Witnessing moments of mastery bring joy to my heart. That lovely sense of being uplifted, emotion rising, tears threatening, heart swelling…it’s a sense of being buoyed up toward something beyond our earthly plane.

I happened upon Pink’s performance on BBC’s Graham Norton Show back in February and was, frankly, amazed. She was accompanied by Yoann Bourgeois, a French dancer, choreographer, and artist. To say mind-blowing would not be an overstatement.

The somatic practitioner in me immediately reflects on “practice makes permanent” and the number of repetitions this artist has performed. Surely beyond ten thousand? For in somatic circles, Strozzi in particular, we talk about 300 repetitions to get something in to muscle memory, 3,000 repetitions to have something embodied, and 10,000 repetitions for mastery. Yoann Bourgeois’s apparently effortless movement through space was captivating.

When I begin working with clients curious about the somatic way of working I often invite them to fold their arms. Then fold them the other way. It’s more difficult than we imagine, revealing an awkwardness, a sense of “bad and wrong” (for most people). An alternative is to put palms together, allowing the fingers to naturally interlink. Then try unlinking and bringing together again with the other thumb on top. Similar experience. It helps to reveal how tricky change actually is for us, for the body, relying as we do on habit and familiarity. It also reveals how long change actually takes…

I’ll leave you with a question: what do you habitually do that you’d like to change? What small adjustment could you begin to make, intentionally (there’s no other way), to set off the process of shift? If you’d like help, do reach out (in the knowledge that my practice is currently almost full and will soon have a waiting list).

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