School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: June 2010

by Birgit 

I just received the April issue of the Movement Medicine newsletter, saw the articles about the Phoenix Retreat, the first Ritual module and the announcement of the Summer Long Dance – and my heart was yearning: Ah, how much I would have loved to be there with you as I really love the Movement Medicine work. Thank you, Susannah and Ya’Acov! However, financial and time reasons avoid my participation – and, thus, opened the space to do my homework and to harvest the fruits of my personal work I have been doing for about ten years now.

My personal journey of self-awareness and conscious growing started when my brother and my mother died only 16 months after each other because of cancer and an accident, leaving my father alone in our house where three generations had lived before and me about 330 km away in Frankfurt. There had been problems in our family – and that was the time they could not be hidden any more. My whole picture of me, of us as a family, of our relationship collapsed and I had to question everything: my beliefs, my attitude towards life, and especially my way to judge me and other people. What helped me to look at all these things that, step by step, came to the surface was the Qigong practice with my loving, patient and wise teacher Karin Amberger in Vienna.

To me, Qigong is a wonderful way of introspection in a kind of shape-guided movement. And it comes together with the holistic Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements, where both life and death, “up” and “down” have their natural place in the endless flow of life energy. Through this movement practice and with a more and more aware mind and a more and more loving attitude towards myself and others, I have, over many years, been able to develop a new and much more flexible picture of me and the world, to heal a lot of these family-related topics and to feel in peace with them now. I would never ever have wished my family to experience all this, but looking back now, I gratefully see that my parents have been my most profound teachers.

Going through all these processes, I finished my apprenticeship as a Qigong teacher in 2007 (which was the same year when I discovered that 5 Rhythms is the perfect complement to Qigong for me). And since then I had the idea to teach Qigong – but somehow it didn’t happen. I didn’t feel the inspiration but was also wondering whether I just needed to kick myself in the ass, as I sometimes tend to be a little bit lazy (just sometimes, just a little bit ;-)). Years went on, in which I practiced 5 Rhythms and Movement Medicine quite regularly. And the dance practice added a new focus on my energy work: to follow my energy flow through free movements, to express myself freely and, doing this, to be aware of others in their energy as well, which means to communicate through and with my energy directly. I remember that it was a real challenge, even though a fascinating one, for me in the beginning. Now I love it – and would like to swim and dive into that dancing community energy in workshop after workshop after workshop after workshop…

Somehow luckily, my financial resources (and the tax office) forced me to take a break. Since the beginning of this year – thank you, spring energy! – new ideas pop up in my mind regarding my plans to teach Qigong spiced with a pinch of free movement and dance: workshop topics, parts and structure of the website I want to build, my own logo, words and sentences describing my attitude and future work. And what I am really lucky about is that I finally found a headline that connects two “universes” of my life that have been separated until now: my professional job as a Public Relations consultant for IT and technology companies and my personal passion for dance and energy work: “communication in movement” is the point that is fascinating me in both of them.

Here there is communication via computer and Internet, media, language, words and pictures – with lots of new communication possibilities through blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. – challenging us to use them to create new networks that nourish and inspire us rather than to be just triggered and overwhelmed by them. In movement practices like Qigong and dance there is communication with ourselves and others anchored in our bodily existence that leads us to more self-awareness and presence. Both are not opposites, but just the two poles of the same spectrum: our human possibilities to communicate and to create social networks – standing grounded in our own circle and being aware of and communicate and interact with the community around us – may it be on the dancefloor, personally in our every-day-life or in the World Wide Web.

It seems that all my ideas to become a Qigong teacher needed all this time – and all the dances with you – to ripen and to become a whole to me like small pieces of a big mosaic. Or is it the other way round and I just had to grow into that picture? Anyway, now it is time for me to do my homework, to pick my ideas from the full tree and materialize them – and I hope you will see the fruits in the second half of this year.

Some things can happen on the dancefloor, some must be done in other places of life.

From my sofa at home with the laptop on my knees, I wish you all the best: love, joy, courage, easiness – whatever you need to continue your journey. And it feels good to be connected to you – also electronically.

See you on the dancefloor,


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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.