Middlesex University GII, London UK

Last week we spent four day at Middlesex University in London at the Global Improvisation Initiative symposium.

We were people from many different countries celebrating Improvisation and Awareness. 

I managed to make dolls with people four days non stop, first time ever!!! Only next day I realised how tired I was but really happy.

The makers were Shannon, Johan, Catharine, Susanna, Oliver, Joel, Chloe, Carla, Janet, Chris, Bronwen, Daniella, Kelly, Diana, Emma, Holly, Cath, Derek, Alison, Marcus, Gina, Stefano, Shannon, Shemekka and Nicola, 25 makers in total, we made 30 dolls together.

We were doing an awareness research for the symposium. We tried to observe our ‘attention’ and ‘awareness’ during the process of making dolls and meditation. We realised that the more we focus our attention in doing a specific thing the more aware we are of everything else within and around us.

Some of the makers wrote comments: 

‘When I sat down with Regina to make the doll I was so tired and was done with talking. To gently, slowly listen, touch, feel, make… to sit with others doing the same…and then to sit quietly with the doll meditating…beautiful, resting, soft, focused, moving. As I was in the middle of making I was feeling it would be hard to pass it back to Regina… but strangely, or not, after meditating, it was right the time to let it go. Beautiful and necessary contrast for me among all the talk and action of the previous two days. Thank you!’

‘Luscious! Great way to relax and take your mind to a peaceful place. Regina is fabulous and really helps to relax you whist making dolls.’

‘It helped me to check- in with myself and ask if I was ok again.’

‘I had heard how peaceful and refreshing the process was with Regina before I began. It lived up to my expectation and was a soothing experience throughout the whole time. I enjoyed the concept of dreams being filled into our personal dolls. Dreams of the past, present and future that came from strangers but feeling like our own. Adding the heart and giving it my heartbeat was an unifying ritual and I was sad to let him go but am happy he has joined the other ‘Dreamers’. Thank you for this!’

‘Calm, caring and careful accumulation of form filled with dreams and a beating heart – and then I felt that it was my heart beating…’

‘I felt very relaxed. It was a wonderful experience. I have a fascination with dreams. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.’

‘O encontro do passado e do presente. Fui capaz de colocar aqui todos os meus e os sonhos de outro alguem dentro de um lindo ser. Lembrando que todos somos diferentes e que isso é a beleza do universo. Lembrando que juntos somos mais fortes. Obrigada Regina, de coração, por esse momento delicioso de cura e partilha.’ ‘The meeting of the past and the present. I was able to put all my own and the dreams of someone else inside a beautiful being. Remembering that we are all different and that this is the beauty of the universe. Remembering that together we are stronger. Heartily thank you Regina for this delicious moment of healing and sharing.’

‘Filling my doll with dreams and a heart was a lovely moment to pause and actively engage in a creative act. I am grateful to have had this opportunity.’

‘I felt I was giving a body to my dreams and that I found the pulse that animates my dreams. I loved the calmness of making the doll.’

‘The experience was incredibly relaxing and stress releasing. I found the process very moving. I found myself shaping and creating this doll made of dreams which made me feel in balance with myself and with the people around me. It was a great experience to converse and be in company with other human beings while creating small human shapes.  The final meditation is a great opportunity to connect personally with the doll and give it a unique identity and blood flow. I learned to craft dolls and sew it, while chatting about the most random topics with people from different cultural backgrounds. This experience made me think, love and smile. Grazie.’

‘This project is the representation of love and we shared hearts and dreams together. It was a truly lovely experience. Thank you.’

‘I loved to make the doll of dreams. Sitting quietly, talking, and listening to very lovely souls, enjoying being together in this magical process. The dolls will bring love and spread love wherever they go. And my doll will be with them all. A community of dolls full of love and dreams. A very beautiful creation and experience. The meditation at the end was so peaceful. Holding the doll, aware of the voices around the room, being in the still centre. Thank you Regina, and the dolls and the dreams.’

‘Thank you for the wonderful experience. You are magic.’

‘Thanks Regina for putting me back in touch with myself. It’s great work you’re doing.’  

‘The experience of making the doll for Regina’s project felt comforting, life affirming and heart warming. A space to forget problems and focus on the dreams you are pouring into the tiny body. I felt very connected to my doll, I will miss her when I give her back but I am glad to see her be part of the project. Thank you so much.’

‘Regina’s warm and curious and calm and grounded and absolutely lovely to be with.’ 

‘The tears came, slowly at first… this doll, all the dolls, all the people who have helped to make them, all the people who are suffering in the world, and me, and my grief, the grief, these are the tears of the whole fucking world. The doll had given me the opportunity to slow down and simply notice what’s alive inside.’ 

‘This might have been my favourite part of the conference.’

‘It was therapeutic, the comfortability comes from the way Regina supported and advised me whist making the doll. My favourite part was when we put the heart in, Regina said  ‘you need a good bed of dreams for your heart’, it was instructive and meaningful for me. I needed this workshop.’

Thank you so much for all the makers – we talked, stayed in silence, meditated, laughed, cried… we shared special moments, we felt good together.

In the last big circle Phelim gave the dolls the chance to speak their silence, it was beautiful! 

Most of us didn’t want it to end despite being tired after four long days taking part in loads of activities, sometimes until 10pm. This is love. You amazing people!!! I feel happy, privileged and blessed to have met you all, Thank You!  

 

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