School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: November 2011
The Caretaker

By Ya'Acov

So Iím out walking the dog at the end of a very busy day in the office. You know the kind of day. Five e-mails out, ten come in. Chasing my old virtual tail around cyber space feeling like a mouse on the wheel and my body just says: Ďright YaíAcov! Thatís enough! Up you get. Out you go. The sun is shining. Itís Autumn. The clocks change over the weekend and this is the last chance youíll get to have some sunshine this side of 5pm for a few months. Out!í

So, like a good Movement Medicine practitioner, out I goes. Strolling purposefully up the hill and out into the forest. Down through the muddy field with the beautiful stalks of a cropped harvest crunching under my feet and up the other side into the sun! Tali our dog is delighted. Two walks today and now weíre running round the hill side playing like lunatics, jumping up and down, singing, throwing sticks and shaking those electromagnetic overloads out to be burned up in the setting sunlight. I love this land. I just love it! And when I get the chance to spend the weekend at home, itís a blessing and a half. Iím going into retreat for the weekend. Iím planning to take the early yoga class in the morning and then lots of time to love my drums, sit by the fire, walk, and listen and dance to the music from last summerís Long Dance.

Susannah is away teaching in Bern and then sheís off to Volkerís studio to start the editing and mixing on this yearís Long Dance CD, so this weekend is my chance to give my input. I had a quick listen the other day and it took me right back there. Yummy sounds. And this week, I finally got round to beginning the next stage of work on the album Iím doing called Morning Prayers. I hadnít heard it for 7 months and I loved what I heard. Itís the kind of music Iíve been searching for and here it is, on our very own hard drive with the beautiful songs of the drums leading the way. I love that funky shamanic beat that just insists on remembrance. Who are you? Where do you come from? Where are you going? Dance you fool! Dance! Sounds like the recipe for the new workshop I taught in London called The Arc of Time. Funnily enough, Susannahís teaching it this weekend too. One dancer told me that she was going to go and do it again with Susannah. Iím very curious to know how she experiences the difference! I have no idea how long itís going to take me to bring this new CD into being but youíll be the first to know when itís ready.

Earlier this month, we went away for four days to sit with the second raft of applications for our second Apprenticeship Programme. We drummed for a long time, looking out at the Cornish landscape, the doors to the sea air open wide. We prayed our little socks off to be guided. And then we sat and read thousands of extraordinary words from 44 amazing people. A friend told me recently that in his tradition, they donít say Ďno;í they just say Ďnot now.í And thatís exactly how it was for us. So, now we have a whole new circle of apprentices that is taking shape and already the beginnings of the third circle that will begin, all being well, in the Autumn of 2014.

And between all that, weíve had four days of meetings with our Staff first of all, and secondly with the Pathfinders from this first round of apprenticeship and teacher training. I want to publically say a big thank you to all of them. David Rose, Sue Kuhn and Jo Hardy have been fantastic companions over the past three years. We have laughed together, cried together, created together, fought together and generally learned quite a lot about working as a team. We are delighted that they will be present on the next Apprenticeship and as well as all the mentoring and supervision work they are doing, we have a sense of them taking their place as Ďeldersí in our fledgling community.

We recognised recently that Movement Medicine really is a child. No wonder weíve been so busy! (S)heís coming up for her fifth birthday in January and (s)heís quite precocious! Interestingly enough, our own son has recently left home and though heís living locally, we really notice the difference in the house. It was time for him to leave and have his independence and we all knew it. Heís been a great Ďhow to be parentsí teacher. And though we have without doubt made our mistakes, (and as they say, perfect parents expect perfect kids!), we are so proud of who he is. Heís just a pleasure to be around. Heís shown us so much about the growing up process. And clearly, although heís certainly our son, it would be ridiculous to claim that he belonged to us. He quite clearly belongs to himself! And so it is with Movement Medicine as well. As a toddler, we are recognising that it needs our guidance and protection. No doubt, as the years pass, Movement Medicine will grow up too and become itself and have its own life, quite independent from, but hopefully in loving relationship with, its Ďparents.í And as with any parenting, there is so much to be learned along the way.

The Pathfinders, Caroline, Christian and Mark, have also been magnificent. They have helped us to see what it takes to become someone who can share Movement Medicine as a guide for others. They have stretched themselves and each stayed true to their own journeys. They are all teaching Movement Medicine now and in fact, as Iím writing, Iím aware of Caroline making her offering through a womenís workshop in Holland called She and of Christian preparing for his Healing Dance workshop tomorrow in London. I hope Mark is having a weekend at home with his family. He has already given so much through his passion for community development and a great process he developed for the apprenticeship and his other work called the Insight Council. Iíve heard it said that it takes a whole village to bring up a child. Well, that certainly seems to be the case with this Movement Medicine child.

Weíre all feeling stretched by the newness of each step that we take. There are so very many details to take care of. Iíve noticed recently that Iíve started to make very silly mistakes at times. Like missing the ferry home from Jersey or booking the wrong date for travel. Nothing too serious but so very unlike the me Iíve known all these years. Susannah helped me to look into this and we found a character inside me who Iíve named the Caretaker. Itís funny, but in the venues weĎve worked at for many years, I always felt that the caretaker of the buildings we used was the most important person to the workshop. After all, the caretaker holds the keys. So it is with my own psyche. The caretaker holds the keys and if Iím not taking good enough care, heíll just lock me out and insist I take some time out! And so that is my plan for this weekend. Iím going to finish this article, go out for dinner, and take the weekend to be home, in my dance, with my medicine, for myself.

Iíve been so grateful for the support of so many good friends over these past weeks. And I have to say, that the presence of invisible hands at work has been very palpable. This morning, I felt that I was being pushed up the hill by those invisible hands, rather in the same way I used to support Susannah when she was pregnant and we were out walking. I sense my ancestors more than ever before. I feel the presence of the guides, guardians and protectors of our mesa stronger than ever. And Iíve been calling out to them like never before too. Funny that! Try it. The veil between the worlds they say, is rather thin at this time of year!

Stretched as I am, thereís also a lot a lot of creative juice in the tanks. So Iím off to go and marinade before I head off to South Africa on Wednesday to continue the journey over there. Before that, Iíll be running the webinar on Tuesday night November 1st so hope you can tune in to what weíre lovingly referring to as MM TV along with dancers from 22 countries. Itís Samhain time, the Witchís New Year. Time to dance with and for our ancestors. Time to welcome the downward spiral into the roots where the power of the unconscious resides. Donít worry. The dancer in you knows how to go with the natural flow of the seasons and the dark of the winter months is such a special time if we give the dancer the time and space to dream down into the roots.

Weíve done quite a lot of technical work since last time so hopefully, the quality should continue to improve. Why not give it a go. Get some friends over and letís continie to build this new dream that recognises the reality of the world wide web of interconnection to which we all belong. Check out the link if you feel like joining the Bringing the Dance Back Home crew on Tuesday night at 7.30 UK time.

Before I leave you for now, a couple of dates for your diaries. The 2012 Summer Long Dance has a new venue up on Dartmoor. Thatís us bringing the dance back home! And weíre delighted to tell you weíre planning on having Chris Salisbury from Wildwise there running a Wild Ones camp for 8-12 year olds alongside the Long Dance. Chris is a wonderful environmental educator and great story teller and very experienced in running magical events for kids. Younger children will be able to come too but they will need a responsible adult to be with them and then they can join in the activities with the older ones where appropriate.

And finally, thereís a new workshop planned for next Autumn for your diaries. The Poetry of Presence has been a weekend workshop up until now. Next year, Iím going to be running a residential intensive version that will blend Movement Medicine with Lucid Dreaming practice. The new element of the work will be led by a fine young teacher who we have recently met. Dreaming has always been central to our work and I am very excited that he has agreed to this new collaboration. Heís the real deal and has been asked to teach by a lineage holder in the Tibetan Dream Yoga tradition. More of this anon.

In the meantime, I hear the Caretaker in my ear getting louder and so I will leave you with 21000 blessings for the Autumn and the change of light and the coming of the magical months of wintry darkness. Just a word to any Manchester United fans out there. Iíve heard theyíve set up a free counselling line for those of you traumatised by a certain recent result. Just call 0161 6-1 6-1 6-1. Lines are open from 1-6.

Happy Samhain to one and all.

YaíAcov. November 2011

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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.