Access to Belonging

Dec 02, 2016

By Sacha Maxwell

"People should be more like animals ... they should be more intuitive; they should not be too conscious of what they do while they do it."
--Albert Einstein

I remember my first Divinity class at boarding school, aged 8; we had not been there a wet week when the Master hushed us all and asked, "When did you decide that you belonged to the school?"

I sat there with tears running down my cheeks thinking to myself "I do not Belong to the school, I belong to me and to my parents, I belong at home not here."

His next question was "Do you belong when you put the uniform on? When you drive through the gates? When you came to visit on open day? At what point do you Belong to the school?"

Looking back, it was an extremely profound question to ask a class of 12 eight-year-olds, and I still ponder it to this day.

So did I ever belong to the school? No, as I never let myself think that I belonged. Thirty odd years later, I do belong to a group of people who were students of that establishment and we have a shared memory of life there. It was a similar story at my next school, but I did let myself belong at university and to other groups along the way.

So what was the difference between school and university? Looking back, I think that I thought I had control at university. It was my choice to be there, it was not forced upon me in a compulsory fashion like school was, so I was content to allow myself to think that I belonged. I am proud to say that I attended my university and my department there.

Roll on to 2012 and when I came across BodyTalk for the first time, looking at the IBA page and getting that instant feeling that I had found something that I could belong to, something that resonated with me. I was an impatient student always looking for the next class, wanting to absorb as much as I was able like a sponge; find that next "Ah ha" moment and the buzz that it gave me. It was like a drug, and yes I became addicted; a trait in my family. BodyTalk opened up some closets that had a multitude of skeletons hiding in them, and John touched on a few in my session during his recent visit to Dublin. So, like Marcio Ribeiro said in his IBA article a few weeks ago:

"It brings back important conversations with grandparents, recovering memories from long ago. So many stories of yearning, of searching for something else, which initially started within the country and eventually spilled out into the oceans. Stories of (perceived) successes and failures. All of this happening within families that have been split across longitudes and latitudes. The ancestors left us with many unsolved issues, paybacks, unfinished business, amends to make and stories to unravel. We are going to have to succeed where they couldn't."

I know that it was via a physical injury that I was guided towards the IBA, but I can safely say with hand on heart that over the past four years if it had not been for all the wonderful people that I have met--for the support and friendships that have been forged--I would be in a very different place mentally. The universe had been quietly giving me subtle hints to go and find something else in my life and a tribe to Belong to; I was just a little slow in recognizing what I was being shown and the direction I was being sent.

So do I Belong to the IBA ? Yes, I am part of a collective consciousness that we all work with. As was said in a post on the forum, we are like a hive of bees, we all work together for the survival and benefit of the whole. We support each other, helping those who may have come on difficult times; encouraging those who may have lost heart; and stimulating the curiosity of students to want to explore and learn. Well, that is how I see the IBA. That is what I am endeavouring to do with the monthly swap sessions that I have been organising here for the past two years; it is a link to support each other, communicate and disseminate new information and ideas. To extend the hand of friendship to those who may, for whatever reason, have had to terminate their IBA membership but who still wish to be kept in the loop; to encourage new members that there are always people there to help and support them along the way. As practitioners, we often forget to look after ourselves; or those working a mainstream job and nixers on the side just run out of time and need the gentle guiding hand of the IBA to keep them informed.

My clients are getting an improved quality of life, and they are happy, which is the main thing. I am beavering away, attending functions and talking to people each week, endeavouring to spread the word and encourage people to be empowered and take responsibility for their health. It has been daunting stepping out into the unknown as a therapist with no other modalities that customers may be more aware of to encourage them in the door. It has been a huge learning curve for me and for them over the past two years or so.

Now that I have trained to teach Access, I feel that it is such a gift to share the Access routine with my clients to empower them to take control of their own health care. I love seeing the expression on their faces when they come back six weeks or so after class for a revision evening and they are so excited by all the changes that they have been experiencing.

For me, Access starts long before the day of the class. It is all the preparation work, the previous training, IBA involvement, all the marketing, and the coordinator. The day itself is the start of the course for the student. I commit to my class afterwards to have a number of revision evenings where students from all classes can come together and practice the techniques, discuss and develop their knowledge. Along with that, it gives us the opportunity to bring in new ideas, for example tapping over the enteric brain and incorporating it into the routine. One client at a recent revision evening said "Wow--I knew something was missing, that feels more like it."

It will be interesting to see what she reports back to me at the next evening. I have also included students who have taken Access for Animals, as having them in the revision evenings brings a whole new energy to the group; I invite students to bring a cat or dog if they want, and while some students are doing human revision, we have an animal revision at the same time. The human students are often quite taken aback at the reaction from the animals and find the experience extremely powerful.

I read Marcio's article in the October 7, 2016 IBA Newsletter, and it resonated so strongly with me that thoughts which had been running through my mind started to consolidate into this article. Part way though writing it, I got an email from Esther asking me to put something together for the Newsletter. I just had to sit there and laugh to myself as a mail had popped into my inbox earlier in the week from none other than Paul Henriques in Portugal whom Marcio had written about. We had been paired together through Ben Manalo's BodyTalk for Animals swap group. All the hairs stood up all over my body--what was going on here? Me reading Marcio's article and starting the train of thought; then Paul with the session for animals, followed closely by Esther asking for an article. Coincidence / synchronicity / pure fluke or that greater collective consciousness that we all Belong to gently steering me in its desired path.

So Paul has done a session for my horse Bree who has just had surgery to remove what we thought may be a melanoma. Bree came into my life in 2008, but it took a while for us to create a relationship. When I had my accident on him in 2012, it was a real test of trust for both of us. I think he thought I was neglecting him for BodyTalk in 2013 and '14. However, these past few weeks, I have been beavering away doing Access for Animals on him daily in preparation for the procedure. It was rather terrifying watching the vet inject the sedation and then waiting for Bree to "drop" with questions like "would he fall the right way; will he ultimately wake up and get up safely?"

I stood behind him during the operation just tapping cortices, cortices and more cortices over and over again; not only for Bree but also for the two vets working on him to make doubly sure that they kept focus and nothing went awry. I have found that I get most of my planning and work done when we are out riding together just "being" so I am really looking forward to Bree being back on the road.

It has been a great boost to link up with Paul and Letizia Destefanis totally out of the blue.  They are setting up BodyTalk in a new country, as you read in Marcio's article, and making a good fist of it by the sounds of it. Here in Ireland, it feels like the initial wave of students that were around from 2003 to 2010 may have melded into the background, but we have a new wave of enthusiasm building with some wonderful new students, and new instructors in both Martina Fallon and I teaching Access, alongside Lesley McIntyre who is also teaching Fundamentals with Karen Best.

Having John come to Ireland in 2015 and 2016 has been a great boost to the matrix. Being able to see John work in person during a session intensive this year was amazing, as this was a first, in so far as it was also open to members of the public to come in and experience John's new work. We got a sneak preview of his new course, The Soul's Journey, and how it integrates into sessions. All this combined with the Epigenetic work of Laura Stuve is really going to blow clients' socks off.

So again, I Belong to a wonderful group of people but something has felt as though it was missing for me. It was because of Bree that I came to the IBA and my reason at the time was: "If I am in this much pain and I can tell people about it, what about the horses that I live and work with? They cannot tell anyone." Well now they can from my point of view. A very important and exciting "first" is the NEW--and soon to be publicly  announced--BodyTalk Fundamentals for Animals and Humans program. It has been a real honour to have the first European BodyTalk Fundamentals for Animals and Humans class here in Ireland!

In January/February of 2016, Sr. CBIA/CBI Loesje Jacob launched the new BodyTalk Fundamentals for Animals and Humans six-day course in Bogor, Indonesia, at IPB-University-Veterinary Faculty (Bogor Agricultural University Veterinary Project) and also at her property "Eagle's Eye Ranch" in Canada.  

Here in Ireland, along with the support of the animals, Loesje and I are having fun establishing a European base to continue hosting the BodyTalk for Animals modules! Creating a base where students can come to learn BT Access for Animals, Linking Awareness Journey (a form of heart-based Animal Communication and much more), as well as BodyTalk Fundamentals for Animals and Humans.

The past two weeks that Loesje has been here have been eye-opening in so many ways: the wonderful students who came and put their trust in me to provide the perfect venues for the courses, the laughs, the gasps of amazement as a first-time Fundamentals student was thanked by an animal for doing a session on them. The staff at Fota Wildlife Park could not have been more open and welcoming; there were some funny glances at us as they were driving around. The follow up work is going to be so interesting, and I cannot wait to see what 2017 is going to bring. I am finishing up my training to be a BodyTalk Access for Animals Trainer and soon also hope to be a Linking Awareness Journey Facilitator. Please keep an eye out for courses in the New Year. I look forward to seeing some of you here in Ireland in the near future.

I am personally so excited to support this concept as well as hosting a space in Ireland--with the support of the IBA and the natural energy of animals and nature that we have in this area--for participants to practice what they have learned and integrate it into their lives. I am really looking forward to being able to facilitate practice sessions, study days and hopefully to be able to have Access for Animals classes on site on a regular basis. Working with Bree so closely over the past weeks has been an intense learning experience.

This entire process started two years ago with Loesje coming to teach here and work with Bree, Noddy, Qilin and Khyber, who have all been the most amazing animal mentors over their time with me; they have worked with students, facilitated sessions with clients, and guided me in ways I did not think possible. As practitioners, we need to be fully aware of all forms of nature around us, to be able to read the field and integrate everything that Belongs in the environment.

In the process of integrating the animals into our work, we are nurturing ourselves by getting in touch with our intuition, our gut feelings and our hearts. In doing this, we are adding to that Collective Consciousness of Belonging and working together like the bees to ensure the survival of the collective, in this case the IBA.

It feels like there will be exciting times ahead, and I for one am delighted to Belong to the group that is bringing this together.


Chat with Sacha

1. If you could be doing anything in the world at this moment, what would it be?
Saddling up Bree and heading out around the mountain here at home (Slievenamon--a very mystical place) or taking the dogs for a walk in the woods.

2. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to and why?
Nope, I like it the way it is :-)

3. What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Do something every day (DSED)--even if it is as simple as making your bed in the morning, so if the rest of the day falls in a heap, then at least you have somewhere clean and tidy to fall into at night.

4. Do you have a favorite personal saying or mantra?
The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.  ~Arabian Proverb

5. Why BodyTalk, Access or the Life Sciences?
They are passports to another dimension, up to us if we use them, but we have the ability to.

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