Access to Belonging
by Sacha Maxwell
"People should be more like animals ... they should be more intuitive; they should not be too conscious of what they do while they do it."
I remember my first Divinity class at boarding school, aged 8; we had not been there a wet week when the Master hushed us all and asked, “When did you decide that you belonged to the school?”
I sat there with tears running down my cheeks thinking to myself “I do not Belong to the school, I belong to me and to my parents, I belong at home not here.”
His next question was “Do you belong when you put the uniform on? When you drive through the gates? When you came to visit on open day? At what point do you Belong to the school?”
Looking back, it was an extremely profound question to ask a class of 12 eight-year-olds, and I still ponder it to this day.
So did I ever belong to the school? No, as I never let myself think that I belonged. Thirty odd years later, I do belong to a group of people who were students of that establishment and we have a shared memory of life there. It was a similar story at my next school, but I did let myself belong at university and to other groups along the way.
So what was the difference between school and university? Looking back, I think that I thought I had control at university. It was my choice to be there, it was not forced upon me in a compulsory fashion like school was, so I was content to allow myself to think that I belonged. I am proud to say that I attended my university and my department there.
Roll on to 2012 and when I came across BodyTalk for the first time, looking at the IBA page and getting that instant feeling that I had found something that I could belong to, something that resonated with me. I was an impatient student always looking for the next class, wanting to absorb as much as I was able like a sponge; find that next “Ah ha” moment and the buzz that it gave me. It was like a drug, and yes I became addicted; a trait in my family. BodyTalk opened up some closets that had a multitude of skeletons hiding in them, and John touched on a few in my session during his recent visit to Dublin. So, like Marcio Ribeiro said in his IBA article a few weeks ago:
“It brings back important conversations with grandparents, recovering memories from long ago. So many stories of yearning, of searching for something else, which initially started within the country and eventually spilled out into the oceans. Stories of (perceived) successes and failures. All of this happening within families that have been split across longitudes and latitudes. The ancestors left us with many unsolved issues, paybacks, unfinished business, amends to make and stories to unravel. We are going to have to succeed where they couldn’t.”
I know that it was via a physical injury that I was guided towards the IBA, but I can safely say with hand on heart that over the past four years if it had not been for all the wonderful people that I have met—for the support and friendships that have been forged—I would be in a very different place mentally. The universe had been quietly giving me subtle hints to go and find something else in my life and a tribe to Belong to; I was just a little slow in recognizing what I was being shown and the direction I was being sent. ... [Read more]
Chat with Sacha
Sacha right where she Belongs! With her dog Qilin and horse Bree. Also, the beautiful photo in the title banner is Sacha riding Straus representing Ireland at the European Championship in 1989.
Since we don't always publish writer bios at the same time as their articles, we have decided to add a new question-and-answer section. We hope this gives you a little extra insight into the amazing people behind the stories.
1. If you could be doing anything in the world at this moment, what would it be?
Saddling up Bree and heading out around the mountain here at home (Slievenamon—a very mystical place) or taking the dogs for a walk in the woods.
2. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to and why?
Nope, I like it the way it is :-)
3. What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Do something every day (DSED)—even if it is as simple as making your bed in the morning, so if the rest of the day falls in a heap, then at least you have somewhere clean and tidy to fall into at night.
4. Do you have a favorite personal saying or mantra?
The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
5. Why BodyTalk, Access or the Life Sciences?
They are passports to another dimension, up to us if we use them, but we have the ability to.