Julia’s Journey Into Adulthood
At nineteen I went to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia for a few months. This trip stimulated my appetite for travel, setting up a long standing relationship with Asia. I spent years living in natural environments, particularly south Thailand in a tropical jungle. It’s a place I’ve felt very connected with nature, a place still dear to my heart. At times I was simply getting some well needed space in my life, to integrate and settle in myself. Other times I got very much involved in various spiritual practices. I spent six months doing five hours of Tai Chi each day in a school in Thailand where I lived and helped out. I’ve practised yoga in four ashrams in India. Over many years I’ve sat a dozen Vipassana retreats; where I spent ten days from four in the morning until nine or ten in the evening in intensive silent meditation. It’s an amazing process to look deeply into own one’s mind, and to see the possibility of transcending habitual mind patterns, discovering a consciousness more vast. An experience I’d recommend everyone try at least once!
Age twenty-six after a lot of time abroad I felt it was time to study something in depth. I knew I wanted to work with people and some kind of therapy. Through a string of serendipitous events I was invited to the Acupuncture college where I spent four years studying. Chinese Medicine is a system which explains all life as an inter-connected energetic; as such human life is part of nature and the cycles of life. I loved discovering this new cosmology, or map as a way to understand the world and creation. This helped me to understand what it truly is to be human, and also to feel more comfortable with my place in the world. Acupuncture gave me an effective and proven tool to work with professionally, with people and health which always interested me. I have learnt that Acupuncture is a very powerful therapy; tried and tested for thousands of years, hardly the “alternative” – it is in line with original, natural, and truly holistic medicine. As well as treating clients with Acupuncture I also receive regular treatments myself as an aid to my own wellbeing.
I became increasingly interested in various healing modalities and personal-development over these years, everything from singing, acting, counselling, therapy, various dance forms (Salsa, Tango, Contact-improv’, Egyptian), Toaist practices and Tantra. In 2007 I attended my first of many Tantra retreats with Ma Ananda Sarita, at School of Awakening. This was a very powerful experience for me combining aspects such as deep meditations with ritualistic ceremony. I was intrigued to learn more. I told my partner at that time about the Tantra I’d been learning, and told him I wanted to go deeper into it together. We signed up for the three year tantra for couples journey with this school. This was a lot of commitment, particularly as we were in a long distance relationship! So as well as numerous residential retreats we had lots of tantric homework to do together and this involved many long distance flights and meetings in various countries! This was a very beautiful journey into exploring and knowing myself more deeply along side a committed lover and the shared journey of that. It was a very powerful few years particularly as at the same time I faced numerous deaths of family and friends, all people very close to me. These events took me into a very deep place within myself, where I discovered a much more profound relationship with spirit. I was simultaneously experiencing the dark night of the soul, whist also having powerful openings in myself and experience of divine ecstasy!
It was within that grieving period that I discovered Biodanza as taught by Patricia Martello. Initially when I entered Biodanza I was in a deep grieving process. I remember crying and crying during sessions thinking will this ever end? I sensed I just had to let the tears pour out – like a river. The Biodanza environment gave me a place I perceived as safe and loving, where I could let my feelings and emotions be without having to explain them, or have them fixed by anyone. The tears eventually lessened of their own accord and became intersected with moments of joy and love within my experience of the group. Eventually I realised I wasn’t really crying anymore and there was a sense that everything was OK, that I could enjoy being in life again. As I became happier my interest in Biodanza grew and I couldn’t resist going deeply into another system, and subsequently another training. At the start of the training I resonated easily with this system and found many therapy analogies particularly with the Chinese system of understanding human life, but also other systems I had been interested in for many years. I learnt that Biodanza is a beautiful healing modality which allows and encourages our sensitivity, feeling nature, means of personal expression through dance, and focus on joy and positivity in life generally. I feel many of the qualities I wasn’t able to live-out as a child yet were so much of who I really am where resurrected through Biodanza.