The Dance of Life: Finding My Own Space in the World

Each training session with Addie builds upon previous learning. This time having connected with my surroundings, what supports me, the silence, my breath, Addie invited me to notice how the chair is holding the weight of my body.

Then Addie invited a further investigation. He said, “there is an invitation to be held by Mother Earth here in a very simple way… just welcome this and the sense of letting go.”

This changed everything for me. My body started pulling back – it reacted to the concept of “Mother Earth” to the word “mother,” especially. To view my mother as if she were like mother earth or mother rock felt like an oxymoron – solid and dependable was not my experience of her.

What then started to emerge is a newly discovered mode of body-based surviving in me. Then more emerged, sparked by an event that happened to me a couple of days before my session with Addie. I witnessed a very overt poisonous attack of one person on another on social media. This attack activated in my body a memory of being on the receiving end of many similar experiences, fuelled by my mother’s rage and hatred. Then out of this, a whole new level of discovery and connection with my start of life experiencing started to emerge.

Addie encouraged me to stay with this womb experience and invited me to see if I can find a place in my body where I felt this “not believing” feeling.

I took Addie’s invitation and stayed with my body and the felt sense, and then spontaneously, words did come: I have finally found my own space in the world. This felt sense, at the time, felt odd yet exciting. It was so new and so unfamiliar. I was delighted and amazed at what came for me. This experience has created in me a spaciousness and a sense of possibility that was not there before. Yes, I have found my own space in the world.

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Published by

Cathy Rowan

I originally trained as an OT and also in Gestalt therapy. In 2010 I discovered Focusing which for me was the natural next step on from Mindfulness. I trained as a Focusing Practioner with Fiona Parr and I am currently training in Wholebody Focusing with Addie van der Kooy. What I love is how Focusing blends so naturally with other previous experiences. In particular I find my work as an OT in acquired brain has informed the way I practice. This includes my interest in making accessible relational neuroscience in supporting peoples understanding of how our bodies neurology is shaped by our experiences of others and their experiencing of us. I live with a chronic pain condition from a car accident in 1999. Focusing has changed my life in how I now live with this health condition. Through this I have learnt so much personally about trauma and grief - how they live on in the body unless one befriends them. For me Focusing enabled me to heal when therapy did not - it was just "too much too fast" for my body. What I needed was the Focuser - Companion relating where the relationship feels to be for me much more one of quality and this brought to my body a sense of finally being free to choose and to control the unfolding process. This meant that the process went at my pace and was received by compassionate attuned mirroring. Thus healing what I got so little of as a child.

One thought on “The Dance of Life: Finding My Own Space in the World”

  1. Sounds like a life changing session, Cathy!! We never know do we where these journeys will take us but I have an image of spaciousness and aliveness now that connects too with the photo that accompanies your piece. Thank you for sharing.

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