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The Gift of Slowness

Photo: © Maria Noisternig

The gift of slowness

I just came back from my workshop "Tonus Awareness" and I am deeply touched by the slowness with which we have moved through the weekend. The pace of an exercise, a transition, the development of a workshop is always shaped by the group and the willingness of the participants to engage in the inner processes. The topic of tonus has to do with letting go, sinking into the ground, slowing down. But the actual process that takes place is always dependent on the participant, on the common ground that opens up.

The gift of slowing down is connection, with Self, with physical and emotional processes that are hidden from us in everyday life, because we are usually too fast to notice them, too quick we turn our attention to something else. In encountering with others, slowness allows us to be accurate and mindful, seeing and being seen. Where am I and where are you and where is the dance between us? And in connection with the space, the atmosphere, the group energy, the day quality we find an anchor to a larger field.

The amazing thing for me is again and again, how much spiritual wisdom lies in the exploration of the body. Through the slow, accurate, loving engagement with the deeply subjective sensations of our inner body, we receive information that many spiritual teachers insist on. Devotion, mindfulness, compassion, letting go, non-judgment, being in the moment.

From a personal point of view, I find it exciting that the subject of slowness gets so much space in my work, because, as many of you know, I am rather quick in life. Of course, I also get older and a slower pace grows on me, but primarily I am becoming appreciative of the principle of depth and its resulting lightness as a quality of life and movement, the paradox of releasing into what is.

If we, as dance teachers, find enough confidence in the process of dance, participants will find calmness, contentment, connection and dedication to what is. This sounds like a lot of holy stuff, but it is actually known to happen. So as part of this time quality, the fall going onto winter, dealing with the intensities and insanities of our world, we could do our part and slow down just a bit, maybe just one hour a day. Doing the same chore, just a little bit slower.

At the end of the workshop one participant mentioned that the time during the workshop flew by so quickly, that she felt as if she was in a different timesphere. This might just be our bodytimesphere.