Gathering Your Power
Photo: Katrina McPherson
What do you see when you look at this picture?
and a great composition…
I see all of these qualities, perhaps especially because I was lucky enough to participate in a 5 day workshop last week with the dancer, Kirstie Simson.
Here is Transformation for Life embodied. This beauty and power were always there, but her unique qualities needed to be nurtured and grown to reach maturity. Kirstie says, “Dance has been the way I have learned to live life. Through dance I have become a better person…”
I first knew Kirstie many years ago, when we were both at dance school together. Later we worked together, but right from the start, she had star quality. She was a natural dancer with natural beauty, but what interests me so much is how she has applied herself to her own growth. And continues to do so…
Here is Kirstie half a lifetime ago…
An assured dancer…
but this is a young person’s body, without any of the maturity and power of the photo above …
How did Kirstie grow herself? She did it by asking questions, by being eternally curious and by continually being aware…Then she listened to the answers, to the feedback from the world.
Kirstie’s prime tool is her body and her modality is improvisation.
She listens through her senses and her skin – “brush the surface of the Earth with your skin…”
She allows her body to meet other bodies and ask questions, “what happens when this cell meets this cell?”
“How can I come out into the space (of performance) and be one human being among many? how do we create this together?”
“What happens when I am in relationship with this other body? In that relationship I meet all of me…my resistances, my fears, my vulnerability…and that is when it is so interesting…”
When you ask those questions honestly and openly and warm heartedly, you water yourself…and you learn.
Kirstie teaches very simple, but infinitely profound, body principles.
Rock and fold your joints. Circle your body. Go up to go down. Go down to go up. But here’s the thing. There is never stillness.
That may sound obvious – after all, we are talking about dance here – but actually in dance, like in life, movement is often taught by locking one thing against another, grip here to extend there, achieve this by contracting that…And certainly, measure this (your image in the mirror) against that (the eternal perfect “other”).
So when there is nothing to grip, what is going on? When there is only movement, where does the light and shade and power and stillness come from?
From going deeply deeply into centre, then there is a natural rebound. For each exhalation into the earth, there is a natural inhalation, expanding outwards. Or for each exhalation into the air, there is a natural rebound from the earth.
Kirstie talks about buoyancy. Not surrendering into inertia or getting stuck on extension. And that buoyancy is in each cell.
So the fruit is being continually aware yet always relaxed. Feeling centred but moving outwards at the same time. Knowing ground so one can fly. Being becoming doing…Using stillness as a springboard for power…
I can think of a hundred ways this is relevant in everyday life. I can think of a hundred ways this is relevant to the practice of personal power. But I will leave that for now!
As you sit and read this or stand or lie and read this, take a moment.
Become aware of where your skin is touching the earth, the parts of your body resting down. Imagine that side becoming heavier, filling like a dry sponge fills with water, spreading and softening downwards as you exhale. You may only relax by one or two cells, certainly nothing outwardly will change, but you are allowing yourself to rest into Earth. Then feel your cells filled with new space as you inhale and imagine that movement extending as far as you want…So even in your sitting, there is movement. Even in your sitting, you can ground, centre and extend.
Imagine gathering that power and harnessing it to move into your best self. No boundaries.
That’s the journey I am on, which is why I call my work “transformation for life”. This is a practice over time.
Witnessing Kirstie’s work over time has been a real privilege. The practice of EFT uses the same principles, the same awareness and the same humility.
What a ride!