School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: November 2012
Acting in Alignment

by Susannah
Last Friday I was driving down a crowded Euston road, in good time for setting up the PA and film projector for “Dancing with the Heart of the World”. Alex (our London organiser) called me, and and her lovely voice cheerfully told me that there had been a power failure at the venue, and we might not have a studio we could work in. The power might or might not be back on tonight, or even over the weekend. “Oh wow……. the next adventure…..!”

I called Roland and we went through various scenarios. We expected it would get fixed soon. Alex and I arrive, the venue is dark, the kind caretaker greets us with a torch. We can’t go upstairs to our dance studio - no light, no heating, no power. After discussions they agree to let us work in the café, which does, for some reason, have power. So we clear away the tables, and prepare the PA and film projector. The music is on, the scene is set, people are arriving. Then there is an almighty bang, the music stops and the lights go out. The electricity has gone down here too. It’s dark except for the emergency lighting. We light candles and greet people in the dusky warm room. And begin. Speaking in diads and small groups about why we are here. Dancing to the drums of Laura and Petra and me. The atmosphere is strong, tender, calm, intimate. We make shared sculptures that give expression to the heart, and to the themes of the challenges and the hope of these times. We become a connected group fast.

And in the morning, the power is back on. Hooray! We are dancing in our studio upstairs with light, music, warmth, and gratitude. On Friday night we experienced the potency of our own human “electricity” and at the same time had a big reminder of how we take so much for granted.  Dancing over the weekend with thanks for the power of the music, powered by electricity whose energy (trace it back and you’ll see) comes ultimately from the sun, I realise that when I turn a light off because I don’t need it, I’m not just reducing my carbon footprint, I’m remembering with reverence the sacred gift of that energy. I’m remembering it as a gift from life, to be honoured.

And when I make a choice to get tea in my thermos cup rather than a take out container, to support ethical business, to buy local, fair trade and organic food, not to eat eggs in a restaurant which are not free range, to take the train rather than the plane, I’m doing the same thing. It feels good because I’m doing my best to act in alignment with my love for life. It feels good because I’m becoming more whole as I bring my purpose, my heart and my actions together.

As Julia Butterfly Hill says, it’s not about making more “to do lists”, it’s not about “shoulds” and “have to’s” and guilt. It’s simply about asking the question (this is her potent way to put it) “What would love do here?” My way to put this is: “What fits with who I really am and want to be?”

As a human being, I absolutely sympathise with the feeling of overwhelm and wishing to shut out the pain of the world and just look after myself and my nearest and dearest. As a human being, I also know that this is central to the problems we face - the idea that we can be healthy, whole and healed in an unhealthy, un-whole, un-healed world just doesn’t make sense, especially if we aspire to live the teachings of oneness and dissolving the illusion of separation.

So I thank all the members of the “Dancing with the Heart of the World” workshop in London this weekend for their courage and big hearted willingness to embrace self and world, micro and macro, and wish each one of well in our s=chosen next steps. And I thank the Pachamama Alliance for their incredible and generous work in creating the Symposium, Jonathan Hughes (of ‘Be the Change UK’ who first delivered the symposium facilitatator training to us along with Bernadette Ryder ) for being such a deep dancing techie assistant, to Diane  Sharp, also of Be the Change UK who came and supported our beginning so beautifully, to Alex and her crew for all her work to bring us together, Petra for pointing me to the videos of Julia Butterfly Hill, and the electricity for going off, and coming back on.

Wishing you every joy in your dance of finding how to care for the world inside you and you the world of which you are part. As Lynn Twist says: “you don’t have a big part to play, you don’t have a small part to play, you have your part ……. And together we are a genius”,

I wish you happy following your path of heart and connectedness,



Video links:   (re protecting Equador forest)

(Julia Butterfly Hill) (Julia Butterfly Hill)

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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.