Tag Archives: consciousness

Magical Movement & the Mystery of Creativity


Have you noticed how art and dance have an alchemic power to shift us, to transform us?

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Stepping into a dance space I may feel tired and disconnected, yet an hour later I’ll feel life pulsating in every cell of my body.

Sitting down with an empty canvas I may feel restless, yet the brushes direct my focus into colour, form and expression.

Pondering the first line of a journal entry I may feel confused, yet by the time I put the last word on paper my thoughts will be structured and my mind at peace.

Having just returned from the second part of my dance therapist training, the alchemy of creative dance and movement is most alive in me.

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Through an intense experiential group process I relived the experience of the 3 month old baby me who had to wear hip braces so that her thigh bones grow into her hip sockets.

I had a symbolic dream guiding me further on the path of love.

I gained new insight into how to bring more embodiment into coaching.

I connected beyond words with the tribe of my course mates.

And I’m feeling so light and present at the end of it all.

In fact we can scientifically trace that alchemic power of dance that shifts us profoundly.

Through movement we stimulate ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin which are key to our emotional and physical well being. They boost our energy and motivation levels, and stabilise our mood, sleeping patterns and appetite.

Yet the alchemy also has to do with finding intuitive, authentic movements that have the power to express something deeper than words. Through dance I feel I can express nuances and complexities of emotions and states of being that I could not have begun to express verbally.

It is as if unconscious memories are floating up into consciousness.

And we dance these memories from chaos into order, processing and integrating the emotions that come up along the way. Like Shiva Nataraj dancing consciousness into the demon of ignorance, we dance clarity into the confusion of the little understood mysteries of our unconscious mind.

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Allowing the body to shake out first its tenseness, a state of relaxation occurs in which original movement expands easily and the body finds constantly new and original ways of moving. The greater the sense of relaxation, the greater the experience of pure life force.

Sometimes this experience even feels like a trance, a state of grace, ecstasy and union with the divine or all living things in the universe.

There is a strong connection with my own soul within as well as with the soul of all outside me, present in the same space or beyond. In fact, through that connection the distinction between in and outside disappears.

At the end of a dance, there is a feeling of full presence and integration of all ‘bodies’, the mental, physical, emotion and subtle.

Isn’t that magical?

We’ll be diving into creativity on the next Maitree Community – the Sangha of Joy call. Contact me on julie@maitreecoaching.com if you want to know more and share your creative alchemic experiences!

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At the pace of what is real


I’ve been travelling a lot over the past month – South of France, French Alps, London, Amsterdam, and now back in India…with a full heart, relieved to be home again, and grateful for all the soulful joyful reunions with friends and family in Europe. Also with a tired body, taking time to rest and get comfortable with the monsoon weather and crazy beloved India.

The need for rest has been appearing synchronistically in conversations with friends and coachees for the last few weeks. For example my GP and health coach cousin who works with women in their 30s that have developed a range of psychosomatic conditions, often because of a diary full of everything, but rest. A coachee saw her emotional eating habits transformed once she allowed herself proper rest. And my partner Shivi needs complete rest to recover from a viral fever – no phone, no movie, not even a book…

This – naturally! – comes at a time when I’m learning how to rest properly, for example deactivating after lunch and dinner, taking a break after every hour spent behind the computer, no phone 1hr after waking up and 1hr before sleeping…and the health effects are so clear. More peace of mind, clarity, ease, stability. Less stress, cravings and fewer outside events triggering annoyance or frustration.

Mark Nepo calls this state ‘At the pace of what is real’ in one of his poems in ‘The Book of Awakening‘. I love sharing it with my Joyful Living Retreat participants on Day 4 when we look at how to flow through life..

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In my search for rest, I’m facing a big saboteur – the one saying ‘you’re not working hard enough, you’re not productive enough, you don’t deserve rest, you’re not doing anything with your life.’ Or even ‘You’re already meditating and doing yoga every day, what more rest do you need?!’

Luckily my inner leader is telling me that I’m more productive when fully rested because the right things happen at the right moment, effortlessly. And that in rest and quiet we create the space to listen to our soul and where it’s guiding us. As Rumi puts it so beautifully:

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I’m curious to hear your thoughts and experiences with busy-ness, rest, going at the pace of what is real and listening to your soul. Respond to this post, email me or join us for the next Maitree Community – the Sangha of Joy’s monthly call where we’ll be exploring what INTUITION and GOING AT THE PACE OF WHAT IS REAL means to us..

The August Sangha calls are taking place on Sunday 14th August at 11am Central European Time/2.30pm Indian Standard Time and Thursday 18th August at 4.30pm Central European Time/8pm Indian Standard Time. Get in touch with me if you’re keen to join (julie@maitreecoaching.com)!