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The Listening Hand: Self-Healing through the Rubenfeld Synergy Method of Talk and Touchby Joan Borysenko
Synopses & Reviews
How I Gave Up One Kind of Music for Another
Music saved me.
My mother, Bluma, had a beautiful voice and loved to sing. My father, Leopold, studied as a classical pianist - with the same teacher as Vladimir Horowitz. But he gave it up during the Russian Revolution when he fled Russia for Germany before going on to Palestine.
My mother's large Orthodox Jewish family also fled Russia, and landed penniless in Paris. My grandmother held them together. She was a baker, and the children sold what she baked. The family’s dream was to live in America, but they were stuck in Europe. Eventually, they were allowed to emigrate to Palestine, which is where my parents met. My mother was slight, with bright blue eyes and long blond hair; she must have been a knockout. My father was brilliant, dynamic and told great jokes. I'm not surprised she was attracted to him. Every second person contracted typhoid in those days, and Father was one of them - while my mother was pregnant with me. He spent many months in the hospital, and she lived with her family. Bluma was very anxious, and I sus-pect she had little time to enjoy her first pregnancy. My early memories are of my mother continually fretting.
When my father finally left the hospital, he had lost a great deal of weight and his zest for life. Somehow, though, he kept his sense of humor, and there were times when mother sang and he accompanied her. But on the whole the atmosphere in the house was dark.
Happier times were spent with my mother's sisters. With them there were laughter, games, songs - and physical affection. My first loving touch came from my aunt Hannah - Mother Earth; without her I think I would have been in serious trouble. Maybe it was with her that I first learned the importance of being held, bonding, connectedness and touch. Maybe it was because of her that I learned you did not need words to communicate.
My father was offered a good job in Paris, but our exhilaration was short-lived, for he got seriously sick again and by the time he was well enough the position was gone. He was promised a job in the U.S.A. and decided to go. Bluma did not want to leave her clan, but her father told her that a good wife always followed her husband. So she and I sailed for America. We were lucky. We were on the last boat to leave Palestine for New York until after the war. A few weeks after we sailed, Tel Aviv was bombed. The house and dreams of my childhood and those of all our friends were blown to pieces.
I was not yet six years old. When I came to New York, I had no one to turn to. My father was struggling to get work, so I barely saw him at all. My mother was in a state of shock and deeply depressed. I didn't understand or speak English, and there was no one at home to help me. School, of course, was taught in English. For months I sat in the first-grade classroom, not understanding a word. It was frightening, frustrating and mortifying. This experience shaped my life and later my career. I had to decipher the true meaning of what was being said from body language - posture, gestures, movements, facial expressions and voice tone. This skill al-lowed me to see behind words and hear their true meaning. It became clear that contradicting messages were being given when the words said one thing, the body quite another.
From home to school and back was a harrowing daily journey through a religious Irish-Catholic
The Rubenfeld Synergy Method is an elegant, powerful system that integrates bodywork, intuition, and psychotherapy. Memories and emotions stored in our bodies can result in energy blocks and imbalances. Rubenfeld Synergy utilizes talk, movement, awareness, imagination, humor, and compassionate touch as gateways contacting and melting frozen tensions and emotions, freeing the body from pain and the mind from suffering. The Listening Handincludes: Body-mind exercises designed to awaken awareness, free breathing, and reveal the body metaphors that tell your life story Guided steps that break through inner barriers and lead to concrete improvements in your daily life and relationships Energy explorations for contacting the energy field in yourself and others and how you can use it to heal Experiments for couples that gently increase communication, intimacy, and sexual openness Practices that enable helpers to avoid physical, emotional, and spiritual burnout A complete 7-day Mind Your Muscles program for tension release, body alignment, and enhanced flexibility
About the Author
ILANA RUBENFELD, Ph.D., currently teaches at the Esalen and Omega Institutes and at the New York Open Center. She has also been on the faculties of the NYU Graduate School of Social Work and the New School for Social Research. She gives lectures and workshops nationwide and conducts a four-year professional certification training program.
From the Hardcover edition.
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