School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 

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Issue: December Newsletter
Another Chance at Life

By Natasa
It was a foggy, damp evening quite appropriate for a date with death. However sinister this might sound that's exactly what I was up to on that fateful Friday the 13th. I was on my way to the workshop 'Beyond Muscle and Bone', to make death my ally in life. Isn't this a contradiction in terms? I was pondering that while driving to the workshop venue.

This workshop was my first encounter with Movement Medicine. A friend of mine suggested that I attend it when I told her that I really enjoy dancing and had nowhere but my living room to do it. I am 42 and I have been desperately trying to get in touch with myself through therapy, meditation and all sorts of things for quite some time. I really didn't know what to expect and I felt terribly lost amongst 150 participants that had gathered in a huge hall of some school. Most of them were already swaying to a beautiful music coming from the speakers. It took some time for me to relax and unwind, but when I did ‘all heaven broke loose’ – and I bet you know exactly what I mean.

I am not even sure if I'll find the right words to convey at least a tiny bit of what went on inside of me during the workshop. But first I think you need to know a bit about the person I was when I took my first ‘medicinal’ steps that Friday. I've had problems with depression a decade ago, and been climbing out of that dark hole ever since. As Ya’Acov put it so nicely, I lived my 'previous' life in a constant trance, disconnected from myself, from my body, from everything but my head’s constant stupid chatter. I’d been a bit better lately, but I’d still been feeling kind of depleted and I’d been constantly feeling afraid and anxious.

And then I started to dance ... to connect with my deepest self. I really felt my body for the first time after a really long long time. I’ve never even realized that I haven’t been paying attention to it and to what it needs. To move freely, to express itself, not just jump around to somebody counting repeats, or sit at the computer for countless hours or try to deform itself to be what it was expected to be. It felt like coming home.

And on Sunday there came the dying part. Darn it, just when I’d found joy again! I felt such regret that I would have to leave my body, this poor, beautiful, able body which I hated most of my life, that I would have to leave my kids and my husband. Sure, I spent a lot of time with them but on the other hand I wasn't really with them. I wasn't even with myself. ‘Dying’ was definitely a huge eye opener for me. Be present, be with the people you love, be with yourself, there is nothing else. Only now I understand and deeply feel what someone dear to me once said: “I’m not afraid of death. I’m only afraid if at the end of my life I would discover that I hadn’t really lived.” When I talked to benevolent death and danced with her, a lot of my 'stupid' fears just dissipated. And I've shed quite a lot of tears of joy lately. Because funny enough I'm still home. The feeling of being one with my body is still there. Benevolent death told me: When in doubt, dance. So I dance a lot. And I keep hearing Ya’Acov saying: “Breathing is a good idea now.” And I breathe deeper than ever.

I can’t really express how grateful I am to Ya’Acov, to my friend who told me about the workshop, and to everybody attending the workshop, making this incredible experience possible. And to benevolent death who gave me another chance at life.

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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. schoolofmovementmedicine.com