School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: October 2010
Incantation into Action

This month's winner of Ł100 School of Movement Medicine workshop voucher

By V.K.V.

It is nearly a week since I returned to London from my Initiation. The week has been emotionally very full. While I get the sense that some fellow initiates are riding the wave of love inwardly and outwardly, I have found myself feeling much sadness, fear and anger. I’ve had to be really aware with eyes wide open of how I’ve been interacting with others, while these emotions move about in my body and my mind.

Of course, I know that they – the wave of love and the sadness, fear, and anger - are not mutually exclusive; underneath the sadness, fear, and anger is love.  And that is why I am writing now – to tell a love story.

As part of Initiation, we developed incantations – a physical embodiment of a belief. One of my incantations is ‘I am love.’ One of the three intentions I brought to the workshop was to forgive myself and my parents in order to start letting our mutual love manifest more brightly and boldly in our relationships. We initiates were tasked on the final morning of the workshop with committing to an action that would bring the incantation into practice upon our return home. I declared that I would ring my parents and connect with them from a place of love.

Settled back into my flat Sunday evening, I made the call. Like this past week, however, the conversation was not straight-forward or ‘blissed out’.  Rather, we began with our usual patterns. I felt much frustration, for example, as I spoke to my mom. At one stage our conversation went as follows:

Mom:                                      ‘How was the retreat? What did you do?’

Me:                                          ‘Oh, it is a lot to explain now.  I’ll explain another time.’

Mom:  ‘Okay, well you are tired, goodbye then, we’ll talk during the week…’

Me (in an agitated voice):    ‘Mom. Hang on. I rang to talk with you. I wouldn’t have rang if I didn’t want to talk. Just probably better to explain the retreat another time. Why do you do always do this?”

Mom: ‘Well, you do sound weak…’

Me(in a more agitated bordering on angry voice):

‘Oh my god! Weak? I’m not weak…’ [Pause. Deep breath. Remember – I am love. ] ‘Mom. I’m good. I’m not weak. Thank you for your concern, though. How is your sister doing?’

And so with that, the conversation continued and the energy shifted. We started talking about family in India and eventually I found myself describing the workshop. My explanation included a description of how I danced for my mom’s spirit. When we finished talking about the workshop, my mom said ‘Wow. That’s a lot to take in. I think I understand some of what you’ve been saying. It sounds really interesting.’

The conversation shifted into a three-way lively discussion among mom, dad, and daughter about the definition of ‘yoga’ and the how movement medicine is a form of yoga.   Soon, we were ready to say goodbye, but before doing so I made a request of each of my parents. One of the tasks given to me by my tribe during the Initiation was to hear my parents’ stories. Thus, I said to each: ‘I invite you to tell me your story.’  My mom said maybe. My dad said ‘Oh okay, but there are lots of stories. Tell me what you want to hear and I’ll do what I can.’ My reply: ‘Oh, no dad, it isn’t like that. This is not about what I want to hear from you. This is about what you want to have heard. This is about you telling your story or stories, however you want to tell it/them.’

‘Dad’ I said ‘I want to give witness to your life.’

With that statement, we allowed the silence to speak.

 When it felt like the silence had spoken, I asked: ‘Dad, do you accept my invitation?’

 ‘Yes, yes. Definitely. We will do that.’

After I hung up with my parents, tears running down my cheeks, I rang one of my best friends. She had picked me up from Totnes and knew about the workshop in detail. I needed to share what had just happened: I had experienced what it can be like to connect with my parents from a place of pure love and to have the privilege to ask to be their witness.

 A love story -  the result of turning incantation into action.


VKV, 18 September 2010

‘Here I am. Here you are. Here we are. Listen.’





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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.