This Fall I had the honour of being invited to bring Rosen Method Bodywork to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I was very excited to have the opportunity to travel to South America and experience another people and culture and give them opportunity to experience the power of Rosen Method Bodywork. I was hosted by one of the Rosen Method Institute Canada’s students, Luciano Diniz de Oliveira and his wife Miriam Isidoro. What an amazing experience I had. We worked hard to present this work to the professional community of Sao Paulo and with great success.
While I expected to be working a lot teaching, coaching and giving sessions what I did not expect is how much I would receive from my experience there. During my stay in Sao Paulo I felt very embraced by the people there; who were warm, kind, open and nurturing. I was well cared for by my hosts and by the people whose home I stayed in. Luciano described Brazil as a country with a lot of “mother” archetypes but not enough “father” archetypes. I could see what he meant as I took in the culture and ways of the locals. It made me reflect on my Canadian and North American culture and how maybe we are the opposite, too much “father” archetype and not enough “mother”.
If Brazil is more of a “mother” country with an openness, affectionate, sensual, nurturing and emotional feel, then Canada is more of a “father” country with well-structured systems, and a logical or intellectual feel, focused on efficiency, entrepreneurialism, and success in worldly affairs. While Canadians are a polite people we are far from being open, warm and affectionate. Of course I’m generalizing here, but I really did feel in Brazil something I had been lacking my whole life, a level of nurturing within a wider cultural/societal context and it touched something deep within my heart. I felt my heart open in a new way as I met the intense longing I have always had for nurturing kindness and affection. I began to reflect on what nurturing really is and how I express it and receive it.
Nurturing is affection, nourishment of body with healthy food, loving touch, presence, being seen and heard. For the most part, I feel that I am a nurturing person and that I take care of myself very well, but I can now see how there are little ways that I hold back my affections and in turn, deny myself nurturing from others.
It has been a survival habit of mine to expect myself to do everything by myself and not ask for help, not to even think of asking for help. As a child I suffered a severe amount of neglect at a young age wherein I had to literally find a way to take care of myself (finding food, clothing, daily routine), and at times my alcoholic mother, all by myself. This has been a habit I have been shifting out of and healing from over the years but I got a new piece while in Brazil. Here I was nurtured and nourished by the culture in ways that I forgot I needed to be.
It also made me reflect on the amazing “father” archetypes I have in my life today and how safe and confident I feel within myself as a result. I was able to bravely step outward and forward in my role as teacher and mentor with an incredible amount of trust in the work and myself. Rosen Method Bodywork has given that trust to me, the experience that there is something bigger than me holding all of us, a sacred and safe container that allows me to be present and embodied and invite other people to be the same. Now that I am back to work in Canada I feel enlivened with a greater sense of openheartedness and willingness to allow more support to be there for me in my daily routines.