Friday, 23 October 2009

Becoming Shapeless - Bodywork in California

End of August I arrived in Petaluma, the North Bay Area of California and one hour north of San Francisco. I took a break from travelling for a month and was very lucky to find a nice quiet place outside the city. I visited two seminars at the Strozzi Institute on Embodied Learning and Leadership and for the first time also started taking Aikido classes.

While my trip before then has been much around reconnecting to my past and roots, visiting family and friends and about being in Nature, my stay in California was very much about exploring the being in the presence - mainly about paying attention to the body, on bodily conditioned patterns we develop over time, practices and movements. Spending the last weeks in Petaluma and the Strozzi ranch has been quite an impacting and uplifting experience, as it has helped me to integrate different embodied energies and enhance body-mind integration. At one point in the middle of the seminar I remember waking up the next day and having the sensation of feeling ‘shapeless’. As it was mentioned to us the next day “some might feel shapeless as they are moving away from one shape – their conditioned patterns to a new shape”.

My trip to Petaluma was totally unplanned, my plan was to go from Istanbul straight to India and from there spend the last months in Brazil. End of July I felt a strong pull to get in touch with the Strozzi Institute and explore the possibilities, the conversations went that well that I spontaneously booked a flight and changed plans to visit India in October. It seemed to be exactly what I needed to bring my previous experiences and reflections nicely together.

I find it rather difficult to articulate all of that in an easy comprehensible way, given that most of what I am talking about was a “felt experience in the body” in the realm of body and emotional intelligence as opposed to insights and understanding in the realm of mind intelligence. The work of the last couple of weeks has also showed me how much I still use to live in my head and how difficult it is to let go of my ‘mind habits’ even after all the somatic experiences and practices of the last year that helped me so much already in becoming more body aware and intuitive, I still feel the distance and continuous path to full integration.

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