School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: March Newsletter
The Gap: Reclaiming Dynamic Balance in Challenging Times

By Jo Hardy
I am not a writer but I am a passionate and experienced teacher. I love this work and it is my passion to deeply support those who pass through my workshops and mentoring sessions to be the best versions of themselves they can be in any given moment. Life seems pretty complex at this time, with many challenges and outrages and many calls for each of us to ‘step up’. And yet, for myself, the overwhelming number of these calls can just seem too much at times.

I can edge into the shadow of wanting to step back and out, feeling impotent and like I am watching us humans hurtling towards a cliff edge with my hands and feet tied and unable to move, or like I just want to check out in habit and numbing.

Many of us seem to be walking a fine line between ‘stepping up’ and feeling overwhelmed. In all this it seems so crucial for us to learn to love ourselves with deep acceptance, as a part of this earth and Divine creation, welcoming all the imperfections of our very human nature. I will call this Yin Kindness, the Acceptance in the Movement Medicine mandala. And then there is the following of our aspirations, creativity and intentions – to grow, give, awaken and follow our dreams and to respond to the evolutionary impulse of collective awakening. I will call this Yang Kindness, the Intention in the Movement Medicine mandala.

For myself and for many I witness in one-on-one sessions and workshops, an often painful gap exists between the acceptance and the intention. There is also a gap between our aspiration, vision and calling and the degree to which we feel resourced enough to really follow this impulse. Our bodies, nervous systems and emotional bodies are often profoundly challenged, not only by our personal edges but also through this overwhelm of feelings arising from a daily onslaught of insults to our humanity and this beautiful and exquisite planet and creation.

As a helpful recourse from the Movement Medicine map, helping us to balance in challenging times, there is our ‘position’ as the Dancing Warrior at the centre of our circle an empowered, well-resourced and grounded, dancing human. It is a place that offers perspective, a field where we can learn to hold a dynamic balance between power and love, agency and relatedness. A place where our curiosity and sense of humour is alive and accessible and where we can align with openness, flexibility and responsiveness; a place where we are loving and able to hold relatedness in conflict. When we loose this ‘position’ we may slip into this gap.

As many of us, me included, keep falling into this gap, it seems wise to get super interested in the creative dynamics of this gap, to become ‘gap-experts’ if you will. Perhaps this very gap and all its paradoxical dynamics are a catalyst for emergence or transformative fuel for awakening and deepening wisdom. Years ago I did a workshop with a psychotherapist aptly named Hymie Wise and I have never forgotten one simple phrase he spoke: “The true nature of wisdom is coming to terms with paradox”. In other words, becoming the Dancing Warrior. The one who can hold an open space, despite dynamic tension and challenging opposites, who can balance in the face of many seemingly diverse ‘pulls’, who knows how to hold it all, yin and yang, power, love, curiosity and paradox – while still being able to move with it.

However, as this evolutionary process of collective awakening seems to be speeding up exponentially, the pressure in this gap in each of our experience can be intense. My precious aspirations and intentions slip into their shadow of self judgement and punishment. My intention to be more open hearted and loving, slips into its shadow of collapse, numbness or addiction. It takes real skill and patience to learn to really track these movements, to be loving enough to tenderly explore these shadows and reclaim the parts of us that got lost and identified in these shadows. To realise that this is a collective process of awakening, that it actually is not about me and yet it so is, in the sense that every step I make within my own ecology towards aligning with this process is a contribution.

Thank goodness we have the dance and the Dancing Warrior to help us dynamically balance in these challenging times. Thank goodness we have each other as mirrors and as support – other unique ‘faces’ of the Divine Presence, brothers and sisters awakening together. Big Heart, Big Mind, Big Presence. And I would like to finish with some words form Ken Wilber: "Slowly but surely, carefully but fiercely, deliberately but radiantly we will find ourselves sharing in the same circle of understanding, abiding in the eye of spirit, dancing in the freedom of the whole, expressed in all its parts."

Jo Hardy

Jo will be exploring these themes in a workshop Kindness Is …. A deeply transformative residential workshop by the sea on the beautiful island of Sylt, Germany:

12–15 April: Kindness is … with Jo Hardy. Isle of Sylt, Germany.
With a Move! Evening on 12 April.
This is a deep and wonderful residential workshop during which we will explore the immense compassion and kindness that is available in us towards ourselves and others. We will get to know the yin and the yang ways of kindness and challenge old belief structures that may hold us back from being kind or allowing to receive kindness. We will create a safe space together that can hold and include deep dancing, true support of each other, laughter, painful moments and relieving openings.
Contact Petra Cegla: +49 4651 871276;

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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.