School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: October 2009
Resistance is Futile

By Ya'Acov

A psychic recently told us that Susannah and I are from such different spiritual tribes – she insisted that whilst Susannah was hanging out in the desert with the Essenes, I was leading my people in battle after battle for our very survival. Who knows what’s true.

On a cellular level, we were all there, at all times anyway, but we kind of understand on a feeling level what she meant. We are indeed super different! And that’s one of the things that makes being together such a pleasure.


We’re coming up to our 20th wedding anniversary celebrations next week. The world is a different place than when we got married. And although there is that eternal never-changing seam that runs through our lives, we are different people to the young wannabes who created their own marriage ceremony all those years ago. Older, yes. A little wiser? Maybe. More relaxed? Definitely, and much more grounded in who we are and what we are here for.


The day before our wedding, my dad had called me asking me not to get married. Though it was hard to hear his distress and to feel his disappointment that I was marrying a non-Jewish woman, even then, I felt I understood that he was doing what he needed to do. We had invited Gabrielle Roth to marry us and we had rented Hazlewood House in Devon and many of our friends and some members of our families came over for the weekend.


When we woke up on the morning of October 5th, 1989, the rain was falling steadily in the Devon mist. And then the phone rang. Gabrielle had food poisoning and was stuck in London. She was very upset and was talking about renting a helicopter to get to us but we all knew that is wasn’t to be. So there we were, our vision for the day in ruins, the rain falling and a little chasm of uncertainty to cross on a wire. What to do? Well, we sat there, a few tears later, and a smile broke out in the space between us. Of course, this is life’s little invitation for us to stand up in our own authority, maybe for the first time, and witnessed by our community, just go ahead and marry each other. Not surprisingly, the sun came out to play and we felt that magical space open up and sparkle with a sense of the theatre of destiny.


Around the same time, we ran our first 5 Rhythms movement workshop and began the long journey towards the birth of Movement Medicine, the writing of our book and all the many great adventures that we have shared with so many of you over the years. As always, we feel as if the journey has only just begun.


When we got married, we spent two days looking for somewhere to live in Devon, and that was the extent of our honeymoon. So to celebrate our marriage, I decided we needed to put that to rights this year. And so I booked a trip of a lifetime to watch the sunset, dance in the moonlight, and dream some dreams for the next 20 years!


We just had a day in London after speaking at Alternatives. We talked over breakfast (after complaining so vigorously about the hotel not serving free range eggs that they gave us a free breakfast) about how to spend the day. We both had some writing to do but then, should we go to the theatre, watch a movie, go and eat at our favourite restaurant, or maybe go to Natural History Museum to see the art exhibition based on Darwin’s thinking? I also needed to do a little big city shopping to find something suitable for our anniversary party. In the end, we got on with our writing and then I headed off for a little shopping adventure. Walking through Hyde Park, it became really clear to me that despite all the distractions and possibilities, my priorities are really quite clear. On a personal level, the thing that makes me happiest is creating; music, films and writing are all forms that have been the outlet for the many inspirations I have received in the dance. I can feel a new book brewing in the space just behind my consciousness and the Shaman’s Song project is coming into focus again after some time bubbling away in the background. We’re setting up a music studio at home to be able to easily get on with creating more Movement Medicine CD’s and to be able to edit video footage.


On a relational level, deep time with Susannah, Reuben whilst he’s still at home, and my friends is number one. Working with our community of apprentices and the wider community of dancers around the world continues to amaze and delight the socks off me. Our new project is a fantastic creative action that is a channel for my passionate belief that spiritual practice means diddly squat if we are not aware of and engaged with the world around us.


With so much to create and to be engaged with, it’s not easy to find balance. It’s such a tricky balance to hold the paradoxes of this life together. Sometimes, the amount of time that Susannah and I have to spend apart saddens me. Occasionally, I feel like saying ‘Never mind the rest of the world, let’s just get on a catamaran and sail somewhere far away and let the love that is between us be our gift to this world.’ That I would want to sail away in a confined space with Susannah after all these years is one of the biggest miracles in my life.


Ceremony in many forms continues to be the space where I connect most deeply to what inspires me whether it’s the every day gratitude for the life I live or the special times for ceremony like the autumn equinox that has just passed. The life force that is contained within the movement medicine mandala that is at the heart of all our life, ceremonies and work is such strong medicine for me personally. The more we work with it, the more we see it’s potential as part of this huge evolution in consciousness that is sweeping the planet.


To be honest, sometimes, I don’t want to do the ceremonies I know it’s my job to do. Recently, over the autumn equinox, I was alone with our dog at home. I was hungry from fasting for the ceremony and I felt like just giving in, cooking a nice meal and watching a good movie. And then maybe I could drum for 5 minutes to acknowledge the turn of the year and offer my prayers for all our relations using the briefest of forms. Oh yes, and an early night would be delicious! But I put on some music and something in me just took over. My resistance just moved into the back seat as this other part of me just got on with preparing the room, building a fire, warming my drums and getting a playlist together. Once the ceremony was under way, I found myself laughing at my resistance. Whether I am alone, or with Susannah, or with you, adding my voice, my dance, and all my heart and strength to the transformation of shadow into beauty, despair into hope and impossibility into possibility – this is the dream I came here to dream.


It is now clear to me that the Alchemy of Stillness workshop, which coincides with the Copenhagen Conference on climate change in December, is the best offering I can make at that very important time in our human story. The lines are blurring as the paradigm that our world has been living shifts step by step from separation to interconnection and I am happy that through the 6 Billion Reasons project, we have found a response that is fun, creative, empowering and hopefully, very effective. I am delighted that many of you will be joining our circle to dance our prayers in the Alchemist’s garden through the night of December 10th. If you feel called, I’ll be seeing you there.


So back to our day in the big city, I got myself a lovely outfit for our party, we had a gorgeous meal which was a genuinely ecstatic experience, and then walked back to our hotel under the growing moon, enjoying the magic of the city and the golden glow of the autumn trees turning. The simple joy of being together as we walked in silence is about as good as it gets. 


As some of you already know, I have surrendered and started to ‘tweet’ on Much as I have no wish for anyone to spend any more time than they have to at their computers, a conversation about how the internet is a physical manifestation of the reality of our interconnectedness persuaded me we may as well utilise any way we can to keep on sending out good vibrations into the world.


Autumnal greetings to you and your families. May the harvest of the summer be good and healthy. May all that needs to let go and dance its last dance back to the earth in the eternal cycle of life, death and rebirth do so with grace, ease and joy. May all your dances turn to gold.


Ya’Acov. September 2009.

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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.