Breath deeply into the belly until no more air can enter. Exhale by simply allowing your muscles to relax. Keep repeating this. Stop if you get dizzy. I got bored.
My shoulders slumped with my head tilting to the left. My mind began thinking about work tomorrow, my session on Wednesday, my eyes kept focused on the word ‘movement’ and the color orange stood out to me. I’m still bored and now a little anxious. I’ve got that jittery feeling as my body begins boiling with the need to move, but I don’t. I keep that breathing pattern going. I start to feel my mind get a little frustrated. It never seems to like when it doesn’t get its way.
No matter. I do this to get my body back. To do movement work, I need to first recover my body and unbind my heart. We bind to protect, to create sacred space, to create healing and protective relationships. Sometimes I’ve bound too tight and my heart stays too far away.
I’m sitting here looking at a book cover and all I can think is that I don’t want to be the woman on this cover, though I think this woman and her surroundings are supposed to sell me. She’s a white woman standing in yoga pants and white sweater. Her eyes are closed with arms spread to the sky while behind her is a lake and mountains in the distance. I suppose this should speak to me, but it’s just too cheesy. She’s alone first and foremost promoting the white supremacy, capitalist narrative. I’m reclaiming so as not to be alone. I want to gather, own vulnerability, be a healer of self and a witness/space holder for others to heal. I look at the cover of that book while listening to healing justice focused podcasts by black, brown, and indigenous peoples and wonder: how do I move from me and mine to ours in movement building. How do I unlearn a capitalistic white supremacy mindset and learn into my bones a cooperative mindset with vulnerability, collectivism, and shared power.
I think trauma is a good place to start. To build this movement moment we will have to face our trauma’s and hold space for others’ trauma to be witnessed and held. We will have to hold space for each other so that each of us can heal. This is not an individual exercise out in the mountains as a capitalistic culture would have you believe. We write together, eat together, play together, hurt together, and heal together. The only we can move forward together is to witness and hold each others trauma.
This includes recognizing our collective responsibility for certain traumas and our role, power and privilege within them. All done within our bodies, behaviors, ticks and addictions seep from our posture and reactions. We must face these truths. Our bodies will speak to us and tell us what we need to know to heal. A constant pain where I might hold all my tension (like my shoulder blades that constantly become as knotted as my jewelry) could be telling me I need a massage. It could also be telling something else is going on if this is a pattern. Why am I collecting tension there? What is the tension and where is it coming from? If it’s my posture, then maybe I need to pay attention to how my surroundings are affecting my body language. My body is speaking to me if I choose to listen and dive into that physical pain. It could simply be sore muscles, it could also be held tension from past conversations or negative experiences or future worries.
To build a movement we face our truths so that we can lead with head, heart and hands. Head for the thought, the questions and curiosity, the strategy. Head for the context of our past and future. Hands so that we can build, have strength, teach and learn, participate, dance (I dance by myself at least once a week. Just me whatever I want to listen to and how ever I want to dance. It’s a great energy release for that bad day.), and to know our bodies. Heart so we can love ourselves, feel the music, sense and express our emotions, and love others. Heart to remember why we’re here and have the passion for tomorrow.
We like to think there is no time for this. I struggle to make time for the sacred, for noticing my body, for gratitude and love of myself. We call this thing self-care connoting a hint of selfishness just within the act. But this is not that. Care of the self allows you to care for others. Care of the self does not always happen alone. Some activities like meditation and body awareness are helpful alone and in quiet spaces. Yet, many of the other ways we heal and love are in community with others. This is togetherness because our bodies can hold the trauma of ancestors. This is community work, not mine or yours to figure out alone in a cabin in the woods only to come back when you’ve had you a-ha. A-ha’s happen with other people stimulating us. This is a movement and it belongs to us.