School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 
Issue: September 2012

Up and Over Lollover (in the rain)
By Roland
Friday 6th July was the first day of the Summer Long Dance. This is the one day in the year when I step out from my organiser role and do something which is a bit more hands on. I lead the procession from the EarthSpirit Centre on one side of Lollover Hill to Bartlett’s Farm on the other side of the hill where the Long Dance ceremony takes place in a large marquee.

It was raining as it had been for much of the summer.  Now it was raining harder and more persistently than at other times.  Just before we started the procession I had received a phone-call from Ya’Acov to tell me that water was coming into the marquee and looked as if it might get into some very expensive Bose speakers we had been leant especially for the event.  “I can’t do anything right at the moment,” I replied.  “I’m about to set off on the procession.  Maybe you should raise those speakers off the ground.”

The procession proceeded smoothly but slowly up Lollover hill.  Each stile and gate would necessitate a wait to allow those at the back to catch up.  The rain kept falling.

On the way back down the hill I stepped over a stile to be confronted by a large black bull and a herd of very lively bullocks.

I stopped a few metres down the hill while I waited for the first of the 120 people behind me in the procession to climb over the stile and started to assess the situation.  The bull, though large, seemed remarkable docile.  A large amount of grass was protruding from his mouth and there the grass remained for the next 15 minutes.  It was clear that eating and enjoying the entertainment of watching a long procession of humans dressed mostly in white were not activities that could be conducted simultaneously.  I turned my attention to the bullocks.

There are certain things that make bullocks more lively and aggressive than they are normally.  These are:

  1. Early evening.
  2. Rainy early evenings.
  3. A large number of strange people walking through their field when it’s raining in the early evening.

Worryingly, one of the bullocks was beginning a warm-up dance that made him appear as if he was auditioning for a role in a rodeo movie.  The centre of his body seemed to have a special articulation in its middle that allowed him to kick up the whole back part of his body into the air with both his hind hooves reaching up towards the sky.  I now knew who I needed to keep a close eye on.

Once a sufficient number of people had crossed the stile I slowly started to lead the procession down the hill.  It was not long before we were joined by my rodeo friend together with a few of his brothers.  For a period of about 10 seconds they were quite well behaved but then they began a series of charges in an attempt to test the weakness of the line of walkers.

When I was very young we lived small cottage that was situated at least a mile from a road and to go anywhere we had to walk.  And to walk anywhere meant going through fields of cows or bullocks and so I was taught how to do it by my mother.  Here are the rules I learned.

  1. Do not be afraid.
  2. If you are afraid don’t let them know you are afraid.
  3. Act as if you are in charge by standing your ground, looking them straight in the eye and if you wish them to move wave your arms at them and making a loud noise.

(Please note this is not a comprehensive list for all occasions and there are several situation like bulls alone in fields, confined spaces, dogs being present and cows with young calves which call for different action.)

Because of the remote place that we lived I did not encounter many children of my own age and being the youngest child of five with a sister who nurtured a grudge against me for ousting her from her place as the baby of the family I had a strong incentive to have control over some other creatures.  And so by the time I was 4 years old, I had gained a precocious mastery over the herd of cattle near our home and the local farmer commented that my future employed prospects was assured.

Now, 55 years later, the moment had arrived when these skills could be very usefully employed in a very public setting.  I held off the bullocks, put someone else in charge of leading the procession down the hill, and when the bullocks cantered off downhill I followed them down and again faced them off.

However, the drama facing the Long Dance was not over yet.  The rain was still falling when we arrived at the marquee.  Susanne and I now needed to return to EarthSpirit to pick up the van which we need to ferry the equipment and supplies between the two sites.  I had arranged for a participant to give us a lift in her car and I was pleased to see that she was waiting in her car in the prearranged place.   Susanne and I jumped in the car and our driver turned the ignition key.  Nothing happened.  She tried several more times but there was no response from the car.  Susanne and I very reluctantly got out of the car and into … yes this is becoming predictable … the torrential rain and half walked and half ran along the road to EarthSpirit.   We wondered what conditions were like inside the marquee.

When we returned we found a group of people had started to dig a network of trenches around the marquee to drain away the water that was pouring down the hillside.  Periodically over the next few hours I inspected their progress and reflected that the pride that I felt in the heroics I had displayed with the bullocks was very minor compared with the achievement of those digging these trenches in the pouring rain (I am beginning to run out of adjectives to describe the rain) in the dark.  By the next morning all the trenches were dug and all the water was being diverted away from the marquee.

In fact the Long Dance ended up being a great success and I am very pleased to report that participants raised a total of £35,226.30 for charity of which £11,798 went to the PachaMama Alliance for the support of the Achuar people in Equador and £2881.80 was raised for Survival. We also collected nearly £800 in cash to help pay for the education for all the children in an HIV orphanage  in Narobi for a year.  The rest went to a variety of local projects and charities throughout the world.  I enclose a list at the end of this article.

The picture at the top of this article is by Tonya and is inspired by the purple Emperor butterflies that alighted on the top of the Marquee on the final evening of the Long Dance. She writes “Hundreds of purple butterflies over the mesa”: Purple, the colour of protection. Butterflies the transformation from a grub to a butterfly… My heart is still dancing, my spirit is calm and full of joy and my thoughts are with the rainbow people: “We do, what we want to do, we go where we want to go - Love is guiding us.”

There is a beautiful Long Dance Slide show of photos taken and edited by Justine Skowronek. I was really struck by how strong and moving the images are and would like to share them with you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTlDQdhYw-k

We have had a very positive reaction to our new printed brochure.  If you would like a copy (or several copies for your friends) drop me an email roland@rwevents.co.uk with your postal address and I will send you one.

The new brochure lays out the Movement Medicine map very clearly so that readers can gain a good idea of the three Movement Medicine journeys that lead through to the next Apprenticeship which will begin in August 2014 and the subsequent profession training in 2016.   We are now taking bookings for the following residential courses scheduled for 2013 Journey of Empowerment, Recreation, The Phoenix Retreat and Initiation.  Please contact me if you would like an application form for any of these workshop.

We have two residential workshops scheduled for this Autumn.  The first is the Poetry of Presence  19 – 23 Oct and is led by Ya’Acov and Charlie Morley and focuses on Movement Medicine and Lucid Dreaming and will take place at Orval, Belgium.  There are only a few places left on this workshop.  Please contact me on roland@rwevents.co.uk if you would like a place.

The other is Dancing with the Heart of the World which will take place at Waldhaus in Switzerland 18 – 23 December and is led by Susannah and Ya’Acov.  There are now only a few places left on this workshop and if you book by Sept 30th you will be entitled to Sfr 150 discount.  Again contact Roland at roland@rwevents.co.uk if you are interested in signing up.

Other Movement Medicine workshops coming up soon are:

The Dreaming Body.  12 – 14th Oct.  Guest Movement Teacher Christian de Sousa will be teaching this workshop in Berlin (now my favourite city after spending a few days there in August) Please contact Kathrin +49 39 28458820 kellerkathrin@yahoo.de if have any questions or wish to join.

Susannah and Ya’Acov will be travelling to South Africa and teaching the following workshops:

The Circle and the Sword  Susannah in Cape Town 13 -14 Contact Janye +27 766963527

Way of the Dancing Warrior Ya’Acov in Johannesburg 13- 14 Contact Ryan +27 825520619

On the weekend of 19 – 21 October Susannah will be teaching Source in Warsaw, Poland.  Contact Olga + 48 509 774 884 info@movementmedicine.pl for more details.  This will be preceded by a Pachamama Symposium on the 18th.

And on the weekend of the 27 – 28th October Susannah will be in Luzern teaching  The Circle and the Sword  Please contact Katriona +41 33 676 2708.

In November there will be weekend workshop in the following places Munich (Y), London (S), Prague (S), Hamburg (Y), Zurich (Y), Paris (S). And in December Manchester (S).  For more details on these and for our full programme for this year and next please go to http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/ecstatic-dance-calendar.php

The webinar series is now a year old and is proving successful and future webinar dates are all schedules in the calendar above.  It is possible to sign up at any time by going to http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/webinars.php.  The cost is £35 for 10 webinars and if you miss one it is possible to catch up by going to archive section of the webinar site.

Wishing you all the mellow fruitiness of Autumn

Roland

 

A list of other charities that money was raised for by the Long Dance :

The Forgiveness Project
Tree Sisters
Quality of Life Nepal
Alzheimer Organisation Germany
Beat – eating disorders
Connection at St Martins’ – Homeless Charity
Polish Young Adults Charity – youth work
Wildwissen – school in Germany fostering wilderness skills
Red Cross Switzerland
Trocaire and Development Perspectives
Freedom From Torture
Kogi Indians
Oikos Jugendakademie – ‘be the change’ – youth work
Cultural mundo
Medico – Kinder Afghanistan – children in Afghanistan
WWF
Aerzte ohne Grenzen – medecines sans frontiers
Children in Tibet (school)
Ecological charity
Plant for the Planet
Seed and Abalimi
Nceduluntu Sanctuary Trust – Cape Town – childrens’ refuge
Children in Need
Water for Africa
13 Grandmothers – Council of indigenous grandmothers
Children in Cape Town with AIDS (HOEIKA)
Wolves & Humans Foundation
Association Petits Princes
Paedagogisches Project (educational charity for cooperation)
Fynn Fund/Nepalese Street children
An Australian friends’ charity – animal rescue
Orphanage in Peru
Fox Project – ambulance/rescue for foxes
Hilfswerke Pro Beatrice
Project Moken – artwork – indigenous people Burma
Natural Beginnings Society – information/coordination project
Friends of Flushing School
Action Aid
WFF
Dublin Sawmens Community – homeless charity
Magic Breakfast – charity providing breakfast for English schoolchildren who don’t get any food at home
Schule fuer Afghanistan – Schools for Afghanistan
Local environmental charity
Oxfam School Campaign
Brighter Futures Jersey
Nepal Friendship – womens’ project – schools
Happy Homes Nepal.org – orphanage in Nepal
British Heart Foundation
Lakota – heating
Youth closet on the rez
Kinderprojekt Deutschland – childrens’ charity in Germany
Foundation for Disabled People Poland – FPLN
Polish Charity for Teenagers with problems
Polish Cancer charity
Polish charity for child asthma sufferers
‘Women for Women’ – in countries in conflict
Trees for Cities
Rettet den Regenwald – safe the rainforest
Montessori Home School
Tierschutzhaus – animal shelter
A custommade bike for a friend with cancer who has been completely housebound and who will now be mobile again.
Amnesty International
Support for Kenyan girls’ education
Project for the Victims of Tsunami 2011
Awa – through Survival International
Children for Tomorrow – Switzerland
St Johns’ Water Source Project
Emergency Fund Italy
Artscope
Xingu River Fund
Amazonwatch
Hospice in Prague
Safe Heart for Children
Abused Children
Refugees
Spiritual Center Baba Yaga
Environmental charity Nigeria
Heifer Foundation – animals for poor people
Community Garden
Public library
Art center for young people
Sieben-Buergen EV – Roma childrens’ charity
Save Prashan & Achuar
World Vision
Projektmoken.com
Greenpeace
Medecins sans Frontieres
Age Concern – local to Harrow

Oh What a Summer!
By Susannah
Oh what a summer, culminating in the glorious Olympic and Paralympic festivals and our own Darling Khan festival of relationship as we went off in a borrowed motor home to Northern Spain and Portugal for 2 weeks of gloriously intense immersion in being with each other. Sometimes I felt we’d unwittingly signed up for our own “understudy pressure cooker workshop!” More of that in the other article: “Love Stories.”

Here, I want to tell you about some wonderful things that have happened in the Movement Medicine community this summer, including the Long Dance.

 At the Community Gathering in July, in which apprentices from the 1st and 2nd  apprenticeships came together at Rill, inaugurating the new movement studio/temple which is featured on the cover of our new brochure. (In the rest of this article ‘AP 1’ means the first Apprenticeship and ‘AP 2’ means the second Apprenticeship).

This meeting of the two groups was very special, in the way that the more they saw of each other, the more the respect between the groups grew, and in the way that they were able to work together to create the first Movement Medicine Council and to work as a team at the Long Dance.

Each group’s different contribution to the whole was palpable. Each group has comes at a different time in the evolution of this work and at the same time is an intrinsic part of that evolution. The maturity of the AP 1 field was so clear; the way in which the pioneering work of AP 1 has opened the channel for AP 2 to begin at a different level. 

When the steering group (of AP 1ers) presented their work on recommendations for the Movement Medicine Association website (which will represent all the MM Apprentice and qualified teachers and facilitators) and for the formation of the Council (the professional body of the MM Association, responsible for holding the field of qualified MM teachers and facilitators as it grows), the respect for the depth, precision, quality and responsibility for this group grew and grew.

The depth of presence, strength and energy of the AP 2 field was apparent from the start.  When we were in the process of the formation of the Council, the AP 2-ers stood in a circle of witnessing presence around the AP 1ers. The AP 1ers were in the centre engaged in a mostly silent and physical process of discovering who was right to be where, in which role of the council. This is called a silent fishbowl way of working, and I’ve never experienced a fishbowl like it.

The potent, loving, generous presence of the AP 2ers held the space for what was a wonderful, subtle, delicate and sometimes difficult process, as we all waited for the interoceptive “click” of rightness. And we got there! The Council has already started work on its remit, and you’ll doubtless be hearing more from and about it soon.

I give my full respect and a huge bow to the many and various work that has been done and manifestations of self-organizing community which are emerging. All those community meetings in AP 1 paid off as the skills which were learnt there come into action in a bigger stage. I also want to honour the influence of family constellations, drama therapy, Boal theatre work and Quaker decision making models which come through various ones of us, woven into the mix. The Council (of 9) is now functioning, and beginning its work which will culminate with its next steps at the Winter Dream dance (open to all Apprentices past and present).

Then came the Long Dance, which was back at Earth Spirit after a debacle re the Dartmoor site with the planning authourities which even ‘Gandalf’ was not able to swing!  Well, what to say about this extra-ordinary Long Dance? The rain, the trench digging, the incredible calmness and focus of everyone, the music, the dance, the prayers, the singing, the incredible Apprenticeship teams doing everything possible to keep us all comfortable, the outside crew working in the rain with straw and mud and strong love to keep watch and keep us safe through it all. Late on Saturday afternoon we opened our dance to the non-human members of community of life on earth; inviting the animals of the land, of the sea, of the air, the trees and plants, to speak through our dance and be heard. As we opened these doors, and tuned to this wavelength a strong cathartic wave of feeling and messages came through, so fast and strong, it was as if this gateway had been waiting to be opened, and when it did we all dropped to another level of palpable connection with the wider field of life on earth. Afterwards, we discovered that this moment had been blessed by a huge flock of rare purple emperor butterflies hovering over the roof of the marquee. This, together with an unprecedented number of bats who flew spirals over the closing fire back at Earth Spirit, felt like a beautiful blessing and confirmation of connection with the animal kingdom. Who knows why this happened, but it felt very good, and I’m sure I’m not alone in still feeling full of gratitude for this Long Dance and all who held it and supported it and participated in it in so many ways, including the bats and butterflies.

Then the Olympics! We were caught by surprise by how emotional and amazing that was. I’m only just now hearing story after story about the incredible impact of the paralympics and how London felt during the whole of August. It’s been very moving to feel so unexpectedly proud of the British way of holding these games.

Wishing you very well wherever you are in your developing life track,

See you on a dance floor soon I hope!

Susannah Darling Khan

Susannah’s Autumn Workshops

Oct 2012

12  Cape Town, SA,    Move!  Jayne 0766963527 info@movementmedicine.co.za

13 - 14  Cape Town, SA, Circle and the Sword Jayne 0766963527 info@movementmedicine.co.za

16  Where you are! Susannah & Ya'Acov Webinar Roland +44 1803 762255 Roland@RWEvents.co.uk

18 Warsaw - Poland  Pachamama Symposium  Olga +48 509 774 884 info@movementmedicine.pl

19 - 21 Warsaw – Poland,  Source  Olga +48 509 774 884 info@movementmedicine.pl

26  Luzern, Switzerland   Move!  Katriona +41 33 676 2708 kat@kf-events.ch   www.kf-events.ch

27 - 28  Luzern, Switzerland  The Circle and the Sword  Katriona +41 33 676 2708 kat@kf-events.ch   www.kf-events.ch

Nov 2012

9 - 11     London E-Motion: Heart of the World Alex + 44 7868842219 alexhanly@hotmail.com

13  Where you are! Susannah & Ya'Acov Webinar Roland +44 1803 762255 Roland@RWEvents.co.uk

16  Prague  Move!  Raduca +420 224 827 417 raduca.vojackova@gmail.com

17 - 18  Prague  Dancing Voices Raduca +420 224 827 417 raduca.vojackova@gmail.com                                                                                                                                                    

23 - 25  Paris   Love Stories  Pierre-Henri + 33 615 325 816 letsmoveinfrance@gmail.com  www.letsmove.fr

Love, Loss and Redemption in the Holy Days of Summer
by Ya'Acov
It’s been quite a summer for us on our personal journeys. We spent two weeks in a pressure cooker (otherwise known as a motor home) travelling in Northern Span and Portugal following the coastal roads, seeking out the sun and landing in some quite stunning locations. We had to admit that we have finally entered the fascinating new world of middle age when ‘wild camping’ has come to mean parking in some remote spot not on a campsite and enjoying the view from a gloriously comfortable double bed!

 We didn’t plan such a fast track learning curve. We planned a holiday but day-by-day, we journeyed deeper and deeper and our holidays became holy days. We knew we wanted some warmth, some sea, some mountains and rivers, and time away from everything. We knew we were tired from another intense year of teaching and learning and that we needed some rest. What we didn’t know was that the Great Choreographer had an adventure in store for us on the inner and outer levels.

 We began exploring the beautiful coastline of Galicia after a 24-hour crossing on the boat from Plymouth to Santander. We were blessed by some beautiful weather and we ended up on a very wild bit of coast called Costa de la Muerte. We should have known from the name that change was on the horizon. We have been astonished over the past few years just how deep the dance of relationship can go. We’ve been together for 26 years now and we are discovering levels of communication, understanding and intimacy that I didn’t even know existed. It’s not that our relationship was second rate before this. If you had asked me, I would certainly have celebrated where we were and how we are a blessing for each other. We have always been committed to each other’s freedom and supporting one another to be the one we are. We found out long ago that commitment is the surest route to freedom and even though we have danced very close to the edge of separation at times, the pledges we made to each other in our wedding ceremony have proved strong enough to see us through. The deeper we go, the closer we come to the core of ourselves and of each other. And naturally, the closer we come to the core, the more sensitive we each are. And the more sensitive we are, the clearer our communication needs to be. This is true for marriage but I also believe it’s true for all our relationships, especially the one we have with our selves.

 The essence of what happened in those days could be described in two words. Being present. We lay in the sun, we swam, we did yoga, we danced on the rocks with a cluster of fishermen entirely unfazed by our drumming, songs and movements, and we played bat and ball with the worst designed beach bat and ball I’ve ever seen. And then each day, we talked. We talked about what was happening now, in the body, in the heart, our thoughts and sensations, our experience of being here in this landscape, with each other. We used the simple practice that we sometimes use in the dance, asking each other: ‘Tell me what you are.’ We discovered so many threads in the space between us that can, in the normal busyness of our day-to-day lives, become invisible until they wind around our hearts, tighten up the body and leave the mind grasping for understanding. In short, we gave each other the kind of attention we give to all our participants when we are teaching. And my goodness, so many things came into the light during this process. We weren’t trying to get somewhere. We were just being together and following the unfolding fascination between us in an atmosphere of love, intimacy and enquiry.

 One day, we found a chapel on the beach. It was dedicated in memory of the many sailors who lost their lives in the shipwreck of HMS Serpent in 1890. The words of Psalm 23 were carved into the memorial: ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’  As we stood reading the beautiful words of the psalm, I became quickly overwhelmed by the images of young men drowning, desperate to be losing their lives and connection with their loved ones so young. I felt their fears. I felt them tormented by thoughts of punishment and the hell they were sure they were headed to. I saw their loved ones back at home stirring in their beds, the body knowing, the heart frozen in shock, the mind refusing to listen. Tears were streaming down my face as I felt their loss. I promised to return later in the day with Susannah and drum for them. At the same time, Susannah had become aware of the huge amount of plastic waste strewn about the rocks, a stark reminder of the loss of soul we collectively suffer from that puts us to sleep and disconnects us from the effects of our actions. We resolved to return, clean up the rocks and then do our little ceremony in memory of the dead. We picked up two huge sacks full of plastic bottles and waste from this tiny section of boulder-strewn beach. And then we drummed. We sang to the sea and asked her to release the souls of any sailors that were still held here in their torment. We sang and drummed and offered our witnessing to those that wanted it. It was a very moving ceremony and a fitting one for what turned out to be the very last time I would use these drums that have become such dear friends to me over these years of Movement Medicine work.

 A week later, having been through storms inside, between us and in the landscape around us, somewhere high in the mountains of Northern Portugal, we were robbed and my beautiful drums were stolen. We both felt so humbled that we had been so deeply involved with each other that we didn’t notice that our van had been broken into and our bags with passports, credit cards and by far the most shocking, my drums, had been taken from us. Once we had dealt with the practicalities of losing our passports and cards, and experienced the miracle that our bags had been found with passports and cards intact, we began the process of grieving our loss. I truly felt as if two very good friends had died suddenly and without warning. It is times like these when we discover how real the ground of our spiritual practice is. The temptation to fall into old stories and clamp down on the pain we both felt was very real. But we didn’t. In my dreams, my wise elder asked me: ‘How does a shaman deal with the loss of his medicine?’ I awoke determined to find out.

 This was the second time this had happened to us. Many years ago, we were dancing in London and had our car stolen with everything in it, including drums, a magnificent Native American pipe that I was working with at the time, all our music and sound system, and all our clothes. At the time, I was upset but my connection to my medicine items at that time was much less strong. This time, I felt that a part of myself had been torn away.

 The next few days were a time of grieving on the one hand, and on the other, leaning into the gift of the time and space the recovery of our passports had given us. If they had been lost, there would have been no option other than to drive a 1000km round trip to Lisbon and back to visit the British Embassy and get hold of some official papers to be able to re-enter the UK. As well as finding the most beautiful spots we had visited so far, I also started to piece together what this loss meant to me. I followed the roots all the way back to the desecration of the temples in Jerusalem, and a profound understanding of a feeling I have had inside me since before I could talk. Earlier in our journey, I had described that feeling to Susannah as being like a circular gap I could sometimes sense in the energy around my torso. I experienced that feeling as a sense of being incomplete, as if something had been stolen. When I connected the feelings of loss for my good friends, my drums, to that experience and realised that the gap I had always felt was exactly the same shape as my drums, something clicked into place. And it was this connection that led me back to my ancestors’ experience and that of all our relations who have had something sacred desecrated, be it the temple or the great Mayan libraries that the Conquistadores burned in their attempts to ‘civilise the savages.’ With Susannah’s support, I called back the spirit energy of both my stolen drums and the soul essence that held the feeling of wholeness for me. I am not my drum. I am not the temple. I am not the library of knowledge burning to the ground. I am complete in myself. The words are easy to write and unexpectedly, so was the work of soul retrieval that this loss has catalysed. Healing, it seems, is all about timing.

 Now, I feel that the loss of my drums was a price I had to pay, a karmic debt for choices I had made in the past that were a mirror of the loss all our ancestors have suffered. Painful as it was, I recognise it as an invitation into the next step on this journey. New drums are already on the way and the man who plays them will be that much more whole for the pain of this experience.

 All this experience of the challenges of breaking through into a new level has given me another level of understanding of the essence of Movement Medicine as I see it. Any true spiritual practice worth its salt will involve times of loss and suffering. And all the medicine items in the world, beautiful and powerful as they may be, are also no more or less than tools to help us to relax into the wholeness and shape that we are. It has taken me a very long time to become comfortable in my own skin and in the realisation of who and what I am. It took a lot of practice, a lot of dancing and sweating and many times of doubt. And no doubt there is more of the same along the way. I asked the Wise Elder to describe this sense. This is what he said: Movement Medicine has been born out of the experience of two passionate people, a man and a woman, who have been bold enough to follow their spirit as it whispers through the language of the dancing heart. It’s been born out of their love and their struggle, out of beauty and pain and it is because these two have danced through this journey and been willing to stretch and stretch again that they have so much faith in their work. After all, it has been what has carried them through so much. And finally, remember that the death of one thing is but the birth of the next.

 So dear dancers, we begin the next year of our work refreshed, humbled and ready. Here we are, dancing at the eye of the storms of change, coming into the last equinox of 2012 with a new sense of balance, energy and commitment to the truth, wherever it leads. If you’re up for the adventure and want to dance as deep as you can, we’ll be seeing you soon.

 With great love and respect for all of us on this very human journey.

Ya’Acov. September. 2012.

 

Ya’Acov’s Autumn Programme

 September 2012

21      Peace One Day Tripitaka Totnes          Rosie +44 1803 731003

          (available as webinar)                            info@dancing-shapes.co.uk

22-30  Apprenticeship Module 2 (*)      Rill      Closed Group

October

12-14  Way of the Dancing Warrior      Johannesburg         Ryan 0825520619

                                                   joburg@movementmedicine.co.za

16      Webinar                           Internet based         Roland +44 1803 762 255

                                                                      roland@RWevents.co.uk

19-23  Poetry of Presence                    Orval, Belgium        Roland +44 1803 762 255

          with Charlie Morley                                roland@RWevents.co.uk

November

9-11   Arc of Time                      Munich         Claudia +49 89 292644

CRR@move-life.com

13      Webinar (*)                      Internet based         Roland +44 1803 762 255

                                                                      roland@RWevents.co.uk

16-18  Way of the Dancing Warrior      Hamburg      Jens +49 40 729 100 61

mm@spirit-in-movement.de

23-25  Poetry of Presence                    Zurich           Kat +41 33 676 2708

                                                                      kat@FF-events.ch

December

7-9     Circle and the Sword                 Manchester   Elaine +44 161 881 2644

                                                                      i-am@elaineswords.com

11      Webinar                           Internet based         Roland +44 1803 762 255

                                                                      roland@RWevents.co.uk

18-23  Heart of the World (*)      Waldhaus,Switzerland       Roland +44 1803 762 255

                                                                                roland@RWevents.co.uk

(*) = with Susannah

Love Stories
by Susannah
In August, after we celebrated our son’s 21st birthday, we left for Northern Spain in a friend’s motor home. We caught the boat from near where we live to Santander. I can’t believe we’ve lived here so long without realising that Spain is “on our doorstep”. Well, we’ve fallen in love with each other even more, and fallen in love with the motor home thing! We’ve admitted we’re not teenagers anymore; the moment we bought a table as well as chairs so we could eat outside and put our food on a table, I knew we’d accepted something about our age!

We had great adventures, traversing the beautiful outer landscapes of north western Spain and north Eastern Portugal and the inner landscapes of our love and acknowledging the places in our psyches where we hadn’t yet been able to let love in. At times in the pressure cooker of the motor home, I felt as if we’d gone on a special “relationship intensive”. Between us, we found enough witness capacity to find our way through to a whole new stratum of love, truth and joy in and with each other. After 26 years together this love keeps on growing. It’s a wonderful and unexpected thing (which is interestingly not much talked about) -how long term love can go on and on deepening and opening.

One of the things that got really, really clear were some particular ways in which our unconscious stories around the dangers of intimacy have perfectly (!) interlocked and reinforced each other. Simply becoming conscious of these unconscious powerful fears and their accompanying survival strategies allowed a re-alignment, opening us to a new landscape of tenderness and magnetism with each other. Halleluiah! What unexpected new treasure!

And reflecting about this, isn’t this inter-locking of stories what tends to happen in general? Whether or not we humans are in long-term relationships, we seem to have some amazing capacity to attract and be attracted by others whose patterns interlock with our own. Our implicit and often unconscious expectations tend to be confirmed. And then we think it’s just the way it is. This works in light ways and it works in shadow ways, depending on what we carry from our pasts.

For me, this summer journey has given even more inspiration and importance to the new workshop, Love Stories, which will be held for the first time in Paris in November. Up till now, we have only offered work about relationship for couples. So, I am very pleased to be offering this workshop, as intimate love relationships are an issue for nearly everyone. Thank you to Pierre-Henri and the French MM team for proposing this theme!

So, this workshop is open to everyone who wants to bring the light of dancing awareness to their own love story. The focus will be on you as an individual getting in touch with, acknowledging, and re-aligning your patterning around intimate relationship. It’s open to couples too, or one member of a couple, or people who are single. After our summer of doing this work for ourselves, I’m even more aware of the importance & delicacy of this inner work.

Below is a message from Pierre-Henri, the MM Paris organiser.

Wishing you a heartful, loving autumn,

Susannah

 

From Pierre-Henri

Bonjour dancers !

Last year, when I ask Susannah what workshop we should do this year in Paris, she said " Out of the list we have, what workshop would you want ? ". My answer was : "let me ask the french-speaking mouvement medicine community". Their answer was typically french : " why don't we create a new workshop ? " Then, when Susannah replied : " Ok, but about what ?", ze french being ZE french, they thought about a workshop around Love... So, Susannah and us, started to flirt with this idea and we decided to marry the "Love Stories" concept...   I love the School of Movement Medicine for that : nothing is imposed, everything is proposed and all creativity is possible: I have always dreamt of a school like that ! And what's great about creativity is that it's playful, joyful and sacred !

So, off, we went: we started to build all together this Love Stories workshop and pulled it off ! It was a great team work and we are somewhat proud to announce that this new-born workshop will see the light next November in Paris ! Of course you are all invited to celebrate this birth with us since the workshop will be in English ( translated in french ). That way, we will all be able to dance our different Love stories, in the city of romance, and embrace, individually and together, our new future story about l'Amour...

If 2 of you are living outside of France and are coming together to Paris do this workshop you'll get a 20% discount on the total of the amount of the Love Stories workshop in order to reduce your overall cost. As our www.letsmove.fr website only takes one registration at a time, please send an extra separate email to letsmoveinfrance@gmail.com to get this special reduction, specifying the name of your partner.

You can watch Susannah talking about the Love stories workshop on www.letsmove.fr/lovestories

 See you!

 Pierre-Henri

Totnes Peace Day
by Ben Yeger
On 21st of September 2012 it was ‘Peace One Day’ (http://peaceoneday.org/) An opportunity for people across the world to mark, in whatever way they feel called, the potential for Peace in our times. As part of this global effort the Totnes Peace Festival organized by an amazing group of people have pulled together a wonderful array of creative events which will include dance, talks, live music and more. Profits from the Festival will be donated to Peace one day and to support the work I will be doing in Israel/Palestine in the next 12 months.

I am a MM apprentice Teacher and an Israeli ex combatant (I served in the Israeli army 83-86) I am also the UK representative of Combatants for Peace (CfP). CfP is a bi-National movement of ex combatants from Israel and Palestine who are engaged in a joint struggle to find non-violent ways to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and bring a sustainable and just peace for both peoples.  I have been a member of CfP for 4 years. After organising two CfP group visits to England, the next step in my journey to contribute to Peace between Israel/Palestine is to travel to the region for 3 extended periods of time over the next 15 months.  I will be using Movement medicine and a variety of other transformative and embodied practice to build the resilience and capacity of CfP members and the movement as a whole.

CfP is a grass roots movement dependent on the determination, strength and resilience of its volunteer members and management, meeting and working together under adverse conditions and circumstances. This process constantly stretches the capacity of members, often resulting in individual and group burnout.

The current political climate in the region is one of hopelessness and stuckness where it seems that there is little to no hope for change.  This reality is challenging for all CfP activists and means that sustaining a sense of joint purpose and effectiveness between members is essential and needs a considerable amount of support.

The impact of this project will be to strengthen the commitment, determination and abilities of members to continue to meet and bring about internal transformation and conflict resolution, becoming more effective in reaching out to each of their respective communities and leading direct actions on the ground.

My invitation is one of daring to dance and dream of a different future that can only be achieved through really facing each-other, seeing the other with all his/her complexities.  I hope that this process will transcend the point of burnout, transcend the focus on polarities and create joined-up authentic possibility for change.   It is my belief that it is possible and healing to find the embodiment of our deepest fears and challenges and I believe that we can imagine the changes we want to happen and then work together to slowly make those changes real

To truly make peace we need to face the part in ourselves we see reflected in the ‘Other’. The things we find most difficult in them, most scary, those are the things we need to really heal, transform and make peace with.

I am very grateful that Totnes Peace Festival  has chosen this work as its fundraising focus. I will be talking some more about the work on Friday evening so please come along and join.   For more info and to book your tickets see ‘peace day totnes’ at www.dancing-shapes.com  I really hope to see you there. Inshalla!! In peace!!

Fred's Dream
by Kathrin Siegrist
Dear beloved Movement Medicine dancers, We are just spending a very touching and nourishing week at Waldhaus in Switzerland doing the 2nd module of Journey of Empowerment. All this tender energy between everyone in the group is such a precious gift! Thank you all! My own process is very strongly connected to that of my son’s. By sharing our story with the Movement Medicine community, it may facilitate a way for our journey to go further... another piece to our puzzle in the realization of Fred’s dream.

Frederico is 13 years old and in a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy. My intention has always been to support him in finding his path to fully develop his potential. A year and a half ago he embarked on his journey into the world of wheelchair fencing. He finally found a way to experience himself as a dynamic and whole individual. Fred’s dream is to start wheelchair fencing in a more professionel way. It feels like a deep soulful and heartfelt calling.

His fencing master was the coach for Germany’s Paralympic wheelchair fencing team for more than 10 years. Currently Frederico is the only wheelchair fencer in Switzerland.

In order for Fred to take part in competions, we have to travel around in Europe.

 As I don’t have the financial means to faciltate Fred’s dream I am looking to find sponsers or to make connections with people and organisations that may be able to help. He needs a fencing competion wheelchair and the required gear. He also needs a second weekly lesson and money to cover his travel expenses. We may need to find a specialised wheelchair producer in order to open the field for more wheelchair fencers in Switzerland.


 If there is any way in which you could help or provide us with information or connections- we would be so happy to hear from you.

With love and gratitude

Kathrin Siegrist

kathrinsiegrist@bluewin.ch

The Space Between two Worlds
by Maria Edit Antal

Yesterday I cut my right ring finger really badly on a big mirror, without a frame, after having cut my hair. I could see the beautiful white ligament in my finger so the wound was deep but fortunately not too deep. The ligament is fine. Thank you guardians and protectors!

 The mirror in the bathroom went into 1000 pieces. I dialled 112 for the ambulance that did not want to come and get me of course and I got really angry. I was home alone and I needed to dial for a taxi. I managed to do that with heavy bleeding fingers and as I put my bottom in the taxi I fainted. I have not fainted since I was a teenager; more than 20 years ago. First I was nauseous and dizzy, very uncomfortable, then I approached a dream state with hundreds of different thoughts after each other. It felt like I was gone for a half an hour but probably not more than 30 seconds. Up in the hospital (where also both my parents were, at another division for totally different reasons) the doctor needed to stitch 4 stitches. I got 2 anaesthetic injections in the finger. I did not feel anything when he started to stitch so I dared to watch him work. I was lying there, taken care of, feeling very grateful and amazed by both his skills and the drugs I got and for the whole modern medicine and the access I have to it!!! I fell in love with the doctor’s passion and joy I sensed in the way he worked. The drugs made me nauseous and tired the rest of the day and I could feel the chemical smell of it through my outbreath.

I share this with you as someone who chooses rather natural, ancient, alternative and spiritual ways of medicine and I am also someone that got heavily attacked for doing so by the modern medicine world. This in turn had the consequence that I have disrespected and distrusted modern medicine for a whole decade. Funny enough the last 6 years I became very good friends with two medical doctors that are both open for ancient, spiritual and alternative ways. I recently talked to one of them encountering a challenging meeting with natural and spiritual healers. There still is a deep wound between the two worlds with lot of distrust both ways. It is enough to walk into a health food store to hear the owner talking about how modern medication is destroying peoples’ minds. What if that medicine is actually saving their lives? As we know it is a destructive territory to judge, which I at least need to be reminded of every day.

This hospital experience I got yesterday, in a beautiful place in Sweden, is widening the space in my mind between these two worlds and I am whole in my being with them both. The presence of my non-judgemental attitude empowers me to choose. A negative, stubborn and stiff wall in my mind has melted away into aliveness, understanding, love, respect and gratitude. This does not mean that I am not considerate of what comes my way.

And:

Please never use a big mirror or any kind of mirror without framing! I hope I won’t!

With Love and Respect, 21 July 2012

Maria Edit Antal

Movement Medicine Apprentice Teacher and Visual Artist: www.mariaeditantal.com

Dreaming our Life into Existence
by Kathrin Keller

Christmas 2007, I was sitting in the Australian desert watching in awe papa sun go down after a beautiful sunny day and – at the same time grandmother moon appearing on the other side of the horizon. Growing up in the mountainious region of the Black Forest and then moving to the jungle of Berlin, I never knew what it meant when I heard or read: at full moon, the moon rises at the same time as the sun goes down! Well, some things you just have to see, feel, taste and take in yourself to truly understand and never forget again.

 In this very night, pondering at the stars with no planes crossing – yes, there still are these places! - I was thinking of my becoming so far and my further way. A warrior of my own dance, my guiding star lead me a long way, never letting me down, which doesn't mean never letting down what I thought I wanted or needed or yearned for. This special night, in the middle of the Australian continent, I was ready to search for a teacher again. Being able to find your way in the jungle alone is a good quality, no doubt, but I knew to find a teacher that you can truly listen to is a bliss.

 Setting my mind on this, Susannah popped up in my mind. She just appeared in the energetic web that connects us all, waving her hand, winking, beaming her blue eyes over to me and saying: YES! I didn't know her much at the time, but I have been dancing with her in Berlin 2003 and it was a great experience, and I knew – or thought I knew – she was coming back to Berlin every year.

 When I checked I realized she was actually not due to come, well... what I discovered was that she wasn't a 5 rhythms teacher any more! With a few big question marks around my head I was posting an email and received the answer, that she was actually happy to come, if I could organize? Well, that was the beginning of an intense and happy relationship between me and Susannah, me and MM, me and Papa The Sun and Grandmother Moon... me and the growing big circus of the School of Movement Medicine. It was the beginning of my way being healed and held... since when I was happily organizing (and getting a more organized organizer every year). I dancingly learned that Susannah's way now, the Movement Medicine way, is much more a Kathrin way as I could have thought of before, since at the same time, I started working with a Colombian Shaman and by now, I happily drum my way through life. The Berlin community and I were happy enough to dance 5 workshops with Susannah from 2009 – 2012. A beautiful circle of dancers gathered and we moved into a wonderful light and wooden dance room, big windows to the green of both sides, an oasis for us city dwellers, actually called “Eden 5 star”.

 At the same time, Movement Medicine grew and I am sensing all the energy flowing, all the people growing, all the spaces that are created and all the places that are healed, all the teachers becoming...

This year I am part of the Journey of Empowerment, I have only been there for one module so far, and I can tell you it triggered a healing so deep, me, connected with my yang-side quite strongly, and knowing my ways around there, wouldn't have found for a long time: my beautiful, hurt and blessed, painful and blossoming, yin-side.

What will grow in the second part of this amazing year 2012?

Well, in all the unsureness of my life right now, spinning a wheel of opportunities, maybes and magic moments, one is sure:

We are keeping the beautiful energy of our Movement Medicine circle in Berlin spinning twice a year, we are inviting and getting to know further spaces that is Movement Medicine, and the next workshop happening will be  Christian de Sousa's wonderful “Dreaming Body” workshop in October 2012.

In this workshop we will explore Movement Medicine as a way of dancing to bring our dreams into physical reality, in our lives and in the wider world. Christian teaches Movement Medicine in London and Paris and has a particular interest in how the dance can bring the medicine of nature into big cities. I heard of his many good sides of all directions and we are very much looking forward to meeting him and his work and spirit.

We will be dancing in Eden 12th - 14th of October 2012.

An online flyer is on the School's website:

http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/workshoppdfs/DreamingBody-Berlin_Oct2012.pdf

If you are interested in joining in the dream dance, contact me for further details: kellerkathrin@yahoo.de

or 0049 30 28458820

Hope to see you on one of life's many dance floors soon!

Caroline Life Story
by Caroline Carey

I’ve been dancing many many years within 5Rhythms groups, training as a 5Rteacher and also becoming a Movement Medicine teacher last year. I have given so much of my stories to the dance floor, cleansing and healing undoing trauma and receiving in the gifts of life. Transforming myself many times, I have faced the challenges of overcoming a history of abuse.

This was years ago. Now my life is a whole other story, some times with out that particular story to unfold, I find myself wondering what is next and what do I need to do with it? There is not a single essence of that history in my bones and this is mirrored in my present relationship, I can see no familiar patterns of those years. I find that quite extraordinary even though I can see how it effects other areas sometimes. The pattern of giving oneself away is often key to this drama.

So having written a book on the story which was written alongside my Movement Medicine practice over about six years and sharing that with people, often who have been through similar experiences, it became time to take that step further.

When I met my man, Ben nearly four years ago and we fell in love, we shared our stories and got to know each other deeply. Ben read my book and being a film maker asked me if I thought I could write a script on it, for a film. I had never written a play or a film script so I was unsure, but decided to give it a go. It took me a year to play around with ideas, write and re-write, put it aside and feel into the process. Using my imaginative mind and creating ways to express the story through pictures.

Ben and I came together late in life and so we knew we would not have children, therefore we felt we needed a creative project together to inspire our partnership. Ben has wanted to direct his own movie/drama for many years so here was an opportunity to ‘do it together.’

I realized that this was the story of many women/men and it was not going to need to totally mirror my own life, so this gave me more poetic license and made it more exciting for me to invent possible outcomes and scenarios within it.

I have ensured a good level of humor as well as the drama to tell the story. Opening our hearts through laughter really helps the process move along and enables a deeper connection to the story being told. The need to laugh at our human condition sometimes is a welcome break to relax and entertain as well as tap into the heart of this issue.

In the promo that we have created to show the film to possible investors, my own daughter plays the role of a teenage girl finding her way through adolescent relationships, first time sexual experiences with boys and then a teenage pregnancy and having to leave home. Seeing my daughter going through this on screen was quite a shock! Even though it was me bouncing on the bed during a sexual interlude with a long haired hippy! He was sipping tea in the kitchen with my brother at the time! We did have some funny moments and my shock at seeing it all has to be followed with ok, reality check here, this is just a film.

It is just a film, but so close to the truth as well. For many peoples truth, remembered or not.

The redeemer is the dance and it is only through these many years of dancing through countless workshops and processing through the movement, what I needed to uncover, I can now make this film in a confident and detached way.

If I was still some how caught up in my past history, it would not work and would just be another way of ‘off loading.’

My hope is that it will encourage others to find the medicine of dance, to see that there is hope and ways to heal. That our repeated patterns within relationship are there for  a purpose and are a valuable tool to help us transform our lives even when they are challenging and uncomfortable.

It is also a way of showing how we can take our history, heal it and then turn it into creative art work, whether that is a book, a painting, a poem, a piece of theatre, or a movie.

It’s a strong message we are putting out there, we hope it goes far. So far it is being endorsed by the charity NAPAC and we hope to find investors to help manifest this very big dream.

If you would like to watch the trailer or the promo please click on these  Youtube links, one is a 4minute and one is an 8 minute. You can also visit the website for more info www.msguided-angel.com

Both promos are on the website.

And some great news is that our 2 ½ minute trailer has just been chosen for a trailer festival! To be viewed by potential producers.

 Please feel free to send us any feedback or any feelings you may have around these promos, I am very interested to know what it evokes, the stories of our connection to dance and abuse and to the healing that happens to us when we engage in these workshops. Especially as a Movement Medicine teacher bringing these issues to light within my work.

 4 min trailer  http://youtu.be/VIPpjF5UtCo

 8 min promo   http://youtu.be/0nDEBLKSLSI

 

With love Caroline xx

info@carolinecarey.com

www.alchemyinmovement.com

 

A Long Apprenticeship
by Rob Porteous

I want to explore some of my feelings about the long dance and being an apprentice, in the context of what I am learning about myself. Ya’acov once said to me, ‘I never forget a dance.’

 Over the past 16 years I have come to recognise my dance. (Before that, I would have said, ‘I can’t dance.’) Habitually, I move towards the other, and away, towards and away. Two steps towards, a turn, and then away. I feel most comfortable travelling backwards into empty space. Looking at the other, but moving away. As well as this horizontal movement back and forth, I have learnt more about the vertical axis of my body’s movement. In the beginning, I danced with my shoulders. The energy rose into my upper body, as if I was trying to get away from contact with the earth. At the same time, something pulled me back down and forwards into a stoop. I focused on the ground beneath me rather than on the way ahead. I’m aware of a conflict between the energy that rises up from my gut into my throat, and the block that pushes it back down. It has been an on-going practice to let go of the tension in my jaw and shoulders, allow my weight to drop, and put my intelligence in my feet, so that my upper body is relaxed and free to follow. I used to call it ‘sitting in my bum.’

 The conflict of wanting at the same time to move towards the other, and away; to rise above the experience and to hide within it, comes, I think, from my early experience of the world, that left me with a profound ambivalence towards making a commitment to my life and myself. This in turn, I think, mirrors my parents’ experiences.

My father was a young man of 19 at the outbreak of the first world war. He was a pacifist, a conscientious objector, and spent, I believe, 4 years in prison. In 1938 my mother, who came from a Jewish family in southern Hungary, was finishing five years of study in Vienna to become a doctor. She gained her degree in May 1938, two months after the Anschluss that united Germany and Austria. Both of them, I imagine, experienced huge conflicts. The external demand on my dad conflicted with his internal sense of the man he wanted to be. In my mum’s mind she knew she had to stay in Vienna to get her degree, while I imagine her gut feeling was of a huge need to get away.

 Bonding as a baby with a mother who is traumatised means the desire to get close to the other brings up the trauma of that contact, and therefore the need to push the other away. This ambivalence, this pull towards and away from the other, is mirrored in my desire to be both a part of, and apart from, the apprenticeship community.

 During the long dance, if I am honest, which I want to be, I hated the two nights when we were going through the movement medicine mandala. I wanted to know what difference this ceremony would make. How would dancing with the great mother, or the elements, or past, present and future change the way I, or we, behave when we get back home? What would be different as a result of this practice? What would I do differently?

My fury is fuelled by the fact that throughout my life men and women have gone on abusing each other and the planet. Each time there is a new victim and a new perpetrator. But the underlying assumptions and reactive behaviours persist. I am very grateful to Caroline Carey for encouraging me to dance my anger, and to Cyrille, Sven, Silvana and Sally for meeting me and engaging with me in that place. The gift that came from going into that energy was that I feel able to stand more openly and uprightly in my own ground, letting my weight drop down to the ground, with the freedom to move as I choose in relation to you, the other.

 As I said to Ya’acov, ‘All I can offer you is my refusal to be someone other than I am.’ It’s an intention I don’t want to lose. And I find that it’s hard work really making a commitment to myself. But that is the difference I can make.

I am aware of the double negative in my statement.

 The first movement is a refusal, a blocking of the demand I anticipate from the other to be someone I am not. The feeling that I should have been ‘someone else’- other than I am- is still strong; therefore it’s difficult to find value in the man I have been. So the first step in making a commitment to myself is to make a boundary- that I think my parents were unable to make- against the invasion of the other into my circle.

 The next step is to acknowledge the effect that my early experience has had on me. Not being welcomed into this world helped to create the ambivalence of my early attachment, and has made it difficult for me to welcome myself. I found I couldn’t just be the husband I dreamed of being, with a wife and two kids and a dog and a modest house. There was something I had to work out about life first.

 Earlier this year I gave a talk on Oedipus. A speech he makes at the turning point of Sophocles’ play King Oedipus has fascinated me for a long time:

 ‘…I am the child of fortune;

The giver of good, and I will not be shamed.

She is my mother; my sisters are the seasons

My rising and my falling march with theirs.

Born thus, I ask to be no other man

Than that I am, and will know who I am.’

 Oedipus’ earliest experience is of abandonment- being exposed on a hillside to die, because of the prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Everything that the characters do to try to prevent this happening, helps to make it happen. It’s only when Oedipus faces and acknowledges who in fact he is that the process of healing can begin, which leads to his death many years later in a sacred grove at Colonus. ‘My strength has been in suffering, not doing,’ he tells the citizens there. Letting go of the conscious desire to be the hero enables him to let go of his unconscious attachment to the experience of exile; to heal the split between his heroic aspect and his sense of alienation:  (If you want a transcript of the talk and contact me on robporteous@yahoo.co.uk, I will send you one.)

So, accepting the man I am is an important (and difficult) step. Part of my commitment to myself is to develop compassion for who I am and how I have lived. I have to deal not only with my anger at the abuse perpetrated in the world outside, but also my fierce anger with myself for not being the man I was supposed to be. Then, maybe, I can begin to move more freely and consciously as a dancer in the centre of my own circle and really embrace the life I have.

 I have had several ‘apprenticeships’ in my life. I spent 28 years being an English teacher in secondary schools. I was married for 15 years. My training to be a counsellor took 7 years. What have I learned from these experiences?

From my teaching I learned the value of turning up, day after day, to face a difficulty. I also learned the importance of distinguishing what I do for you from what I am really doing for myself. When I discovered I wanted to ‘be there’ for the children I taught in the way I wished someone had been there for me as a child, I could stop teaching. From my counselling training I learned the value of witnessing. Being with myself and the other, rather than the hero who solves the problem. And the importance of not taking sides, or thinking I know best. My marriage highlighted my difficulty in making a commitment to the other. The apprenticeship now highlights my difficulty in making a commitment to myself.

 I want to keep making a commitment to the man I am. This involves letting go of the man I imagined I would be. It also involves challenging my ambivalence about making- and keeping- this commitment. I want to play with my story, so the energy in it can move and change. I don’t want to define myself always in terms of my early, traumatic experiences. But that means really going into the experience that I carry within me, letting myself feel it and own it, physically, not just as an idea, so that I can let it go.

 In 1999 I wrote a poem about this coming home to myself that still says something to me.

 The Return

 Beyond the wall, beyond the farthest dwelling,

Out on the heath where mist and wind conspire

To make an emptiness, begins the telling

Of what still burns within the sacred fire.

Once I set out, a proud, hopeful explorer,

To conquer lands and capture riches there.

Now I return, more like a humble beggar

Who does not beg, but waits and listens here.

After the tears, the anger, and the laughter,

The shame, the fear, and the long journey done,

Oh what will come in the black night hereafter

As I approach the entrance to my home?

What unknown shape will show me who I am

When I get back to where the tale began?

Expanding the Circle
by Simone Gantner

The idea of raising money is not an easy task for me because I never had a very positive relationship with money in my life in terms of having enough to do all that I want to. But once registered for the Long Dance, I decided to make it a positive experience for me and for those who would donate money. I wanted to use my creativity instead of just asking people for money which felt awkward to me.

And it became such a great experience that I am writing this because I want to inspire you to use your talents and creativity to make the money raising an opportunity to spread the energy and benefit you get from Movement Medicine out into our communities, out into the world and above all to make it a benefit event for yourself as well.

For this year’s Long Dance I and 3 other members of my community had chosen to raise money for the International Council of Indigenous Grandmothers. I wanted to give people a feeling what I was raising money for and to give them an experience in exchange for money. I had the idea to organize a benefit movie-night where we would show the film about the Grandmothers (For the next 7 Generations) and make it an active event. And because the first one was such a success, we decided to organize another one. Before the movie we made a meditation and sang a song for all the Grandmothers in the world to open our hearts fort their message and even that was very touching. How a bunch of people, most of them have never met before, can come together and create such a strong common energy in such a little while?! - I was really amazed. After the movie we felt the need for a talking circle to share our impressions, feelings and thoughts. Later we sang again together and the second night smoked the peacepipe together. Everybody had been so inspired by the Grandmothers sitting together in a circle and share and 1 hour later, we were doing the same thing! One participant shared that he was very touched by sitting in our circle, because the circle of the Grandmothers had emerged from the vision of one person and so did that circle from my idea of the movienight. In this way one circle creates new circles and they interconnect..... what a beautiful vision.

The other thing we did was organizing a dance-event by the water in an old open air bath by a big pond in our town. That was another great thing, especially the part of it, where we took a moment to thank and pray for the waters all together and invited people to dance for the water. Care for the water is a core concern of the Grandmothers and we wanted to give people a chance to link themselves actively with their prayers, their visions, their work. It was amazing how people tuned into our call without hesitation and with their full hearts - somehow grateful to get an opportunity for that.

Again we were amazed how many people (about 80) came, danced and celebrated and supported our project and it was such a nice evening. At the end I was very happy and felt blessed to see how many people we had inspired with our actions, how many beautiful meetings we had made possible, how much positive energy we had created in our community and had sent out into the world, what big circles our intentions had created and last but not least how much money we had raised in the end. I felt satisfied and fulfilled and the Long Dance had not even started yet, or probably had already started with my decision to be part of it?....

And finally, it felt so good to go to the Long Dance, knowing that so many people just from my community had benefited from my participation and in this way where part of it, to feel all their support in my back and finally to dance for and with them at the Long Dance itself. May the energy we created together go on creating its circles and benefit many more beings on this planet. Thank you all!

Drawings
by Kristin Glenewinkel

Coming home from the Apprenticeship gathering and Long Dance ceremony, I looked in my notebook. Almost no words in it - only drawings!

My intention for this journey was to allow myself to rest in the Yin quality of my being, becoming more receptive and rest in awareness. Drawing helps me to nourish this mindfulness and at the same time find a creative expression, that later can be like a mirror for me when I look at the drawing. Space beyond language and time opens up and I reconnect with the source deep inside. Becoming more receptive means for me allowing precious life to meet me, inviting life with its wild and familiar vibration into my inner garden. I want to share my drawings with you, they tell their own story about this community gathering and the ceremony.

Dear Ya’Acov - I love to dance!
by Sinead Cullen

I wrote a ‘Dear Ya’Acov’ email earlier this year, after ‘For all our Relations’ in Dublin. We had a powerful weekend of dance and movement with a magical longdance on Saturday night and we finished up on the Sunday morning with a gentle gathering.

We all sat together, Ya’Acov talked about integration, choice and about letting go in order to make room, for new choices and new commitments. I felt he was saying it just for me, in relation to a barrage of questions and doubts that had arisen for me in the week prior to the workshop. Sitting listening, I still didn’t have answers, I probably had more questions but more importantly over the weekend I had experienced some quality time spent with my truth. Truth may be any myriad of feelings, beliefs or ideas but for me that weekend my truth sang simply and joyfully throughout my body:

'I love to dance!!!’.

 Through the Saturday night when I moved within our circle I repeatedly landing into a place of deep gratitude and tingling joy. It reminded me of how I felt as a child when I would draw: I believed that my drawings weren’t really mine, that they were given to me and came through me in some way. And that was exactly how I felt that Saturday night: privileged to be witness to this ‘dance’ that was lilting through me to land on earth and then rise and flow, bubbling, giggling, stretching and spinning…….. playing in this body that it had decided to visit, to experience a little piece of what it feels like to be on earth. What a privilege and what joy! I felt I was moving and being moved by gratitude: for the joy of ‘being’, for the privilege and grace of this body and for the witness of it all who whispered: I love to dance!

 I LOVE to dance because it makes me come alive, it brings me alive. When I dance I feel, I know, I trust..I AM the earth, the water, the fire and the air.

 I love to dance to feel that connection with the little 5 year old me who wanted to be Anna Pavlova and told people she would be a prima ballerina when she grew up…but she never took ballet lessons, and with the 9 year old me who dreamed of joining the cast of Fame and who leaped around the living room in a leotard and matching legwarmers (didn’t we all!!!) but still didn’t have any dancing lessons, with the 16 year old who eagerly joined a dance group but left because of the shame of not knowing the steps. And now here in this 39 year old body...after no dance lessons in this lifetime and no desire to learn the steps… I feel the steps and turns and stretches and wiggles inside eager to get you and express themselves, and the certainty of just one thing: I LOVE TO DANCE!

 I love to dance because I know who I am when I move, I know who I am to the very centre of this body. I love to dance because when I do, in the company of others, I know that there’s no place that I end and anyone else begins…we truly are ONE, connected through the unseen and unspoken but well danced fabric of the universe.

I love to dance because for me it’s a portal to the truth where the light comes in, to a true place of Being, to a gift to be savoured in every sense of foot touching floor, earthbeat weaving up through ankles, pulsing through muscle and bone, pouring into swaying hips, coiling up through spine, hugging shoulders, creeping out through outstretched arms, tickling fingers and bubbling into the head to embrace the sky and then tumble back down.

 I love to dance……… and that morning listening to Ya’Acov I realised that “.. I only really feel connected when I dance. I want to stay connected…. so I need to do more workshops!!! I need to dance more often. I need to dance all of the time!!!!!!”

 And then the penny dropped, you know when you’ve had a thought a thousand times but this time the penny is brighter and more sparkly.

A-HAAAA!!!  I CAN dance all the time!! There’s nothing stopping me! My life is a dance, my life is THE GREAT dancing lesson!!!”.

 And so with the penny came the joy of a sparkly fresh realisation, new permission, and new freedom. And so it was in that moment .. and I’ll see how it goes in the next and the next: one step, one sway, one bow, one stomp, one wiggle, one wobble, one stretch… one breath at a time….. all part of the dance… and I love it all!

 Thank you Ya’Acov for holding the space for the weekend, for opening the door, for inviting us in … to be danced.

 

Movement Medicine Shop News!
You can shop in person!

Did you know that you can order stuff from the shop: on the phone as well as by email, or on line through the online shop? It all works! And Frazer is very good at helping you find what you want. If you are not so familiar with the digital world just pick up the phone!

Movement Medicine Shop news! 

And did you know that (if you are a just a little bit computer savvy) you can also download MP3s (as singles or albums) from the online shop? Go to the Musical Mosaic.

And have you read our book? Its available in English, German, and French….!

The Shop can be found at Movement Medicine Shop

Enjoy! Susannah Darling Khan and Frazer Reid

Long Dance Stories
By Jane Skullman
Thank you for a great journey during the Long Dance. Very challanging but also a lot of magic in it and I feel truly blessed. During the community rounds with the animals and the forrest I got a really profound insight from the trees which I would like to share! I also have included a story from phoenix which is a sunshine story.

Advice from the trees

To grow is one of your main tasks in life and the best and easiest way to grow are following our (the trees) example.

Find your roots and grow within. Nothing starts to grow outside of you. Start growing inside and let it rise within you until it is ready to emerge.

When you bud reach for the sky and streach as far as you can. When in full blossom, shine and breath in the moment!

And then...

Let go! Let go of the story, let go of the idea. Set your self free and let everything fall to the ground....

and from the ground start over again. Make room for the new, go inside and see what has already started to move inside you.

For each completed circle you do you will earn an annual ring! And just as us, the more rings we have we grow taller and can share more knowledge to the world.

We become wise!

Phoenix story

As a result of the Phoenix I had 4 different incantations to work with when I arrived home

One of the thing I should do with the incantations was to plant them as seeds and nurturing them to grow. I used diffrent seeds - plant for each incantations.

In that way I had to "hang out" with them each day and it would be easier to remeber and get them to be a part of me.

Three of the seeds germinated almost at once and it was really nice to se them grow. The fourth seed would not grow at all! This incantion is about me finding my space and follow my journey.During the phoenix process when I was turned to soul school, the soul piece that approached me was a little mouse. This mouse climbed up to my shoulder and wispered in my ear to always take three breaths before deciding what to do, wich I have been doing ever since. And I also remember to be persistant! So I replanted, change soil and repeted the words over and over again. But nothing happend.

Almost 2 months after phoenix we had a spring cermony in my circle! In the cermony we held a sweatlodge and just before it started I went to the back - outside of the lodge and there it was, the mouse. I recognised it directly. The morning after the fourth seed was also germinated and it grows stronger each day.

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. schoolofmovementmedicine.com