• Lada Matyášová

Dance and nature = Growth Embodied in Germany

Nature. Lonely homestead. Peace and harmony. Thirty beautiful souls. Dance. Basics of theatre improvisation. Vegetarianism. Four Seasons. Somehow, the last extended week I spent at the YMCA base in the heart of forests and meadows near Selbitz, Germany. I participated with twenty-six people from nine countries at the Growth Embodied training course. But rather than training and course, I would call it a self-adventurous course on the way to moving and discovering the hidden corners of myself in harmony with nature. This was a much different kind of training than I usually take part at.

It was a ten-day experience of embodying emotions and interaction between dancers, filled with contact improvisation and dance of all kinds. It was ten days full of nature wandering with its thoughts, dialogue with deep-rooted people with a strong awareness of being present, for which nature is a companion and a teacher. It was ten days of rituals to celebrate Mother Nature, gratitude for her gifts, and astonishment at how much we can learn from her and what we can get from her. It was ten days of community life from shared cooking, cleaning, caring for space, and the comfort and well-being of all participants. It was ten days of light but nutritionally balanced meatless food. There were campfires, evenings under the stars, rain on their faces, and oxygen-filled lungs.

I came to the course full of fears and expectations if I could handle what I carried with me during the process. If what's waiting for me isn't too much for me. I carried my knowledge of nature, my passion for dance and the heart beating for community life. And it was hard. Sometimes it turned out that even just talking fifteen minutes about the nature of my being is very difficult. Or just to give in to the rhythm without feeling embarrassed or prejudiced can only be a profitable obstacle. It turned out that if one is not satisfied with himself and does not accept himself fully, any activity can cause him trouble. It turned out to be important not only to take care of your body, but also your soul and everything that happens around us. Even harmony with nature is a thing that we can hardly imagine without a weather forecast today. Let alone the fact that it will snow as it happened in May. But even so, we went out, into the forest, to the fire, to receive the gift of heat from the blazing flames, which gave us a glimpse of our four archetypes that we are to follow in life (they are king/queen, warrior, magician, and lover). It turned out that if we do not want to, nothing will hurt us, but if so, it is important to go through that pain and let it be part of ourselves. It turned out that even the most delicate task is easier to handle in two. I'm leaving with a clean head and an open heart. Filled with respect and harmony with nature and its rhythms. I'm leaving with the feeling that only what one gives is coming back to him. And whoever is afraid will not achieve anything. That it is better to go for love than to run away from fear. That sincerity hurts, but at the same time purifies. That there is no need to be afraid of the touches that dance, and the embodiment of rhythms bring within it. And that we will only have peace if it is around us.

I am grateful for the ritual of the four elements that surround us. Within it, I understand how important it is to appreciate a country that carries us, gives us stability, takes on some of its weight, but also feeds us through plants and animals that can grow in and out of it. I understand that water is not only calm and upright, but also turbulent and moody. That without it nothing grows and that if there was no water there would be no sea for swimming or mineral water to drink. Fire, hot, warm, burning. Takes and does not return. Therefore, let us give it all our worries and sorrows and burn it in its flames. Fire is here when we need energy and ferocity. It has it in himself, it becomes, and with it, also we do. And the air. The lightness of being. Just sail with the wind on the present moment. Feel the head light as a feather in the breeze. And have feet like in a windy whirlwind that drifts us on and on the dance floor. I am grateful for the shamanic meditation that has shown us our spiritual animal or the way of our lives. For the wisdom for which we can draw. For the depth of processes that are hidden behind the regular rhythm of our breath. Which are hidden on the drum sound. I am grateful for the many deep debates which are so much needed, because they teach us the knowledge of ourselves in the reflection of the other. For example, about the zodiac sign, our past, our essence, the quality of our relationships, the challenges of our lives, our dreams. I am grateful for the time that he allowed us to share these few moments of our lives together in this grouping, which manifested itself in pure joy, love and harmony.

I thank our guides Caroline and Antonio, who have done a great job with us and ourselves. And I also thank Erasmus+ for contributing to the realization of the project, because without it nothing like that would have happened.

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