Last March the outdoor events park at Tui community in Golden bay NZ resounded with the sounds of a multi-day transformational event that changed many lives. It connected an extremely varied group into a deeply aligned expression of the human community. Dreamed into being and designed by the dynamic and determined passion of Sybille Biedert, this event flowed also because of the practical and energetic support of her partner Jay Horton. Both Sybille and Jay have over 48 years combined experience living in and around the Tui community and draw regularly upon this to hold space in their retreats and workshops.
This was the fourth year of the ‘Embodied Intimacy Retreat’ and people from all over New Zealand excitedly converged; a diverse and multigenerational tribe. Tui’s Treefield Park was home to this adventure. Nestled in Wainui Bay, the majestic setting offered stillness and solitude. Here we all agreed to step out of the modern culture to create a new way of being based on presence, honest expression, community living, and the medicine of movement.
Sybille and Jay’s combined passion for community and the authentic connection were infectious. They worked seamlessly creating a safe container so their innovative approach to the movement could guide the participants into their inner unknown, inciting transformative shifts. Each day began with four hours of Open Floor Movement. Wild and tender dances were interwoven with exercises to increase emotional awareness and capacity. Sybille’s ingenuity to translate Possibility Management concepts into an embodied experience centred us into our true being. Visualisations, moving meditations, freewriting, partner and group work gifted us empowering life tools. These active sessions were balanced by nurturing afternoons which included restorative yoga, saunas, hot tubs, and co-created spaces of contact dance and discussions on embodied sexuality. This time of integration flowed into rejuvenating evenings. Around the fire, we sat in the ancient ritual of talking circles. Active listening, reflection, and songs were heartily encouraged. Alongside the emotional sincerity, laughter was never far from the surface and the retreat ended with a gala. Skits, open mic, and fancy dress delighted us all.
This radical retreat was an emerging space where old stories were released so we could feel our pulsing potential and pivot into that place. I walked away in the company of a dear friend who I have often neglected; myself. In this newfound fullness, the constellation of smiling faces I danced with continues to shine in my mind’s eye. The power of a village is profound.
About the Author
Tauri Cayzer is a writer-poet-illustrator and 5 elements dance facilitator. She is currently writing a memoir about her decision to stop speaking with everyone she knew, disconnect from the system and hitchhike halfway around the world on a pilgrimage back home. She is now living in Bali interweaving her love for movement, nature, and words.