Women in Motion - The Moving Body

“The true story of women is defined by great swings between freedom and oppression. When women have even a little freedom they have an outsized impact on the world around them.”

These are some of Amanda Foreman’s words from her documentary ‘Ascent of Woman’. For her research she travelled to Catalhoyuk in southwest Turkey to the site of one of the largest Neolithic settlements in the world, where archeological findings are proving that this stable and peaceful society that flourished approximately 8,000 years ago was one of gender equality.

At this moment in time humanity is not in peaceful relationship with our planet or with each other.  We do not have gender equality. It is often said that the status of women reflects the levels of violence and oppression in any society. The grip of patriarchy, which has dominated systems all over the planet, from economic, political, medical, financial to cultural, needs to be balanced out by people who can address the impact of it within themselves.

How can we do that? We need medicine that works, medicine that heals us at a soul level, medicine that connects us to our deepest selves and to each other, that will show us what is needed in our lives and our world, and give us the strength to take appropriate action.

Women need a particular medicine, one that encourages them to be present in a female body in a world where, for many women, it is still not safe to speak up or be seen. We need a medicine that supports us, that cleanses us from thousands of years of shaming, oppression and fear and absence, and invites us to relax into ourselves, to open up our bodies, hearts, voices and minds to the world around us.

The healing power of movement

All throughout history human beings have come together to celebrate, to connect with others, to pray, to mourn and to heal themselves and their communities through the simple act of moving together.

In my experience there is a particlarly unique and powerful energy that arises when women come together as a group, to listen to and follow the impulses of the female moving body. When we take the time to tune into ourselves, to listen to our feet, our hips, our bellies, our breasts, our wombs, we can access the wisdom of the body, which is greater than that of the mind alone. When we acknowledge the momentum within us and allow its expression, we can draw upon the body’s innate ability to heal us and bring us into balance.

There are many reasons why we split away from our bodies (feminine) and come to live in our thinking minds (masculine) and all of them stem from some form of pain; family and generational trauma, shame, failed relationships, substance abuse and more. We also have a negativity bias, a tendency to be hard on ourselves, and our body takes a lot of the fallout from that pattern: too big, too skinny, too hairy, not the right size, the list is relentless, and marketing strategies prey heavily upon this vulnerability. All of this contributes to the breakdown of direct connection to our physical home, and without this connection we are lost on a fundamental level, and missing a powerful ally.


Growing up female in Ireland in the 1970s and 80s was not a comfortable place to be. I was dismayed by the imbalance of power between men and women, the misogynistic attitude to rape and abuse, and that my gender fated me to be a second-class citizen in a ‘civilized’ world. Being a woman seemed a dangerous and disempowered position to be in, and I felt angry, frustrated and helpless in the face of male privilege and authority. I did not feel safe and therefore was unable to ‘stay’ in my body.

15 years ago I met the first of my movement teachers and began to slowly find my way down into my body. For me it was a very gradual process, as the wounds that were keeping me ‘in my head’ and ‘out’ of my body needed to heal. I found that movement as meditation taught me how to observe my mind in a sustainable way, to allow the physical energy of my emotions to pass through, to listen to my physicality and to build a sense of compassion toward myself and others.

Moving meditation opens the doorway to all levels of the human experience, physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual. It shows us where we are showing up and where we are absent, where we are comfortable and where we cringe and shy away from parts of our essential nature. It provides us with a key to the instrument we have been given for this lifetime, inviting us to access to the wisdom & sensitivity of the body, the intelligence of our emotions, our ability to be mindful and to build presence in our lives.
For a new way of experiencing ourselves, for a new world to evolve into being we need a strong connection with the body, with our feminine nature and we need enough strength and solar power to let our creative life force out into the world. We need women to share their wisdom in a collaborative (yin) rather than competitive (yang) way and to stay present in their bodies, with their feet firmly planted on the ground (impossible in high heels!)

 So many of us have so much to offer and are suffocated by fear and doubt as we try to move forward. Many of us don’t even recognize the subtle sabotage behaviour patterns of shame and self-doubt. And we need support, to practice staying present with ourselves and in relationship with others. If we can do this together as women we can heal our families, our communities and our world.

In my work I see people of all ages, shapes and sizes, relax, release and be surprised by what happens when they allow the body to lead. My main focus is on cultivating a sense of curiosity and kindness towards ourselves as we travel into the territory of the body/mind in a safe and supportive environment.  Mindfulness practice and movement meditation has the potential to bring us into such joy, to feel our way through suffering and disappointment into a reality that can open to the full human experience, with all its dualities and paradoxes.

Feminine energy is rising all over the planet as people become aware of the need to train their minds, open their hearts, and return to their ‘knowing’ – the innate intelligence and wisdom of the body. Movement teaches us to embrace the beauty and the darkness of humanity within ourselves in a nonjudgmental way, and offers us the possibility of being embodied, present and steady in a constantly changing world.

About the author: 

Carol teaches ‘The Moving Body’ - mindfulness & movement meditation classes and workshops. ‘Moon Rising’ gatherings are themed movement sessions for women. Carol also works in private practice in Dublin as a counsellor and movement therapist. For more information on her work and training please go to

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