Dear Friends of The Storydancer Project,
Greetings once again from winter time in the vast city of Delhi, India. Because of your kind understanding of the importance of health and well being, and your generosity of heart in wanting to see joy in girls, women, children, and families, this year our training programs are off the charts!
I came here this year not having an exact plan. I really wasn’t sure how to put the next part together. For those of you who have worked in other countries where there are so many, many, many people, you know that things seem to happen in waves.
And this is what is now happening with our works, here.
After many years of working with different applications of TSP’s Core Wellness Exercise programs with our partnering organization, The Hope Project, in the Nizamuddin Basti inside of Delhi, it seems that suddenly all the women I have trained are starting to see how important these wellness exercises are, and how much relief the exercises bring to their friends and neighbors.
Out of the woodwork, women are coming to see me at the health clinic. I am able to use this as another aspect of the training program; the women from past years who were reluctant to participate are now stepping up to bring others.
Amazing. There was such resistance and hesitation for so long, and now it seems the doors of the heart of the women’s community are opening in a different way.
Inside of the Girls Non-Formal School (GNFS), there are several nursery school and kindergarten classrooms for the little children, boys and girls. Many of these teachers are in our Master Trainer Training Program. After our recent training, they invited me into their classes, and together we are working with the children. This is now the second part of the trainings. We trade off sharing exercises with the children. This is a great way to see how it actually works. Now that they have learned the exercises, we can do this. I am so excited to see it happening.
The teachers are seeing how the exercises can be fun, that you can put a twist on them and do something different each day, and that the fun of it gives energy to the children. Unsolicited, one very little boy shouted out, “My mind feels filled with Good Energy!”
We are reaching so many people this year.
In the Hope Project health clinic, I sit now for two hours every other day, and women from the community come for special exercises. This is a kind of ‘private session’ for a few minutes. Over time, I have noticed a pattern emerge. When a woman or groups of women, or even families begin to feel more lighthearted from tension release during the exercises, they eventually will ask about their weight. How to become slim, they may say, with a smile. Laughter comes, and I have learned that this is a sign that the people are beginning to be more comfortable with new ways of feeling. It is great to be a part of the process.
In the Hope Project Cutting and Tailoring classes, and the Beauticians classes, once again, there are teachers who are in our training program. We are working together every other day in these exercise sessions. A new ‘felt’ concept is emerging. The groups of young women are not just embarrassed; they also want to learn how to do these things because it is exciting to feel better. They see and feel the difference.
On alternate days, the work with palliative cancer patients at Can Support, another partnering organization, is also taking a new turn. As before, I am accompanying the Home Care Teams. 19 teams and growing, each one consists of a doctor, nurse, trained palliative counselor, and driver. They are located all over the vast city of Delhi, and have offices in all the different areas. They spend their days visiting the patients and their families, and offering counseling, pain management, and help.
As you may recall, over the last few years, through associating with these teams, and facilitating Care for the Caregiver workshop trainings, I have had the privilege to develop RTHEP©, Relaxation Therapeutic Health Exercise Program, an initiative for CanSupport palliative cancer patients and their families. We have trained six of the counselors to use these special relaxation exercises in their ‘tool kits,’ and now I am training seven more counselors. I also visit the Day Care Center, where parents of children with cancer bring their children. I spend a session each week with about 30 parents, showing them simple ways (from our Core Wellness Exercises) to relieve stress. After a few sad minutes, all of us are laughing. Though the stories are not funny, and the situations are dire, still we find ourselves laughing at how the exercises feel, and how they are opening us up.
The work of The Storydancer Project is becoming its own story of positive life-giving energy in the midst of life’s challenges. It is a challenge itself to find ways to bring these simple joys to people who are facing such difficulties. And yet, when it clicks, and the smiles open, you can feel that something delicious is happening. What a joy!