The Personal Legacy Process
Stage 1. The Call
We carry a legacy. When we carry our own weight we carry our full potential. We carry story. We make story. We witness story.
Participants begin by answering the call articulating what has drawn them to engage in the process.
Guided research prior to the workshop (archival and anecdotal) inspires the seeker’s search for story fragments, resonant truths, and intersections. Their research and the APLP exercises prepare them to place themselves in the shoes of their chosen ancestor and the time and environment in which they lived.
Stage 2. Charting the Course
When we place ourselves in a situation where our creative bodies, breath, and voice can thrive—a state of letting go—we begin to tap into an abundant source of inspiration.
During this phase of the process, we set the stage to find, recognize, and receive the stories from our ancestors by first mapping each of our histories and exploring where they meet (dates, migrations, historical influences, etc.). We establish our village circle and, using tools that provoke verbal and nonverbal communication, we sneak under each other’s cultural borders. Through guided ensemble work, we develop the skills to recognize and communicate the fundamental truths that drive us and relate them to their roots in each of our histories and chosen ancestors
Stage 3. The Physical Realm
At the centre of this process is the acknowledgement that everything we need to draw on for inspiration is stored in our bodies as memory.
Physical improvisations elicit meaningful gestures. Rituals, characters, themes, and stories arrive in fragments. Physical research into the meaning of each emerging gesture or fragment inspires further creative writing and an embodied reflection. The fragments are reviewed and pieced together through repetition and reflection.
This includes body training through rhythm, grounding, organically sourced movement and gesture. As witnesses, we learn how to “catch story” in the physical, intuitive realm, beyond the words, actions and tangible details.
Stage 4. Reclaiming Ceremony
“Traditional education consists of three parts: enlargement of one’s ability to see, destabilization of the body’s habit of being bound to one plane of being, and the ability to voyage trans-dimensionally and return.” Malidoma Some, Of Water and the Spirit.
The Ceremony is a group-driven exercise that brings the physical training into focus.
Activating breath, body and memory on a symbolic level, this collectively created ceremony honours the authentic contribution of each participant and their ancestor. It prepares the ground for the final embodiment.
Stage 5. The Meeting Place
Together we walk a journey, dragging our roots on the ocean floor and here we arrive with roots and shoots and other tools of knowing…
The presentation of cultural protocols in dialogue with modern realities allows us to share ancestral values, negotiate space and promote intuitive thinking. A story-based introduction of all the ancestors in their own voices are called I-stories. These stories hold not only the discoveries made during research but the mysteries and lingering questions. It humanizes the archival and anecdotal research and brings the ancestors and their stories into the room.
Stage 6. Ancestral Embodiment
There are stories under skin, mingled in blood, buried in bones and breath.
In this culminating phase, we walk in our ancestor’s feet. In the liminal, improvisational state, our bodies become a portal and we enter the crossroads where memory, intuition, imagination, and spirit lead. Time and space shift and expand to include multiple planes of existence. The present moment meets the ancient lineage of eras within; the I meets the We.
The process culminates in the embodiment of a chosen ancestor, set in a specific place and time within our ancestor’s life. With no words, and only a few objects we remain in this embodied moment and follow the story intuitively as it unfolds. The ‘performance’ of this embodiment is a profound experience that ignites a creative spark, often inspiring new creative directions.