School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: February Newsletter
Change is in the Air!

By Susannah
"Becoming without being is pointless. Being without becoming is boring." Ursula le Guin

I had a massage from a woman today who, in between helping my back unlock from what feels like generations of “self holding” told me about the planetary alignments of this time. She told me that the last 4 or 5 years have, astrologically speaking, been building to a crescendo of what she called “shaking and waking” which is going to peak in the next few months.

The old structures and unexamined assumptions on which our world is built have been and are being shaken to their very foundations, both personally and collectively. She said that after this peak, which is a kind of watershed, the pace of change is going to accelerate. She said that the planets which will preside over this period of accelerated change are Venus and Jupiter (which represent love and joyous expansion). I better tell you her name: Claudia Schaefer.  I’m not normally into millennialism or dramatic statements about stuff (and neither is Claudia, who is extremely down to earth) but what she said does fit with my own experience. It is a time of enormous shifting. I feel as if I am being asked to re-calibrate everything and neither go too fast or too slow, to keep pace with the systemic change which is going on under the surface more or less everywhere. It’s not easy, but it is exciting.

One of the changes which feels like a tectonic shift in my own world is that this is the last year I will be teaching the ongoing group 'The Journey of Empowerment' (which we affectionately call JoE). I’ve taught an ongoing group in the fundamental practice of our work for over 20 years, and it’s time to give this year’s group all the treasure I’ve discovered over the last years, and then to let it go, as our pathfinders become “of age” to hold this level of work themselves, and I am being called to focus more on the Apprenticeship and Training pathways and other work in the world.

So I want to celebrate this part of my work of the last 20 years. JoE has been a key place for me to discover and develop my own medicine and work, and I thank and wish everyone well who has taken part over the years. Interestingly, in the past, on average about half those in any one JoE go on to the Apprenticeship, and about half take it just for itself, and may take years digesting its medicine.

The ‘Journey of Empowerment’ is fundamentally about embodiment. It is based in an understanding of the dual importance of being and becoming. It starts with a checking in with the existential foundations of our being: do we feel and know that we are welcome here on earth? Do we welcome, love and accept ourselves in our particularity, our special, individual uniqueness? If not, what can we do about it? 

This is a challenging and important healing quest for many of us at this time in our cultural history. It is a quest which asks us intimate and personal questions about what we choose, and these are questions only we ourselves can answer. At the same time, wonderfully paradoxically, we cannot do this healing work alone. We are designed to grow and expand, learning how we belong in life, through being part of healthy community. As humans we are profoundly social beings. Indeed, we are the most social of animals. If you are familiar, for example, with dogs, wolves, horses, elephants or dolphins, you know that that is really saying something.

So this is part of the ‘Journey of Empowerment’ the experience that you are not a function, or a role, but an amazing, unique, creative being, intimately connected with the mystery of life and with so much of value to discover, offer and become. Through being part of an ongoing group of similarly committed dancers, we become safe enough to risk letting ourselves go beyond the “comfort zone” of our default survival strategies, and explore new possibilities. We discover that, even if we fall flat on our faces, it’s OK; we are loved, accepted and honoured, and that we can get up and try again, or do something different. It’s OK! Our souls and our deep longings are allowed to emerge from hiding and see the light of day, where they can begin to take form and become the true gifts they are, for ourselves, each other and the world.

This is the prayer that is embedded in the ‘Journey of Empowerment’ and it has been my privilege to watch over it becoming manifest year, after year as each group of extra-ordinary ordinary individuals goes through this initiation. I thank every one of you who has given me the honour of holding the space for you, and witnessing your being and becoming, and I look forward to sharing this last ‘Journey of Empowerment’ with this last group which is gathering now, taking place at the Rill Centre in Devon, UK. There are a few more places if you would like to jump on board. I look forward to sharing this special journey with you, and with Ya’Acov, who, as usual joins us for the second module.

With love to all of us and best wishes for dancing creatively with whatever “shaking and waking” you are experiencing,


Susannah Darling Khan

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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.