26 June, 2017
Dear Guild Family and Friends,
Greetings from Kauai!
I hope that each of you is well … happy, healthy and pursuing your dreams with confidence and success.
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Emmett’s death, and for me, a time of pause and reflection. The memories bring smiles and tears; reminders of what once was amidst the reality of what now is. And they foster gratitude, an overwhelming, stunning appreciation for the grace and generosity of Life’s journey. Richard, Emmett and I lived and loved more than forty years of enchantment. How can I not be grateful?
A review of the past without consideration of The Guild is impossible. In 1973, the Guild for Structural Integration literally moved into our home in Boulder, Colorado, and became a cornerstone of Abbey Place and all of its activities. At Dr. Rolf’s request and under Richard’s guidance, the Guild for Structural Integration opened it’s doors and we welcomed the world.
Dr. Rolf was often a guest …sometimes for a meal; other times a meeting. Whatever the circumstance, her blue eyes sparkling, she held us rapt in her presence and her message. She was Ida P. Rolf, and she was on a mission.
In those first years, our home was blessed with a constant stream of outrageous characters who entered and joined Dr. Rolf’s Taurean advance toward some unknown, yet undeniable destination. Evidencing the truth of Tolkien’s “Not all who wander are lost”, we joined Dr. Rolf’s march.
In its infancy, Dr. Rolf’s Guild family consisted of her thirty-two student/practitioners, their families, and an eclectic assortment of friends and supporters. The list of those who visited Abbey Place is long and notable. Peter and Susan Melchior were often in our home, and they were integral to The Guild’s early growth and development. Folks like Stacey Mills, Neal Powers, Judith Aston, Julian and Cynthia Silverman, Jan and Betsy Sultan, Louis Schultz, Ron Thompson were regular visitors at Abbey Place. Byron and Mary Gentry and Bella Karish and Wayne Guthrie were collaborators. (There are/were so many other wonderfully talented, impassioned individuals who sourced The Guild … please excuse my not remembering and recognizing you in this moment.)
In a downstairs office, Richard and Anna Hyder managed the school’s operations. Emmett’s rolfing studio sometimes became the site of “Selection”, a life-changing and hugely emotional process through which Dr. Rolf and others would interview and accept (or not) prospective students into Structural Integration (rolfing) training classes. Our Boulder home hosted many Guild events, both professional and social.
We rented a Post Office box and obtained a telephone number. Our classrooms were rented space in local motels. (Anyone remember the Highlander Motel?) The Guild for Structural Integration was in business.
A few years later, the school moved from Abbey Place into an office at 302 Pearl Street in downtown Boulder. The Guild for Structural Integration became the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration. We received governmental designation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The movement was morphing from a dedicated group of loving, idealistic, free-thinking anarchists into an accepted professional and career-oriented community.
19March, 1979, Dr. Rolf died; but her message had been heard, and her students continued the journey she inspired.
For several years, the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration was home for Dr. Rolf’s many disciples. Gradually, differences in the understanding, the intention, and the scope and application of the Rolf method of Structural Integration manifested. In 1988, for both political and philosophical reasons, the Guild for Structural Integration was reborn and became a voice for the dissemination of our particular understanding of Dr. Rolf’s teaching.
The rebirth was successful in large part due to the devotion and dedication of its administration, its faculty and its membership. Once again, a group of individuals pledged to self-discovery and service was making its presence known. GSI classes filled with students, and for many years we grew in membership and in public standing.
In 2000, Richard, Emmett and I moved to Kapa’a, Hawaii. While Susan maintained the Boulder office, Richard continued his direction from Kauai. GSI classes were offered in both locations, and GSI continued to be successful in its delivery of the traditional teaching of Dr. Ida P. Rolf.”
Today, the Guild for Structural Integration is again experiencing a rebirth. There are a number of factors contributing to our current state of being. Certainly Peter Melchior’s death in 2005, dealt the Guild a blow. Richard’s death in 2012, and Susan’s retirement in 2014, brought huge organizational transformation. And most recently, Emmett’s death has had immeasurable impact. Administrative missteps and the stresses of relocating our office from Boulder to Salt Lake City, Utah, created additional challenges.
During the recent past, Neal and Daragh Powers and I attempted to stay the course. Neal, (as President and Senior Instructor) and Daragh, (as Financial Director) worked tirelessly to maintain and sustain the Guild. Last year, Neal and Daragh retired from their positions on the Board of Directors. Happily, I can confirm that Neal will continue to teach for the Guild, both nationally and internationally.
Recently, and with the best of intentions, we seated a new Board of Directors. (They are being introduced to you in this newsletter.)
The reason for my ongoing involvement is to nourish a vision shared by so many for so long … to allow the legacy of the Guild for Structural Integration to continue its contribution to a happier, healthier world.
To insure that continuance, we must ask ourselves these questions:
Who are we? and What is our message?
What is the Guild’s mission?
Do I want to participate? … and if so, how can I participate?
Answers to these questions are not mine, alone. The Guild for Structural Integration and its future are ours to determine. You are invited to stand with the Guild family … to involve yourself more fully in this ongoing adventure. Your role is vital; it is essential. Please contact me directly and/or any of the GSI Board of Directors with your thoughts, your concerns, and your vision for the Guild.
I close with two quotes which may help you understand why I remain committed to the Guild for Structural Integration.
From Emmett: “Structural Integration is about the whole person . . . the sensation of moving from weakness into strength, the exhilaration of owning a new part of oneself, the immediate and simultaneous re-education of one's being and action with the joy of self-empowerment, waking up. These are the experiences of Structural Integration. (Note: I am aware of having used this message in an earlier letter. It deserves our review … as individuals and as an organization.)
And from Richard (quoting Dr. Rolf): “ At least part of the time, remember which way is up.”
BE in touch.
With love and gratitude,
President, Guild for Structural Integration