Newcastle Collaboration for Funding

Newcastle Collaboration for Funding 1st Zoom Call - Friday 8th March 2024

“Self-Empowered Embodiment – 
Transformation through Conscious Movement 

This title captures the essence and objectives of the project effectively. It conveys a sense of personal growth and transformation, emphasizing empowerment and embodiment as key outcomes. Here are a few considerations regarding its suitability and vibration:

Strengths of the Title:

– **Self-Empowerment**: This term immediately communicates a core goal of the project – to empower individuals to take control of their healing and personal growth.

– **Embodiment**: Indicates a holistic approach, focusing on the integration of mind, body, and spirit, which is essential for profound and lasting transformation.

– **Transformation through Conscious Movement**: Suggests a dynamic process of change facilitated by intentional, mindful movement, appealing to those interested in alternative healing and personal development methods.

Considerations for Refinement:

– **Length and Complexity**: While descriptive, the title is somewhat long, which might impact its memorability and ease of communication. Consider simplifying it or creating a catchy abbreviation or nickname for informal contexts.

– **Accessibility**: Ensure that the terms used resonate with the intended audience, especially if reaching out to those less familiar with concepts like “embodiment” or “conscious movement.” The title should invite curiosity and feel welcoming to all potential participants.

Alternatives for Consideration:

If you’re open to exploring variations, here are a few suggestions that maintain the original intent while offering a slightly different focus or simplicity:

– “Empowerment in Motion: A Journey of Transformation”
– “Moving to Empower: Body, Mind, and Spirit Transformation”
– “Embodied Empowerment: Transforming Lives through Movement”
“Pathways to Empowerment: Transformative Movement Practices”

Each alternative emphasizes the transformative power of movement and the goal of empowerment, but with slight variations in focus and tone.

Ultimately, the best title for your project is one that aligns with your vision, resonates with your intended audience, and accurately reflects the transformative experience you aim to offer. If “Self-Empowered Embodiment – Transformation through Conscious Movement” feels true to this spirit and resonates with you and your prospective participants, it is indeed a suitable and powerful choice.

What are the common needs of people who struggle with Neurodivergent, emotion abuse, addiction, criminality, sexual abuse and trauma?

People who struggle with neurodivergence, emotional abuse, addiction, criminality, sexual abuse, and trauma often share a core set of needs that are crucial for their healing, recovery, and overall well-being. Understanding these needs is fundamental for providing appropriate support and creating an environment conducive to healing and growth. Common needs include:

1. Safety and Stability:

– A safe and stable environment is foundational. Individuals need physical safety as well as emotional stability to begin processing their experiences and working towards recovery. This includes safe housing, reliable support networks, and freedom from further abuse or trauma.

2. Understanding and Acceptance:

– Acceptance without judgment is crucial. People dealing with these issues often face stigma and misunderstanding from society. Finding communities or individuals who understand their experiences and accept them unconditionally can be incredibly healing.

3. Compassionate and Informed Support:

– Support from professionals who are knowledgeable about their specific challenges and from peers who share similar experiences can make a significant difference. This support should be empathetic, informed, and tailored to the individual’s unique needs and circumstances.

4. Access to Specialized Therapeutic Interventions:

– Access to mental health professionals trained in trauma-informed care, addiction therapy, and other specialized therapeutic interventions is essential. Techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and others have proven effective for many individuals.

5. Opportunities for Skill Building and Education:

– Many individuals benefit from opportunities to develop new skills, including coping strategies for managing emotions, stress, and triggers. Educational programs that focus on life skills, vocational training, or specific interests can also contribute to a sense of purpose and self-efficacy.

6. Empowerment and Agency:

– Empowering individuals to make choices about their own recovery and life path is critical. This includes involving them in decisions about their treatment, supporting them in setting personal goals, and encouraging autonomy.

7. Connection and Belonging:

– A sense of belonging and connection with others can counteract feelings of isolation and alienation. Building relationships based on mutual respect, understanding, and shared experiences can provide vital emotional support.

8. Healing from Trauma:

– Addressing and healing from trauma is a complex process that often involves revisiting painful memories in a safe and supportive environment. It’s important for individuals to pace their healing journey according to their own needs and readiness.

9. Recognition and Validation of Experiences:

– Having one’s experiences and feelings recognized and validated by others is profoundly validating and can be a crucial step in the healing process. Validation helps individuals feel seen and understood, and it can reduce feelings of shame or guilt.

Meeting these needs requires a holistic approach that considers the person’s emotional, psychological, physical, and social well-being. Support systems, whether formal or informal, need to be flexible, responsive, and compassionate to effectively address the multifaceted challenges faced by individuals dealing with these issues.

When developing a well-being holistic movement course to help develop Empowerment and Agency, based on the techniques of Shakti Dance, entitled:

Self-Empowered, Embodiment – Transformation through Conscious Movement…

Which would be the most effective common needs of this broad group of people that could be addressed, and which psychophysical systems would be the most effective to target in the transformational process of the practice? 

Developing a well-being holistic movement course like “Self-Empowered, Embodiment – Transformation through Conscious Movement” using Shakti Dance to address the needs of individuals dealing with: 

  • neurodivergence, 
  • emotional abuse, 
  • addiction, 
  • criminality, 
  • sexual abuse, and 
  • trauma 

involves a nuanced approach that targets both specific needs and psychophysical systems. Focusing on empowerment and agency, the course can effectively address the following needs and target systems:

Common Needs Addressed:

1. Safety and Stability:
Create a safe and welcoming space that allows participants to explore movement without fear of judgment or harm. This includes both physical safety and emotional security, establishing the class as a sanctuary for exploration and healing.

2. Understanding and Acceptance:
Foster an environment of acceptance and understanding where diversity is celebrated, and every individual’s unique journey is honored.

3. Compassionate and Informed Support:
Ensure instructors are knowledgeable about trauma-informed practices and are capable of providing empathetic support throughout the transformational process.

4. Connection and Belonging:
Use group practices and shared experiences to cultivate a sense of community among participants, helping them feel connected and less isolated.

5. Empowerment and Agency:
Design activities that encourage personal choice, autonomy, and active participation in one’s own healing journey, fostering a sense of empowerment and agency.

Psychophysical Systems Targeted:

1. Nervous System:
Implement practices that regulate the nervous system, such as deep breathing exercises, gentle flowing movements, and mindfulness meditation. These can help reduce anxiety, stress, and symptoms of PTSD, promoting a state of calm and relaxation.

2. Endocrine System:
Include sequences that balance hormone levels, which can be affected by stress, trauma, and addiction. Yoga poses combined with breathwork can positively influence the endocrine system, helping to stabilize mood and emotional responses.

3. Musculoskeletal System:
Focus on poses and movements that release muscular tension, improve flexibility, and strengthen the body. Addressing physical tension and pain can also facilitate emotional release and healing.

4. Limbic System:
Use music and rhythm as integral components of the practice to engage the limbic system, enhancing emotional regulation and creating a therapeutic effect through the joy of movement and dance.

5. Immune System:
Incorporate practices that boost the immune system, such as techniques to improve circulation, breath exercises to enhance lung capacity, and relaxation practices to reduce stress.

Transformational Process:

1. Awareness and Acceptance:
Begin with practices that heighten body awareness and encourage acceptance of the present moment and one’s physical and emotional state.

2. Release and Letting Go:
Progress to movements and sequences designed to facilitate the release of pent-up emotions and physical tension, encouraging participants to let go of past traumas and negative patterns.

3. Empowerment and Expression:
Introduce expressive dance elements and creative movement to empower participants to find their unique voice and mode of expression through the body.

4. Integration and Renewal:
Conclude with practices that promote integration of the experience, such as meditation and relaxation techniques, helping participants to assimilate the transformation and carry it forward into their lives.

By carefully addressing these common needs and targeting specific psychophysical systems, “Self-Empowered, Embodiment – Transformation through Conscious Movement” can provide a holistic approach to healing and personal growth for individuals navigating the challenges of neurodivergence, emotional abuse, addiction, criminality, sexual abuse, and trauma.

If we take each of the last four points suggested above for the transformational process, working with the different psychophysical systems also mentioned above, here are different archetypal stories that could be helpful to facilitate participants to experience this transformative healing such that they can experience ‘self-empowered embodiment’: 

Incorporating archetypal stories into the transformational process of “Self-Empowered, Embodiment – Transformation through Conscious Movement” can deeply enrich the healing journey by connecting participants to universal themes and experiences. Here are archetypal stories aligned with each phase of the transformational process and the psychophysical systems targeted.

Exploring archetypal stories that are not religious, yet deeply resonant with universal human experiences can provide meaningful context and inspiration for each phase of transformation. Here are alternative suggestions for each stage:

1. Awareness and Acceptance (Nervous System):

The theme of awareness and acceptance, particularly as it pertains to self-discovery and embracing one’s inner truth, is a powerful motif found in various fairy tales and folklore around the world. Here are several stories that resonate with this theme:

  •  “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen:
    This tale is a classic example of self-discovery and acceptance. The story follows a duckling who feels out of place and unaccepted because of his appearance, only to realize his true beauty and identity as a swan. It’s a powerful metaphor for growth, self-acceptance, and discovering one’s true nature.
  • “Beauty and the Beast”: In this story, both the Beauty and the Beast undergo a journey of self-awareness and acceptance. Beauty learns to look beyond the Beast’s exterior and see the kindness within, while the Beast learns to love and be loved, leading to his transformation. The tale emphasizes the importance of seeing beyond appearances to the true essence of a person.
  •  “Cinderella”: Cinderella’s story is one of resilience, hope, and the transformation that comes from remaining true to oneself despite adversity. Her kindness, grace, and inner strength ultimately lead her to a place where she is recognized and accepted for who she truly is.
  • “Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi: The story of Pinocchio is a journey of self-improvement, learning from mistakes, and striving to be better. Pinocchio’s transformation from a wooden puppet into a real boy symbolizes the journey toward self-awareness, responsibility, and the acceptance of one’s actions and consequences.
  • “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen: This tale includes themes of devotion, resilience, and the power of self-awareness and purity of heart. Gerda’s journey to save her friend Kay, who has become cold-hearted under the Snow Queen’s spell, illustrates the transformative power of love and acceptance in overcoming indifference and rediscovering one’s warmth and humanity.
  •  “The Star Money” by The Brothers Grimm: This story follows a poor girl who is willing to give away everything she has, only to find that her generosity is rewarded in unexpected ways. It speaks to the theme of selflessness and finding inner richness and fulfillment through acts of kindness and generosity.
  • “The Frog Prince”: Similar to “Beauty and the Beast,” this story involves seeing beyond external appearances to the worth of a person’s character. The princess learns to accept the frog, leading to his transformation back into a prince, highlighting themes of acceptance, transformation, and the true nature of love.

These stories, while varied in their details and settings, all share the underlying message that self-awareness, acceptance, and staying true to one’s essence are key to personal growth and happiness. They continue to resonate with audiences of all ages because of their universal truths and the deep, enduring lessons they teach about the human experience.


2. “Release and Letting Go”

This is a poignant theme in literature and fairy tales, often depicted through narratives of transformation, liberation, and the journey towards freedom or enlightenment. Here are well-known stories and fairy tales, rooted in various cultures and traditions, that beautifully illustrate this theme:

  •  “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter” (The Tale of Princess Kaguya): This Japanese folktale tells the story of a celestial nymph discovered inside a bamboo stalk, who eventually must return to her true home on the Moon. The story embodies themes of letting go of attachments to the earthly world and the bittersweet nature of such releases.
  •  “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen: In this tale, a princess must weave shirts from nettles to release her brothers from a curse that has turned them into swans. It’s a story of sacrifice, endurance, and the letting go of one’s own pain to liberate loved ones.
  • “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen: Unlike the sanitized versions, Andersen’s original tale is a story of unrequited love and the ultimate sacrifice. The mermaid must let go of her desire to be with the prince and, ultimately, her life in the sea, highlighting themes of letting go of personal desires for a greater good.
  • “Frozen” (inspired by “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen): While not a direct adaptation, “Frozen” deals with themes of releasing fear and embracing one’s true identity. Elsa’s journey is about letting go of the fear that isolates her and accepting her powers, which parallels the psychological process of releasing repressed emotions to find personal freedom.
  • “Leaf by Niggle” by J.R.R. Tolkien: Though not a traditional fairy tale, this short story reflects on the artist Niggle who must let go of his earthly concerns and unfinished work to journey into the afterlife, embodying themes of acceptance and the release of worldly attachments.
  • “The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde: The tale of a statue prince and a migrating swallow carrying out acts of charity for the city’s poor. Both characters ultimately let go of their physical forms to attain a form of spiritual fulfillment, highlighting the release of material wealth and beauty for the sake of compassion and love.
  • “The Selfish Giant” by Oscar Wilde: Another story by Wilde, this one tells of a giant who learns to let go of his selfishness and his need to control his garden, allowing children to play there. His actions bring about not only the return of spring but also his own redemption and ultimate release into paradise.
  • “The Fisherman and His Wife” by The Brothers Grimm: This story teaches about the dangers of greed and the importance of contentment. The fisherman’s wife continuously desires more, never letting go of her greed, which eventually leads to their downfall, emphasizing the value of releasing insatiable desires.

These stories explore the theme of “Release and Letting Go” from multiple angles, whether it’s letting go of personal desires, fears, or material attachments, and they often conclude with the characters finding a deeper sense of peace or fulfillment as a result of their release.


3.  “Empowerment and Expression”

This theme resonates deeply within many non-religious stories and fairy tales, showcasing characters who discover their strength, voice, and identity, often leading to profound transformations. Here are well-known stories that embody this theme:

1.”Mulan”: The story of Mulan, a young woman who disguises herself as a man to take her father’s place in the army, is a powerful tale of empowerment. Mulan defies societal expectations and expresses her true capabilities, becoming a celebrated hero and saving her country.

2. “The Little Engine That Could”: This classic children’s story emphasizes belief in oneself and perseverance. The little blue engine, despite being small and doubted by others, empowers itself with the mantra “I think I can” and successfully brings toys and food over the mountain to the children on the other side, expressing its strength and determination.

3. “Brave”: The Pixar film tells the story of Merida, a Scottish princess who defies an age-old custom and fights to carve her own path in life. Her journey of self-discovery and empowerment is a testament to the importance of standing up for oneself and forging one’s destiny.

4. “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch: This modern fairy tale flips traditional gender roles, featuring Princess Elizabeth who saves Prince Ronald from a dragon. After losing her possessions and donning a paper bag, Elizabeth uses her wit and courage, ultimately realizing her self-worth is not tied to the prince’s approval.

5. “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren: Pippi, with her unconventional lifestyle and superhuman strength, embodies empowerment and the expression of individuality. Her adventures challenge societal norms and celebrate independence, creativity, and resilience.

6. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl: Matilda is a young girl with extraordinary intelligence and telekinetic powers, living in a hostile environment. Her journey to using her abilities to stand up for herself and others against oppressive figures is a powerful narrative of personal empowerment and justice.

7. “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf: Ferdinand is a bull who prefers sitting quietly under a cork tree, smelling flowers to fighting. His story is one of staying true to oneself in the face of societal and familial pressures, illustrating the empowerment found in embracing one’s true nature.

8. “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman: Coraline’s adventure into a parallel universe where she confronts the Other Mother to save her parents and ghost children is a journey of bravery, self-reliance, and the empowerment that comes from facing one’s fears.

These stories span a range of cultures and mediums, yet all share the common thread of characters finding empowerment through self-expression, courage, and resilience. They inspire readers and audiences to embrace their unique qualities and stand up for their beliefs and desires, underscoring the transformative power of empowerment and expression.


4. “Integration and Renewal”

This theme encompasses stories where characters undergo significant transformation, reconcile with their past, and emerge renewed, having integrated their experiences into a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world. Here are well-known stories that beautifully illustrate this theme:

  • “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett: Mary Lennox, sour and unloved, transforms a neglected garden into a place of beauty, simultaneously undergoing her own process of healing and renewal. Through her care for the garden and her cousin Colin, she finds health, happiness, and a sense of belonging.
  • “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens: Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey from miserliness to generosity is a classic tale of renewal. Through his confrontations with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, Scrooge integrates his past actions with their impact on others and himself, emerging as a compassionate and generous man.
  • “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams: This story of how a toy rabbit becomes real through the love of a child speaks to the process of becoming authentic and true to oneself. The Velveteen Rabbit’s journey from a mere object to a cherished companion mirrors the transformative process of integration and renewal, culminating in his becoming “real.”
  • “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho: Santiago’s journey to find his Personal Legend is one of discovery, loss, love, and ultimately, self-realization. His adventures lead him to integrate his experiences, understanding that the treasure he sought was within him all along, symbolizing the ultimate renewal of spirit.
  • “Iron John” (A Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale): This tale of a boy’s journey into manhood under the guidance of the wild man, Iron John, involves themes of identity, maturity, and the integration of one’s primal nature with societal expectations. The boy’s return to his kingdom to rightfully claim his place is a story of renewal through self-acceptance.
  • “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse: Siddhartha’s quest for enlightenment takes him through various experiences of passion, wealth, and asceticism. His ultimate realization by the river, where he learns the unity of all existence, represents the integration of his journey’s lessons and his renewal as an enlightened being.
  • “Persephone’s Return to Demeter”: In Greek mythology, Persephone’s return from the Underworld each spring symbolizes renewal and the rebirth of life. Her story embodies the cycle of death and rebirth, and the integration of her experiences as queen of the Underworld with her role as a bringer of spring reflects the harmony between different phases of existence.
  • “The Lion King”: Simba’s journey from exile to accepting his role as king represents his integration of past experiences and lessons learned from his father and friends. His return to Pride Rock and confrontation with Scar culminate in the renewal of the kingdom and himself as a wise and just ruler.

These stories, spanning literature, mythology, and film, all share the profound theme of integration and renewal. Characters embark on journeys filled with challenges and self-discovery, leading them to a deeper understanding of their identities and roles in life. Through their narratives, readers and audiences are reminded of the transformative power of integrating one’s experiences and emerging renewed, ready to face the world with a new sense of purpose and understanding.


Integrating the needs of people with diverse challenges through a transformative practice like “Self-Empowered Embodiment – Transformation through Conscious Movement,” with common themes in fairytales and their psychophysical correlates, can be insightfully merged into an effective, holistic approach:

Addressing Common Needs with Archetypal Themes and Psychophysical Activation:

The core needs identified:

  • safety, 
  • understanding, 
  • compassionate support, 
  • connection, and 
  • empowerment

These can be directly addressed through the embodiment practices of Shakti Dance, mapped onto the transformative process inspired by archetypal stories. This approach not only provides a therapeutic physical and emotional experience but also taps into the collective unconscious, leveraging the universal resonances found in these stories to facilitate deeper healing and insight.

1. Awareness and Acceptance:

Archetypal Story:Aria’s Journey: Embracing the Light Within” serves as an exemplary narrative for initiating participants into self-awareness and acceptance, portraying the journey of discovery, facing inner shadows, and embracing one’s true essence.

Psychophysical Activation: Practices focusing on grounding, breath work, and gentle movements help stabilize the nervous system, fostering a sense of safety and presence. The narrative of Aria’s journey supports participants in embracing their personal journey with acceptance and courage.

2. Release and Letting Go:

– Stories Like “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter” and “The Little Mermaid“:** These tales of transformation and release of attachments resonate with the process of letting go of past traumas and negative patterns.

Psychophysical Activation:** Sequences that encourage fluidity and release, such as dynamic yoga flows and dance movements, target the musculoskeletal and lymphatic systems, aiding in the release of stored emotions and physical tensionsalso fascial release!

3. Empowerment and Expression:

– Stories Like “Mulan” and “The Little Engine That Could”: These stories of finding one’s strength and voice inspire empowerment and the courage to express oneself authentically.

Psychophysical Activation: Expressive dance and powerful asanas stimulate the endocrine system, boosting confidence and self-expression. Incorporating vocalization and mantra chanting can also activate the throat chakra, facilitating expressive power.

 4. Integration and Renewal:

– Stories Like “The Secret Garden” and “A Christmas Carol“: These narratives of transformation and renewal through self-reflection and connection with nature or spirit underscore the final phase of the journey.

Psychophysical Activation: Practices that encourage introspection and meditation, such as guided relaxation and visualization, support the integration of experiences. Working with the breath and subtle body activations helps consolidate the journey’s insights, fostering a renewed sense of self and purpose.

By weaving these archetypal stories with targeted psychophysical practices, “Self-Empowered Embodiment – Transformation through Conscious Movement” becomes a deeply resonant and holistic program. It not only addresses the multifaceted needs of individuals navigating complex challenges but also empowers them to reclaim their agency, heal, and transform through the universal language of myth and movement.

This approach highlights the potential of our project to make a significant impact on individuals and communities by fostering healing, empowerment, and a deeper connection to the universal human experience. It demonstrates the importance of our work in creating spaces where transformation and growth can be nurtured through the integration of body, mind, and spirit, aligned with the wisdom inherent to our collective stories.