The Creativity of Health with Kori Tolbert

ElaineContinuum & the Creativity of Health Series

Kori Tolbert on how the practice of Continuum has allowed her to keep “growing and expanding in breath – something unheard of with cystic fibrosis.” (Watermark Arts, 6 min) 

The Creativity of Health with Kori Tolbert, from Watermark Arts (6 min.) from Watermark Arts on Vimeo.

Continuum & The Creativity of Health Interview with Kori Tolbert (video transcript):

For me Continuum has really been an exploration of help, yes, but also, I guess I’ll just say life, and beyond. I do have cystic fibrosis. I was born with CF. It’s a genetic disease that affects all the mucous membranes in the body, but is particularly challenging with the lungs, pancreas and sinuses. I found for me that Continuum is such an important part of my life practice.

I’ve been able to keep growing and expanding in breath, which is something that is kind of unheard of for someone with cystic fibrosis. The disease is a progressive disease without a cure and it tends to get worse. But for me, my experience is that, through the explorations of Continuum, of breath and sound and movement, I’ve been able to keep agility and fluidity, and I’ve been able to have moments of incredible expansion throughout my lungs that I couldn’t really access in other ways. I feel like cystic fibrosis is also a disease of stickiness in the fluids, and Continuum has really helped me to know moisture in my body in places that otherwise might be stuck together.

I actually also use lunar breath in a substitution for sedation […]

Some breaths that I’ve found particularly helpful and are part of my everyday life: one is the lunar breath, for sure. I use that sometimes when I have trouble breathing in the morning just to help my nervous system to settle and to be able to find space in the places that are contracted. I actually also use lunar breath in a substitution for sedation when I’m having procedures done where they might normally use sedation for inserting lines up into the heart, or for aspects of the beginning of bronchoscopies where they put something up at the head down into the lungs. So that breath has been incredibly helpful for that. And just in life in general, I do lunar in the grocery store, I do it everywhere!

I was doing a virtual class with Emilie at one point, and I actually had a bleed from my lungs, which means usually there’s some sort of like gurgling sensation and blood starts coming in. And it can be life threatening. Many times it’s not, but anyway, I spontaneously went into lunar breath at this point while we were on the call and it was my first experience of being able to breathe – it was almost like I had gills, like there are gills on the side of my body and I could actually breathe underneath the fluid that was filling my lungs at that point. So that was also a pretty significant event for me that I will never forget and have used since then in similar situations.

One thing that was really powerful was this ability of being able to tap into the field when you’re diving with others, and that the fluid stream of nourishment coming into the body from the field informs the body in such a way that one body that might not be able to do something particular could then be informed by the other bodies that know how to do that and the whole body, the field, that holds that intelligence. That was a really profound concept for me. And that’s something I’ve also leaned into, the idea that there is this field that holds wisdom that is beyond potentially the capabilities of this just single body, single person. Sort of like that umbilical cord of nutrition and information coming in.

But most importantly, Continuum has just been a gift, a way of being, an exploration that I do and will do for my life for that. And I actually also see it as an offering for all of life. A big part of when I move and why I move and when I dive in is, yes, for this body but also for all bodies, for this body [touches the earth], or this body [points all around her], or this body [points at the sky]. So it’s also an act of devotion for me personally. I am forever grateful.