School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: November 2012
She is a Soul Free of Shame

By Annemeike van Bellen
One of the amazing SHE-workshops by Caroline Carey, and I am the lucky one to organise these in the Netherlands. This time we had found a beautiful old chapel to dance in, once a nunnery, in an enclosed garden in the centre of Den Haag. 15 women dancing, forming a strong circle together to travel deep into our personal history, to reclaim and heal and restore the free-flow of our creative nature.

I like these weekends, the warm and soft invitations to look within, to find movement for what is there and express it. In movement, poetry, art or song. And yet, I felt quite safe. What is shame for me? Certainly not something that is bothering me much, nowadays. I am not uncomfortable with how I look, or act a lot. So I thought. And I felt very supported by a beautiful team of helpers, ladies looking after the music, the venue and the food. I felt blessed to dive deep into the dance, to participate as much as any of us.

On the dancefloor I met old friends, with whom I’d been dancing for many years, and new friends. I was struck by the quality of these meetings, of the heart-connection that simply was there. And through this I became aware of a deep sadness. Somewere inside, I carried this old stone made of grief. Shame, not recognised as such. Old feelings of being humiliated in al sorts of situations being a young girl. “Simple” yet profound stories of hurt showed themselves to me, moved through me while dancing, and found words to be shared in my little pod with two other women. And I found this little girl inside, not understanding what she has done wrong, yet severely punished. So it felt.

And even though I don’t experience shame today, it emerged how I was hiding this thread of pain, even wishing sometimes I’d never been born, in a large part of my patterns. Most of all in the ways I dare to show myself. Yes, I feel emotions, and I can communicate them. Yes, you can feel me, I am an open book. And, to my surprise, I felt immensely alone in them. It was almost impossible for me to connect from this place of deep vulnerability. Some part of me has been in a prison, for many years. Some part finds it hard to say “yes” to life, or to say “no” to unwanted situations. To really value myself, and to trust I have the birthright to be who I am, no matter what.

On Saturday-night, we had a Ceremony. Each of us danced, sang or perfomed in her self-chosen way what has come up for her. I felt nervous. And I felt very held. Save, held by the music, Caroline’s presence, the women around me, and my two helpers from my pod. And more help was there: The elements were with me, and my ancestors that love me and support me. I felt the interconnection with the Medicine, the Mandala, many of my friends and compagnions on this road. When it was my turn to present what I wanted to present, I suddenly felt myself right in the middle of my circle, and Lifeforce ran through me, strong, warm and clear. Words came out, a deep truth, mixed with my breath and the fire from my heart helped to reclaim my original essence. Movement and song followed, to heal this story. From the roots and into every aspect I felt myself vibrate with new life, freeflowing creativity.

And now, a week later, I am still in awe of what has happened. And yes, I do feel vulnerable. Like a newly born, or rather reborn woman. And it feels good. I do feel very strong at the same time. Ready to birth more of my beauty, to offer more of what I have in store. I feel creative above all, and I like that a lot. Well, this writing (in English!) might be a good start ;))

One of the things that I have to offer is a continuation of these wonderful weekends. I am very happy that Caroline will be back in Holland for her workshop “Magic of the Mandorla”, 16/17 febr. 2013 in Amsterdam. This is another theme that I am very much looking forward too. Information is found on her website:

And coming soon, in the weekend of 24/25 nov. 2012, is the workshop “Reflection, Insight-council of the Elders” with Mark Boylan in Utrecht. Only 3 places still available!

Also, you can dance with me in my classes in Den Haag and Hippolytushoef in the Netherlands.

If this speaks to you, you can contact me by email: for more information.

With love,




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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.