Inspiration for speaking at conference

They may not feel it’s their strong point, but Michelle & Sarah recently felt the fear and did it anyway – their thinking might give you some inspiration, too.

Make a Move were very pleased to be invited to the Culture, Health & Wellbeing  International Conference in Bristol on the 20th of June 2017.

Sarah Haddow, assistant CEO, reports:

“We were invited to talk about our project working with mothers with post-natal depression.

The event focussed on recognising the arts, and the contributions all forms of art offer to the health and well-being of all. We were among some very successful and influential artists that are leading the way in this field.

Richard Coaten, a Dance Movement Psychotherapist who has worked with the NHS for many years, spoke about the influence movement has on dementia and Parkinson’s.

We witnessed some amazing work by Fred Foote, a military physician and poet whose work with war veterans was incredible and very moving.

It was amazing to see the differences in cultures and the recognition that art is given in other countries. Holistic approaches to health play an important role; creativity and playfulness and the act of just slowing down and being human is extremely important.

As Dr Theo Stickley quoted “creativity is everywhere, the way I move is art, the way my face shows expression is art, the way I breath is art, without creativity I will die.”

With all these inspiring speakers, we felt incredibly honoured to be among those asked to talk. As some readers may know, presenting at conferences is not my or Michelle’s normal way of working, and we were slightly out of our comfort zone. However we know that in order to see progress and grow we must place ourselves in new environments.

We had ten minutes, a power point and a loose script. The conference was on one of those startlingly hot days – we were in the scorching heat with no air conditioning.

However, we pride ourselves on walking the walk and talking the talk and so an hour before the presentation we closed our eyes and began to breathe. We had talked back and fourth about the key points to say and, as usual for us, both debated about what needed to be said. We took a moment to breathe into our whole bodies and feel the ground beneath us. We noticed the sounds around us and within us, and when we opened our eyes our hands begun to move and we mirrored one another’s movements for a few more minutes.

We were honest, true and human in our presentation – we believe in what we do, we know that attuning our own needs, our body and minds together we can connect with the rest of the world and build strong relationships.

We know and see, time and time again, mothers enter the space not knowing who they are in this new role and leave feeling more grounded, connected with themselves and their babies, having found themselves again, or a newer version that they can begin to love. They have the space to have a head holiday, space to be with other mothers and be honest about how they are feeling. This happens through the act of moving, breathing, talking, connecting with our complete whole… body and mind.

We are integrated and instinctive practitioners that listen to the moment and plan from there. We had done what we set out to do – connect with ourselves and connect with others.


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