How I met Connor and our Journey in Authentic Movement
On the 5th of September 2015, Connor Kelly presented a workshop for CTAA, in the form of Authentic Movement, at Youthline House in Ponsonby, Auckland. A month later Connor led our first residential weekend retreat in New Zealand in this form.
It is a privilege to know and learn from Connor who first introduced me to Authentic Movement at a Mind Body conference in Auckland in 2006. I felt an immediate enjoyment and connection with creative process, group ritual, inner immersion and Connor's warm presence and knowledgable guidance as she facilitated us through the process. It was intriguing and yet somehow familiar, like coming home and being understood. I remember, after having one of those moments where something “clicks” and you feel an inner guidance/voice speaking, "This is important, this is a thread/ direction to follow, pay attention!” Connors great passion for this form is contagious and she warmly and generously encouraged my interest immediately and even lent me her precious Janet Adler book, “Offering from the Conscious Body”.
Fast forward exactly 9 year. I have studied and practised and talked the form with Connor many times, always enjoying and learning more with each experience. Connor provided a nourishing, creative, deep workshop in three hours, which was a wonderful introduction to the retreat the following month. Connor structured and held us in her witnessing presence, for two “rounds” of movement. That gave plenty of time to focus inward as movers. The main guideline /technique as mover is to have closed eyes, listen and follow any movement impulses; this allows us to slowly enter the unconscious. It is an unfolding exploration of the inner landscape, as we move and explore feelings, thoughts, images, sensate awarenesses, sound and stillness. A precious space and time for self exploration and nourishment emerges as we listen and allow our bodies to guide us, following the path that unfolds with each impulse. At the end of each timed round of movement, we had time for art making or writing, then verbal sharing and reflections on our experience. Connor provided "re-call” to each of us, echoing back, in words and movements, that which she saw and resonated with, which also felt very enriching and honouring of each participant's authenticity. Connor created a safe and creative container for very personal creative processes to unfold and there was also a felt sense of sharing and connecting with others through this movement ritual.
Annually, it will be an exciting dream come to fruition to share a whole weekend retreat of Authentic Movement in the idyllic natural bush setting of Te Moata retreat centre. We will be fully nourished through all senses and catered for in such a caring warm way by the retreat hosts, Jessie and Dave. This is a wonderful opportunity to relax and deepen further into the personal, creative and collective process, with Connor expertly guiding.