Anytime that I use the word “form” or interiority” as a way to describe the action state that I am calling fierce patience, these are terms borrowed by the pioneering work of Stanley Keleman. Seeing any state or way of being in a particular moment as a voluntary action – instead of automatic, inherited or patterned, reactionary states or behaviors – is a learning process that I have gained through the study of Formative Psychology. Formative psychology is the body of work that Stanley Keleman has developed at the Center for Energetic Studies in Berkeley, CA.
Keleman has spent his life describing and helping people explore their bodies as biological processes. His exercises, along with my supervision as an intern in supervistion and in consultation with Formative psychotherapists Peter Wright and Christina Loeffel, has taught me that any state is of being is on a continuum of physical and psychological functioning. Our states are not stuck gears, but are inherited patterns of actions that, if I engage with voluntarily, become more manageable and have more possibility in action than if I just let myself act without any awareness. I give a heartfelt bow of respect to, and have deep gratitude for all of these teachers. Without them, I would never have known that when I have endured the reactive shunt of impatience, or sensed the body of apathetic defeat of merely waiting in line after someone rushes ahead of me, my mouth not opening to say, “Excuse me, I was here waiting first and really need to go,” that these are reactions that I can influence in a quick minute. While holding ourselves back is a way of keeping order, we also must consider just how much we are holding back, and to what cost.
There are more possibilities when we pay attention to ourselves.
Keleman’s formative exercises are a powerful way to influence our states of being, and are taught in 5 steps within a psychotherapeutic frame. To know more about how these steps are learned and inquire into how they may be relevant to the ways you experience yourself, please feel free to contact me for an introductory session.