School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

Back to contents

Issue: September 2009
Letter from Ya'Acov

Good Day to You dear dancer and Strutter of Fine Moves. I hope you’ve had a lovely summer. The circle keeps turning and ready or not, Autumn is on the way.

It’s been so good for me to be at home en famille over the summer. Having time to be, eat lots of greens from the garden, and hang out with my favourite people in the world has just been so very nourishing - Susannah (I am totally blown away by how much love there is to keep falling into), Reuben (who has grown into such a very fine young man and whose 18th birthday we got to celebrate at the Big Chill – what an honour to be invited to party with him!), and our lovely dog, Tali (a heart on legs and a wagging tail that could solve the world’s energy crisis).


Over the past year, writing our book, making our CD, and teaching widely has meant that my mind has had to be very focused. I needed to let it wander in the big sky and invite the summer winds to blow through the busy corridors and clear away all the debris of old thoughts.


At the beginning of our holiday, I did a tarot reading for myself to get some insight about how to spend our time. The reading was very helpful. Firstly, I was shown the simple value of the work we had done. That was followed by the need to feel rewarded. That made me very curious. I wondered what reward meant to me and I asked the tarot to give me a reflection of this. I drew the ‘surfer’ card followed by card that depicted the joy of learning. Couldn’t get clearer than that! So off I went for my first kite surfing lesson. And what an adventure that turned out to be. Some part of me did wonder whether it was a good idea for a 45 year old to learn such a demanding and potentially dangerous sport. However, the very first moment that I was up on my board, following nine and a half metres of kite through the sky and skimming across the rushing tide of Bantham Estuary, such thoughts vapourised. They were swiftly followed by many others until I was left exhausted, bruised (many times my board went one way and the kite and I another), and empty with the salt air turning to tears in my eyes.


It’s so very funny though how time, the old enemy, is having its way with me. On another day, Susannah and I were having a catamaran lesson off the coast of Salcombe. At a certain moment in our lesson, I realised that our teacher, a fine young man called Ben, was less than half my age. I was astonished to realise that I had begun the journey towards joining the older generation! How funny! Not long after, the inevitable happened as I ended up picking up a new pair of beautiful prescription reading glasses from the opticians. And then there was the music at the Big Chill festival. As I said, we went there to celebrate Reuben’s 18th. We ended up camping next to an old friend’s sauna yurt. Beautiful as that was, it was also the super sonic crossroads for about 7 sound systems. How we managed to sleep at all will remain part of the unanswerable great mysteries of life. Our poor little hearts just didn’t know which beat to dance to! But, it was all more than worth it. To watch our son becoming a man, as he ended his apprenticeship as a chef and then partied like an 18 year old should, has been one of the deepest pleasures of my life. Somebody I met in the sauna early one morning (and whoever you were, thank you, you are truly an angel) boldly stated that the queen should send telegrams of congratulations to any parents who get invited to celebrate their offspring’s 18th in such a fulsome way. Like the tarot, some reflections just touch the deeper layers of being a spirit living in a body; more sweat and more tears followed.


Ah yes, the music! I mean, don’t these youngsters know what music is!!! The new norm seemed to us to be a shadow filled racket of electronic distortions. And just why do they all walk round with their arses hanging out of their trousers, underwear brand names flashing in the sunlight? Oh dear, you see what I mean? Not only am I in the process of becoming the older generation, some parts of me have already moved in and parked their well-prepared attitudes just wherever they want to. It’s as if the Great Choreographer places some as yet undiscovered gene that we are all destined to pick up on the narrow bridge between generations that fires off with perfect timing the moment we cross that bridge. I find it hard to believe that there’s any part of me whatsoever that has fallen into this hilarious archetypal disapproval of what the next generation is up to. Perhaps it’s something to do with evolution but I have to say, I think it’s just one more cosmic joke designed to give the gods a good laugh!


Some days, we just sat at home, our shiny new reading glasses perched on the bridge of our slightly offended noses, and read each other chapters from our book. How sweet that was and how good to finally feel this book manifested in our hands. Last night, the last of our holidays before beginning to teach again, we offered our book and CD to the fire in a little ceremony to mark its going out into the world. Another child leaving home. We sent it with our prayers out through the chimney to go and do its work. As the flames licked through the pages, it suddenly opened and within a couple of seconds, there it was, orange and green and red, the phoenix firebird spreading its wings.


And so, we come back to the big wide world to dance with the autumn leaves and ready for another season of letting go and change. And what an important autumn this is for us dear brother and sister humans. In December, the politicians of the world will meet in Copenhagen for a massively important conference on climate change to grapple with the biggest challenge we have ever faced. Susannah has come up with a project that we are now working on together called 6 Billion Reasons. It’s a simple idea that we hope will inspire literally millions of people across the globe to get involved and use their creativity to let the politicians know that we care. Please do join us.


As it happens, the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference coincides with one of my favourite and strongest workshops, the Alchemy of Stillness. Here’s a little quote from the workshop write-up: Our journey will lead us to the centre of the heart where wisdom and compassion reside. This alchemical process works directly with the physical structure of the body to strengthen our core and create energetic support for the heart. Through this process, we will dispel ancient shadows and recover the instinctive and intuitive power of the embodied heart. Part of our work is the creation of a temple of installations. These will form the landscape we call The Alchemist’s Garden, in which we will spend the whole last night of the workshop in ceremony. In this garden of possibility, the dancer is able to create the appropriate alchemical mixture for purification, healing and dancing prayer.


This particular Alchemy workshop will have the added focus of the Copenhagen Conference. It’s always a part of ceremony to reach out way beyond our own personal story and to dance for all our relations.  We will give everything we’ve got to add our energy and prayers to the great possibility for collective awakening that the climate crisis is presenting us with. If you would like to join us and add your creativity, dance and prayers to the Alchemist’s Garden and turn a little personal and collective lead into the gold of pure awareness, then please get in touch with Roland for more information.


In the meantime, I wish you a golden Autumn and deep joy in all you do.


Ya’Acov. September 2009.

Back to contents

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.