School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: April 2009
Coming Home - Reclaiming the vulnerability of adolescence

By Caroline Carey
I attended the Phoenix Retreat last month. Moving on from the ‘seer’ process and the ‘recapitulation’ exercise that I spent a few years studying with Ya’Acov, in workshops and at home on my own. The Phoenix process added a few extra tools for me to become aware of. A different way of seeing and being seen. A stronger connection to the work of Soul retrieval.

So I knew my soul was being included, there were no doubts of that. I wanted to work with an issue that I was discovering as I began to pull things out from the void, and that were awakening from inside me. I always trust before I head into a workshop that what ever needs attention will present itself to me.

I had put together a collage of pictures before the event of one of the things I knew was on the cards as we had been asked to give focus to our intention for the workshop. So my artwork included myself, my partner and my son. It also included aspects of my work and nature. It included my partner and my son because they are two people that I work in some way with. My son a great dancer and lover of the work we do, has begun to play warm ups at my classes and involve himself a little more within the work. My partner, because we are creating workshops together and using both of our skills to combine some very inspiring work. If you know Ben Cole, you will know he is a brilliant cinematographer and film maker (of  One Giant Leap etc)
It has become my intention to let go of the ‘old pattern’ of constantly working alone. After over 10 years it has become something I want less and less to do. I live a very isolated life with my children and a long way from the work that I love. It takes me a lot of energy and a lot of time to continually drive back wards and forwards to teach for evenings, for workshops and to be closer to fellow dancers and movers. There is very little happening close to where I live unless it is with the use of alcohol. Where there is an excessive indulgence!
So within the phoenix retreat I decided to work on the issue of being alone and rather unsupported in some aspects of my life. I live in Ireland, not my native land. I have been here for 14 years. It is such a beautiful country. There is so much good here. But there is a part of me that now misses home. As I worked on and in my process I suddenly felt drawn back to my adolescence.
At 16 I was pregnant. From naivety and a lack of boundaries, with a deep need to be loved and connected to another. A boy who I thought loved me who on discovering my pregnancy, promptly dumped me. There are no regrets, I have a truly beautiful 31 year old son who is a great pleasure to have brought into the world.
But at the time there was confusion and fear of what on earth I was going to do. It was made very clear to me that I could not stay at home and I was asked to leave. It was the only thing my parents felt they could do, and I searched for a bed-sit a flat or just some where that would accommodate me . With spine straight and head in the air I knew I would ‘cope’ and was strong willed enough to step out into the world and make it by myself. I could do it! And so out into the world I went, into mother and baby homes, into a block of flats squalid and vandalized. Poverty loomed. Leaving behind a beautiful country home, where I had grown up with animals, nature and my ponies. My strength was a strong pattern that would brave me through many storms. A blind boyfriend, homelessness, abusive relationships. All through my life I would cope through many difficult situations, always with strong will and a decision to get through it no matter what. Six children later, I was as determined as ever and over the last few years I lost my parents, was ‘removed’ from my home, yet again, and ‘the rug was pulled from under my feet’. This was getting silly! I know the shamanic path is meant to be pretty tough but I did start to decide that I had had enough.
During the Phoenix Process I stepped back into my past in deep meditation. There was a pattern here that needed to be changed, no old story to indulge in, I knew I had to interrupt something very quickly and it needed to be within that very moment of stepping in.
I saw myself as that young girl, vulnerable and afraid, I felt myself soften and cy. I felt a huge weight drop from my shoulders. I became smaller and I felt scared for my condition. I felt my fear, the very fear I had refused to allow in and control me in anyway. I knew in myself I had to ask for help, that I was not actually able to do this by myself. I wanted support, I wanted to be held through this predicament. For myself and for my baby. I wanted to be at home, in my bedroom, with my familiar things, creating a nest for myself and my little one.

 I rememberd the phone calls, the longing for my parents to say “Come home now, all is forgiven!”

The words never came. But in that process on the phoenix retreat I felt them, and I asked myself to come home. I asked for support. I did not want to do this any more by myself. I realized how much I need community, people as passionate as myself about the dance and the work that we are doing. I realized how much I needed to work with others and no longer feel I had to do it all by myself.

And so my collage and my intention had helped me to awaken a desire, the process  showed me where the pattern had begun and the need for vulnerability and the ability to ask for help where I needed it.

Coming home is a big deal for me! I taught for the first time in England last year. It was a wonderful time for me. I am starting to hold some sessions in Brighton Uk, where my brother and sister live. It is also the home of my wonderful partner of six months, Ben. We are holding a workshop called In-Sight in July also in Brighton. And I shall be teaching ‘SHE’ a women’s workshop later in the year. This is a home-coming that is much desired. Whether I work it out and live there, or just find ways to be there more often and work and visit, I do not know how it can be. My children are here in Ireland. I have no idea really, but the option is there, and much as Ireland is also a home and the home of my ancestry, I know now what ever I decide I can ask for help and support. I hope to teach much more within my own culture and the people there as well as being amongst the trees and nature that I grew up with.

And maybe I can ask other dancers for support. I would love to share my work so much more fully with you. I’ve been away and I’m coming home because I invited myself to do so. I hope you will join me in some of what I have to share, I also hope you will just join me as a friend and companion on this dancing, joyous path of mystery and healing.
The Phoenix Retreat was an incredibly gentle and deeply nourishing experience. A detox for both body, heart, mind and spirit. It was so inclusive of everything. This is very clever and subtle soul retrieval. And the great thing is we are able to be totally responsible for healing and changing our own lives within it. We are our own shaman!

Please feel free to write to me,

Caroline Carey

Alchemy in Movement

For coaching sessions please email or call 00353 (0)86 053 1672

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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.