School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Just some Realizations

By Katrin Kohlbecher
For once and all I am amazed by this one precious life. How comes you surprise us with your mystery again and again? I have been asking this question to myself recently in many different contexts: “What was the very first thing that happened?”

In this case it started with waking up from a dream on a Monday morning in late June 2014, when this voice in my head wouldn’t stop asking: “So what is it you have come to do in this life?” For 38 years I have had a beautiful life, grateful for my journeys, steps and decisions and yet, this one quest, this deep longing had never been nourished. When my boss suddenly approached me with the offer to take a few days off, the following week - whoosh - the only thing that had kept me from joining the Long Dance suddenly melted away. Still, it took a while for me to realize… So here I was, again in my bed, Monday night and sleep didn’t come. Sometimes it’s just amazing how the NIGHTs become the source, the co-creators of our DAYly life. At 3 am Tuesday Morning, I finally got it: “Get up, send the application to Roland and book your flight!” And so it was.

In the “hang-over” the day after I truly questioned if all that had been a good idea. Preparing such a ceremony in only four days alongside a full schedule? Deep breath, finding my feet on the ground and my mouth asking for support: “Hi Nina, do you have some white dress or skirt I could possibly borrow?” Yes, for all my relations! Within two days and a few emails and facebook-postings later, I already had raised more than 150pounds for the amazing Pachamama Alliance. “Wow. Thank you.” Blessed are the moments when we realize how much, how much support is truly there for us. But would my whole system be able to catch up with this speed? Arriving at the gorgeous Earth Spirit Center I realized, the amount of people gathered was quite overwhelming. I felt a bit lost, aware that I need quite a lot of time to arrive at a new place and with new people. Good to have some things, I can always rely on. One thing is Roland’s magic in distribution of beds/rooms. I was gifted the gentle, caring soul I had just recently happily shared the room with, during the Phoenix Retreat. “Phew, just perfect, thank you!” Journeying into the unknown, it felt wise to have somebody with me, I did know.

Next, I found myself under the white fabric roof of our ceremonial marquee. In this sacred space of no words, my support group and I needed three rounds of solid discussion, if we are to follow the given A, B, C structure of dancing, writing and witnessing or rather come up with our own way.- Should we liberate ourselves from the structure or is the structure itself liberating? - At the time, I was just furious, doubting again, if I was really meant to be here.

Then I saw: Ahhh, it might be the grumpy, harsh and rigid parts of me, pointing at what to pray for. In my impatience and preconceptions, I found my prayers. We were part of the ‘servants of food and tea ceremony’. “Oh, that sounds pretty sacred to me.” Only until I found out that it meant getting up much earlier than other dancers to soak nuts and cut fruits and vegetables and provide tea to 100 people, coming for it, all at once. Uhhhrgg. Well, at first, we kind of passed on the ‘pressure’ we felt about it, to one another in the group. Some dances and many liters of tea later, we had found out, how to serve the tea without putting half of the Earth Altar under water. We met the spaciousness and fluidity of supporting each other, stepping in for each other and asking for what we need.

In this incredibly strongly held space of sending our prayers and dancing with our relations and the spirit world, maybe, my strongest moments were quite simple and earthy. Putting a flower into a co-dancers hair, receiving her radiant smile; hearing the sound of water pouring into the big thermos-flask, getting a first taste of celery being cut in yummy looking pieces; the accomplishment I felt after clearing the last of many seeds from this water-melon or the tenderness of the Long Dancers waking up and crawling out of their sleeping-bags after a very short night, right back into the dance.

Realizing - I would call it rather ‘Real-Life-ing’ - how it affected the whole system, if somebody took out a whole liter of tea at once during ‘rush hour’ or asking for more food, while we were truly worried if it would be enough for all. I was reminded of weddings I had attended in Africa. I had been so astonished, trying to figure out how they always managed to feed the hundreds of people suddenly turning up as neighbors of friends of relatives…. They would never leave anybody unfed, not nourished. However much they had, it was always enough to feed all. Trying to align with this sense of abunDance we got better and better in finding the right amount. Taking and giving ‘just enough’ truly is a sacred place. Maybe, this Long Dance, was not only about the WHAT of my purpose in life, it was surely as much about the HOW to serve and nourish. It was about putting my tiny (yet unique ;-) footprints into relation with all of it and all those around me.

When Susannah called us together one morning in the ceremony, I was among the first to stand right in front of her, knowing in my heart that this will be an important moment. In her deep gracefulness, strength and vulnerability she was standing there, telling us about having to leave the Long Dance to be with her dying mother. When our tears-filled eyes and hearts met, I knew I had taken the right decision. “Nothing in the world equals the power of your intense fragility”. Sometimes it is just one precious moment, so deep it becomes the fruit of many seeds we have planted, and sometimes also the fertilizer for a new generation of plants.

In the gentle community of all Long Dancers, now feeling like family, we lit the fire that marked the end of the ceremony. And there I was - I had dedicated my dance to all our descendants - with beautiful 4 year old Sophia sleeping next to me, tenderly holding her baby-doll in her arms. Feeling the immense dedication in my strong heart, I just knew: “Never will I underestimate the magnificence of this one precious life.”

With 21 gratitudes to all who / that made the Long Dance possible.

Thank you for the chance to witness you in yet another level of excellence, grace and beauty just from the core of who you are.

Katrin Kohlbecher                   Frankfurt,  July 2014

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.