School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: September 2011
Letter from Susannah

By Susannah

Dear everyone,

I hope you are well and have had a good time surfing the waves of what has been, for me at least, a strong and catalytic summer. My parents, having been robustly healthy all their lives, have both been in different hospitals with different ailments, and so we saw a lot of them this summer, supporting as we could. The gift for me was through this, and through being with them at a time of crisis, I was able to see more of who they are as people and meet with them more deeply.

It was a real gift for me to be there to hold my mother’s hand in hospital as she lived through the pain, one breath at a time, and to hear her speak about her choice to live fully as long as she lives, whether that is long or short, and her clarity that she is not in a battle with her illness, it too is part of life. Though she is clear that she is choosing life, she is surrendered to what life brings. I appreciate her wisdom and depth. I shared many tearful moments with my Dad, feeling our love for my mother, his wife, and the gratitude that we could all be together. What a joy to see him get better day by day, and to witness his love for my mother, his vitality, humour and joie de vivre as I never have before. And it was another gift to feel me and them being supported by Ya’Acov, to feel the family love grow stronger.

The love and support and prayers from their friends and our friends has been very beautiful and strong. My mother describes it as feeling as if she can lie back in a hammock made of rainbow threads, each thread a different prayer. There have been Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist prayers said for them. They have both made strong recoveries, so I guess rainbow hammocks of interfaith prayers must be good medicine!

Thank you to those of you who have been sending your love and prayers. It’s been another lesson for me in the connectedness of all of life, and that I do not and cannot “do” anything alone. I am part of it all. We are part of it all. And we all need each other.

This awareness of mortality and the fragility and vulnerability of life has brought into even more poignant awareness for me how precious each moment, each person, each breath is. It’s so easy for me to forget to live that in the hustle and bustle of all the seemingly important things to do. How precious physical health is, and what a gift it is to be able to dance and move and experience the pleasure of being alive in a body! And how beautiful it is to be able to love and be loved. This summer I have experienced how the possible proximity of death can support us to loosen our masks and come to what really matters. Of course that is the point and possibility of the dance too. So, without going near a dance floor, you could say that I found the intimacy of the dance with my parents this summer. And I am very grateful for that, and that they live and are recovering in health, and the dance of this dear relationship can go on.

And on the theme of the teachings of death, Ya’Acov is leading the Burial Ceremony in beautiful Orval in the Ardennes in a few days (14th – 21st September). Of all the ceremonies I’ve ever done, my first burial ceremony, in France at La Val Dieu many years ago, was one of the most profound. I dug my own grave, and was ‘laid to rest’ in it. I heard the people speaking about me in the past tense. I heard the soil going on top (there are clever ways of doing this which leave space for you to move and breath!), and then I felt, surprisingly, utterly safe and held, able to rest in the arms of the earth. It was a profound befriending of death. Then I started to look, from this perspective of the grave, at the life I had lived up until that point, and to see also the life I had put on hold, that was “in waiting”- not yet lived. This was a profound confrontation with the reality of my life. And then, I asked death for another chance, I made my pledges about what I would do if this was granted. It was, and I emerged from the grave to the sweet, sweet dawn, everything shining with the dew and tears and gratitude for life.

I recommend this work to anyone with an interest in coming to more focus and appreciation in their life, and Ya’Acov as a wonderful, experienced and wise guide for this sensitive, deep work.

Which brings me to my other big gratitude for the summer. Ya’Acov and I have had a beautiful time of deepening our love, for which I am very happy, grateful and moreish!

I’m looking forward to the next adventures which begin already tomorrow with our very first webinar! Maybe see you there!

Sending you and all the planet love in these challenging, poignant times, and wishing a rainbow hammock for us all!



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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.