School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: October Newsletter
Colouring in

By Hanna
As I am writing this article my being is filled with experiences of deep dancing, praying and processing during our first Apprenticeship module of 2016, experiences of travelling, shifting between homes, of deep, loving and wonderful connections, of good buys and welcomes, of moving into a new home without much furniture yet.

The last two weeks of this fullness I am experiencing with my left arm in a cast with a fractured wrist I did not tend to properly for weeks. A reminding voice about the importance of caring well for myself appears. 

Through these recent experiences and through presence in the present, I notice how on various levels the image of 'colouring in', or of filling out is inspiring and fascinating me. Giving body, giving energy, giving detail, movement, life and … colour – to an 'outline' of some sort. 

Growing up with a 'Steiner school' background and education, it was not popular at all to use any kind of pre-designed colouring in books for us to draw in. It was simply 'not done' and it was not available (and not missed for that matter). Now, in a different context, the word and notion of 'colouring in' in a wider sense appeals, and I witness how in various aspects of my life this is what I am experiencing. More colouring in of body, of new living spaces, of creative projects, of life. 

Starting with the body, this is an image I much like: the colouring in of the body, the feeling and filling of inner landscapes into their full 3D version; a filling out of body; expansion from within.

I feel very blessed I could dance with Susannah and Ya'Acov on two intensives this year and at that first AP module we finished early this month. Through that I was given much space, love and witnessing to 'hang out in my body' (as I like to call this) a lot and intensively. It was also the great music, deep movement meditation, beautiful beloved companions, voice, and all the other tools of Movement Medicine, which created a wonderful playground to spend time with this colouring in or filling out of body; embodiment. And the healing and transforming wonders of that could fill books I believe.

And while writing this article I keep thinking back to this one time Susannah drew a stick figure onto the board, and next to it something like a 'ginger bear figure' – a figure and body, but with real space to colour in or fill out, no sticks, but real limbs that can hold muscle and all. I like that image, and the knowing and experiencing of these spaces in my body, with the choice to feel and fill them out any time. My space, my earth, my colour, my dance. 

I bring only one example from the module about embodiment, though it reaches beyond the body as such. A practice of 'colouring in' I really enjoy!
Each in our own space we established our sphere around us, a 'second skin', a field reaching as far as our arms all around. Getting a sense of it and what it feels like to from the inside be aware of this forever moving 'second-skin-circle' around me. In Movement Medicine terms it is also called the 'medio space', between the macro (myself, and inclusive with awareness and contact of wider field around me, beings, energies) and the micro space (eyes mostly closed, awareness only inwards right down to the feel of muscle texture).
Once this medio space was established we got to 'colour it in' with goodness: turning to the four elements one by one, we invited the qualities which speak to us of that element into our medio space, and I had much fun filling out this space around me with blessings, qualities and gifts from the elements.
Despite having grown up without colouring in books, this image reappeared of me literally colouring in (as you would do with the dogs, houses, trees … in these books) my medio space around me in co-creation with spirit and elements, as if I could see it and its boundaries, and the colours the energies are using to fill it out. 

And I have since then taken this practice of the medio space out into my macro space, while landing in a new home. The colouring in continues, as I move into the rooms of the house here, filling them out with my love and connection to earth, nature and the elements, and as I walk down to the rocks where the ocean hugs the shore, with this ever moving, rising and falling blanket of waves, continuously speaking the tongs of the water spirits. I am filling out my macro space around my home with this connection to spirit and the elements, as I say hello and introduce myself to the spirits of the earth and rocks, to the waters, to the winds shaping cloud images in the sky, and to the sun as the sacred fire. Filling out, giving body; and weaving threads of a MM tools of a workshop space into the practice of living life. So I sit with the rock, listen to the stories of the waters, and sing a song for and about the stones, which a dear MM sister had brought from the stones in Island and has sung for me once. A filling out of my macro space with prayer, gratitudes, movement, meaning, love and connection. 

On a practical level of currently moving into an almost empty space, there too I get to experience the practice of filling out, creating, and colouring in of an apartment and living space. What do I chose, and how do I fill this empty space? – From where to place what dishes and 'kitchen stuff' in the empty cupboards, to also including intentions and dreams to fill and embody this space and chapter with. 

The notion and process of giving more body also appeared in a skype session with my apprenticeship mentor. I was speaking about the timeline and structure of my AP 'project' (the overall intention and vision for the AP), as I noticed that I feel my 'project' would need more body: There is an outline, a vision, a sketch … yet I felt strongly it too would need some 'colouring in', adding some detail, filling out, providing more body, maybe creating an artwork, painting or collage, to manifest some of that 'body'. 

The meaning and importance for me of this filling out or giving body in any of these examples (and surely there are many more) is that it gifts me with spaces and moments of clear choice, and wonderful ways of co-creation: I get to chose the intention, the texture, the fabric, the prayer, the song, the 'filling', the dream … I wish to add to the fun soup of co-creation in my outlined 'projects', my body spaces, living and communal spaces, my medio and my macro spaces of experiencing and living. I get to chose the colours and the life I am colouring these spaces in with. And I always feel that the body of embodiment also provides real manifestation as it brings movement, intention, earth and the details of life into whichever space. 

So, as I will joyfully continue with this colouring in of life and spaces, I wish all of you happy and conscious filling out of body and experience all around with whatever nourishes and uplifts your heart.

With Love, Colour and Body,

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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.