My attendance at a workshop this weekend gave me so much, including a big vote of confidence in Biodanza.
Some years ago, the late great Susan Jeffers wrote a book entitled Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. I know this book helped a lot of people, but I must confess I was always put off by the title: while I know people often feel fear on the threshold of significant action, I didn’t like the idea that they were doomed to feel so for ever more.
She must have heard me, because a few years later she wrote another book: End the Struggle and Dance with Life. I liked this title a lot more, and now I know why.
I’ve just spent the weekend at a workshop with world-renowned neuroscientist Dr Stephen Porges. What he doesn’t know about the nervous system isn’t worth knowing. His speciality is our automatic survival mechanisms: our fight-or-fight system, and our “freeze” or “immobility” system (which is critical to trauma and many mental illnesses); also the system which humans and mammals have that enabled them to outlive the dinosaurs: our “social engagement system”.
The social Engagement System is the way we let each other know – mostly unconsciously – that it’s safe to connect. When we feel safe we can stand down our “defences” and get on with our lives. So the proper functioning of this system is crucial to all our relationships, from mother-baby bonding to the highest levels of world politics. And for many of us that system isn’t working as well as it should. We go through our days on red alert. We don’t know who to trust – and daily life is a struggle. That’s what drives us to therapies.
There was so much to learn this weekend that it will take me a while to digest it all. But one major takeaway was a big vote of confidence in Biodanza – because I can now explain:
“Biodanza works with our Social Engagement System to help us feel more at home in life, connect better with others, and improve our mental and physical health”.
Oh and by the way it’s easy and fun. Why not give it a try?
Peter Burns ( Naropa)