School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

Back to contents

Issue: November 2012
Feelings in motion, heart in action, life in connection

By Petra Bongartz
“What is split off, not felt, remains the same. When it is felt, it changes... A few moment of feeling it in your body allows it to change. If there is in you something bad, or sick or unsound, let it inwardly be, and breathe. That’s the only way it can evolve and change into the form it needs.”(Eugene Gendlin)

I have just returned from assisting on the weekend workshop Dancing with the Heart of the World with Susannah in London. This is a beautiful and intense journey with the Pachamama Symposium at its heart, dancing our feelings and creative responses to the interwoven threads of environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfilment, both in terms of the challenges humanity is currently facing and in terms of all the emerging possibilities and reasons for hope.

We had an interesting start on Friday night as there had been a powercut in the area in the afternoon which meant we couldn't use the room we were meant to be in- there was no electricity, so no lights and also no possibility of playing music or showing the Pachamama Symposium film. So for a while, we were wondering whether we would have to cancel the weekend. But, with the help of the very generous and flexible staff at Toynbee Hall, as well as our own capacity to stay calm and think on our feet (or perhaps through our feet, as we so often practice in the dance), we managed to transform the cafe space at the venue into our dance space, with emergency lights, candles and drumming instead of electronic music.

And it worked a treat and felt very appropriate for this particular workshop. It made us all aware how much we take electricity for granted and how with what is happening in the world right now, this kind of situation is not only a reality for many people already but may well be a sign of things to come. And it also beautifully illustrated the opportunities and magic that come with such crises.  It really brought everyone even closer together- both the crew and the participants- and it was beautiful to see how deep we travelled without all the extras we take for granted, simply coming back to what all this is really about anyway: connection with our bodies, connection with each other, simply being together and giving attention to each other, listening to the music in our hearts and allowing our dance to follow.

Luckily the electricity was back on Saturday and Sunday. And so we could show the inspiring and moving Pachamama symposium film and continue as planned: embodying our responses to the environmental, social and spiritual challenges of our times, letting our emotions move as well as awakening our hope and seeing the many possibilities for positive change, including our own unique part in it.

Something that Ya’Acov said at the last Apprenticeship module was very present with me throughout the weekend: “Every single human emotion, whether shadow or light is a gateway to the heart and to love, if we are present with it and allow it to move through us and move with it.” This was what I keep witnessing in myself and in others every time I do the symposium. Yes, there is a lot of grief, sadness, anger, despair and many more emotions that our culture deems negative that arise in me when I witness the destructive, cruel, careless and disconnected ways in which we humans are behaving. But when I allow them to be, when I give them expression through my tears, my sobs, my shaking, my dance, I find the love and care for life in all its myriad forms that lies behind them. I feel the aliveness of my own heart and how it vibrates with the resonance of all it is connected to. I feel the depth of my love and passion for life.

And this weekend, I had such a sense of how my own experience of hope and my contribution is linked with my experience of being in this Movement Medicine community, in the circle of Apprentices, connected to the many inspiring groups I have been part of during workshops and the Long Dance.

The integration of Movement Medicine and the Pachamama Symposium has special significance for me as the first MM workshop I ever took part in also included the Pachamama Symposium. And this combination is what got me ‘hooked’. I felt like I had finally found my home, after years of keeping locked up my feelings about the state of the world as well as my passion for change, after years of feeling helpless and feeling ‘I am alone with this’, I saw that there are others who care in this way. And through the practice and the experience of being in this community, bit by bit, the layers of protection around my heart, the layers of doubt about expressing myself, the many versions of the story of ‘I’m not good enough’ have given way to the fire of my passion and love finding their expression and purpose in the world.

This weekend, I felt the interconnection of all our individual journeys, dreams and commitments (in their many beautiful colourful variations) to play our role in this life, on this Earth, for this Earth and for life. I felt the force of this gathering of energies behind a common dream of a different world.  And dancing with, from and in this space in my heart, I felt truly alive, with all the sorrow, grief and anger, as well as the gratitude and joy of it. I felt alive because this awakening, and finding ways of co-creating a response, sharing hope and telling and embodying new stories and ways of being makes me feel that I am dancing right at the heart of my purpose, dancing from my/our birthright and my/our deepest longing. I feel so much love for our shared journey, for this deepening and expanding of connection with and between our hearts, and the possibilities that blossom from the fertile soil of our MM garden.

I feel I needed to give expression to and share these feelings of passion, love and hope with you, because YOU, whether I know you or not and whether you know it or not, are such an important part of it all. Thank you for your love, commitment and courage, I am happy to have you by my side.


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.