By Cherionna Menzam-Sills
Spirit into Form led me through a profound and lengthy journey I can only equate to the birth process. I admit that after seventeen years’ gestation, I felt an unavoidable urgency to see it take shape as my clients and students eagerly, albeit patiently, awaited its arrival, too. During the final moments, I felt like a small-bodied woman giving birth to a 10-pound baby.
A Budding Writer: The gestational phase
I had known from about age eleven that I wanted to write. Although my stories impressed my elders at that time, it took many years of experiencing life – my own and my clients’ – before I felt that I really had something significant to write about. My first book, The Breath of Life: An Introduction to Craniosacral Biodynamics, served to warm me up for writing Spirit into Form. By the time The Breath of Life was published, I couldn’t wait to focus on birthing what felt like a record of my life’s work.
When I began organizing my notes and bits of writing, I discovered I had initiated the writing process in 2005 in preparation to meet Emilie Conrad, the founder of a mindful- movement inquiry process called Continuum. Her writings were so inspirational I struggled to record thoughts speeding through me. Spirit into Form was conceived during those moments. My inspiration intensified as I met and then spent years in close contact with Emilie, who became an important mentor for me. Her visionary ideas and words are infused throughout the book.
Developmental Experiences: My own healing journey
I have been passionate about pre and perinatal psychology and therapy since my first encounter while training in somatic psychotherapy at Naropa University in the early 1990s. I had already experienced my bodywork clients “birthing” themselves off my treatment table. One had called me a “midwife of the soul.” I knew my life’s calling related to this. I had also just begun my own healing journey.
Later in this journey, I often told people I pursued my doctorate in pre-and perinatal psychology mainly because it provided the necessary structure to do my own work. I look back on six years of intensive study with pre and perinatal therapy pioneer William Emerson and then four years of intensive work with another pioneer in the field, Ray Castellino, and reflect on how essential it is for each of us, as therapists, to do our own work in order to be fully present and to appropriately meet our clients.
To read Cherionna’s complete reflection, please click here to access the PDF
Cherionna Menzam-Sills draws on her extensive background in prenatal and perinatal psychology, embryology, bodywork, Continuum, and other somatic therapies, as well as years of working with her husband, Biodynamics pioneer Franklyn Sills, to enhance her writing, teaching and clinical practice. She is certified as a teacher of Craniosacral Biodynamics with the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America (BCTA/NA), and as a supervisor by the Craniosacral Association of the UK. Authorized in 2007 as a Continuum Movement Teacher by Continuum founder, Emilie Conrad, she integrates Continuum into her work, to enhance embodied understanding and experiential exploration of important concepts. Continuum is a mindful movement practice involving perceptual shifts and healing potential similar to those of Biodynamics.
More information on Cherionna and her work at www.birthingyourlife.org
Emilie Conrad downloaded from https://continuummovement.com/founder-emilie-conrad-bio/
Generational layers drawn by Cherionna Menzam-Sills