I have just returned from the first Module of The Journey of Empowerment with the task of writing about it. This is my gift to The School of Movement Medicine, in return for the opportunity to be present upon this group as a researcher. Come October I will join the Centre for Leadership Studies at Exeter University, as a PHD student, in order to conduct fieldwork on embodiment, sustainability and well-being, within an overall context which examines the relationships between leaders, followers and our future on Mother Earth. To begin with I wish to offer deep gratitude for the grace and beauty of this particular group of intrepid explorers, to Susannah’s deeply compassionate holding and wisdom and the work itself. I also want to celebrate what an awesomely loving woman she has become over the time I’ve known her and to say a simple Thank You to the life which offers us all the remarkable opportunity to be alive at the time of The Great Turning.
Having had a six year break since I last worked with them the most profound thing which struck me on becoming
acquainted with their new work, is the depth of loving kindness which is present at its heart. It’s as though, having spent years building a temple which could house all the rage and grief, the complaints and moaning, the sense of being a victim and all that dark material from which new worlds are born, the temple has flooded with the sunlight of hope and
compassion, of peacefulness and above all LOVE and tenderness.The temple of course, to quote one of our beautiful assistants on our Journey, Marold, is not only the work represented in Movement Medicine, but also “the body," housing the self. The body, the ground of our being. And as we allowed its earth to turn, under the careful attention of our care, we find that we are actually on a deeply mysterious archeological dig, into it’s very foundations. One moment finding the debris apparently carelessly left by the ancestral originators of the temple and in the next, see-ing it as a precious, priceless inheritance beyond compare, the chance of being alive enough to hear the heart buried in the body under the rubble.
Whether we move to its rhythm or not, lying in our power of choice. We gathered together, in a heroic attempt to bring Mind, Heart and Body into Alignment. It’s such tiring and challenging work at times that in the darker moments it’s easy to joke that we must all be slightly mad to be paying for such exquisite torture. After all who in their right minds spends their vacation trawling the unfathomable depths of their uncharted oceans? Those of us who wish to hear the deep dreams held in the heart and to dance them to life, for ourselves and all our relations. I guess it must be the same thrill that under-sea treasure hunters chase. Times of boredom when no wind blows us forwards as we go through the dancing motions in the doldrums, times of fear as the jaws of the great white rise, devouring old ego-patterns in bone-crunching encounters and times of being engulfed in storms at sea.
And yet as the ship sails forward there is the most beautiful sense of unity in this crew, as we see our shared humanity in
our hunger to dive beyond the surface of the water, to embrace the life within the ocean of the soul, teeming with life familiar and unknown and to search for the key to the treasure chest. So, where does that leave us? Ah yes, attempting to align, heart, mind and body in all our complex, fragile “humanitree”, to use one of the quotes of our time together.
Perhaps one of the most instructive elements of our practice together is that of simply bearing Witness, both to ourselves and each other. And of course, the better we are able to offer ourselves the love of acceptance, the more we can begin to extend this into our surroundings. Given acceptance, all states change and indeed taking on the role of witness, rather than judge,jury and executioner, gradually allows us to access the perfection in every event, feeling, and person in our life. All personalities and interactions which arise from Being Alive a part of the passing carnival, all faces, many aspects of the One, all simply embodied fragments of the Divine. Unhooking from the realm of the verbal, which is so often the domain of the culture’s conditioned state, into the beingness of the body, and the practice of just moving, one of the most potent ways I
have ever experienced of accessing this acceptance.
Acceptance alone though, can lead to the inertia of passivity and so we must also work with intentionality, the backbone of all alchemical transformation, as we move from what is, to what we dream of. Why have we come here to this place, to move boulders from the caves of the ancestral burial grounds? What dreams call us forth? And as the body releases the grip of it’s history and the muscles relax, we can come home to the still place at the centre of our being, home to our hearts and we can remember, why it was we came here in the first place. We can remember the dream we came here to birth.
As we are re-born into our own hearts our tribe welcomes our arrival. We bear witness to the shared pain of the vast
cultural dis-memberment in the land of the lost and forgotten dreams. We bear witness and love each other for our ability to keep moving and keep breathing. Our hearts open in deep tender love for our collective wounding. We remember that we are the Divine and we sing the dream back into life. We sing for freedom.
Love to you all! Ali
Ali Young is both a published poet and academic, with book chapters in collections on
embodiment published by
Routledge, as well as a
variety of academic papers.