In the dark, there is nowhere to go but inward. And when we turn into the dark we see things that otherwise would have been out of view. Our sight adjusts, if you will.
What do we see when we explore the edges of ourselves? Who are we? What are we? Of what is this body made? What is moving us? Are we moving from external stimulus – the cultural expectations, norms and conditioning instilled in us since birth? In other words – are we moving, literally and figuratively, to someone else’s rhythm? Or are we finding expression for our own individual way of being – our true north?
Of what are we made?
If we relate to the body as only flesh and bone we’re only telling ourselves part of the story.
Of what are we made? We are amazing life embodied. We are 7 billion billion billion atoms oscillating wildly through space/time. Through our bodies we are connected to the very beginning of the universe. We are 65 percent Hydrogen, 25 percent Oxygen, 10 percent Carbon. We are a way for the universe to experience itself through five senses engaged with the world. We are the earth, water, fire and air of this planet in motion. We are the result of 13.7 biliion years of constant movement. We are motion made flesh.
Of what are we made? This body contains my whole life – every experience I’ve ever had, every action, everything I feel and think.
Of what are we made?
The guts of stars.
Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space.
Flesh, blood, bones, nerves, organs.
A consciousness that witnesses it all.
This body is amazing. We feel its muscles and ligaments and bones and organs; its heat and energy and emotions. If we listen carefully we can hear its vibration, and our own heart beating. If we pay attention we can feel the blood pumping through our veins and arteries, giving us that thrilling sense of aliveness. And when we utilise both movement and stillness together we can heighten our experience of these things.
Shake It Off
In Wild Child Moves’ movement workshops we wake up our skin, we wake up our energy, we wake up that which moves through us. We bounce up and down, we shake, we dance, until we touch that inner joy that is often obscured by the rubble.
At the start of this year, I attended a performance workshop for aerialists. The instructor took us through a series of exercises in order to awaken creative movement. On the ground first and then on our chosen apparatus, we put on blindfolds to draw us inward – the sense of sight seems to pull us to the external, our surroundings distracting us, our view of those around, who can see how we are moving, inhibiting us. The blindfolds made us reprioritise our senses so we had to tune in to the music and our own bodies. The instructor then gave us cues – ‘lightning’, ‘water’, ‘move like you’re stuck in honey’.
This unlocked something in us. Instead of moving in our habitual way, we were pushed into a conversation, between our bodies, and the music. The internal and external merged and everyone’s movement became so much more interesting, so much more arresting.
Soon after, Clare and I held our first weekend retreat together. And we wanted to hold a freeform movement session to get people more connected with their bodies. We put together music that made us want to move and came up with different cues to inspire our movement. We got everyone together to experiment with radical embodiment and ‘Shake It Off’ was born.
If we can cultivate a playful and curious relationship to our body and its movement, we realise that the body is constantly communicating how to unlock our stuckness. In our movement workshops we turn the lights real low, we put on blindfolds and we become sensitive to the communication between the internal and the external, between our inner being and the music we hear – sensitive to what moves us.
Usually the way we approach movement is as a ‘discipline’. We dedicate ourselves to a method and we work toward mastering that method. That usually involves someone else’s expertise. And so our movement journey is mostly someone else telling us what’s best for us. We learn technique, alignment, we learn right and wrong. We build strength, and mobility, and flexibility. There’s nothing wrong with that. Many of us find satisfaction in getting better at something.
However, I believe there is a balance to be struck. There’s a chance our focus is too narrow and our approach to movement becomes devoid of creativity and too dependent on someone else telling us how to move. We forget that we have a body that we don’t need a license to drive. Our body knows how it wants to move – we just have to learn how to listen and respond.
Move your animal body
Your body has an intelligence that flows through it. It’s called life. Let it guide your movement, let it guide your way. Your body is an animal body. Your body loves to be in its natural environment. Your body loves to move. Your body is your connection to your ancestors all the way back to when we knew how to live in harmony with the earth, all the way back to when we were apes, all the way back to when we walked on all fours, all the way back to when we had scales and fins, all the way back to when we were single cell organisms floating in a prehistoric soup. All the way back to when we were elements forged in the heat of an exploding star. All the way back to when the universe woke up with a bang. That beginning still ripples through us now. Our bodies hold rhythm and music. Our bodies are mystical and amazing. Wake up Wild Ones. Wake up that force within and let it move you. You don’t need permission. You don’t need approval. You don’t need someone to tell you how to have a body. You have a body and it is alive and you belong here. You have a body. You have breath. All you need is to use it. To live, to breath, to be. Here. Now.
To join us at our next movement workshop on Saturday August 25, 6pm at Union Street Yoga head over here to book: https://www.trybooking.com/WTIT