Carolyn invites you to be in life fully
Carolyn J. Braddock is an educator, Tai Ji instructor, consultant, minister and author of Body Voices: Using the Power of Breath, Sound and Movement to Heal and Create New Boundaries.
She specializes in innovative mind/body approaches to managing stress and patterns resulting from traumatic events.
Carolyn works with individuals, couples, families, groups, and businesses (in areas such as team development, communication skills, and management skills) addictions, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Carolyn serves as a mentor/trainer to graduate students, and psychotherapists, consultant/trainer at the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation (an organization for at risk youth in Florida), and guest lecturer at UCLArts and Healing, California State University Northridge, the University of Denver, and featured presenter for organizations, conferences and national/international symposia.
She founded the Institute on Child Abuse and Neglect in l981 through the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver and The Professional Psychology Department at the University of Northern Colorado.
Our breathing patterns are deeply intertwined with our bodies, our emotions, our thoughts, and our spirituality. As with breathing, the expression of sound contributes to the process of recapturing one’s own voice, literally and symbolically.
Tai Ji and Qi Gong relax the body, increase circulation, and relieve stress in the joints and muscles in the body. They clear the mind, and help us to stay balanced personally and professionally. They are also the foundation of the Braddock Body Process in work with trauma and its manifestations, as well as everyday issues and stressors.
“The unbending breaks whilst the yielding survives.”
-Tao Te Ching
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Feel the “Bubbling Spring” beneath your feet. It is located on the sole of the foot between the second and third metatarsals. Imagine a bubbling spring bubbling up from the ground and into and throughout your body. Then feel it. Move with it as if following the water in a moving stream. It is often described as the earth meeting the power of the body. This has to do with balance. Relax into this point. Rock your feet back and forth, side to side, forward and back, and feel your feet pushing into the ground. Relax your toes and splay them slightly. This will help with balance. If you are near sand, and ocean, stand with your feet in the wet sand, facing the ocean. After an ocean wave comes toward you and then dissipates, notice how your feet sink into the ground. Feel the “Bubbling Spring” connecting deeply into the earth, as the sand “sucks” your feet downward, with strong roots connecting to the ground. This is the first point on the Kidney channel, designed to gather and draw down the energy while connecting the body to the earth. Feel your ankles hinge, your body soften and become fluid. This is your strength and balance. Your strength is in your fluidity.
Play with this “Bubbling Spring” as if you you are standing in a rushing stream. See it, feel it, experience it with all your senses. Move your body as you “ride” the stream, and experience the incredible connection between body and earth. Relax your arms, jaw, and anywhere you feel tension. Your Chi (Life Energy) increases when you are relaxed. Remember that Tai Ji moves are circular. There is no beginning and no end. When one move ends, another begins…smoothly. They are fluid, and move together.
From your center (tantien), move slightly to one side (inhaling), then come back to center (exhaling), then to the other side (inhaling), and then back to center (exhaling). Move slightly forward (inhaling), then come back to center (exhaling). Move slightly backwards (inhaling), then back to center (exhaling). Move diagonally (inhaling), then come back to center (exhaling). When you walk, notice how your feet connect to the ground.
Photo by Lindsey Stammerjohn
Carolyn invites individuals to enter deeply into the mystery and wisdom of the mind/body/spirit connection. Creative arts exercises, musical expression and body dialogue are an essential part of the work.
Her work focuses on emotional, physical, and spiritual trauma, and life's central concerns: Who am I and where am I going? She gives people specific tools to cope with career transitions, illness, loss, accidents, addictions, body image, sexuality, relationships and more. She works extensively with those who are physically challenged as a result of body trauma, such as accidents, surgeries or life-threatening illness.
Carolyn offers workshops, retreats, intensives, and consultations with individuals, groups, families and businesses. She is joined by a “team” of professionals at her center in Ojai, California. She consults and presents her workshops nationally and internationally.