Friday, May 12, 2006

being present

Last weekend Ann and I went on a Sacred Clowning workshop (my excuse for not going to MM - and as I was being taken by one of our Elders you can't get much better an excuse really!) which to be honest is not something I would have signed up to do usually. Even after a long conversation with the facilitator Gabrielle on the phone (in middle of which two mattresses arrived to replace the worst of the GFH ones which led to some bizarre double talking to the delivery men and Gabrielle!) I wasn't entirely sure quite what I was letting myself in for and whether it was my thing or not. But Ann had asked me to go with her and after all she has done for me it was the least I could do so along I went, determind to give it my best shot but without any great expectations.

I'm still not sure I can explain what Sacred Clowning is, but it involved being completely present in the moment, in the space you are in, with those you are interacting with. It was about letting go of preconceptions about what you 'should do', how you 'should react', not worrying about what anyone else thought of what you were doing and giving expression to what came to the surface.

Whether it was some clever facilitation, the lovingly supportive nature of the group, the atmosphere of the room or what I don't know but I was able to let go and move around with the music, play with the light or whatever in a way I can't remember ever being able to to do with others around. I hated 'music and movement' at school (we're talking 5-11 yrs old here!) as I just felt silly - somehow that all went. Ok so when we had to come up with various mime actions my brain still didn't function quite quick enough to enable the 'flow' required as altho' I could do the actions I still had to jump in and out of a more cognative state to come up with the ideas in the first place!

Losing that self consciousness came into it's own again on Wednesday when finally I got to go along to a salsa class, a mere two years after I'd promised myself I'd go... Quentin and Marion have obviously been good teachers at Summer Gatherings though as I managed fine until the last movement which involved counting AND knowing my left from my right, or more to the point hearing left and moving my right as the guys steps were being called out not the girls! Even that I got the hang of eventually. But anyway the hard bit for me I thought was going to be dancing in front of a wall of mirrors and trying to put a bit more into the moves I could do without concentrating on - I've never had to watch me dance before as I've done it, scary stuff... but I was able to stop worrying about how daft I looked ('no, not that left the other left'...) ground myself (feel those feet...) and 'just be' with what I was doing. I had a great time! It was a bit bizarre when doing the basket move to find myself half expecting to see Miriam's face when I turned rather than Quentin's having partnered Mim when learning it first at Summer Gathering but it was otherwise an hour of being very much present with what I was doing.

There have been other times too since last weekend where it has been much easier to be present in the moment of what is happening and it has added so much to my ability to give fully to what I was doing. Ok so I have yet to get to the point where I can be fully present doing the cleaning - for that I still work in a dreamworld - but it feels like a big step forward in bringing together of various strands in my life and what I have been striving for. I have been trying to live in a manner more 'true to myself' for a few years now and this has helped whittle away at one of the last sets of barriers that has stopped me so often from being able to throw myself into something fully.

Hopefully I won't lose what I have gained and will be able to dance and play without worrying about it any more.

1 comment:

Sebastian said...

Sacred Clowning sounds interesting yet intimidating. The body soul connection is way harder for me than the heartmind. Self consciousnes is a terrible thing.