If you have a few minutes, read this article written about Lucy Wallace’s Dance to be Free. The article is beautifully written by Cassy Bustos. Cassy was serving her three-and-a-half year sentence when she took part in her first session with this dance and movement therapy session at her prison. Click the photo below to access the article.
The power of dance and movement. I have been wondering lately if I should talk more about what happens when we meet each week to move together at the moving meditation. Up until now, I haven’t been to specific about why I do it or what the method has done for me. This was for so many reasons but the main one being that words just don’t really do justice to what happens in that space. The Clear Space Moving Meditation is not dance and movement therapy. I am not a movement therapist. I would not claim that at all. The work that Lucy Wallace is doing in US prisons is profound and I honour her for that. - what a thing to have brought to the world. “Everyone is living in a prison of some kind,” she says. “You have to go deep inside to find freedom. Ironically, while I was in an actual prison, Dance to be Free helped me be free inside my own body. That’s the best kind of freedom.“ Cassy Bustos (from the linked article.) There are mirrors between what is happening in these US prisons and in my little studio in Hereford though. Lucy Wallace is working with women with a high incidence of PTSD and I am not working with women for this purpose, but what is very clear is that we ALL have a history. We all have stories, patterns, behaviours, difficulties, some of us have PTSD, some of us are struggling and some of us are just looking for a tribe, a community that we can be part of and accepted for all of our colours. We have that in our moving Meditation Sessions (I typo’ed that as Loving Meditation!) We come together, we close our eyes, we use the breath, we move, we shake, we drop below the noise in our heads (or not if it won’t rest but then we just notice that is happening and are kind to it). We have a possibility of dropping below the layers of limitation, unkind self chatter, restrictive patterns, and we can meet ourselves as we are. Fully ourselves with total permission to BE and that is liberation. I mean, it is delicious. It is radical. It is so needed.
We might cry, or stamp, or feel frustrated along the way but no-one even notices. We all have our eyes closed and we are all just doing what we need to do. There is an air of solidarity and compassion in the room. Our bodies move as they want to with no need to ‘dance’ but more to move and just unwind. Then we rest. We drop gently to the floor and we rest. Only after all of this do we meet and talk and what a meeting it is! We have cleared out the noise that doesn’t serve us and we can just meet everyone else with a clear mind and open heart. That creates a tribe based on truth. One of the women I’ve been sharing this method with for years also came across the article today and she made this comment about what the Clear Space Moving Meditation means to her: Emotional Healing through Dance
"This is why I regularly go to my friend Zoe’s ecstatic dance / moving meditation class. It gives me a chance to be with and move whatever I’m feeling. It allows me to drop into my body and to give myself the love and self compassion I need to live a peaceful life. Having had a lifelong pattern of compliance it is where I go to find absolute freedom to express who I truly am without judgment. Zoe’s gentle and powerful presence holds the space with such kindness and love. Part of why I go is that I love being with her.” (I want to edit our the last sentence as the point of this method is that it is NOT about me but these are Rachel's words and I will resist editing what she wants to say. We get edited enough in this life and so I will breathe through the discomfort.) If you’d like to hear more about who I am and why I do what I do then I’ll write more over the next few weeks, but for now, I hope you have something that helps you rediscover how amazing you are. If not, come and join us one day. You’d be so, so welcome.