School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: February Newsletter

By Tamara
First of all thanks to Susannah, for suggesting I share this text in the newsletter: maybe my experience could be interesting for the wider community. So, here I am. I was assisting at Initiation, last September, and during the sharing between assistants, Ya'Acov and Susannah, the line connecting past and present, became clearer to me. I had been looking for a school to became a dance teacher for many years, to align body mind heart and then I found the Movement Medicine and I felt in love with this practice.

Let's start from the beginning.

Once upon a time, there was a small and sensitive child, around 7-8 years old, who was dreaming to help the children in Africa, giving them her clothes and toys. This child became a woman, who loves to take care of people and chose to work as a nurse.


I worked as a nurse for 16 years in a neurosurgical ward and in neurosurgical intensive care, with the curiosity of how our brain and neurological system work, trying to create a connection between the traditional approach to health and disease and a more integral/holistic way of taking care of people. Around my thirties, this known impulse to work in Africa become stronger and I was feeling it, without taking any actions. Something happened when my youngest sister informed me about a course on international cooperation, held by an Italian NGO. And I said, ok, I will phone to get more info. She replied: yes, and do it! And I did... It was like opening a big door. Each topic was so interesting for me, because it was really connected with my deepest values. I feel how different and unique each person is, and how at the same time, we have the same rights, no matter our religion, country, or race. And I will do my best to create a more inclusive world, with more justice for everyone.

After the course, since there were no vacancies for nurses on a first mission in Africa, I went to Brazil, working as nurse-educator in a development project on nutrition and culture, for two years. This was in 2001 and 2002.

A big jump, from neurosurgical intensive care to community and health centres. A life changing experience on many levels. I worked closely together with and learned a lot from a Brazilian doctor, who was also a teacher at university. She was teaching a week’s course for doctors preceding their internship in health centres, called «Rito de passagem» (Rite of passage). The intention was to create more connection between these young, rich doctors and the poor people. Letting them become more aware of some collective believes (e.g. Indios are lazy, poor people don't like to work, etc.). She was using a completely new way of teaching, at least for me: using role play, brain storming, drawing, playing, and creating a space for the heart and for the feet on the ground to connect everyone on the same level: as human beings.

In Brazil I discovered the dance as a way to know myself and others better, and I became good friends with a Biodance facilitator. I involved him in a lot of activities of the project and in creating  spaces with the dance. We were well supported in this.

I was fascinated by the concept of development. What does it mean, «development»? Our European model? How complex is the development of a country, involving personal, collective and international levels?

During that time I had the chance to work with many people, from different places and economic backgrounds, and to see how we are different, yet similar. How difficult it is to express clearly what is good for me or what I want, if for centuries someone else had been making these choices. How connected we are with our family, and how it can be difficult to learn how to read and write, when your parents are not able to, and there’s a feeling of not belonging to your family anymore.


I returned to Italy with the dream of working within education for people involved in NGOs, creating more awareness and connection between heart, mind and body. I was looking for a school to become a dance teacher, in the meantime I started my training to become a facilitator of Family Constellation and I started to dance 5 Rhythms.

It was an intense period. My soul wanted to work abroad, but I was scared to leave my safe job as a nurse. It took almost two years, to make the decision to quit my job and join an international humanitarian organisation. There is a dance I remember very well, when I was dancing my intention to bringing more awareness into the organisation.

For a few years, I worked in several projects with migrants, abroad and in Italy, then I felt the impulse to stop and have more continuity and roots. I now live in Rome.

Life is a mystery. The dream of working within education for humanitarian workers became true in 2009. It took me 7 years to realise it. At the same time I was confirmed as training and development officer, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In one hand a message of life and in the other hand a message of death. A strong period of change in all aspects of my life, and great support from life, family and friends. I remember my dance before the surgery, with the intention to give this memory to my body, of free movement and dance. It was an exercise: collecting information and opinions, going through the chaos of not knowing what do to, and then the clarity and just following what was true for me. I chose to have surgery but I didn't want the chemotherapy and chemical menopause. It was clear: I will die if I go into that direction. I remember some nights when I was just lost in my fear when a voice was saying: What would be the worst thing that could happen… you will die, and so what?

Luckily I was choosing to be alive and this was also the plan of the Great Choreographer.

I am not sure if this would have been possible without the dance. It was my way of re-discovering my body after the surgery, of letting go of a lot of grief and pain, and of finding my feet on the ground to strengthen myself, when most people were saying you are crazy. My job was also a strong anchor to life... I was realizing my dream and I was loving it.

In 2010 when I was right in the middle of all this, I met Susannah for the second time, I discovered Movement Medicine, and it was clear: this is what I want to teach!

I did the apprenticeship, the teacher training and here I am. In the meantime my dream has shifted, from bringing awareness into the organisation (which is already happening), to offering the dance to the humanitarian workers as a way of being more aware of themselves, to cope better with stressful situations and create healthier relationships. I do not know how long it will take nor if I will able to realize this dream. A voice is saying Yes! You will! This is the direction.

The first feeling of being at home in the MM field is sinking more and deeper into all my being. The feeling that everything that was important in my life finds its space.

Caring for myself and caring for people from a place of presence within myself, awareness of the potential in everyone, caring for the earth and for life in all its manifestations, seen and not seen, integration between western science and indigenous cultures in this interconnected world, and all this is spiritual, embodied spirit; grounded and connected spirit.

Here I am. Perceiving this line that connects all my life, through the past until this eternal moment, that we call Present.

Feeling the power of body, heart mind when they are aligned and grounded and connected. With deep gratitude and love to Ya'Acov and Susannah, for their presence, which is so inspiring to me, and to this amazing community. Some deep healing wouldn't be possible alone, but only with you.

Here I am... Starting a new chapter of my life as Movement Medicine Apprentice Teacher and Facilitator, and to share my medicine where needed. With love and joy.

I thank my parents for the gift of Life. And I thank life for life.

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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.