School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

Back to contents

Issue: January 2010
Toad Moved Inside Me

By Brenda Kelleher

Toad moved inside me. I had been feeling nauseous for a little while, but it was just then that I realised it was a toad, glistening, slimy, bulbous. It was the Saturday of Ya’Acov’s workshop E-motion in Amsterdam.

It was a joy to return to the dance floor after such a year of tumultuous change, moving country, becoming a parent. This amazing gift from my wonderful partner was like giving me a chance to push my head above water and breathe, look around and see where the hell I was.

            Saturday I just danced for the pure joy of dancing, of being back on the floor, sharing and connecting with other souls, beautiful. I was invited to get to know deer and jaguar, to feel their animal instincts, follow them in their awakefulness and in their protectiveness. I got it on some levels and on others it just kinda passed me by. I left on Saturday with a feeling of fragility. A space had been created around my heart. In the current jungle of my life where two gorgeous and demanding babies claim my space and my energy, I felt very curious and hopeful about this space.

            Sunday morning brought me back to the dance floor with that fragility all the more present, tears fell; many tears fell in recognition and acceptance of how hard it is right now. I was present in the chamber of surrender. I felt like vomiting, gagging, nauseous, something was inside me and it was making me sick. It was time for the cauldron of release, collective and individual, where the space is held by some and filled by others. It was then I realised that it was a toad inside me, full of bile and bitterness, anger and judgments. It was a personal, collective and ancestral toad, made up of thousands of stories, lies, one time true but now no longer valid. It was a very big toad. In that space of tribal trance I became the toad and I danced him, for myself, for others, for my ancestors and especially for my descendants. Above all else I donīt want them swallowing a toad nor the seeds of one. Still dancing, shaking, trembling, I moved in and out of the circle. I danced the toad, with repulsion and rejection but also with gratitude. I belched the toad, physically releasing him from my stomach. I danced him ‘til he disappeared, sweated, belched, EVAPORATED, back to sky, earth, air.

            What emerged was a bird that took flight and flew around the room in a dance of joy and freedom, wings spread, gliding on exhilaration. Next came gratitude and celebration. The whole group leapt or wept with joy and gratefulness. Imagine, I have begun the process of releasing something I hadnīt even felt was there before I came to this workshop. I knew it was around alright, poking and reprimanding me from time to time but I hadnīt really felt its physicality before, good ol’ bulbous, bloated toad.

            In the quietness, at the centre of my heart and all of our hearts lies wise old elder, tending the fire. I met him, amused and bemused, glad for me. I sat beside him for a while. I donīt take enough time with you old man.

            The journey of this weekend workshop was nearly over, my tears still fall. Iīm tired now and so glad to have come. The next challenge is to bring these teachings into my life, not hide under the bed but stand at the door of my house, to love my wife and tend to my children while holding some space for myself. The journey continues, the destination still unknown but Iīm very glad to have taken a break at this workshop, restocked my bag and rest a little. Thank you to all who danced your dance this weekend in Amsterdam, to  all who witnessed, who comforted, who connected. This is the way we can change the world.

Brenda Kelleher

Back to contents

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.