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Why surrender?

In my years of working with people in the water, one of the challenges is to change the fulcrum from the therapist moving, to the receiver moving. Some receivers practice letting go, melting their tensions in the water and allow their bodies to be moved or mobilized by directed techniques. The water is a unique medium because in order to not feel dizzy, there is a part of yourself which goes inward. The anchors of gravity and the spatial orientation is gone so the inner compass and return to the center must be cultivated. The initial surrendering can be analogous to a relaxation or a warm-up before a dance class. We make sure all the joints are available, and the body can access it's potential, so that when the authentic expression arises, the body can respond with freedom and more effortlessness.

The problem is that in my professional experience as an aquatic osteopath, I see some clients don't move past this initial stage. They stay stuck in just receiving and the process of letting go, without passing to the stage of enactment, of freeing themselves from their stories, accidents and traumas and allowing their unique movement to emerge. Dance allows us do to this. So my professional practice has lead me to take the time to explore how bodies surrender in greater detail. What is surrender? How can it be cultivated?

Some people may think that accessing fluid flow is no big deal. It is a big deal to an ego who is terrified of giving up control. When the ego has to let go of the steering wheel, take the foot off the gas pedal and brakes and hand over the keys to something, when it has no idea what it is, or what’s going to happen, it takes an act of faith, a real heart courage to surrender to the unknown. But after surrendering, the whole body shifts and the body enjoys a sensuous seamless fluid-like freeflow. The anatomy moves in synchrony with the fluids like seaweed in the ocean that wells and recedes amid the tidal activity from the potency of the entire ocean.

The next step is then to explore how surrender leads to an inevitable change of fulcrum towards inherent movement and in the water this is uninhibited by gravity. I remember when Richard Dion, a dear teacher of Janzu, said to me once, "all things end up as dance eventually..."

A big inspiration of mine is Robert Moore’s book, “The Archetype of Initiation”, which outlines the three stages of transformation - submission, containment and enactment. Real life experiences, which can be shattering initiations, force us to submit to circumstances and often result from crisis. But what if surrender can become less jarring and instigated by choice. What if it was cultivated? In my work, I use the water as a potent environment to surrender, then move towards containment (stillness and partnered holds) and finally enactment (soft, flowing or wild movement). To hold space for this requires a stable fulcrum in a partner or therapist, freeing the repressed memories and emotions. This 'dance' can inspire them to heal, to express the stories of their lives. Aquadance highlights this healing process artistically.

So in 2022, I did a dance project with Kristen Cere. We explored duo work in the water exploring these concepts. A small excerpt is here and more of the community outreach of this project will be posted soon:


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