What is movement? Movement is anything that frees me from being stuck, pushes me towards growth, and inspires me to find new pathways. I have realised that change takes place when I am exposed to the most tricky situations in my life. I had read about it, but when I experienced it, it was a whole new experience of unfolding realities.
The past year has been challenging, personally and as a community. Personally, it has been life-changing. I felt trapped, I felt claustrophobic, I felt a lack of freedom, I felt I could not make choices, I felt a sense of being stuck. I realised that I shared my experience with many others due to the pandemic, but this feeling was localised to my chest. It felt like I was carrying a huge burden on myself. Whenever I felt stuck, I could visualise a stationary cycle, where I was the handle, pedalling ahead towards an endpoint, but the tyres did not move. It felt like in spite of trying hard, I did not seem to reach anywhere.
Movement has been an integral part of my life. I have been dancing since the age of 5, and my parents would often tell me that I never kept still even in my crib. When the image of the cycle kept repeating in my dreams, I decided to move to it. I wanted to shrug off the feeling of being stuck. I tried hard but the feeling persisted. I reached out to my body when I was helpless but my body did not respond. I was angry with my body. I retracted from movement in my life and did not engage in it. I felt betrayed, I felt let down.
My efforts were in vain and I took a step back. With the right kind of support, I managed to have a conversation with my body again. I understood what my body was saying; to take a pause and reflect, and my body understood my emotions. We started having deep conversations. I engaged in art, physical exercise, and changed my surroundings because I had control over that. I kept conversing with my body every minute, I asked questions, I voiced my concerns, I expressed my vulnerabilities and my need to be held. At one such moment when I asked the question “why am I not ready to move and express myself through dance?” I felt that my body held me! That moment was when I cried the most. I did not get an answer to the question directly but I wanted to be held and I literally got it from my own body.
“But when will I move again?” I wondered.
I realised that all this while, I was moving, little by little, step by step. All those conversations, all the efforts rooted in my inner movements. The feeling of being stuck was amplified also because I refused to move to it after that little misunderstanding. That hug from my body melted me down to the extent that I broke into a dance! Dance for freedom, for growth, for liberation. My chest felt lighter, my breath was rhythmic and my anger melted away. I felt like a sunflower, dancing in the rain, enjoying the moment.
Movement is my language, my happiness switch and I can now shape it, depict it and feel it in more ways than one. My body is my resource, my inner voice is my companion and my trust in the self is the driving force. I am able to ‘move’ towards personal and professional growth only because I learnt that my relationship with movement is permanent, irreplaceable and distinct.
Written by: Aarohi Doshi
The art piece has been created in response to the article by Aarohi Doshi ©AarohiDoshiIADMT2021