High Heathercombe and Nature Reconnection

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Last week Ross and I visited the land around High Heathercombe centre on Dartmoor. We walked through the Edge Sculpture trail in the woodland and then visited some of the gardens and appreciated the surrounding landscape.

When we left the house, I was feeling quite tired with a buzzing, foggy feeling in my brain. I was sleepy after a month of traveling from place to place for study, work and beautiful weddings that, although each ing their own sense were great experiences, were needing some space for digestion and stillness.

We drove the 40 minutes from our home in Totnes to the centre on Dartmoor and I watched the landscape drift before my eyes to that or a more rural, wild and natural setting. We found the track that led us to our desired location and parked up by the woodland.

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It’s not just here, many woodlands seem to touch me in this way. As soon as I step inwards, immerse myself amongst the tall trees, crackling leaves, vivid greens, and wet earth, something in me calms. The whole cycle of life is represented here. I am inwardly soothed by the lucidity of this space, the clarity it evokes within me.

And here, woven in amongst the vibrant, natural landscape, is art. Art that, too, evokes my senses and inspires my mind. I am struck as I walk through this space by how my senses become alive and awakened. I can hear, see, taste, smell and feel more clearly.

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We weave our way through and along the trail. My heart skips a beat at the amount of community projects that include pieces created children and families that evoke awareness of  environmental issues and sustainability. Sculptures are either formed from earthen wares or recycled / reclaimed materials and educate on welfare of the bees, our planet, contain a philosophical message or offer a direct experience with my own hopes, dreams, wishes and desires through this living body.

One such moment came about when we came across a pod that held the wishes of people for our own lives as for our planet. We were invited to enter a quiet area where we had access to pen and paper to write these down. Ross and I sat in there for a while, in silence, while the gentle babbling of the brook and the soft breeze amongst the leaves and birdsong surround us.

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After some time, I had the strong desire to bring this contemplative time into movement through my body – to experience in a lived way through this living entity, that which I was contemplating and feeling. I asked Ross if he would be open to witnessing me in movement and offered him the same in return. As I moved, I could feel the messages within my body becoming more clear and grounded. I attuned to the feeling of them in the presence of my witness, not just the thought, but all that was coursing through me there and then in that emerging moment. We held the discipline of the practice of Authentic Movement in that Ross witnessed me while I moved and I then witnessed him. We then discussed our own experience of being both witness and mover.

Through taking these short moments to turn towards our bodies in movement and to practice conscious listening and speaking with each other, our senses became acutely attuned, our relationship with each other and our natural environment both heightened and deepened. There was a piercing and beautiful silence that penetrated everything and I felt I could truly breathe again, breathe with this living, breathing world.

 

There was something about this space, the sculpture trail in the forest as well as the intentional landscape  and focus of the High Heathercombe Centre, that conveyed to me a way in which the man made and the wild can coexist in harmony with each other. I have so much been exploring and integrating this within my own being of late, finding places of conflict between form and fluidity, order and chaos, as well as the places where these opposites meet, relate and even thrive through their relationships to each other.

I feel a much needed sense of renewal and hope that these meetings are possible. This feels so important to me when I consider so much of the conflict that is present in the world today through our relationships to politics, to our natural world, to each other and to ourselves, all of which can be so overwhelming that we deafen, dumb and dissociate ourselves from all that is occurring.

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I am reminded, when I step into nature, the absolute intimacy that I can share with the landscape, the intimacy I can feel with myself and how that affects my perspective and relationships out with this space too. Without this nourishment, I am not sure I would be of much use in the world at all. Without these moments of silence that speak volumes to me, I may end up a collapsed heap upon the floor, weighed down by all the ‘bad news’ that is projected into our society and culture.

I feel an infinite gratitude towards nature – our natural world as well as our inner nature. Movement, voice, the creative arts allow me to access and express that which is within me – the sadness, the joy, the anger, the celebration, all of it. Spending time in reciprocal relationship with our natural world inspires me to express as well as, I feel, holds an unconditional space for me, you, we, us….. and then it’s important to take that back into the man made – how can our inner nature flow in harmony  with our outer world in a way that serves humanity and respects natural, wild spaces?

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Somatic Yoga in Pregnancy

Somatic Yoga in Pregnancy
A little snippet of my this mornings emerging movements.

This is not intended to be used as a set practice, although, if you would like to – go for it! My intention is more to show how the intuitive body can flow into, from and through movements when it is allowed.

(I am in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy so I would recommend, if you are to use this video, to use it from the 2nd trimester onwards – I felt so sick in the first trimester I could barely move at all!! It’s great to be celebrating movement again after a break!)

Some of what you will see here is sequence (mainly for supporting my sacroiliac joints as they loosen in pregnancy!)… most is intuitive, the bits in between and around the sequences – there are no names for ‘postures’ – just deep listening to the body and allowing it to move and express as it needs to in each unfolding moment.

Enjoy!

Somatic Yoga is focused towards exploring an intuitive knowing of the body, moment to moment, from the inside out. It integrates sound and intuitive, free form, movement with simple and gentle sequences that promote presence. The invitation is offered to fully inhabit the body and access its innate wisdom through your own unique experience. Somatic Yoga is less about physical achievement and more about developing a healthy relationship with yourself, your practice, others and Life. In this way, movement is used as a tool to inquire within, to develop open attentiveness and creativity as well as to aid relaxation and release. The environment is non-competitive and you are encouraged to listen to the needs of your own body without force. With the focus on mindfully staying with breath and physical sensations this practice can access the level of the nervous system as well as the emotional body. In this way it naturally supports integration and healing. It can also be very useful for pain management and relaxation.

Women’s Circle, Edinburgh, June.

Would you like to be part of a gathering of women in Edinburgh on June 20th?

Coming together to celebrate, share and support each other as Midsummer draws towards her fullness.

I would love to share space with you while I am in Scotland.

So, I hope to hold a women’s gathering on the evening of Monday, June 20th.

I am thinking between 6.30-9pm or thereabouts.

Would you like to come?

We will sing together, move together and share together.

I hope to hold a gentle space in which we will explore being human, being woman, through movement, voice, partner / group activity and sharing.

This will be a one off opportunity while I am in Edinburgh so do let me know if you would like to come. (let me know by Thursday this week if you can, as June 20th is coming up soon!)

Investment: £30 (£25 concession)

Spaces: Limited to 12 participants.

I hope to hear from you soon!

As soon as I have enough participants I will start taking bookings!

All warm wishes,

Hayley xx

And for anyone interested, here is a link to my latest blog post.

https://integratedembodiment.com/2016/06/05/mama-moves/

Mama Moves

A video and some writing I made this morning 🙂

I have other things to do,
“Important things,”
But the music it pulls me in
Like a river….

I have to move.
I must.

I feel something in my hydrated heart
That needs to move through me.
A love,
A gratitude,
A fullness.

And inside my belly,
A babe is growing and
Moving with me.

A babe is listening to
The music,
Turning and rolling,
Exploring the vast ocean of
My womb.

So I move because I must,
Because there is no other way.
And I sing because my heart
Sings within me,
Because there is sound that
Moves as another limb of this movement
Through my body,
Through my whole body.

How else can it be?
In this moment as it
unfolds its way
Through me.

Hayley Price
http://www.integratedembodiment.com

Music: Jon Hopkins: Immunity

A great talk from Somatic Perspectives

I just listened to this talk while engaging in my creative movement practice.

I feel it sums up a lot of what I am working towards and motivated to share through Integrated Embodiment in terms of articulating the link between somatic movement, somatic psychotherapy, wisdom teachings and the arts.

I still have a breadth of learning to experience within these fields but listening to this talk makes me excited about what I feel I am moving towards birthing into the world in a more integrated way at some point.

For the time being, I share what I can where I’m at. 

Enjoy!

http://somaticperspectives.com/2012/01/johnson-rappaport/

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This body, the Earth

As I moved this morning, this was born …

This body, the Earth.

I begin with a dance,
A more upbeat one my music
shuffle list comes up with.

I have no idea what will come.

This track emerges,
slower, the sounds of daily life
perhaps in a village far away.

I begin.

I do not know what will come.

I stretch and move and soon…
The images arise.
I am there in that village.
I am those sounds.
They move through my body.

I touch the Earth.

I touch the Earth.
I find a great tenderness.
So great it touches my heart
deeply.

Something about the children singing.
Something about the everydayness of it.
Something about the birdsong,
The buffaloes, the rain.

This Earth.

This Earth.

I touch the Earth.
I touch my body.

This body,
The Earth.

I am made of it. 

I feel such tenderness
And tears.

Tears of a mixture of awe,
Of longing, of sadness,
Of Love.

This body,

The Earth.

I am made of it.

At once in my living room,
And another in this far off place,
Where these things happen every day.
Where my bare feet touch the Earth,
Where children sing.

My movement is slow.
I move my hand up my body,
As I pass my throat the tears lift to
My eyes.

My body,
The Earth.
I am made of it.

Hayley 16th May 2016

Music: African Dream by Shaman’s Dream

June Workshop, Edinburgh

Summer Solstice Celebration!

 

June 25th 10:30am-5:30pm
OR
June 26th 10:30am-5:30pm
OR
Both Days
Location: TBC
Investment: £65 if one day,

£140 (£125 if booked before May 18th) if two days (TBC)

Cost does not include accommodation, which must be arranged individually.

I hope this finds you all very well! I am settling into our new place down south, slowly making a house a home. We don’t have the internet set up at home yet so please do bear with my slow responses. I do love to hear from you!!

Below is information about what I envision for our June workshop.
Those of you who are interested in coming, please let me know the day you can make, or both days so that I can organise this and start to take bookings.

Please only respond if you are committed to coming on one or both of the days.

That way I can assess if it will work for me too. I will need a minimum of 12 people to run this workshop and will take a maximum of 16. I will run either a one day or a two day workshop depending on numbers. The workshop will be in, or accessible, to Edinburgh.

Exchange Opportunity!
Would you like to attend this workshop in exchange for your time?
I am looking for someone to help me to find a venue for either one of the days or both days, depending on what people can commit to. Your task would be to secure a beautiful venue, preferably close to nature in return for a space on the workshop with no fee. 

I will offer this place on a first come first serve basis.
Again, please only apply if you are committed and you realistically have the time to search for a venue, which will need to be secured asap.

To apply, please write to me letting me know if you do have the time and why you would like to attend the workshop. I will send you more details about what I have in mind for a venue once you have applied.

 

Summer Solstice Celebration!
Information Below

Sunneerfly!

Join us to celebrate the Summer Solstice! This weekend will offer a chance to connect with like minded people in a nourishing space focused on presence and creative inquiry! 

We will nourish and resource our beings by calling into our awareness all that we feel grateful for in our lives – the celebrations and the challenges – as we reflect upon how they have helped us to evolve into who we are today!

We will share and sculpt our dreams, visions and desires, calling them into presence and contemplating the ways in which they are already birthing through us. 

We will cultivate useful resources through exploring creative movement, vocal play, time for reflective presence and connecting with each other in a safe and held space. 

We will share time and space with each other, bare witness to each other and, perhaps, allow ourselves to be seen. We will meet new people, make new friends and connect more deeply with ourselves.

 

I hope to open for bookings within the next couple of weeks, provided I enough people are committed to attending and we have a venue!

Very much looking forward to reconnecting in June!

Much love,

Hayley

Fare-Ye-Well Scotland

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A letter to those of you I know in Scotland as, tomorrow, I will be moving on xxx

Above is a photo of Ross and I as we arrived in Scotland in June last year (yes, that’s me peaking out at the bottom! 😉 ). We were full of hope, excitement and vision about starting our journey up here together and had the intention to stay.

I have returned to Edinburgh many times over the many years of travels and time spent living abroad. Every time I have returned I have felt held, supported and a sense of ease. This time was a bit different for me. A valuable time no doubt but one where doors seemed to close for me and I could feel a strong sense of ‘not right now’ as if the city were speaking to me. I tried to conveniently ignore this for a while but, as we all know, these voices only get louder…

I swallow the medicine of this time and allow it to connect me deeper with my truth so that I may find the words and actions to speak and live more fully what is real for me. This time has shown me that old habits of keeping quiet so as not to ‘rock the boat’ still exist within me. And yet, when I did eventually give voice to what was true for me, I was mostly met with support, understanding and compassion. It has also been really interesting being with the resistance, the longing and all that has arisen over these wintery months. There is so much juice for me in this that I think it will take me a while to digest!

I would like to add that I do not see these “old habits” as anything particularly to get rid of. Rather, I intend to work with them and see them more as grist for the mill, valuable information about where my limitations lie, aspects of myself to befriend and develop a relationship with that serves my being and our world somehow. Juice!

Doors have opened too and for those I am immensely grateful. I have felt a strong sense of growth during this time, both in my inner world and in the world in which I share my ever evolving body of work.

It became clear to me a while ago that ‘yoga’ as it can be approached in both the East and the West has felt limiting to me. I have long been called by something deeper than patriarchal systems and the fixation of ancient texts (as valuable as these can be, no disrespect meant), to dive into a world that is beyond my control, that reveals itself to me moment to moment with each step, that is ever evolving and present in the living cells of this body. I have so much enjoyed stretching through the space of my mind, body and spirit and exploring new landscapes that I integrate now into my work and living being.

I truly want to thank those of you who have come on that journey with me in these last months. Your presence has given me a sense of trust in what I share as I navigate my way through these ever unknown terrains. I totally understand that this work is not for everyone, yet it is the path I must walk for now because the other would no longer be true or satisfying for me.

I would like to wish all of you the very very best, those of you who I have seen and those I have not. I will be back towards the end of June to share a workshop then so please do stay tuned and remember you can always check here for what’s going on!

And, for those of you who are interested in delving deeper into somatics and presence in between, I have compiled a ‘resources’ page on my website with lots of great talks, practices, videos, articles and links… do check it out! Click here.

So, farewell for now and I will leave you with this quote by Rilke that I read at the ‘Curiosity’ workshop a couple of weeks ago. ( I had a lot of fun by the way, thank you all for coming and for all you contributed to the day!)…
may it be for you all 🙂

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

All warmest wishes and do stay connected,

Hayley xx

Tyninghame Waves

I went down to the beach at Tyninghame beach the other day and sat down by the waves. The rain was falling gently, it was cold and this is what came. Youtube link below with photo’s and voice…
I am not moved to move much
But by the inner rhythm of my breath
And the resonance of the sound within my body.
Soothing
Calming
Resourcing.
Soft belly
Warm heart
The song of the sea
Of Gentle waves
And a swelling tide
Moves me into a stillness inside
Where sound
And breath
And sea
Pulse together
Upon the waves

And, when I open my eyes
And I see you sea
Seeing me.
The beach is disappearing
The rain is softly falling
And you have almost taken me.

And I let your gentle waves
Lap up to the boundary of my skin
As I meet your be-holding of me.
I feel safe,
I feel at a wondrous ease.
I can feel the sea
Within me
Beholding from the inside

Why do I resist this?
But that is another story….

Happy New Year!

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We have passed the threshold and entered into a “New Year” by means of modern calendar. Personally, I would offer that a different type of calendar, aligned with the phases of the moon and the turn of the seasons would offer a more accurate turning point for the year. However, as our culture stands, this is the turning point we recognise and, truly, every point in time and space is a turning point in which we can choose to consciously enter something new.

So, Happy New Year to you all! Here we stand in 2016, facing forward in each of our own unique ways. Perhaps you celebrated with family, with friends. Perhaps you were in bed before the bells and awoke on New Years Day to your own kind of ritual. Perhaps you ignored the passing of the year as ‘just another day, like any other day.’ Whatever way you acknowledged it, it was sure to be in your awareness in some way. (Often in trying to avoid something, we actually bring it closer to ourselves).

The concept of New Year can be such a time of hope and resolution. It inspires us to look at ourselves and question what of our habits are serving us and what of our habits could be gently released and allowed to transform. It offers to us a fresh start, a chance to reflect and contemplate the passing of the previous year and all it entailed alongside an opportunity to resolve to continue the things that worked for us and to lay to rest those that did not.

Our culture, fantastic and intelligent in many ways, can tend to be a culture of high expectation, pressure and speed. It may be worth digging a little deeper than the resolve you have made and inquiring into what motivates the resolve.

Is it realistic? Is there a subtle aggression towards yourself that underlies it? Is it, perhaps, the attitude that drives the motivation that needs attention and that, in giving it that, will be more likely to bring about more long lasting and sustainable transformation? Is it driven by love and compassion or by a part of you that feels you are fundamentally flawed?

What are the tiny, baby, minuscule day-by-day steps that you may need to take in order to achieve your resolve? What would happen right now if you turned toward yourself with absolute acceptance for all that you are and just felt what was present? What would it be to make a commitment to yourself and let change happen in its own timing through the gradual path of really getting to the root of what is going on?

Very often, we expend so much energy in trying to change something about ourselves with a motivation that believes we are fundamentally flawed, that we actually create more tension and an unsustainable environment for growth. We can build structure upon structure on top of the root of our issue, only to find, later on that the foundations will collapse again and again until they are addressed. In seeking a quick fix, the journey actually extends longer than the slow road of integration.

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So, I have an invitation for you, and for me because I know I forget this too! The invitation is to make 2016 the year of being willing to return over and over again to what is present, to explore the underlying motivations for your actions and be willing address them within a compassionate and loving holding.

Along the way, things that will be helpful will be to cultivate a good inner support system as well as an outer support system.

Inner supports can be to remain playful – a sense of humour is so important. There are two sides to life, the dark and the light. Both contain gifts and it’s important to remember each side without becoming too caught up in one over the other; to practice self-forgiveness again and again because we are human and we will make mistakes; to be willing, just be willing to be with whatever is there and to know what your resources are, it is no use digging deep if you will drown; Make sure to develop tools that help you to find your ground so you can develop your foundations in the midst of challenging times; Believe in yourself; learn to work with and communicate healthy boundaries.

Outer supports can be to make sure you spend enough time in nature as well as respecting it; surround yourself with enough of a community that supports your growth and lets you be you (there will be times, for instance with family, that this is not so possible and this is why the inner support system is so important – to know who you are in the face of those who do not affirm it); nourish and develop your passions; learn to communicate healthy boundaries and develop healthy relationships.

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These are just a few invitations and supports that will be helpful along the way. Remember that everything has its own timing and the most important thing is to be where you are, not to try to live what you think you ‘should’ be. When you allow yourself to be as you are, the flow of life opens up within and before you and life can happen from a place of authenticity, integrity and joy!

Sending you all much love for this New Year and I look forward to seeing you in class!

‘ON THIS DAY ..
May you fall madly in love this year .. in love with someone who unhinges your tired trajectory, in love with a spouse of several years who might be aching for lightning, in love with demanding children and crazy relatives .. in love with the particular pedigree of genius insanity that has perhaps claimed you in spite of your reluctance .. and certainly in love with an animal, a cloud, a redwood, the wild .. these at least once a day. May you fall in love with this fragile jewel of a world, with hard work, real learning, just causes, petitioning and prayers. May you fall in love with wonder itself, with the grand mystery, with all that feeds you in order that you may live .. and with the responsibility that that confers. May you fall in love with heartbreak and seeing how it’s stitched into everything. May you fall in love with the natural order of things and with tears, tenderness and humility. May this be a magnificent year for you. May you fall deeply, madly, hopelessly, inextinguishably in love.’

Rachel Lamb

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