Friday, 22 May 2009

Moko on the move – finding my “body way”

Before I left the UK, Claire – my dancing complice in spirit – and I were joking that I will dance around the world and through my sabbatical, discover all these new dances. As much as we had a good laugh imagining myself dancing across the boarders it is true that my travel and intentions for the sabbatical are also very much focused around exploring the “the move”.

I always enjoyed the dance and even more so when I grew older. The last year I discovered more to dancing and body movements than just an activity every once in a while when going out with friends and ending up dancing till the morning. Dancing and different types of body work (somatic practises) make me become more fully present and alive, my energy is expanding and it easily infects others with a wave of positive energy.

Besides the great energy it produces, I noticed that dancing and conscious body movements help me to better ground myself to let go and feel more centred in my everyday life. Movements and dance can help to leave behind longstanding habits, to be fully in the moment and change one’s conditioned responses into conscious, intentional actions.

The Embodied Presencing workshop with Arawana Hayashi (called Making a True Move) earlier this year was one of my best and most profound experiences in this regard. It is basically an exploration of your intuitive body, becoming more present in the moment (great mindfulness practise) by tuning in to your body, letting it flow the way it wants to and at times get even surprised by it. The movements are done mostly in silence and are not following any particular choreography other than your own particular rhythm, pace and finding your balance between individual experience and the experience with another (in duet or group). The movements are all with an appreciation and consideration of maintaining a balance between rest and movement (same as in music there is this interplay between sound and silence). After these 2 days, I connected with Amy and Chris with the intention to continue this beautiful practise and we continued meeting regularly, building an embodied presencing practise in London.

The picture above is from our last session in London with Amy, Chris and Marc. I miss the group and the practise and hope to continue with it as I travel, some of its elements though I found in Nia dancing which I am going to twice a week now in Budapest.

When I was in a Scottish small village this spring I was taken along to Nia dancing the first time - it was introduced to me then as dancing yoga. I was amazed how much fun it was and the great energy it brought about. This dance draws from dance arts, martial arts and healing arts to create purposeful movement and is always danced with great rhythmic music that would probably have you swing even in the tube ;) It is pure pleasure, engaging your body, mind and emotions in a very expressive and playful wa and inspires to continue dancing through life afterwards.

I gradually see and experience more and more how every movement in life is a dance.

And last piece of dance deliciousness on my travel is French Breton Dancing which is a great experience of dancing in and with a community. There is a big French Dance festival in Gennetines in mid July that I am hoping to go to for a week. French Breton Dancing was introduced to me by Richard, a tree surgeon from New Zealand who kindly offered a free class to us. It is danced with beautiful – mostly live played- music (listen to this) using string instruments, the accordion and is danced in pairs and groups – smaller of e.g. 4 and larger groups that could fill a hall.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Us Now - How might participation change the way countries are governed?

Not about Hungary but an interesting short film or documentary from panel discussions in London and Harvard coordinated by FutureGov and the British Council.

This is about about distributed networks of people running complex organisations. Us Now takes a look at how this type of participation could transform the way that countries are governed. It tells the stories of the online networks whose radical self-organising structures threaten to change the fabric of government forever.

The founding principles of these projects -- transparency,
self-selection, open participation -- are coming closer and closer to the mainstream of our social and political lives. Us Now describes this transition and confronts politicians George Osborne and Ed Milliband with the possibilities for participative government as described by Don Tapscott and Clay Shirky amongst others

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Budapest - and what now?

I am reading this most delicious book called Wild: An elemental journey which a good friend of mine gave me when I told him about my fascination for the four elements. The book, in the very few pages I have read so far, and in particular below, captures so well a calling that I think most of us felt at some point in life and which made me want to set off and explore for some time.

“To me, humanity is not s stain on wilderness as some seem to think. Rather the human spirit is one of the most striking realizations of wildness. It is eccentrically beautiful as an ice crystal, as liquidly life-generous as water, as inspired as air. Kerneled up within us all, an intimate wildness, sweet as a nut. To the rebel soul in everyone, then, the right to wear feathers, drink stars and ask for the moon. For us all, the growl of the primal salute. For us all, for Scaramouche and Feste, for the scamp, tramp and artist, for the furious adolescent, the travelling player and the pissed of Gypsy, for the bleeding women, and for the man in suit who, his eyes kind and tired, gazing with sad envy at the hippie chick with the rucksack. For us all, every dawn, the lucky skies and the pipes. Anyone can hear them if they listen: our ears are sharp enough to it. Our strings are tuned to the same pitch as the earth, our rhythms are as graceful and ineluctable as the four quarters of the moon. We – every one of us – a force of nature, though sometimes it is necessary to relearn consciously what we have never forgotten; the truant art, the nomad heart. Choose your instrument, asking only: can you play it while walking?”

Last weekend just before taking off, I spent 2 full days in a forest in Devon. It made me feel very alive and happy being with the trees and learning more about how support the natural habitat. When I think back, the last time I spent some time in the forest was in Brazil and it feels to me that back then it was my first fragile and precious experience of nature being my teacher (at least in adult years) and I remember feeling bliss being surrounded by the forest and its richness, being held by untouched and untamed nature. It certainly set something off for me then, most likely even the seed to go away for some time and explore more of that.

So here I am now in Budapest. The first day was sunny, warm welcoming and it was a happy arrival same as any other first sunny day of holidays…while the whole trip started dawning on me, also the weather turned grey and surprisingly cold with a fresh breeze the last days. Overnight the temperature dropped from around 28 to very wet and yucky 15 degrees. With the cold outside I increasingly felt sense loneliness, the loss of just having left behind a wonderful community of friends, playmates and beloved ones who I share much enthusiasm, a somehow common journey with and who have supported me during all my recent randomness, inspirations and romantic excursions of life’s adventures.

Now that I am being here and weather same as my mood is turning back to normal I am looking forward to actually getting to know the country a bit better, learn more about Hungarian traditions storytelling, maybe even dances? I will look out for some woofing and try to grasp Hungarians identity as much as my own, somehow feeling home and still being a stranger here.

Everything takes more time than I am expecting – the first couple of days I spent my time setting myself up, organising a mountain bike, finding some NIA dance classes, a Hungarian sim, but also setting myself up with a framework for personal reflections (being a learning designer – I set myself with high expectations in finding the right structure to reflect and capture the experience). A bit driven by the desire to deconstruct myself, to become more aware of how I am spending my time, my attention, my money… and to help to sloooow down …to actually notice, like a lens that needs to be hold still for a long time to get the really sharp and pictures.

I am amazed and intrigued - once again - by the diversity of people here – Hungary indeed is a melting pot. Different cultures and ethnics are coming together (from very dark skinned and dark haired people, to light skinned ginger (as my father) or very blond ones, but also a large span of ideologies, social classes with an increasing gap between poor and rich as it seems. At least I seem to notice a lot more homeless people in the city.

There is a lot of creativity and energy. Similar to the power-to-the-people movements in the UK, there is a good community movement here, wonderfully created spaces like caf├ęs or city corners, newly planted trees with awareness raising commentaries, demonstrations to stop the arcade culture (malls) etc…I am still exploring and not speaking the language well enough certainly doesn’t help to dive in more fully.

What's next really is learning a bit more of the language day by day and get to know the country better...

View HUNGARY in a larger map

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Embercombe - Forest times

Last weekend was full moon and I decided to go to Embercombe in Devon and calm down a little in Nature before departing. A wonderful place which aims at inspiring action for a truly sustainable world. It was a friends and volunteers weekend and I volunteered to work in the forest all the weekend, collecting the smaller branches to create natural habitats for smaller animals, sawing branches for firewood and creating piles to make charcoal. While working under the trees and the sun, I got all kinds of child hood memories when we played in the forest as kids, constructing damms in rivers and looking for brambles.

I forgot how great is was to spend all day in the forest.

On the way to Embercombe we passed Stonehenge - finally got to see it. I read somewhere that Stonehenge is among the top overrated tourist sights in the world.

We only looked at it from far, but I can definitly say it was very special and definitly worthwhile seeing Stonehenge!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Last week in London

Last Friday 1st of May, I had my last day in the office for 2009. My last week and first free week I ever had in this city... organising a leaving gathering, moving out, selling stuff, contract transfers, connecting to people along the way, getting necessary jabs, researching best deals for insurances etc, ....ouuuaaah

\\\ moving out - so much stuff...
Yesterday I moved out, passed on my flat keys and currently sort out last things - what can go to a charity? could be sold on ebay? would be something my friends would love to inherit? will be good to have next year? and how could I possibly half the amount I own???
I had the tiniest room ever and its still amazing how much stuff one can accumulate over the last 3 years that I have lived here. I am up for some "consumption fasting"! What would it be like to not purchase anything for the next 9 months other than what is needed for living?

\\ UK and london really grew on me...
What other big city in the world has so many wonderful things all at ONE place. Great people, music, art, culture and even Nature. A lot of good energy for creative collaboration, social innovation and community building. In the past few months only, I discovered so many new angles of london, culturally rich ones as "Stoky" - Stoke Newington, creative ones - anyone been to the warehouses along the canals of Hackney Wick? wonderful old ones - seeing Highgate only for the first time today, an old village from the 15th century, named like that because it used to be London's northern gate in the mediaevel times. I am particularly fond of the parks, Hampstead heath, the most stunning park - more like a forest - that I have ever been to, Hyde Park, Regents Park and my local wonderful Battersea Park.

\ saying good bye...
My leaving picnic last Sunday in Battersea park was a sunny playful afternoon...thanks everyone for coming. I had the most wonderful time!