School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: June Newsletter
This Could be a Good Time

By Rosie Perks
As I get older I find myself more committed to making space for the flow and expression of the heart. I get clearer in my belief that this is vital for our well being and our ability to respond to what is being asked of us in the world right now. With every precious dance of love and life and loss I witness, I am also reminded just how much difference the support of our fellow humans makes here.

I am in the third year of teaching ‘Out of Ashes’ the workshop I have developed that explores the dance of grief with its many shapes and textures. To date, I have taught this in England, Ireland and Germany, in every country and town I visit I experience something of the bereft nature of the particular place in which we are dancing. It’s hard to clearly describe my experience but it is something like opening a door, and when I open that door all the stories of loss here, waiting to have love and expression come knocking. It feels akin to a throng of lost, lonely children waiting to be claimed and shown love and care, to be wept for, to be raged for to be acknowledged and to know they matter. As I write I find myself weeping for all the lost parts of us that get left out in the cold because we have been taught that grief is best ‘got over’. My heart says the time has come to open the doors and welcome the lost ones back to the home of our hearts and into human community.

Processwork refers to ‘time spirits’ themes or awarenesses that seem to ‘randomly’ keep cropping up in different places globally at the same time. From my world view, grief and its particular relationship with trauma is a current time spirit asking for our attention. I (and many others) believe the time has come for us to get together, share our stories, both personal and collective and let the tears flow and the grief dances rage, to make space for the grey lands so the flowering that is inside them can happen.
I recently read Tears of the Ancestors, Victims and Persecutors in the Tribal Soul by Daan Van Kampenhout (thank you Malena Medam for the recommendation). He works with the Tribal Soul, in the main, through his constellation work with the holocaust. At one point he mentions that in many places where truly horrendous, unspeakable things have happened, the land there, years later, is particularly beautiful and peaceful, nature thrives, it is often the ‘perfect spot for a picnic’. I believe it is possible for the lost and abandoned places inside us to also become places where natural beauty thrives, where we can sit with ourselves and enjoy a picnic! I’m not just referring to the experiences and tragedies from our own lives but also the ones we have inherited from those that have gone before us and the culture in which we have grown.

This brings me to the relationship between grief and conflict, two deeply interconnected parts of our humanity. I don’t think it would be considered overly radical to acknowledge that, for the purpose of protection, many of us have been taught not to allow the depth of our grief to be felt or seen. This means we have to separate from vital parts of ourselves and what we love. In this separation we experience conflict inside ourselves, which often gets reflected in our outer experiences and interactions. This in turn creates more loss, which when not attended to creates more separation and conflict. And so it goes on … Anyone who has studied the Phoenix process and the dance of the understudy with Susannah and Ya’Acov, will probably recognise what I’m referring to. Equally, if we start from the perspective of conflict and being separated within ourselves, we are likely to get this reflected in our relationships and what we see out in the world. When we don’t acknowledge and spend time to understand this separation we end up pointing the finger inwardly and/or outwardly. We experience hurt and loss within ourselves and often in relation to others or the world at large, this is when grief comes knocking. But if we are in this cycle of not allowing grief to breathe this will only create more separation and an experience of conflict. And so it goes on …

Ben Yeger and I have been exploring this relationship in our workshop Spirit of the Dancing Heart. We bring Ben’s work with conflict and my work with grief together to support us to unravel this dance a little more. Ben brings his understanding to the realm of grief and I bring mine to that of conflict, so there is a flow between them. This creates quite a cauldron in which to find the resource that lives in this relationship once we allow and include what lives here rather than fearing and rejecting it. What we have found, among many other things, in the weekend workshops is just how much life force, love of life and each other is available here.

So we are now offering Spirit of the Dancing Heart as a five day intensive which we both feel is a great development. It will give us more space to delve a little deeper under the skin of this, to reflect, digest, integrate and learn together in human community. A community in which we can support each other to find the wholeness that lives in the relationship between these often neglected landscapes. We will dance through the Chambers of the Heart, invoking the spirit of radical inclusion within us and between us, supported by our Wise Elders, Dancing Warriors and Fools. The five days will also include exercises from Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects and Processwork. We will also be supported by the amazing venue on the Dartington Hall Estate and good food and company. So if you feel called to unravel a little more of your own relationship with grief and conflict and the dance between them do come and join us this September we would be delighted to see you there!

Rosie Perks

1923 September: Spirit of the Dancing Heart with Rosie and Ben. Totnes, UK.
Contact Clare
: +44 7593 452882;

Here you find a link to a short video about the Spirit of the Heart intensive.

And this is the link to the beautiful song that inspired the title of this article.
And maybe this could be a good time to explore the spirit of the dancing heart.

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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.