School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
Issue: October 2009

Losing Ya'Acov
by Roland

“Ya’Acov.” I called out in long drawn out fashion that I would hope would penetrate the woodland rather than blast it.  I had just been told by the caretaker of the land, Chris, that this wood had been a larch plantation but that now it was reverting to wildwood all the right elemental beings were living here again.  I certainly didn’t want to disturb them.   I listened for a reply.  There was none.  There was no wind and no bird song just a sleepy silence and I felt as if my voice had been absorbed by the trees.

“Ya’Acov.” I called again – much louder this time.  “I have to go soon – I’m taking Susanne out for her birthday.  I have a table booked for 7.30.”  Nothing moved - not even an indignant sprite or an annoyed wood nymph.  I continued my search around the wood following the network of paths.  In my hand I was carrying a small hawk feather that I had found on the woodland floor.  I came for the second time to the place where I had left Ya’Acov over an hour before. There was no-one there. Ya’Acov had wanted to sit for a while to see whether this was the place that he wanted to run the next year’s Vision Quest so Chris and I had left him and walked on up the path to the small camp at the top and then Chris had gone home. 


Where was Ya’Acov? For some reason in situations such as this – where I cannot work out why something has happened – I find myself imagining the most unlikely of scenarios and causes.  So it was that, as I retraced my steps, I ran through in my mind the conversation I was going to have with the police about Ya’Acov’s disappearance.  As I was approaching the top of the wood I had just got to concluding part of the police interview and the policeman was saying:  


“And so, Sir, this friend of yours, who is some kind of dancing shaman, disappeared in this area of woodland, which is heavily populated by elemental beings, and you suspect that he might have been whisked off to another reality.”  At which point I would nod to indicate that he had summarised my ramblings correctly and the policeman would continue.  “Well, we will have to send in our special psychic police task force – I’ll get onto it right away.  By the way, nice feather – is it a hawk's?” 


Now I was beginning to become a bit anxious.  I had no mobile phone and was concerned that I would not be back home in time to take Susanne out.  In fact I couldn’t get home at all as we had come in Ya’Acov’s car and he had the keys in his pocket.  Every so often I called out his name and was very relieved when finally I heard my own name called in return.


The explanation for his disappearance was of course mundane.  He had turned left rather than right on his way back to the meeting place and had wandered off into some other woodland but had eventually found a road and so had made his way back.  “It gave me a chance to get to know the area.  I think it will be good for the Vision Quest.” he said.


All ended well and I arrived home just in time to wash, shave and change and drive to the restaurant. And we had found a very good place for the Vision Quest ceremony which will take place next June. 


The Vision Quest forms the second module of the Ritual work but it is possible to apply for this module (or any of the modules) on it own.  For more details including the application form please go to


Susannah’s Ongoing Group,, is taking place at the wonderful Waldhaus centre in Switzerland next year.  If you are considering making an in depth study of the Movement Medicine work we strongly advice you to follow this course.  Dates and costs can be found on the application form which you can download from the website


There is still a chance to get the early payment discount for Ya’Acov’s Alchemy workshop which is taking place at the EarthSpirit centre in Somerset 8 – 13thDecember if you can get your application form here by Wednesday 7th October.  Again the application form is available on the website but do contact me on +44 1803 762255 or if you would like to send me one for this workshop or either of the two ongoing groups.


The early payment discount cut-off date for the Phoenix Retreat is November 14th.   The workshop is held at the EarthSpirit Centre 5 – 13th March.  Details of the workshop can be found at and application forms are available on the website or from me. 


Susannah and Ya’Acov are away for much of October having a holiday to celebrate 20 years of being married.  But when they return towards the end of the month they will begin a busy series of workshops and events up until Christmas.


They will be talking and teaching at the Mind Body Spirit festival in Dublin on the 25th October. 


Then on the 31st October they will be teaching a Move! day together in London.  This will be a special day and is in part a celebration of the publication of their book Movement Medicine: How to Awaken, Embody and Dance Your Dream and their CD  Movement Medicine: Movement Meditations Volume 1 - For The Dance Of Life

We hope you can be there.


The next day – Nov 1st they will again be teaching in London.  They will be running a session at the Passionate Movement day at Cecil Sharp House.


October 6 -8 Susannah will be in Stockholm, Sweden teaching   Rock My Soul contact   John +46 8 663 41 50.  There will also be a Party and Pray evening there on November 7th


She will also be teaching a Move! evening on the 9th November in Malmö, Sweden.  Contact: Christina +46 705 18 28 75


Ya’Acov will be in Israel  in November teaching a Move! on the 10th and Source 11 – 14th   Contact  Aviya +972-9-7418203


On the 12th November Susannah will be running a Move! evening in Hamburg, Germany and then Resonance 13th – 16th.  Contact   Edgar +49 40 1888 65 95 for more details about these workshops.

On the 17th November Susannah and Ya’Acov will be giving a Talk in
about Movement Medicine. Call  +44 01647 231 630 


On the 20 - 22  Nov Ya’Acov will be in The Netherlands teaching  E-motion.  Contact   Frank +31 71 8893253


From there he will travel to Oslo, Norway where he will be teaching For All Our Relations 25 – 29th Nov   Contact: Kristin + 47 99 61 96 40

Pachamama "Be The Change" symposium, with Chris Salisbury and Susannah Darling Khan, Totnes,  Sunday, 23 November, £20 to cover costs, all profits to "Be The Change."
Times: 10-18.00. Bring food to share for lunch. Book with Roland


Wishing you the fruits of Autumn





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.

The Road is Open
by Susannah

When I was a little girl, I made a book. Decorated in childish felt pen squiggles and of plants and animals, it had just one line: “I can’t believe how beautiful nature is.” I remember being in the garden where we lived in Kenya, and realising that god was everywhere, sparkling in everything, the bougainvillea trees, the grass, the snakes, the air. I was full of wonder, and at the same time grew increasingly appalled with us humans as I saw what we do.

I remember a fleeting, piercing moment of eye ball to eye ball meeting with a legless beggar, our heights thus the same, as I held my mother’s hand and we walked to the Nairobi market, my mind whirling into a thousand anguished “why???”s. I remember falling to the ground and howling when, one school lunch time back in England, I was listening to ‘Woman’s Hour’ by myself and heard about experiments when shampoo was tested by being dripped into rabbit’s eyes. I remember reading about the destruction of the rain forests, and animal extinction. I remember realising that we were living beyond the means of our planet to support us, and concluding that humans are, in effect, a parasite grown out of control, in the process of killing our own host. And so I remember, as a young teenager, praying that a virus would wipe out Homo sapiens, and imagining nature wiping her brow and saying “phew! That was an intense mistake! Thank god that is over!”

And that was all several decades ago. Since then, of course, human guzzling of the earth has continued apace. And of course, as a relatively normal member of a western nation, I’ve done my share of it. Even if I’ve composted, re-cycled, bought fair-trade and organic and all that I’ve been consuming far more than is my sustainable portion.

For the 20 years in which I’ve been working as a Movement practioner, I’ve been developing a practice which helps human beings connect with themselves, each other, the world, and the spirit. I love it, and yet, for the last years something in me has been disquieted. I’ve felt called to make some sort of contribution to the global human body politic as well as the individual personal human bodywork we offer. I just haven’t known HOW. I’ve wondered about becoming a politician (quickly decided against that one, can you imagine it?), learnt about Applied Systems Theory with Jake Chapman, studied Family Constellations (fantastic and insights from both being integrated into Movement Medicine), but not yet “it”. I’ve prayed and prayed to be more useful as a tool to serve life.

And then Bernadette Ryder introduced us to the work of the PachaMama alliance. They have created a symposium called “Awakening the Dreamer” (in the UK it is called “Be the Change”) which is a deeply intelligent, creative and empowering approach to how we can meet the state of play on planet earth. We trained to lead the symposium and it now informs all our work. See the PachaMama pages of our website. This work feels like the other “wing” I have been waiting for.

And then, in May this year, I realised that my deep despair about the human condition was smack bang in the way, obstructing the birth canal for the offering I was longing to make. I had to let it go. And that was scary. I don’t think I have ever felt such fear in renunciation of a belief. As I let that wave of energy pass into consciousness and let it go back to the cosmic compost heap, I realised how bitter, how terrifying, how bleak that view of myself and humanity was. I am so grateful for all the support I received during that healing from both the human and the spirit world. It has made a difference. At my birthday in July, I had the distinct sense that the “road is open.”

So now I am holding a much more vivid and exciting sense of the possibility of human (my own included) evolution into a state where we act from knowing that we are all linked, in which we evaluate how our actions work for the whole, not just for ourselves and our “tribe.” And I know, as Joanna Macey reminded us so beautifully the other night in Totnes, that it is uncertain whether we will make it.

Ken Wilber says (as Luc de Cuyper reminded me) quantum evolutionary leaps happen under evolutionary pressure. That is the good news; we’re creating the evolutionary pressure all right. The difficult bit is that the time lag built into climate change inputs and outputs means that the feedback loop is slow enough that by the time the effects are right in our (western) faces, affecting our very survival, it will be too late. And as the scientist in the garden shed in the movie the “Age of Stupid” says, we’re just not adapted to respond to long-term threats. So we better evolve fast!

Then, in June, I heard Ed Milliband speaking (he is the head of the UKJ department for Energy and Climate Change). He said something that deeply affected me and I remember as this: “We, the politicians, know what’s going on. We’ve seen the science. We’ve got the picture. We know what is needed. But what that calls for is radical, bold policies and agreements, which entail a level of global co-operation, which has not existed before. And we don’t have the courage (yet) to go for them, because we don’t yet feel that you, the public, have woken up to the urgency and scale of the task re climate change. Please, please, make a much bigger noise! We need to feel you at our backs, willing us on, mandating us to do what we know is necessary.”

Please forgive me Mr Milliband, if I have misquoted you. This is my translation of the spirit of what I understood you to mean.

Ed Milliband’s plea was under-pinned by Jake Chapman’s words about a people having the government it deserves i.e.” don’t be passive and just blame the government, hold them accountable!” and mixed in a potent cocktail on a sleepless night in June with Van Jones’ words from the PachaMama symposium: “A standing ovation starts with one fool standing up.” I took this personally. And then I had an idea about how to respond to Ed’s request.

Having stood up in the last circle of our Apprentices gathering and announced it (it was then called “A Standing Ovation for Life on Earth”) I went through several weeks of fears about not knowing how to do it, and fearing looking like one fool standing up with an idea she failed to materialise. (Not only looking like a fool but a fool who has recently co-written a book whose subtitle is “how to fulfil your dreams”!!).

Then I was browsing through a little booklet my father wrote about his life, in which he tells a story about how Gandhi’s words about “action without attachment to result” freed him to follow the promptings of his heart. They freed me too.

“6 Billion Reasons” was born. After many conversations with Ya’Acov, a phone call with Nick Hart-Williams started a cascade of encounters, which quickly led to our collaboration with Peter Armstrong and Anuradha Vittachi of ‘One World’ and ‘One Climate.’ They have the team, the technological creative know-how and the ethical passion to co-create a portal for the people of the world to move, empower and mandate our leaders to take extra-ordinary action for these extra-ordinary times.

Due to their Olympian efforts the proto type website is ready for you to use, go to: Ya’Acov and I are very happy and grateful to be working with such amazing people to manifest this vision of possibility. See the article titled 6 Billion Reasons in this newsletter for more details.

We regard YOU, the creative engaged human being who is reading this newsletter as potentially a prime collaborator in getting this global happening happening. Please “get excited and make something” (I love that slogan, as seen on a tee-shirt at the ‘Big Chill’ this summer) that will illustrate the potential creative power to communicate that this tool provides. Please use it and tell your networks about it.

As I have realised, it’s not enough to catch the train instead of flying. That is a good start, but I ALSO need to communicate, to let our leaders know. In order to turn the corner we need to take action on all levels; from the personal, individual level of making responsible “votes” with our wallets, to political action to make laws that incentivise right action on a global scale. And our leaders need us to make a big noise right now in the lead up to Copenhagen to support them to do that.

Every now and again I check myself. Am I having a millenialist seizure? Then I check the objective facts, and by every discernment I can see, I am not, we DO live in extra-ordinary times. And every one of us can make a difference. Indeed the editorial of the New Scientist (a magazine not famed for hysterical outbursts) last week was asking the same question and giving the same answer.

So here we are. Movement Medicine is joining up with other movements to make a difference to the direction we are heading on in our beloved, beautiful and endangered biosphere. We know how this work has helped us plug in to our dreams, and helped us find the courage and inner alignment to begin to bring them into manifestation. During the recent exquisite healing module with my ongoing group “The Journey of Empowerment” I realised that really movement medicine is a way to support the incarnation of the soul.

And simultaneously, as I keep allowing more and more of myself to arrive “on deck” I feel how grateful I am to all the benevolent company we are connected with, how we “arrive each other” and how much we need the light of each other’s love and attention to grow. And I realise how the very being I am becoming is only possible because of how Ya’Acov has loved me and how we’ve loved and fought and created and travelled together for all these years. We inter-be. And I am so happy and grateful that we have our 20th wedding anniversary celebration coming up and (at last!) a real honeymoon.

I will hopefully be at Copenhagen in December, providing a dance forum for people to meet and refresh body and spirit in an “out of words” space. Meanwhile Ya’Acov will be holding Alchemy of Stillness, a component of which will be holding a prayer shield to protect and empower the best possible outcomes for the Copenhagen summit. Do come and join us in one-way or another soon!

With my love, respect and thank-you for your colleague-ship in this “time of joining”


Susannah Darling Khan

Movement Medicine Coaching

by Caroline Carey

Years ago on my dancing path I would sometimes leave a workshop finding myself a little lost in the void of 'no dance, no tribe, no community' and feel a longing to talk to some one about my experience and to give me some guidance with my next steps. Often I would be booking very quickly onto my next workshop in order to get my next fix to continue the process in any way I could! And often that 'next workshop' would not be possible and I would feel the loneliness of no communication. It is not necessarily the teachers or organizers we need to talk to and is maybe not appropriate to do so.

Often our family and friends who may know nothing of this work just do not understand or have no idea what really happens to us on the dance floor. How could they if they have not experienced this themselves?


I began to recognize how vital it is to have some kind of follow up after an intensive course or even a weekend workshop where emotions may be triggered, where old patterns of behavour and beliefs are changed throwing us into confusion. All these things are meant to happen because they are part of our healing process and a necessary part of this journey. So finding support in order to deal with these changes can often be a difficult process. We know it is 'good' but often uncomfortable, we need to share it and communicate it with some one else who understands.


I often say to people when they leave my own workshops "if you find yourself feeling over emotional, remember it is not about you husband, wife, kids or cat !! take responsibility and express your emotions in a grown up and healthy way" In other words 'dont kick the dog!'


Better still, find some one who understands pick up the phone or email and arrange a coaching session where you will receive good advice in taking the next courageous steps into new growth, harmony and freedom.


Sometimes deep passions and dreams come to the fore and we realize that our life needs to move on or take a different direction. So having some one to brain storm with, creating new ideas, setting goals and mapping out the future is supportive, exciting and fun! 


Taking on a coach is taking responsibility for our lives and recognizing we don't have to do it alone, it is a courageous act and shows a determination to move on with our lives. 


There is now a coaching service which is part of the School of Movement Medicine School and run by professional coaches who have had long term experience in workshops and on dance courses them selves. They know how the dance can trigger our lives, they know the deep process of change and have seen in their own lives how it can affect their families, careers and way of living. 


We are here to support you. 


If you think this might be useful for you at this moment or at a time in the future please keep this email handy,  or call  Caroline 00353 86 053 1672 


Feel free to write at any time with your questions and for information on how this process works. Coaching can often be tailored to suit your own schedule. It is possible to have a one off session or to arrange a whole years coaching. There are payment options to suit your budget.


Sessions are done over Skype or on the phone, easy and convenient. At this moment all sessions are in English.


Caroline Carey

Alchemy in Movement

For coaching sessions please email or call 00353 (0)86 053 1672


Story hidden among the photos in the Death alter
by Kari Fjällström

I search among my photos for some on the theme of elders, old age and death, and find photos of the Indian graveyard on a sunny hillside where my grandmother, Susie Sarah Smith is buried.

I like the wooden fences around the graves, one in particular decorated with hearts. One grave is very different from all the others – it has a marble tombstone and on it is inscribed

Deaconess Anne Kathleen Thompson born 1892

worked as a missionary in Nenana [Alaska]

from 1927 [35 yrs] until 1951 [59 yrs]


While I stand before this grave, my mother mumbles, “She was murdered.”


“Why?” I ask. My mother shrugs and says nothing.


People were murdered in frontier towns during the Gold Rush. My great grandfather was shot down at his home in the middle of the night in 1909 (my grandmother Susie was 7 years old). Her mother, an Athabascan woman from Holikachuk, Sarah was left with six children. Charles John Smith was born July 1870, and immigrated according to the 1920 census (the Indians say from Norway) to Alaska in 1884 (a boy of 14-18 years). The Indians also say that the crew of Charlie’s ship mutinied when they reached the Yukon, and that the captain of the ship was murdered! And now I am told that this deaconess is murdered in 1951 (the same year I am born far away in the mountains in Norway). My mother had long since left Nenana when the deaconess was killed, but still we feel uncomfortable confronted with the tragedy of murder. Here she is – buried in an Indian graveyard. And the flowers indicate someone tends her grave.


Piecing together the Death alter, I am not certain whether to include this dreary Christian tombstone with the heavy cross or not. Generally people seem to like heavy stones on graves – maybe to prevent animals from digging up the graves, maybe because stones unlike flesh and bones are relatively permanent. I rather enjoy the lightness of the Indian graves with their wooden fences and crosses, flowers and medicine purses. My intuition tells me that my grandmother Susie knew the deaconess. My mother said that her mother was “deeply religious,” and the years between 1927 and 1932, when Susie died, were full of tuberculosis, sickness, births and deaths. In the end I decide Kathleen can be on one side of the tree among the roots and the Indian graves on the other side.

After Initiation I return home and a few days later I phone my mother. Suddenly she starts talking about “that missionary” – she’s done some research and discovered why she was murdered. Kathleen did not approve of the rites a shaman performed for young women of the Indian community. She went to her/his house and destroyed her/his tools and materials, and beat her/him with a wooden stick! A short time later the deaconess is murdered. It is not explained whether the shaman was female or male, what the rites were, nor how the deaconess was killed. So I have no inclination to take sides in the story.

Certainly within the context of Initiation and the revival of shamanistic practices, it is a haunting story. I feel more comfortable with my decision to include Kathleen – maybe some of the energy bound up in that conflict between cultures and creeds will be resolved and dissipated by our work.

Love and prayers, Kari


St. Marks Church in Nenana, Alaska

Dancing with the Heart of the World

This month's winner of £100 School of Movement Medicine workshop voucher

By Vicky Gaughan

On Friday night after the first leg of the journey my working class warrior left feeling like this is a load of bollocks! I just didn’t know why I was there amongst so many people who appeared different to me. Thankfully there is more to me than this.

I’ve done countless dance workshops including some deep & powerfully life changing ones with Ya’Acov & Susannah, so I signed up for DHW on the strength of previous experiences. And in all honesty without really reading the intention for this one, I popped the date in my diary and forgot about it. Eventually I started to engage with the words on the leaflet, the information on the website and the talk that was going around the dance community but because I have a full on life it wasn’t until the morning of the workshop that I started to feel it, a feeling of trepidation more than usual. I posted my feeling on facebook - “this is really big”.


I gave Ya’Acov a joyful welcome back to Sheffield and was thrilled that we were dancing in my hometown (I grew up in the Steel City). It might have something to do with the deep ethics of MM & how this resonates with mine. It might have to do with the attention to detail Ya’Acov gives to THE BODY and how much time I focus on body as I’m immersed in this subject in my work. It may have to do with sensing how committed the teacher is to following his own path and examining, meticulously his own attitudes to the many realms of being human and it may have something to do with feeling like somehow I lack something in my life – who knows? But something led me in the direction of this work in the first place.


After seeing the first instalment of the “Be The Change” film, & the heart sharing, we were asked to stand alone. I found myself in a desolate place and a feeling began to arise in me “this is not good”. I had a sense of deep abandonment as if I’d been born and then left, defenceless and I looked toward Ya’Acov and thought, “this isn’t right”. I felt traumatised and in that moment decided, this workshop is crap! it’s all bollocks! And I left on Friday night thinking I can’t go back, this has nothing to do with me!


On Saturday morning the thing that got me back to the dance after identifying the familiar feeling I often experience in workshops; that I’m different to everybody else that goes dancing and that I don’t fit in, is that this feeling usually passes, so it was with that in mind that I decided to go again and also because I trust Ya’Acov’s integrity.


I drew on all my previous self- discovery & knowledge and rearmed I went back to learn more from the symposium. It was through this roller coaster second day that I recognised that the powerful feelings welling up inside me were not to do with anybody personally but to do with my own internalised oppression and as my powerlessness struck me I projected my outrage onto my teacher, (you are crap, you are bollocks).


Thankfully through my dance practice I’ve learned one lesson that I can rely on – my feet, the ground, the here and now and I kept on moving. I moved through gigantic, sometimes overwhelming waves of fear, grief and isolation, but I kept it real and led myself back over and over again to where it was nourishing and the reason why I was putting myself through this gut wrenching work: Jack, my grandson.


The motivation for staying awake in this workshop & facing the nightmare is my devotion to the angel in my life - Jack. As Desmond Tutu reminded me when I was feeling helpless; every single one of us can do something to change the world, so I stuck with the workshop. I returned again on the third day sensing that this was going to be a more hopeful day and from the sickening declaration that we are heading for disaster I got to a more empowered place. I can make a difference to my world if I can really take in the knowledge that WE are ALL interconnected - if I spit on the earth I spit on myself. And if I can remember the resounding voice of Julia Butterfly Hill saying “when you say you are going to throw things away, where’s away?” My world is not disposable & my grandson and my descendants deserve to inherit a healthy planet.

 Also during my time dancing with the heart of the world I reaffirmed that my work is meaningful too and that the countless brave people who I have taught (massage) have gone on to touch others in a loving way, which is so essential when all to often destructive actions are taken at the hands of human beings.

There were many brave people on the dance floor this weekend and I’m grateful to all of them but I’m especially grateful to you two brave souls at MM, thank you so much for helping me stay awake. And the only bollocks I’d like to see are the ones that are shown as each of us takes the step toward a better world. Have you got the balls? I pray I have!


Vicky Gaughan October 2009

Pachamama "Be The Change" symposium, with Chris Salisbury and Susannah Darling Khan, Totnes,  Sunday, 23 November, £20 to cover costs, all profits to "Be The Change."
Times: 10-18.00. Bring food to share for lunch. Book with Roland

Further Steps on Our Journey
A.K.A Ways to Move beyond Pale Imitation

by Ali Young

I don’t know about any of the rest of you but my feet haven’t touched the ground since I finished the second module of the Journey of Empowerment. Hang on a minute, let me re-phrase that, lest my esteemed teacher feel she has been wasting her time altogether.

You see how the mind/body/spirit split is so utterly encoded in even our everyday metaphors. What I meant to say was, I been so busy Being, I haven’t had time to return to my usual cognitive means of putting my own personal brakes on and analysing the life out of the experience I’ve just had. Maybe my mind, my body and my heart have indeed become more integrated and I’ve only just noticed. I thought I’d just been incredibly busy.


As some of you are aware I have just become a PhD student for the next three years, researching embodiment, spiritual beliefs and sustainability. Although I began my field research back in July on the first module of The Journey of Empowerment and have been merrily interviewing some of you ever since, I only became an “official” student on Monday of this week. Right now I feel as though I’ve taken up an extreme sport. How to scale the sheer cliff face of rock logic, whilst maintaining both the experience and wisdom of embodiment intact, is the challenge I seem to have been issued. I’ll be calling on fellow dancers to throw me long ropes from time to time I expect.


Indeed engaging with the task of embodying our authenticity is why we all gathered in Somerset this September and I’ve spent a fair amount of time since then contemplating the cultural wounding which treats the body, not as a home(never mind a temple) but as the site for the cultural training in self-hatred, so many of us seem to have inherited. Part of our work together involved watching video footage of all 40 or so participants moving . And in truth Indeed to share both the shock and OUTRAGE I felt witnessing woman after woman, in feedback to themselves, expressing the lack of love for our bodies which is so endemic in our culture. What is going on when beauty has become so blind to itself?


Meantime, on the other side of the world in Guinea, military fascists were raping and killing pro-democracy supporters who wanted the right to vote in an election they’d been promised. And as unpalatable and difficult as itcan be for us to confront, we no longer live in a time when these experiences can be separated. This is precisely why we need to engage in the warrior’s task of cleansing the cultural toxins from our psyches, bodies and hearts, so that we can be part of the “solution” to the current global crisis which is upon us. Simply put, if I do not love and respect myself, I will have little to offer the world which is sustainable. Indeed, the communication which came most powerfully to me from the ancestors, during our secondweek together was just that, that the only true form of sustainability is a LOVING ATTITUDE. Love like charity, it seems to me, has to begin at home. And bugger that it is, resident in a culture which either drives us from our bodiesvery early on in life, or makes it hard for us to even arrive, we have to call ourselves, all of ourselves, back home, into our bodies, in order to retrieve that which we have forgotten along the way.


I have long believed that all souls arrive in the classroom of Planet Earth with gifts to share and missions to accomplish and yet looking around it can be hard to comprehend exactly where perfection lies, in the use of rape as a weapon of war, or apparent corporate indifference to the destruction of our environment.


I’ve been going through this very strange experience this year though. I’ve started to feel my heart. To my absolute astonishment, dancing in Awakening in April this year I had the most visceral experience of my heart I am aware of ever having had in this lifetime. In truth, my loving heart has felt so frustrated in the experience of being received; I replaced love with rage, somewhere along the road, thinking I could change the things I don’t like with the passion of will. What I felt (and I’m almost crying as I write this) in April, was just how bruised my heart is. I love this Planet with such a ferocity, it hurts. And somehow, feeling the pain of my love has changed something on a very profound level. Maybe I can risk, just loving. Maybe I can share tenderness instead of anger. Maybe that will be far more effective. That’s heart, mind, body, alignment for you. A mind with lots of enthusiasm and lots of good ideas, is less effective in a body with either an over-heated or a frozen heart and we also need to be able to stand upright in our full embodied dignity in order to choose whether we answer Yes or No to some of the vital questions which will arise in our life. What have I come here to contribute as this time of the Great Turning? How can I be most Effective in offering it?


Like many others on Module 2 of JOE, I joined with my companions to be one of The Six Billion Reasons for politicians to commit themselves to effective, fair and just change in our response to current environmental challenges. We asked them, in song, Not to Give Up, indeed to take courage from our heartfelt communication that we Care. We all need courage to overcome our fears and passivity, our grief and our despair. We can find it in community which is dedicated to the embodiment of authentic and soulful contribution. We can find it in the voices of the trees, when we switch off the cultural babble long enough to hear them calling upon us. We can sour upon its wings and fly forwards upon the chambers of our hearts. The sound of heartbreak can be every bit as beautiful as the symphonies of angels, if we can only learn to recognise the oceans of courage involved in allowing the heart to do it’s job. The occupation of love.


Ali Young

6 Billion Reasons

By Susannah and Ya'Acov

Welcome to a new and exciting climate change initiative that we hope will get your creative juices flowing. It’s called: 6 Billion Reasons

6 Billion Reasons gives you and people all over the world who want there to be a sustainable future for life on earth, a way to communicate with climate change negotiators. We invite you to get involved NOW by going to It’s easy, and can be as simple and fast, or as creative and complex as you wish.

In order to take the actions necessary to protect the future of life on earth our representatives need to move mountains. 6 Billion Reasons is designed to offer us, the people of planet earth, a way to inspire them to move those mountains; to communicate directly with the climate change politicians in creative, fun and imaginative ways.

6 Billion Reasons is our answer to the plea we have heard from Ed Milliband and other politicians that we, the national and global public, need to make a much bigger noise about climate change. The climate change negotiators need to feel the weight of substantial global opinion behind their best efforts to make strong, binding fair and binding agreements which will protect the future of life on earth for ALL our children.

We are intent on creating a potent message to our leaders from people everywhere, to take courage and act in the interest of the future of life on earth. Give them courage. Give them energy to follow the course that is in the best interests of all of life on earth. Let them feel your heart and help them feel their own hearts.

Here’s how: make or find a “pictogram” (a visual, either a still photo or a short video clip) that communicates the essence of your message. Upload it to Flickr or U-tube with the tag “Iamareason”.

The 6 Billion Reasons website will automatically find it, display it on the slide show, and, eventually, it will become a pixel in a stunning piece of digital art of the planet. It will be possible to zoom through pixelated layers from the whole view to the millions of pictograms and voices that make up the whole. This artwork will be a strong presence at Copenhagen, grow over the coming months, and peak as an extraordinary visual multi-media message at the London Olympics in 2012.

Your pictogram will help get this ball rolling and can be as simple or as imaginative as you want.

We are blessed to be working with amazing partners in this initiative, Peter Armstrong and Anuradha Vittachi, who have the team and the know how to make this vision real. They have accomplished so much already and it has only just begun.

One climate unites us all in a common currency of concern for the survival of our biosphere. If we are to preserve the conditions of life as anything like we know it, we need to move from self-interest to common interests and uncover a new paradigm of interconnection that works for us all. We, and all the life that inhabit this world, are in it together. We humans have created this crisis and we believe that we humans have the responsibility and the resources and imagination to find a way out of it. Time is running out. Public opinion needs to be mobilised fast to compel the climate decision makers to act now.

We intend this website to be un-missable. We intend to work with partners such as Avaaz, Oxfam, 10/10 and 350 to maximise all our efforts. We’re looking for a win-win situation. 6 Billion Reasons ( provides a portal for everyone taking action to protect life on earth to maximise the impact and effectiveness of their actions.


We regard YOU, the creative engaged human being who is reading this newsletter as potentially a prime collaborator in getting this global happening to happen Please use it: “get excited and make something” (we love that slogan, as seen on a tee-shirt at the ‘Big Chill’ festival this summer). And please tell your networks about it. As Lynne Twist says: ‘Together, we are a genius.”

Watch our vidoe about this at

With love and happiness,


Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan







Vision Quest revisited 2.
by Hans Nusink

Last July we, my son Bart, Nicoline and I, on holiday in Devon, went back to the place where I had my Vision Quest a year ago together with Ya’Acov his assistants and thirty something other dancers. One of my dreams was to share with Bart and Nicoline my love for this area and show them my shelter spot and other places.

I sat for a while on my Vision Quest place and looked around me, say words of gratitude and realized what my intention was ‘to come closer to Nature’ I did so and enjoyed my slowing down and ability to look and enjoy the details of God’s creation.


We went on and came to a rocky part of the footpath along the river Dart. A huge granite rock, edged to the sky, in front of me. Next moment I found myself in the air or on my buttocks on that rock. I can not remember ow exactly I brook my ankle in that split second. What I can remember very clear, the pictures are still in my mind, is the strange angle my foot had to my leg. I shouted: “I brook my ankle” to Nicoline and Bart walking in front of me. I took my right feet and pushed it back in normal position. Painful. I sat in a little stream amidst of the most beautiful trees, rocks covered with moss, the sunlight on the rough river water. At that moment I did not have much attention for that. I did not know I would have time to enjoy the next two hours. I felt rather calm, focused. We discussed what to do. Nicoline will go for help to Badger’s Holt, a restaurant half a hours walk upstream and Bart will stay with me. I realized that this event would change my life the coming months. Is my ankle broken? I hoped it only was severely damaged. No way, became obvious in the hospital.


Bart was running around. Having a bit of stress and feeling his young adventurer. “Will I make fire?’ We did a bush craft day with Wood ’nd Willow people –worthwhile and very nice people too- about making fire in this circumstances. One of the people there said you should prevent people to die when they got very cold and stopped shivering, by making a fire. Bart combined his care for me and his adventurous mind. The lovely boy. Every piece of wood was as wet as a sponge however. No sunglass, or what ever to start a fire. A pair of binoculars, we had with us, are useless in this case. He collected some branches for under my buttocks. The water was coming through the rain clothes I sat on.


I felt like in another world, not real, and real at the same time. Calm, enjoying the beauty of nature, like at my Vision Quest. Thinking of my future, feeling panic about important appointments I have with I love. How to tell them? What would they say?? Mind fucking. Than again I saw a tree, growing horizontal out of a rock, covered with moss than vertical, through and becoming a part of the tree canopy, to the light. A metaphor for life. What time was it? I was in another time consciousness.


The noise of a helicopter disturbed my feelings. It came close.  Bart: “Shall I climb in a tree?” I:” No one broken leg is enough. Go and stand near the river and wave with the blue rain condom of your rucksack.” He did so, no success, the tree canopy was not only beautiful also too close.  The helicopter vanished.

Two well dressed people came on the spot, ambulance personnel. Carrying heavy bags and sweating in their neat uniforms having muddy shoes. Soon followed by Nicoline. And by two men in short trousers and T-shirts.  Even more sweating. “Oh, here you are.” One took a radiotelephone out of a pocket and start talking. Runners, the first of a whole group of volunteers of the Dartmoor Voluntary Rescue Service with ropes, a stretcher and a wheel, twelve altogether. The helicopter came back and found us with the help of two hikers who jumped on a stone in the river. Two big men in red/orange uniforms came to our place. And some time later even a policemen with a dog, if I was vanished under a rock or a mud stream.  By whom I would be rescued? I prefered the helicopter. Unfortunately after a discussion or fight – I do not know, are all these organization really in competition - I jumped with my good leg via ‘the’ stone to a place where I was put on the stretcher, tied up in a warm bag, wheel under the stretcher, robes attached. Eight strong men brought me straight up the hill to nearest parking place. Only, it turned out at the end, one and half hour going. Through coarse, fern, rocks under the wheel and under oak trees. These trees helped the carriers to attach the ropes and pull me up hill in the beginning of this expedition.


The whole group followed by Nicoline and Bart and the ambulance woman and man. All carrying heavy bags and a bit on distance at the end of the walk. On my stretcher I saw the blue sky and when I put my head up a bit, I could see the valley. Beautiful all this, I enjoyed it in a special way. Not the way I previewed and preferred to say goodbye.


I came near to nature as my intention was, in another way, a rough way. Nature is not only gentle. Stones can be hard and slippery even on a nice spot. Nature also gave my life a move. To realize the immense dedication, the love and care of Nicoline and Bart even in this phase of my/our life. To realize that my life is also guided by Mother Earth, that I have to learn let go, to surrender, to ask for help and to accept it as it is, to be patience.


I can add another fifteen or something gratitudes to those of Susannah and Ya’Acov


Of course there was the treatment in English –very okay NHS- and Dutch hospitals, operation and so on. Another story.


Now back home all on my own, I have all the time to do things I did not do before. Like listening to poems of Rumi or Thomas Huebl ‘s talks on ‘Sharing the Presence’, to do the Quantum Light Breath meditation, to write love poems, to make endless phone calls to friends, to feel angry when people who help me, do not do exactly what I asked. (This is not new.) I read Paul Ferrini’s book ‘Love without conditions’ and realize my anger is a projection of my deeply lonesome feeling and depending on help. This projection is killing love, this is not new. One of the reasons my old relation went to an end. Painful even more when I realized it could even start to kill the developing love for somebody. No projection; back to this feeling of deep loneliness inside me. To face the pain of the end of the relation with my wife and the land I worked on with my hands and heart. I have plenty of time now.


How will my life be when I can walk and dance again? I have my fantasies. However I know somewhere they are useless, take me away from myself now and here. I can throw them in the river Dart and let dissolve them in the ocean. Like on the 30tth July 2009.

Hans Nusink, September 2009

Apprenticeship: Suicidal wisdom, repetition and seagull dreaming
By Kerri Cripps

Last week I had my first coaching session as part of the Movement Medicine apprenticeship (henceforth MMAP). By the end of the first module we had all designed for ourselves an individualised plan that we were going to undertake before the next module in January. Mine included practical tasks, ways of being and regular micro-practices such as connecting with the elements every morning when I open my curtains.

The coaching session was a chance to check-in and see how I was getting on. I told Ya’Acov that in general I feel happy with my progress, but there is one aspect of my original intentions that I have not yet addressed which is to write more. We then had an amusing diversion where I tried to get Ya’Acov to set me a challenge and he followed another of my intentions about picking up my own authority and handed the challenge back to me. I had already offered to write an article for the newsletter, but I said it would not be ready in time for the October issue because I was too busy, with another MM hat on, organising the Dancing with the Heart of the World workshop for Ya’Acov in Sheffield …


Well as you can see that wasn’t quite challenging enough, so here I am on the day of the deadline wondering what on earth to write about because so much has happened since July. Luckily there is one theme that is very strongly woven into my apprenticeship, which is a video poem called ‘Suicide: the message in the bottle’. I am working very deeply with the intensely personal story of my brother’s suicide 10 years ago, and using ritual, art work, movement and working with dream figures and spirits to look beyond the painful reality of his death and into the dreaming behind it.  I am making it with my friend Helen and we are hoping to present it at the International Process Work Conference in February 2010. The questions we are exploring are: What needed to die? Who is the killer? What is the underlying spirit that can’t be killed and needs to be lived more fully? And what has all this got to do with the rest of us in the family and in society?


The video is almost finished and we have begun developing exercises to explore the themes that emerge, one of which follows the suicidal process to find the un-killable spirit. We tested an exercise out using Simon’s suicide story which involved me shape-shifting to become him and following his dying process on a dreaming level and discovering what the un-killable spirit was that emerged after death.  At the end I became a Seagull that was flying high and diving deep, enjoying testing out its own limits, rather than being limited by the collective idea about what seagulls can do – very like the seagull in Richard Bach’s book Jonathan Livingstone Seagull which was one of Simon’s favourite stories! I love the idea of Simon flying free and exploring his limits. The seagull dreaming also gave me courage to test my own limits, and to discover new ways of sharing the suicidal wisdom of the un-killable spirit, such as writing this article. I also felt delighted that what we had discovered resonated so clearly with one of the core MM practise of being and becoming, of compassionate acceptance of where we are now and the passionate intention to become all that we can be.


In the apprenticeship long dance ceremony, during a round of prayers for the spirit world, I asked Simon how he wanted me to mark the 10th anniversary of his death and he said ‘Celebrate, have a party!’ I agreed and later spoke about it to my mum and to Simon’s daughter who we were going to stay with not long before the anniversary. We had a wonderful time together the highlight of which was taking my niece and her 3 year old son up in a 4 seater aeroplane and flying around the Isle of Wight which certainly stretched her flying limits as she had never been in a plane before nor wanted to. I bought a seagull kite too and we flew it on the beach.


However when the actual anniversary approached I stared to feel much less light and airy and not at all like celebrating, a familiar feeling at this time of year. I took the risk of emailing my fellow apprentices and sharing my vulnerability and my dilemma about how to party whilst feeling so much grief. Their responses immediately put me in touch with the part of me that knows how to laugh amidst my tears as I read each thoughtful heartfelt and loving response I cried and simultaneously felt such joy at being part of such an amazing circle. Someone suggested that we could each light candles on the anniversary and many others agreed so all that day I connected with friends and family and circles of dancers and with each one I lit a candle and felt our interconnection.


The following week Helen and I took the next step with the suicidal wisdom which was to test out an exercise designed to explore what in us is ready to die and how we can kill it!  I had been telling her about how challenging I find repetitive actions - I [KJ1] don’t do repetition I don’t have a regular practice, I don’t even remember to clean my teeth everyday! Helen thought this might be a pattern that needed to die in order for me to fully engage with my apprenticeship. I disagreed – I am really quite attached to it and reluctant to give it up but I agreed to experiment but only in order to test out our exercise. To begin with I first found my spot – the place in the room that felt right to me. Then I closed my eyes, tuned in to my difficulties around repetition and began to turn slowly round sensing the right direction for it to move in. When I found it I opened my eyes and realised I could only take two steps before I reached the wall! The next step was for me to shape shift and become the wall whilst Helen pushed against me. I shouted No! Helen tried her hardest to persuade me to let her past, but I just kept saying No! Suddenly we realised that I was repeating and I began to experiment dancing and singing No, No, No, No, No!. I discovered an infinitely creative, endlessly repeating part of myself which I had previously suffered from, but could now see was actually a passionate and playful ally which could help me with my repetitive practise!


I have since used it to find creative ways to support my MM practise, so now I do my 21 gratitudes in a variety of ways - one day just by saying thank you 21 times, the next by singing them, the next by writing them down and so on. And similarly with my micro-practise of opening my curtains in the morning and connecting with the elements - yesterday I got back into bed and did it snuggled up against the cold, this morning I stayed in bed and did it as a visualisation without actually opening the curtains at all and who knows how I will do it tomorrow, but I am confident that I will do it. And yesterday at Dancing with the Heart of the World I even joined with some of my fellow dancers doing a repetitive dance step which I had previously really struggled with when we all did it together in a circle during the first module. This time I noticed my resistance, began repeating my No and allowed it to lead me into the steps and before I knew it I was enjoying myself and what’s more I’d found my own unique way to be part of the interconnected oneness. Yes!


I am also exploring how suicidal wisdom might relate to our collective suicidal tendencies in relation to climate change, but that will have to wait for my next article otherwise I’m going to miss the deadline for this issue of the newsletter and thus fail my self defined challenge and that just wouldn’t be the right thing for a becoming seagull to do would it?


With much love and gratitude



Shining in the dark with a bit more charge…
By Ben Yeger

Having  completed the  Phoenix retreat in March 09 and  on returning home to a busy work/life schedule I wanted to acknowledge the value of the work we undertook and  I continued to do in relation to those valiant soldiers so aptly named our understudies.  I also thank Ya’Acov and Susannah for being so brave and generous in sharing this evolving work with conviction, creativity and ever lasting wonder and simple humility.

Within only two days after my return from the retreat in the beautiful Orval, the power of intention, incantation and gratitude work were revealed to me once more...


So here’s the tale-

Monday- a tricky first day back on the front line, working with challenging young people within even more challenging institutions, a prep for the challenges to come…


Tuesday- Early morning drive to the prison and as is my regular ritual I say my gratitude’s during the last ten minutes of my drive, as I seek to receive a loving and supportive coat of armor before I walk into the prison. As I walk in, my metaphorical armor shining and my heart beaming from the week that had just been, I remembered a management issue that was looming and I knew that at some point it would resurface and I was slightly dreading the understudies of- 'I'm always getting into trouble with authority- therefore I must be bad’ or’ No one can understand me because they don't appreciate and like me and they are stupid/shit/ignorant/wrong (delete as appropriate) So, in the midst of my preparations to work with two young people who had committed very serious and in one case violent crimes, I receive the dreaded phone call inviting me to an urgent meeting. I felt more scared of the meeting than the work with the young people.


And then I remembered the work we had just done- I remembered that I have met, danced with, identified the original event of and called in fire for courage and water for healing and have called back in the light of my original soul essence of these understudies and their unique gifts and hard work over the years and I had thanked them, metaphorically bowed to them, had a quick wink and smile and created a strong circle around me and took a deep breath. Then I entered the meeting.


On many levels the meeting was very challenging and those trusted understudies were present, reminding me that I could call on them” just in case” and yet I kept breathing, focusing on the moment, on my body, in space and in relation, I focused on my ability to stay true to my heart and I found myself coming away with my integrity in tact at the expense of no other being. I found myself free of shame or fear of self-destruction. I gave where I thought appropriate and maintained my position over some points, I heard and acknowledged my two managers and offered apologies where I felt they were needed. Throughout I felt soft, allowed myself to feel vulnerable without over exposing myself too much- It felt new and I knew it was related to the power of the work we had done.


After the meeting and some nourishing lunch I came to work with another Young person who I had been working with for some months and after release he virtually chose to come back because his experience of freedom was to scary. This young man had been very disassociated from his physical and emotional maps and today, I had an instinct that he was ready to explore through movement. I drummed, he moved. At first barely able to move his head or any other body part, as if bound by his past, present and lack of vision for any sort of future - I felt a surge of courage in me and also somewhere in him- I invited him to explore further and he did- He started to explore more, opening his eyes, communicating with his body and later with words I hadn't heard him use before. It felt so very gratifying and it felt like the universe was offering up a gift for the trust in the work, in the possibility of change of the possibility that there is virtue in staying soft and clear in moments of difficult communication- it felt great!!


‘Never underestimate the power of the Universe’

(Thank you Marold and your t-shirt)


In my work with highly damaged young individuals within very complex and often just as dysfunctional systems the pull towards loosing faith in the possibility for movement in them and in us who try to reach/support and engage with them is always there. The gateway for change and hope for reclaiming lost aspects of our selves no matter how long they have been banished (and still practicing) to soul school, offered by the Phoenix process fills me with real hope.



I don’t know how I can use the full process as a ritual in my everyday life (yet) and I feel that the Phoenix Process has worked for me- is very strong in me and I look forward to it being a true teacher in my every day life through my conscious knowledge of the possibility for choosing to evolve, and even (dare I say it) change.

My incantation in relation to the above is:

I have the courage to share my thoughts and feelings so that I can shine my light in the darkest, darkest of places


May it be so!!

With Love, gratitude and real hope for all my relations


Ben, Shine in the dark

The early payment discount cut-off date for the Phoenix Retreat is November 14th.   The workshop is held at the EarthSpirit Centre 5 – 13th March.  Details of the workshop can be found at and application forms are available on the website or from Roland  The pre-requisites are the Initiation workshop or an Ongoing Group.

Returning Home
by Maria Grazia Bambini

Autumn has started. Here in Italy the sun is still shining but we know we have to let our body to meet cold and dark in this new period of the year. This year at the end we have the incredible opportunity of a Workshop led by Ya'Acov and Susannah "Returning Home" in Centro D'Ompio 16 – 20 December.

A deep moment to look at whatever we have moved during this year, to open our body, our hearts and our mind to the not knowing of the new year, enjoying the incredible energy to dance together in a powerful natural place. We are living an incredible moment of deep changings on our Earth and we have to celebrate and to open our arms and our hearts to all is coming. If you feel something in your heart that is inviting you to be with us you are warmly welcome, there are some possibility. With Love


Maria Grazia  00 39 347-2446411

Movement Medicine – Twitter

Susannah and Ya’Acov are sending regular messages via Twitter! 


You can follow Susannah at

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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.