A Story from Life


Written 2009. Updated April, 2014.


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The following story from life may provide a glimpse of natural nurturers engaging in mutual-help during a time when they’re all extremely stressed and in an ongoing extremely stressing context.

None had any prior knowledge or experience of the ways they used to return each night to wellness.

This story may frame the processes referred to in the RAD documentation.




These humble village women know they will be left alone till morning. They’re now by themselves in the militia torture centre. The guard’s footsteps are receding. It’s night time. The women are about to start doing what they have been doing the past week in the centre. And this is a special night. They know that if the militia keep to pattern, tomorrow afternoon they will be released back into the waiting comforting arms of their female friends. This will be the last time they do this in this place.


And they’re all listening for and now hearing the distant receding footsteps of the militia person who had just locked them up for the night.


They now know they will be undisturbed till sunrise.


It is now safe for them to begin their healing process.


This is the self-healing process that has been sustaining them through this very demanding week.


They are now beginning with their way of regaining their Body-Brain, their autonomy, and their integrity after being abused by the militia all day


The women are commencing to go through a sequence that they have been evolving together over the past week.


They’re beginning the first soft wailing together while taking turns in cradling each other as babies - rocking gently like they’re babies again in nurturing arms - taking all the time they need for feeling the releasing changes beginning to occur in their bodies now. And when the time is right, they’re taking turns to cradle and be cradled.


And after a time, when they sense the time is right for it, beginning now the slow stretching and rolling around on the floor like babies. – taking all the time they sense they need in doing that now.


And now coming to sitting - and now standing - and being aware of shifting, and changing the quality of their breathing - .and attending to and sensing how their ribs are beginning to move more freely again - moving in relating with each other – and noticing how their ribs are moving towards and away from their spine, in all directions .


So now they’re slowly moving with awareness, attending to and being aware, and sensing their moving, and noticing how their feeling, and their sensing is changing with their moving. They commence feeling the growing of a calm centred silence of their minds. These changes are becoming familiar to them and they have been so look forward to being together doing these things, so again they are sensing the nature of their beating heart slowing down more now - and so appreciating how their heart is beginning to feel now. Sensing all of the returning good feelings and sensations that are now beginning in radiating out from their heart and moving through and around them.


And now beginning to come to standing and commencing balancing movements - to regain their balance - the balance that the militia had taken away from them; and so, beginning in sensing balance while standing still.


And having that centred balance returning, beginning in their own good time in sensing balance while moving their upper body - their neck - and how their head is moving in relating with their neck. Sensing their spinal cord. Sensing the whole-of-it. Moving gently.


And again when their time is right for it – being guided by their own returning wellness, commencing their sensing of their balancing while walking slowly with awareness; making subtle shifts in their ways of their moving – to notice difference - and to notice the difference that makes the difference - and appreciating that difference - just like the leper of faith that appreciated his wellness.


Now with healing – as in making whole again – and healing artistry - the very slow moving is becoming the dance. And they are starting together now - harmoniously and rhythmically and softly making the sweet sounds that they have been dancing to each night for the past week. And their dancing and singing and rejoying - reconnecting with joy - increasing their joy of life and living - the French ‘ joie de vivre’ - and when they’re sensing their attuned collective time is right for it - dancing with joy into each other’s arms - merging their energies - embracing each other - and looking deep into each other’s eyes - and receiving each other - in all of their fullness - and receiving this fullness into each other’s hearts - and then settling for a good nights renewing rest, ready for what the next day may bring.


And after sharing this story with me, these women continue speaking to me about how they walked together from the torture centre the next eve knowing their girlfriends would be waiting for them around the corner - and now here they are walking into the waiting arms of their sisters - and their girlfriends are amazed at how well the group are looking and responding. .


And the receiving girlfriends are especially amazed when one of the group asks, ‘does anyone have batteries and a record player so we can all dance together’.


And the group then begin walking and telling their friends how they have been nurturing themselves each evening in the torture centre - and they begin sharing what they have been doing - and these women begin to recognise that they have been doing something very special together.


These women in safer times are now visiting villages where they have never been before - and they’re having the mothers agree for these women to play with the children of the village. And in the play, they’re having the children playing pretend games - pretending to be babies - and rolling on the floor - and cradling each other - and then rolling to standing - and playing balancing games - as the militia have taken away the children’s balance as well (.forcing children to see what no human should ever see - for scrambling brains - for social control). And so, instead of frozen horror in unbalanced cringing children, the children are regaining their balance - and regaining the joy of life and living - which is every child’s birthright


And now the children – who are at first very shy are becoming very excited – as with no power and no musical instruments they rarely hear music. So now with music in their ears and hearts, the children naturally begin dancing. And as this joy-filled dancing of the children is occurring - their mothers watch. And when the time is right for it - one of the visiting women says gently to the onlooking mothers


Perhaps you can - come and dance with us -

and with your children - and move your bodies with us -

as we are survivors too


And these village women know the full significance of what the woman means by those last five words - and so the mothers join in with the dancing - at first tentatively - and in feeling the dance - and seeing the joy of their children in seeing their mothers dancing - joy fills all.





RAD Links


o   Rapid Assessing of Local Wellness, Psycho-Social Resources & Resilience Following Disasters (RAD)                                                                         

o   Evolving RAD

o   Recognising and Evolving Local-lateral Links Between Various Support Processes

o   RAD and Resilience

o   Action Researching RAD in the Field

o   Outline Of A RAD Project Proposal

o   RAD Experiential Learning Gatherings

o   Self Care of the RAD Rapid Deployment Team

o   Possible Terms of Reference for RAD Assessment of Local Psychosocial Resources and Wellness

o   Responsibility for Distributing RAD Reports




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