Movement Maverick shaking things up. In Scott Belsky’s book Making ideas happen, he talks about how “new ideas face an uphill battle from the moment they are conceived.” An experience that rings true within my journey. He then touches on the notion of conformity and that “the status quo is the oil in the gears of the society.” I remember distinctly the first choice I consciously made, at 19, that felt like it was going against the grain, and that was deciding to go pursue a degree in Dance with visual art at the University of Brighton. The following three years were filled with exploration around my authentic expression via a physical Hip Hop inspired movement practice, coupled with a passion for a DIY, cut ‘n’ paste approach and methodology, which in hindsight laid the foundation for the maverick movements (physical and literal) that would organically evolve out of my lived experience.
A movement maverick isn’t something I aspired to be, rather it felt more like a way of being that was a non-negotiable, and directly grew out of my desire to honour the difference I often felt as a teen, a young adult and a creative person – an outlier if you like. It would be decades later that I would start to connect the dots deeper as to why I felt that way. I think a decent portion of that visceral sense of otherness stems back to my Jewish heritage, and specifically the ancestral trauma that was the Holocaust whereby my great grandparents were incinerated.
I think there are, however, clear traits and characteristics that contributed to, in my case, the creation of a movement method, Free Your Spine, that is distinctively different to current mainstream mind/body practices. Those traits being curiosity, passionate connection to ‘other’, highly attuned sensitivity, an astute ability to perceive existing gaps in the market, and an insatiable hunger for movement expression to help heal myself and others.
When the journey gets a little rough and I ponder intensively the path I am on and its sustainability (emotional, mental, physical, and financial), I revisit my deepest why and that unapologetically, always carries the purpose through during “the uphill battle” days or moments, that Belsky talks of. The why has not changed since day one: To empower and elevate folks physical and emotional wellbeing via playful and holistic spinal movements. Therefore I am able to take up the space in a saturated market and continue to pursue the movement maverick lifestyle and purpose.
As Simon Sinek states “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
I am continuously leaning into the advocation, especially in these very polarising times, of befriending our otherness and celebrating difference. Taking on more of a maverick mindset, that of open curiosity and the willingness to connect with the difference that lives within us as well as others. This can help build levels of acceptance and compassion in ways that are unparallel when we remain in a fixed or rigid state of being. There is no doubt that we need more pioneering leaders that are tapped into their innate layers of creativity, compassion, and curiosity to steer us to a better world.