Finding purpose

I’ve been captivated by metamorphosis all my life: the things that make me, and others, ready and willing to change. What I’ve gathered after years of study and observation is that when something appears immovable, movement is the answer.

Being adopted as a child was an earth-shattering experience. It offered gifts and traumas that shaped my personality and behaviour, and I’m convinced, set the stage for my fascination with the movement field.

One early memory stands out. I was seven years old and extremely upset. To calm my wild limbs, my mom lay beside me and rested an arm across my body. She remembers seeing one of my fingers twitch in defiance. She recognized that my body knew how to settle itself and that, for me, freedom of movement was a kind of answer.

Soon after, she signed me up for a free-form creative dance class. She regularly sent me for laps around a nearby field where I ran to express what I felt inside. It’s telling that two of my favourite childhood activities were all about moving: one was leading an imaginary dance studio where I guided my best friend Beatrix through innovative movement patterns on her patio; the other was ‘playing travel agency’ where I could ‘move’ to other countries set up in our backyard.

In my early 20s I began to explore new jobs, interests and relationships. It was a dark and difficult time. Deep wounds, entrenched emotions, and ‘stuck’ beliefs came to the surface.

Everything in me became more rigid and unyielding. The turning point was when I enrolled in a small, unstructured dance class. It was on a Friday morning, just after my weekly counselling (talk therapy) appointment. For me, pairing verbal shifts with expressive physicality lead to powerful transformation and healing.

In 1995, I began to offer my own movement workshops and classes, and continued to explore ways to facilitate change as a clinical occupational therapist. I also honed my public speaking skills through communication clubs and speaking competitions to learn more about inspiring and motivating others. I sensed that only inspiration would create a readiness for change.

I launched my personal study in the 5Rhythms dance practice and later began training in Buddhist meditation. For 20 years, both have been powerful catalysts for moving my mind and body and accelerating my growth.

The threads of my personal study and career — occupational therapy, 5Rhythms, meditation and motivational speaking — interconnect and influence each other every day. Each is a gateway and a bridge to healing and possibility. Together, they have profoundly altered the course of my life.

Now, I see myself as a detective seeking the cracks of light within the mysterious darkness in order to inspire others — moments that gracefully entwine inspiration and purpose, practicality and innovation, awareness and instinct.

Anne Marie Hogya