Friday, 31 July 2009

inside there is a butterfly.......

right now i feel closed up,
wrapped up in a cacoon,
waiting for life to begin.

the body -
it seems shut down, in hybernation
not wanting to be disturbed.
no activity, no food
not ready to face the world

but i feel it,
the butterfly
patiently waiting
for me to open up, to unravel the layers
to set it free.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

let there be tears .......

Crying is a natural phenomenon, built into our biology. Yet we deny our tears, as if they make us weak. They do not make us weak, they rejuvinate us. They are there to help us release those complex and overwhelming emotions that we cannot express and let out in any other way.

We think of tears representing agony, but real agony is felt when we suppress them. Tears do not burn our face, like the pain in our throats when we hold back the crying.

To not cry is to not feel and let go. We can be scared to feel, because it is not something we are taught. We are taught to think, and to talk, but to feel is instinctive.

Watch a baby the first thing they can do is cry. It is a bodily function for emotions, a process like digestion is for food and breathing is for air.

To not cry must make us very sick. I think of depression, it is called a mental illness, but emotion goes far beyond the mind.

We may trap emotion inside of us, our mind denying that it is not there. This must cause stress to the bodies, like a stomach being stuck full of undigested food, but we pretend it is empty and keep on eating.

One day the body fights back, and the tears, the sorrow, the pain, they come and keep on coming. The body releases it's overload. We have to be patient, but instead we fight it and there begins a spiralling internal battle, that begins to exhaust us.

We are scared, we believe it to be wrong and irrational, we feel disjointed. Why is there grief, anxiety, anger - there is no trigger. But these are not emotions of the present they are emotions of our past, those we did not allow ourselves to feel.

We have to cry the uncried tears, open ourselves up. Then we can make space for the feelings of the moment. We become synchronised with the here and now. No longer is our body and minds responding to the traumas of the past.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A tribute........

one cool and calculated.
A man of observation, placement, architecture.
Pure motion
The other raw and passionate
A women of memory, feeling, dialogue.
Pure emotion
The two most influential figures of post modern dance die within a month of each other. They together represent the diversity and immense possibilities that can be achieved with dance, movement and performance.
i admire both immensely. They speak to the two sides of our nature- the rational and logical, and the instinctive and visceral.
Cunningham was a scientist with movement. His interest was with the structure, mechanics, and aesthetic of the human body- with what we could see.
Bausch was a poet with movement. She worked with the interior and complex side of the human body - with what we feel.
But both were amazing artists- spontaneous, rebellious and daring with their performances. They new that there was so much more to discover, unravel and create. both continued to work with immense dedication towards their craft till the day they died.
I find something symbolic in the fact that their deaths are so close to each other. they belonged to the same movement, they together began the pathway of post modern dance and paerformance. Now it is time for us to move forward again. They are the pioneers of their generation. Their discoveries have been made and played out. Now we owe it to them and others to start where they left off.
I think that great artists inspire us, but they do not necessarily have to influence all that we do. We have our own experiences, perceptions and sources of creativity that allow us the chances to be totally unique. We are so often scared of being different. We feel individuality could distance us from others, make us self absorbed and feed the ego. But these two legends show that to follow your own path allows an opportunity for such unrealised potential to be exposed in ourselves and others.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Inspired by frida .....


I don't think i know my self, not really. But it is not self knowledge i need, but self trust.

Under the layers of my frequent fluctuating mental, emotional and physical state i think of what there could be. I do not know it yet, i feel wrapped up in the layers.

But like drawing a self portrait, if i look deep enough i am no longer tormented by myself and my features. I can relax, my vision seems clear. I forget myself; there is no judgement, no blame, I am just witnessing what i see.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Body and beyond.....

Body may seem trapped, restricted, disabled.
But it is breathing,
it wants to live.

There are days it seems to really struggle.
Days it feels like it is shutting down.
It seems withdrawn, defeated; overwhelmed by the slightest activity.
Depleted of it's vital energy.

On these days i am learning to embrace the body; not to fight with it, to be it's enemy. But to be it's carer, to nourish it as best i can.

The body is my physical reality. It is the most tactile and visible part of me. But it is not the totality.

When it feels isolated and working alone. When it feels like a very insignificant object in this vast universe, i stop and i think beyond its physical form.

I think of the most mystical aspect of our being - i think of the spirit. The body knows the spirit as part of its living organism. It knows the spirit can always be free

So when the body seems vulnerable and debilitated, live from the spirit and the soul. From there the body can evolve, it can find strength. It can be empowered, it can heal, regardless of its physical capabilities; of any dysfunction, abnormality and presumed inadequacy.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Accepting my scars and imperfections........

Habitually an idealist, wanting perfection.

Fleeing from the past, terrified of the future but restless in the present.

Wounds are healing, but i dont want the scars.

They remind me of the damage done.

They are flaws for all to see.


I remind myself that every scar and imperfection i have is a symbol of our uniqueness. It is a symbol that nature is not interested in perfection, but diversirty and individuality.

Nature is adapting, it works to its own intelligence. It's wisdom is far greater than our contemporary intellect. It is the mystical force of our existance that ultimately has the upper hand.

We can distance ourselves from it, and look just to man to mold and make us feel complete. We can live solely by the constructed rules and concepts of political and social theories. Or we can trust our instinct, the body and soul's inherited knowledge.

When we witness nature's working deep inside of ourselves, we become less anxious of that which is on the surface. We see that we are made up of many layers, many experiences, more than we can ever comprehend.

We become accepting of every aspect of our living, trusting that what ever has happened and what will be, is right if we are intergrated; connected with the outside world and all that lies within us.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

my animal ally ......

( Pawnee Chief from 'Touch the Earth')

I am the mouse in awe of the elephant. In my dreams i sit by its side and ask for its steadiness, its strength, its wisdom.
I watch it move, I see its grace, its patience. Despite its weight there is a softness to its movement, a tenderness- such sensitivity.
And as i watch it i feel my twitching and trembling fade, my racing heart slow down. I no longer feel so small, so timid. I can come out of my whole, i can stand with my head close to the sky and my feet weighted to the earth.
" Something uncanny and perhaps even instinctual happens when we imagine the transformation of our human nature into animal nature. This action captures the imagination, and inspires us to tap into deep unconscious feelings and psychic needs." ( Anna Halprin from 'Returning to health through dance, movement and imagery'.)

Monday, 20 July 2009

tornado in the storm ...

Those times when i think i was reckless, when i think i have made matters worse, i see them as times as being a tornado in a storm.

What has happened has happened, how we behaved in the past is done and we must move on. There is definitely a period of my life which i have often wanted to re write, but now i think of it differently:

In times of great distress and confusion we can react unpredictably, we can be in survival mode unable to digest anything that is going on and just doing anything to keep our heads above water. We cannot stop and notice we are hurting, that there is pain. We bury it to keep on going, to keep fighting.

These are times when our lives seem to be full of chaos, pure extremes- we seem stuck in a storm. We want to be strong- stubbornly strong. We do not want to show fear or panic, but there is no sense of calm; we get caught, we are ungrounded, we cannot see through the heavy clouds and then we are gone, sucked up- we are a tornado.

When all the dust has settled and we are back, something is haunting us. Now we are feeling the wounds and we are scared. There is damage and we were an element of that destructive force.

It can feel unbearable to try and take an objective approach to our most painful times. It can feel impossible. But we have to step away from our past, not be a storm chaser. It is too exhausting, too intense. It will deplete us.

By seeing myself as the tornado I get a glimpse of clarification over my most tormenting memories. I see myself as neither victim nor perpetrator, just as raw, explosive energy- a reaction to the environment. This imagery does not allow me to deny the devastation caused, but it encourages me to make amends.

As in nature, once the storm has past there is time for growth and repair. There are opportunities for fresh starts, for new pastures, a new sense of life.

We need not fear the storm it cannot return. There may be more, but now we know we can survive, we know it will not last. It will blow through and we will still be standing.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

good friends ...

i had a wonderful morning catching up with two dear friends on the phone. it made me take note of the beautiful qualities of friendship. Great friends listen and support you even in moments of hysteria and rage. They are kind and forgiving, patient and ever so loyal. In friendship there is a sense of co dependency. With close friends you are able to share the joys and sorrows each of you experience. What a lonely and harsh place the world could seem without them.
But my thoughts of friends lead me to consider the less obvious but just as vital form of friendship that is so vital for our well being- our friendship with ourselves. I admit that in most recent times i have had moments of resentment and pure disgust towards myself, especially my body.
Now this attitude has not done me any favours, it has not supported my desperate wish to feel fit and healthy. The simple truth is you have to accept yourself as fully as you accept your friends. Within you there too is this reality of co dependency. The body needs the same trust and care that you show towards others. It needs you to listen to it, not to dominate it or to be fearful or disinterested. It needs you to be forgiving when you feel let down by it. It is very much like your closest friends- it will always be there even though you may exhaust it, be inconsiderate at times or just plain neglectful. It is there, working for you in your darkest moods, so be gentle towards it when it seems so destructive and out of control.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

living like Alice.....

I seemed to have spent a lot of time either desperately trying to transform myself or desperately trying to keep things the way they are. But the more i accept that moment by moment change is happening, time is passing; sensations, thoughts and emotions come and go, the more relaxed i become.
When there are challenges in life we can feel vulnerable, overexposed to the stresses and the strains. who knows what the day has to bring. we may have plans, expectations, a schedule to keep, a role to play- but stay flexible and responsive.
i often get exhausted by my daily peaks and troffs, and have battled a lot to try and have a more even day. i then took a moment today to think of the weather. There it is in front of me, the process of nature- rain, sun and wind all in the same day.
our bodies work by the rules of nature, constantly adapting to our environment, to the energy of our actions, thoughts, feelings. Reacting to the stimuli of our surroundings, from the food we eat to the company we keep. let it happen, go with the flow, don't feel ashamed or guilty for those unexpected moments, when there is a surge of emotion or impulsive reaction. we are constantly evolving and if we allow ourselves we can continue to grow from our experiences.

Friday, 17 July 2009

eyes closed and dancing ....

i miss dancing immensely. But i am learning that i can just close my eyes and start dancing.

no matter how heavy my limbs feel, whether my muscles or bones ache i can move.

i am moving all the time. life and all that is living has to move.

even if the body feels restricted there is movement and rhythm occurring in the internal anatomy.

so close your eyes and take an inward dance. flow with the fluids of the body, pulse with the pumping heart, float and sink with the breath.

let the outside be still and quiet

let the inside move and speak

A few words.....

on this grey and rainy July day i have decided to start up a blog.

i am sure it will be full of much rambling and nonsense at times, but i hope amongst this i can share moments of creative, upbeat energy, from those glimpses of embracing life and the here and now.

Hoping to not sound too sentimental i just want to say i believe we all deserve to experience three great treasures in life - health, happiness and love. i think with these things we feel whole; we relax in ourselves, accept who we are and what the day has to bring. when one of these things is missing we have to make sure we experience plenty of the other two.

it is tricky though as they seem to be a package. when you are in ill health it can be tough to experience happiness, to love yourself and life. but it is possible. treasure the small things, the things you never noticed when you felt fit and well.

i use this example of struggling with health as it is a challenge that seems to be very present in my immediate life for myself, close family and friends. keep your spirits up!