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Dancing my dance - enhancing my presence

Posted By Jo Birch, 01 July 2017

The Edinburgh morning sun streams through the glass door in my office. I breathe in… deeply… smiling. This is joy - meeting the music of life, of connection and of contribution. Inside I am the free spirit of Isadora Duncan’s barefoot dance – using ancient form in the creation of contemporary movement. I twirl. This…this is my dance, and this dance is my work – being in service to the people who choose to work with me, providing supervision, coaching, psychotherapy…and working with colleagues in business and charity endeavours.

I bring myself into presence, being present with myself in order that I might be fully connected to the other. The essence of being together – the foundation of my work. How do I continue to sharpen and develop this capacity in myself? 

Today is Thursday. Thursday is Tai Chi morning. On some mornings I might run from the house, ungainly and without grace, along the prom and use the sea breeze to uplift my spirits…but on a Thursday, whenever possible, I drop into a still space of ‘form’.

I arrive. After many years of qigong, I am now learning Wudang taichi. I’m the least advanced. My learning affected by frequent travel and missed sessions. We chat and smile, and enter our warm up. As we circle the room I drop into space with myself. My heart, mind and will come together and I find the rich stillness in the movement. This ancient art, precise small actions linked together into a graceful form, stimulating acupuncture points, aligning me, bringing me home to myself. Here, my body and spirit begin to fill. 

An hour or so later, as I leave the session I applaud my recently acquired skill of making diary appointments spacious. Good work Jo! I cycle home slowly.

In the afternoon I have a skype supervision session with my own supervisor. More enrichment!  Before the session I prepare, glancing over my list of people. Who shall I bring today? What relationship is calling for attention? What do I least want to bring? I lift up from the list…what else is around for me that might impact on my work? What am I celebrating this month? What are my general struggles? I sketch out some ideas for the focus of our session. Sometimes I follow my loose plan, and, more often, my thinking takes me elsewhere. Magic unfolding!

I bounce out of my supervision ready to move. My office is in the garden so I walk around and chat to my spring shoots! I peep from a distance into the darkness that I know houses the blackbird’s new nest. I water the pots. All this supports my insights from supervision to settle within me.

I check my diary. Today I have an evening session with a fairly new supervisee and a late call to a colleague in the States.

I usually work until around 9pm. I check my diary again, and laugh at my compulsion to do so! What do I have in the morning? Ah! I see Friday starts with a supervision session with a coach in Asia Pacific, then a tutor call with a student on the UK Diploma in Coaching Supervision. Friday is always a busy day. I close my diary. 

I focus on the supervisee about to arrive….ah yes. I remember where we were last session. I wonder what our focus will be this evening. How will we dance together? I settle in my chair and simply breathe in stillness for 10 minutes. I am already with you. Come.

Jo Birch

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