School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: April Newsletter
Together We Heal

By Hanna
As I open the email list of the 'Journey of Empowerment' I was part of last year, and as I see and read all the names on it when looking for someone’s email address, a warm wave of joy and love rushes over my heart region. Wonderful! I get all warmed up from inside, and a soft and happy smile forms on my face: such deep and honest connections and moments experienced together, and such nurturing gifts received, which I enjoy unwrapping and honouring time and again.

I suppose it’s the secret of the spirit of Movement Medicine and the secret of teachers like Susannah and Ya'Acov that it is possible to create and hold such tender, safe, real, loving and truthful spaces in such a short time, amongst people who – for the most part – did not know each other before they met.

For me, Movement Medicine presents spaces in which I don't have to pretend, but am invited and welcome AS I am, by myself and the community. And this almost says it all… considering what is initiated for me when in a community and a space like this in which I am allowed and encouraged to be and express all of who I am. It is a major healing step, as well as a delicious daring for me, each time anew.

All my 'outer' layers may melt away and leave a clearer experience and 'sight' of this essence, moving, breathing and expressing inside and outside of me. A space where I can let all guards down, and still feel safe! Where I can be fully opened, or totally 'broken', where I can thrive in joy and ecstasy, or find release and cleansing through moments of deep sorrow… whatever my naked and pure being expresses and experiences – this space and my companions can bear, witness, encourage, celebrate and hold it all.

In this space all veils between two (or more) people may fall, and I experience encounters directly from heart to heart, from soul to soul, from essence to essence, refreshingly pure and clear, 'as-it-is', held by this real truth and love that everyone brings into this.

For me it is exactly these kind of spaces, which only make this healing, this letting go, this allowing and this being and becoming – all in such an intimate way – within the group and within myself, possible, because it opens up whole new levels of connection and relation with each other, with spirit and with myself. Beyond stories, masks, compromises and restrictions, or any holding back preventing me from being myself fully.

I come as I am, you are received as you are, and together we take this into the dance, into the witnessing, into our relation, and into our presence and healing with each other.

It is a space in which I get to know the other person through the dance, or play or ritual. I might not know how many children you have, how old you are, what your everyday life looks like, or what your favourite dish might be – yet, you allow me to meet your essence and soul, expressed through your spirit moving your body.

Pure and clear encounter and connection.

And in these spaces, co-created by me, I was given the gift of many moving encounters, bringing light, joy and transformation on various many levels – since much of this healing is through the fact that the journey is SHARED with all these other loving, daring and courageous beings.

In the last newsletter I wrote about embodiment and how processes become real, true and tangible, when moved into and through my body.
For me, the connections and experiences with fellow dancers are essentially the 'same': embodied healing and embodied process, initiating and inspiring a re-weaving and creating of new patterns in mind and psyche, bringing forth new possibilities of thought, feeling, being and action, and offering 'new glasses' (a new view) to play with in life/in the moment.

It is, for example, this warm and firm hand placed on my back, opened arms and heart to welcome me, or a steady gaze that seems to see and grasp all of what I bring into and am in that moment. It is someone totally 'catching' me in a never-ending fall, and another welcoming me after an emotional, sweaty, danced process, or someone quietly joining my side in exactly the 'right' moment to just be there. It is in the hands and arms stretched out to me when I feel I am slipping into a panic. It is in a group building the 'parent's nest' I am allowed to bathe and cry and feel protected in, when maybe in 'real life' it dissolved before being experienced. And it is in the being encouraged and witnessed in my daring, my fire and my joy.

All these manifold expressions of Love – such as acceptance, sharing, holding and encouragement, presence, comfort, trust, companionship, and truly being seen – are all 'things' my soul, heart and body longs for… and there it is, embodied in this beautiful dancing community I feel deeply honoured to find myself in.

At the same time I am also allowed to experience for myself that I too can hold (a dear dancer or a safe space), and how beautiful it is to fully welcome someone with all my heart and being. That I too can be an inspiration, offer my presence to witness something deep and meaningful of my partner’s dance and process, and that I too can be the comforting companion at someone's side, or the encouraging and rejoicing dance partner.

One particular aspect of this healing together I appreciate greatly is the witnessing, and the being witnessed. So simple and so powerful! Meeting Movement Medicine and Susannah for the first time in a weekend workshop, she said: “Be aware that anyone in this group can become a key person in an important process of yours, and through that an important person on your path, just through this one moment of shared experience.”

Yes! Indeed. I do not remember my partner’s name nor face, yet I will never forget her energy and her presence while witnessing me in a crucial, intensely liberating and profound process during that workshop! Just her witnessing gave and is still giving so much more reality and manifestation to my daring and hugely transforming dance more than a year ago. Why? She has witnessed it! She is the witness that it happened; she is that Being 'out there' who has seen and knows (in her cells, her energy) about this part of my 'shedding of skin'!

What I cherish greatly about Movement Medicine is its down-to-earth truth in the reality of 'hands-on' experience. All these and many more moments mentioned here are all real, are all happening, and are all fully embodied and even witnessed -they have been manifested! For me the discovering and dealing with old stories or deep pain, as well as the blossoming and surging of new inner dimensions of resources, cannot be any more real than that. Processes, stories, and healing which I don't have to somehow solve in my head, but which I can live and fully experience with all I am, in community with other human beings!

It is also the seeing and feeling that I certainly am unique, yet still no different from the other, in his/her pain, stories, insecurities, and in our uncovering of more and more of this essence 'underneath'.
And how awesome is this: I am not walking, healing, breaking and rejoicing alone – fancy that! And this 'simple' fact in itself has been my most delicious 'therapy' or medicine!

And of course there is all the playing, daring, dreaming and creating together, or the collective prayer in ceremony, and experiences of being totally welcomed by my human family through play and ritual!

Then, there is this dance partner who through her dancing energy inspires me to discover new spaces and possibility in my movement and my body...

And there were moments, myself 'one-legged', on crutches, doing the 'sitting-dance', during which I experienced such joy when observing all these other agile, expressive and moving legs and feet on the dance floor! Inspiration through my fellow dancers’ healthy body parts, together with real gratitude just for having two legs.

Together we heal – in our free and safe interdependency.

I do 'have to' share yet another particular experience of this embodied and collective healing (an example for totally being seen and accepted as I am): I was in a process of realizing and embodying that I am actually welcome here on earth, that I am allowed to be here (a serious quantum leap for me then!), and that I am held and supported by spirit, by the ground, by the earth herself. In a crouching position with my hands and feet firmly on the floor, I simply could not move even just one inch further away from the ground; I had to stay this close to the earth and feel and bathe in this being held and being safe here. We were to take partners, yet I could not get up off the floor. A fellow dancer came right down to me and met me exactly where I was with her loving, seeing and accepting eyes and her natural and supportive presence. No judgement. No expectations. This experience moved me very deeply: I had been seen! I had been met, accepted and received simply as and where I was!! I did not have to pretend or hide. I had change nothing in order to be seen and accepted!! I was enough and lovable as I was.

An incredibly profound experience for me and for my being!!

And the last one: I was finding myself in a painful process, with immense fears of falling, of failing, and of being abandoned and left alone. Great fear and the strong urge and necessity to find holding! I dared and reached out, finding someone’s hands and arms to hold as firm as I could. This dancer held me and the space so strongly with his presence and with his eyes not leaving mine: it was an embodied and real experience of reaching out and actually being held, being seen and being accompanied.

The self-inquiry, the healing and expansion of self is created, inspired, and sometimes even made possible only through and in the presence of the whole group.

Together we heal.

Yes. I do have this fascination, wonder and infinite admiration for the whole of what makes Movement Medicine and its refreshingly simple complexity: the richness of its 'philosophy' and tools it offers, the beauty of its mandala and its maps, and the moving and living tapestry it offers, comprising seemingly all of what it can mean to be human and spirit.

Deepest gratitudes to the Spirit of Movement Medicine and to all fellow dancers I have had the honour to meet so far.

Thank you!

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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.