By Barbara Sherf
Ute Arnold’s earliest memories go back to her 3-year-old self, trying to survive war-torn Nazi Germany. “My early cellular memory has bombs falling and people being upset and sleeping in the basement for many nights,” said Arnold, 75. “There was a shortage of food, and we lost our estate, and our father was imprisoned in a British prisoner of war camp while we lived with my mom in a one-room apartment near Cologne.”
The family was evacuated for several years during the war, and Ute and her siblings moved to her aunt’s farm in the country. “Because adults were not available, we explored the woods and lake, and we were surrounded by horses, cows, pigs and towering trees. I learned their language, and I was lucky I didn’t have to live with my parents’ emotional upheavals as they were no longer together,” Arnold said.
“Being left to my own devices, I built fairy houses in the roots of trees and learned tree whispering in terms of not just acknowledging there was consciousness in the tree but that there was an energy that helped sustain me. I also found energy in the root systems as the roots communicated with every tree on the planet.”
As for her unusual name, Ute says her parents had no idea of the meaning of the word, “or at least not consciously. Ute is derived from the Germanic god Wodan, that later became Odin, Ode and then Odic, meaning force or energy. It also means ‘bridge between two worlds and making the invisible visible.’”
As a young woman Arnold went on to study art, color and design and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Chelsea School of Art in London. She is an Alexander technique teacher and has many years of training and practice in Gestalt and Body-Psychotherapy in New York, Toronto and Philadelphia. In 1993 Arnold founded the holistic Unergi Body-Psychotherapy School, where she offers training classes and private sessions in her colorful Blue Bamboo Studio in Point Pleasant, Bucks County. On Saturday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., she will offer a hands-on workshop titled “Sacred Body-Sacred Life,” and on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2 to 4 p.m., she will give a talk; both will be at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., through The Center for Contemporary Mysticism. Arnold will explain and explore in the six-hour workshop and two-hour talk how “unergi” (unity+energy) integrates body, mind, emotions, spirit, creativity and nature and will demonstrate her Unergi Body-Psychotherapy method.
“On Saturday, we will explore sacred truth of your body through art, poetry and sound. We will explore how art as therapy engages the younger self and creates individual body maps through creative listening. Participants will also find out how emotional struggles hold ‘secrets’ and learn how to release your story of wellness.”
During her Sunday talk, Arnold will give a hands-on demonstration with volunteers using simultaneous touch, talk and movement to amplify the voices of the cellular memory of wellness in the body. Author of the e-book, “Stuck is Not a Place,” Arnold is working with her students to develop “a global self-healing village” in which she will connect an individual with someone in a foreign country, giving them training and exercises the pair can then conduct with each other over the Internet.
The Saturday workshop is $50, and the Sunday presentation is being offered for a suggested donation of $10. To register for the workshop or for more information about the Sunday presentation, go to www.contemporarymysticism.org. For more information about Arnold, go to www.unergi.com.
Flourtown resident Barbara Sherf tells the stories of businesses and captures the life stories of individuals at CommunicationsPro.com. She can be reached at CaptureLifeStories@gmail.com. She will be appearing in the annual Tellabration storytelling event at St. Martin-in-the-Fields on Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. For more information, go to www.patchworkstorytelling.org.