-changing landscape in a borough called Brooklyn. Just as I had gained my stride as an educational therapist in private practice, supporting Highly Sensitive Students & Twice Exceptional Kids, I suddenly found myself starting the school year without my usual foundational footing--knowing that in a few short months, my clients and I would lose our cozy Corner on Montague as a rescue and a retreat. This inner and outer conflict was crystallized during a session in September, when one of my middle-schoolers unknowingly expressed, "Sandra, you're more than a person--you're a place."
And in fact, this has always been true. From my first classroom at MLK Latin Grammar, Jr. over 25 years ago, I have been trying to create a 'safe space' for my students, as I have known in my bones that kids are able to learn only when they trust where they are--and then they can become who they are meant to be. We now have the brain research to confirm that the amygdala (the seat and "switch" to register intense emotion, like aggression) must feel no fear, or the pathways to higher thinking in the neocortex (where language and memory reside--) will shut down. So part of my mission has been to create a "consistent container" at the Corner, due to my knowledge of this "science of security." It's one of the many reasons that I nurture my students not just through a solid relationship of both reliability and creativity--but by helping their neural pathways develop the ability to take risks and become more resilient...in the context of this "cocoon." Then, they are able to begin exploring how to take bigger and braver steps outside of our sessions together--in the classroom, on the field, with their friends.
Needless to say, I've faced a crossroads, both economical and professional, and found myself in a personal paradox: stay and scrap--or accept the fact that the Brooklyn I've loved...is daily disappearing. Because I know what my kids need, and my passion and purpose are so aligned with place, I had to acknowledge a very difficult truth...'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free...And it's time to dance into an uncharted canvas of art and discovery.
So on January 1st, a new chapter will unfold in a town called Haddonfield, just 15 minutes outside of Philly. And it's no mistake that I chose a place that was founded by Quakers in 1713. Rich in history with a core belief "of the light within all," I think that the roots of this new venture run deep. And while it's absolutely, fundamentally the hardest decision I've ever made, I know that if I don't leap--I just might lose sight of my own simplicity...and by trying to hang on, I may compromise the ability to sing my true song.
As usual, I have no idea what I'm doing. I came to New York City without a map or a clue, and this journey now (as then) echoes with very similar themes...Most of my students know that when I'm happy, I sing--but when I'm thinking, I move--in gestures, through my hands and then in flight, with my feet... choreographing a way to meaning through atoms of the unknown. Martha Graham once wrote, "Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body." So I'm entering a landscape of mystery, following the mist of intuition down a path unseen. But I'm trying to trust "that to bow and to bend, I shan't be ashamed..." and that somehow in this mix, a Divine Artist is at work. Since this Shaker tune became an American symphony, some of you might recognize the faithful refrain by Sydney Carter, composed in 1963, which brings this story full circle: "Dance then, wherever you may be--for I am the Lord of the Dance said he...and I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he."
May turning be a delight for you this holiday, and may each heart dance...into a brand new year~!