Since I was a small child, I've been obsessed with a few things: stories, the natural world, and a burning desire for freedom.
I seem to have been wired as a "systems" thinker and now, after decades of learning, exploration, and research, I've finally found a way to blend my passions into a unique, hybrid modality that is expansive enough to satisfy my insatiable desire for congruency.
In essence, Somatic Writing offers its own cosmology—a process for you to write narratives to liberate your voice, center your purpose in the world, and activate, as well as inspire, your readers.
As an introverted neurodivergent myself, my process of creation is experimental and often messy, with enough moments of sublime transcendence, and deepening embodiment and grace, to have kept me going for the last three decades before I was ready to codify this work.
The work is now birthed into the world where it lives in service to deep sensitives, empaths, artists and healers who are wired to be the writers of the new global stories. It's you love soaked world changers who are meant to be the writers and storytellers of future narratives.
If this sounds like you, please understand that everything that made you an outsider in the toxic dying culture has prepared you to lead in this time. This means a mindset change as you step into the center of your own circle of purpose.
If you're being called to not only step up, but step all the way into the center of your radical, liberated, exiled genius by writing and publishing your story, I offer you my hand.
I've built Somatic Writing just for you.
From Tanya :
In 2000 Tanya created The Cancer Monologue Project, a series of workshops and performances supporting individuals and family members in sharing stories onstage of their personal experiences with cancer. The project became a cultural phenomenon and became a book that was featured in "O" Magazine where Tanya’s story healing process was called a “gift and a necessity.” She received several organizational grants to tour this project to cancer centers, hospitals, Gilda’s Clubs, Wellness Communities, and hospices, nationwide.
In 2006, after 40+ productions of monologue shows in major cities in the U.S., Tanya shifted away from the therapeutic modality and returned to her roots in theater. This time, her artistic expression manifested through the lens of teacher and theater director of solo performance. Her Santa Fe year-long classes spawned dozens of full-length solo shows, many of which were performed Off-Broadway and at theater festivals internationally. Her unique approach to solo performance has been written about in Backstage and Broadway World.
In 2011 Tanya partnered with author Candace Walsh to begin teaching memoir. Her writing clients have been published by MacAdam Cage, St. Martins and Harpers San Francisco, among others.
For the past fifteen years, Tanya has been a speaker and teacher at Consciousness and Writing Conferences including: Black Mesa with Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron, Theo Pauline Nestor and Candace Walsh; Bird by Bird and Beyond with Anne Lamott and Bioneers.
It's important to note her personal, thirty year healing process has included shamanic journeying, seven years of Radix, a body centered psychotherapy, Jungian psychotherapy, homeopathy, archetypal dreamwork, and Ancestral Family Constellation work.
Her life's work is to help soul centered leaders of all kinds write and publish their intimate, raw and tender stories in service to a new culture steeped in a connection to the sacred, the ancestors, and the body.
All of these practices have influenced Somatic Writing.
My work was not born in a vacuum. Like each of us, my personal story is connected to many other lives, stories, teachings and ecosystems. I want to acknowledge and honor that fact.
My first art form was theater.
My first serious teacher, the great character actor, Ralph Tabankin, took me under his wing when I arrived at his class the day my grandfather died when I was fourteen. Other early mentors and teachers included Academy Award nominated Bill Hickey of H.B.Studio, Pat Vitalglion, Matthew Vakey, at Carnegie- Mellon,and Ron Jenkins at Emerson College.
They each instilled in me a foundation not only for my art, but in learning to be human, which to me is the transcendence of theater which lingers beyond the form.
All gratitude to my beloved mentor, the late Spalding Gray, who I met for the first time at age twenty a year before he wrote and performed Swimming to Cambodia. He embodied a path I would follow as a monologuest then solo performance teacher.
I moved to New Mexico from NYC in 1991 on a quest to explore a deep spiritual calling after a close friend died of AIDS. I was also determined to learn how to write my story as a solo show.
I was deeply influenced by the work of Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron who helped me find my voice. I cut my teeth at poetry readings at CCA and Taos Poetry Circus. Early artistic influences from when I was writing my first script, Honeymoon in India, include Simon Ortiz, Dorothy Allison, John Leguizamo, Judyth Hill, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, and Susan Griffin.
My director and teacher at the time, Steve Johnson helped me understand how I could bridge the relationship between theater and spirituality. Around this time, I read Hidden Journey by Andrew Harvey and traveled in his footsteps to Germany to experience darshan with Mother Meera.
I've been a participant in 12-Step programs for almost three decades. I followed Gangaji, then went to India to sit with Punjaji. I was called by teachings of non-duality (and still am) particularly those of Ramana Maharshi and Yogananda.
However, in India, I realized that the guru path was not for me.
The story of my adventure however did become the basis of my first solo show.
For a short time, I collaborated in a theater production company, The Blond Leading the Blond. We wrote and performed original two and three women shows. Pamela Thompson and I would go on to create The Life Monologue Project which was the genesis of The Therapeutic Monologue process that I would teach and train others in for the next decade.
For seven years I was in Reichian body centered therapy with Ron Andes. This body based trauma healing work, as well as two short stints with Jungians, also influenced my writing process and practice.
As I have decolonized my own thinking and voice, particularly in the last 12 years, I've been deeply influenced by participating in ancestral constellation healing through the work of Bert Hellinger with three different therapists facilitators, but most extensively with my friend Camille Adair.
As a teacher of teachers, my path has always been to learn by teaching. I partnered with author and friend Candace Walsh for five years to learn how to teach memoir. Candace now continues to work as one of the editors on my team.
Authors, healers, consultants and teachers that have been personally important to me and my work include: Susan Crowther, Alexis P. Morgan, David Bedrick, Terry Tempest Williams, LaDonna Sanders Redmond, Martin Shaw, CA Conrad, and Leela Sinha.
The animist aspect of my process revealed itself to me by my relationship to the land of New Mexico. On and surrounding the San Ildefonso Pueblo, where I lived at the foot of Black Mesa, my soul was returned to me.
Lastly, my greatest teacher is my daughter Chloe Grace. She pushes me past all of my perceived limits.
Tanya's Lineage :
To my own wildness, I'm forever grateful.
Name: Tanya Taylor Rubinstein
Pronouns: She/ her/ hers
Home: Nashville, Tennessee, by way of twenty-nine years in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Family: Married to Cidny Bullens, musician.
One daughter, Chloe Grace.
Meyers Briggs: INFJ
Astrology: Cancer Sun, Pisces Moon, Scorpio Rising
Human Design: 6/2 Manifestor with Emotional Authority
Education: Acting Departments: at Carnegie- Mellon University, Emerson College, HB Studio with the late, Bill Hickey
Political Views: Intersectional Feminist
Tanya Taylor Rubinstein developed Somatic Writing as a way for her students to become embodied writers. By holistically retrieving voice, untethering power and writing stories, they are able to experience profound personal connection to their work.
By writing and publishing their memoirs and performing their solo shows they become positioned as leaders to evolve the culture.
The Somatic Writing process and practice is the thirty year synthesis of her work as a narrative based master teacher.
She has worked with well over a thousand people over the last twenty one years to write memoirs, monologues, and solo shows.