Reflection on Journey Through the Landscapes of the Body – Greece May 2017

“One of the most important and difficult tasks in the individuation process is to bridge the distance between people… Every relationship has its optimal distance, which of course has to be found by trial and error.” CG Jung

vanessa yoga retreat anilio may 2017

This past week our retreat Journey Through the Landscapes of the Body has traversed many themes through yoga and silence, dance and dialogue, various poets and philosophers, and creating our own writing and images. In our physical and interior being, journey is the word; in the body’s perpetual flux there is no fixed point of balance or belonging. Ida Rolf who developed the structural integration practice of Rolfing says, “our security comes only from gravity and relationship.” She says this recognising that gravity is found only through movement and, like the body, relationship is insecure, “as uncertain as a water-bed”, cannot be fixed or solidified like a wall. In other words relationship is what mirrors our felt-sense patterning of having a physical body.

Jung goes on to describe the pain we can feel when that ‘optimal distance’ with another cannot, for some reason, be achieved: “There is always the danger that the distance will be broken down by one party only, and this will invariably give rise to a feeling of violation followed by resentment.” Whilst we might fear the uncertainty, it’s only by risking ourselves to this relational space that we can truly be alive and available to what calls us.

So in this ever-moving landscape of the Pelion, it’s nature and community, we’ve been experiencing what it might mean to “get secure in an art where there is no security” and “recognise the security of insecurity”… To start to trust it, this state of change. Our constantly shifting sense of gravity then becomes the place where we find that place in our (Achilles) heels; rather than searching for a perfectly-shaped happiness or fulfilment, we allow ourselves the spaciousness of embodiment; to come close and see through the lens of our own and others imperfection. We discover our wound, our threshold of falling, from which our only secure ground is to establish truthful and open connection, that ‘optimal distance’ where we know, in the midst of our longings and confusions, we were born to be free to respond to love.

“I would describe myself
like a landscape I’ve studied
at length, in detail;
like a word I’m coming to understand;
like a pitcher I pour from at mealtime;
like my mother’s face;
like a ship that carried me
when the waters raged.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)

And here a further piece on this theme…/yoga-and-embodiment-the-integ…/amp/

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