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

The Olive Groves of England

By Roland

“Perhaps you could write one of those 'lateral’ articles about this.”  Susannah suggested.

We – Susannah, Ya’Acov, Susanne and myself were sitting at Susannah and Ya’Acov’s kitchen table having a meeting.

“Ah – er – yes.” I replied.  I wasn’t really quite sure what 'lateral' meant in this context and I had been slightly distracted by trying to devise a way to take yet another piece of chocolate from the organic milk chocolate Green and Black’s bar in the centre of the table. 

Susannah had produced the bar at the beginning of the meeting, unwrapped it and broken it into squares.  So far she and Susanne had several squares each, Ya’Acov had had none at all as he does not eat sugar but usually at these meetings has some fantastically nutritious drink to sip, while I had definitely had more than my fair share of the chocolate and wanted more.  I was thankful that no-one so far had notice my greed.


Three sets of eyes were looking at me clearly expecting a little more of a response than the one that I had given.  I rapidly reviewed the discussion as far as I could remember up to the point where I had got distracted by my plans to have more chocolate. 


We had been discussing the contents of the November newsletter.  I had started by putting on my very large and important marketing hat and making a plea that we emphasised the major courses that we are presently taking bookings for like the Journey of Empowerment and Ritual Ongoing groups and Awakening.   The impact of my words wasn’t as great as I had hoped, so I took the hat off again and went back to surveying my options with regards to the chocolate situation.  Susannah was talking about how she was passionate to promote the revamped ‘sixbillionreasons’ website.   I leant forward and stretched out my arm in what I hoped was a casual manner across the table.  The appearance of my arm seemed to stop her flow for a moment so I changed its direction and instead of chocolate picked up my cup of peppermint tea.  Ya’Acov then suggested that we linked the courses and 6 Billion Reasons explicit, adding “Why not?” – one of his favourite and sometimes most infuriating questions.  Susanne had been quiet but now when she spoke it had been wise and thoughtful and endowed with the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism.  And then in an excited flurry of ideas and words it became clear that the idea that we needed to promote was that living in integrity with full awareness of the need of others and the planet was incredibly empowering.  “I wish we had taped this.” Ya’Acov exclaimed “It so good.”  My eyes inwardly rolled and the cynic in my head on his throne of fool’s gold muttered about how strange it was that when people get excited that they think they are being very wise.


And this brings us up to the point where Susannah suggested that I write an article about it.


“You could load a picture of yourself and add some written details about why you think you are a reason and then compose an article for the newsletter about the experience.” Susannah added. 


All the eyes were still looking at me waiting for a response.  A turmoil of thoughts exploded inside me.  Why?  What difference would it make?  Wasn’t the prospect of no binding agreement at Copenhagen because of those wretched Americans and their Senate that was dragging their feet about passing their Climate bill?  Wasn’t I already doing my bit for the planet by cutting down on my energy consumption.  None of these thoughts did I express out loud.  Instead I said:


“Why not?” in what I hoped was a very subtle subliminal echo of Ya’Acov’s use of the phrase earlier.   And then, taking advantage of the moment when we moved to a new topic, I casually reached forward and took two squares of chocolate and put them straight in my mouth.  As I gentle allowed the delicious chocolate to melt in my mouth I looked around the table and I’m sure I spotted a twinkle in Ya’Acov’s eye.  He doesn’t miss much, does he?


And so, after several days of prevarication, I went to the sixbillionreasons site

uploaded a photo and set about writing a short text to go with.   Then I pressed the submit button and went to look at where my contribution had been placed on grid of pictures that had already been submitted.


The picture I added is the one at the top of this article and what I wrote was “Please act so that future generation can have the pleasure of walking over the wet windy misty moors and uplands of England rather than wandering through newly planted olive groves.”


And I have to say that I did find it a very enjoyable and empowering process.  So much so that my pet cynic has taken off his crown and gone to sulk somewhere out of sight for a while.  What is more I now really wish we had tape-recorded that discussion – it would have made writing this article a darn sight easier.  Anyway try uploading a picture yourself and see how you feel.


Now that Susannah and Ya’Acov are back from their 20 year delayed honeymoon they are very busy travelling and teaching.  Susannah has been off to Sweden and from their by train to Hamburg via Copenhagen.  And Ya’Acov is teaching in Israel.


When they return they will be giving a talk at St David’s Church, Hele Rd in Exeter on the evening of the 17th Nov.


At the end of the month Ya’Acov is teaching first in The Netherlands where he is running an E-motion workshop from 20th – 22nd  Contact:  Frank +31 71 8893253


Then he travels onto Norway where he will be running For All Our Relations from the 25th – 29th  Nov.  Contact Kristin + 47 99 61 96 40


In December he will be teaching Alchemy of Stillness at the EarthSpirit centre in Somerset on 8 -13th December.  We still have a handful of place for this workshop.  For an application form and further information please contact Roland on 01803 762255


On the 22nd November Susannah is running a Pacha Mama "Be the Change" symposium in Totnes with Chris Salisbury.  Please contact Roland on 01803 762255 if you would like to take part in the day.


At the end of November she will running the last module of the 2009 Journey of Empowerment at Croydon Hall.  Next year’s Journey of Empowerment will be held in Switzerland.  For the application form and further information please contact Roland on 01803 762255

Then in November she will be teaching Rock My Soul! in Bern, Switzerland on the 5th and 6th.  She has written an article about teaching this workshop in Sweden which is published in this newsletter.  To book and for information please contact Katriona +41 33 676 2708

There  are also places still available for the Move! evening in on the 4th December.  Please also contact Katriona (details above) if you want to take part in this evening.

Susannah will be at Copenhagen from the 8th - 13th December.  For details of her dance and song events open to public activists and delegates alike see our clanedar (where details will appear as soon as they have been finalised).

The last Movement Medicine workshop of the year will be Returning Home and will be taught from 16 - 20th December at Centro D'Ompio, Italy.  For more details and to book please contact   Maria-Grazia +39 347-2446411

By the way you can now get up to date news about Susannah and Ya’Acov by following their twitter feeds on

From the land of mellow mists, rain and wind. 

Wishing you an old fashioned autumn




















We can't all go to Copenhagen
by Susannah

YOU can make a difference. I know you care. Well, good news! You CAN do something. You ARE a reason. Here's a creative, fun, and fast way to stand up for the future of life on earth. And if we all use it and spread it, it has every chance to make a real difference.

We can’t all go to
Copenhagen, but you can add your presence this way.

You can make a difference. You do all the time, of course. But especially now, at this sensitive tipping point. Think of a see saw finely balanced in the middle. A tiny whisper of a weight on one side will send it one way or the other.  Combine many small weights and WOOSH!

Dear beloved friends. Here we are. On the line. At the brink. Inescapable that we are one planet. One family. With all life.  And yet the habits of how we see the world, how we act, are SO strong. As one astrologer put it; an unstoppable force is meeting an immovable object. The quest balances on a knife edge. You make a difference. YOU.

Evolution only happens when it has to. Climate change negotiators are admitting that they are stuck. Stuck within old paradigms of negotiation in which everyone holds their cards close to their chest and the game is to get as much as you can and give as little as you can.

Michael Zammit Cutajar: the Maltese diplomat who will chair the final Copenhagen negotiating session….described as the negotiator’s negotiator:“I don’t think the capacity to change is found easily in these halls. I am hoping the capacity to change comes in from the outside…. Positions remain the same until the instructions are changed.”

Sam Knight’s article in Prospect. Nov 2009.

That is US. You and me and our neighbours. If we combine forces, work together, link up, and have the courage to risk committed action without any guarantee of success, we CAN do this.

We have been working with our new colleagues Peter Armstrong and Anuradha Vittachi to create a portal for you to communicate with the climate change politicians.  We are excited, happy and grateful to have found these partners who have manifested this dream born in the summer when Susannah had a “eureka” moment, and thank Nick Hart Williams for connecting us. THANK YOU NICK! And our thanks to the amazing lady who believed in this project when it was just an idea and made it all possible. THANK YOU! And to Rosie who has contributed her design skill to the beautiful logo and website. And all our friends who’ve given feedback and moral support, THANK YOU!

Peter and Anuradha bring their skills and team. What we bring, besides our own hearts and minds and willingness to dream big, is YOU. And the creativity, potency and awakeness of the Movement Medicine network.

So please help us make a difference  at Copenhagen. Please do use the sixbillionreasons portal now.

(Don’t wait. Don’t leave it to others. For each one of us it is action that makes the difference between a dream realised and a dream that stays on the “to be done” shelf.)

And send it out to your networks. We want to make a difference at Copenhagen.  And this project will continue, set to peak with the next big climate change conference in Mexico and the London Olympics. We’ve got lots of plans to make the website even more interactive, exciting, and useful, pending next funding.

Meanwhile lets use what we’ve got and give all the support we can to real, positive action in Copenhagen.

Lets give those negotiators “new instructions” and support to find the courage to take think out of the box, to take leaps of imagination and co-operation, to change the game, to work together to see how much they can give (not how little), how far they can go (not how short), and to repair the future for all of our children and grand children, so that they will be able to look back and thank us for playing our part in the great turning; the great joining.

We’ve got everything to loose and everything to gain. Lets turn that into the freedom to act!

With my love and joy, lets dance!


Susannah Darling Khan





Movement Medicine and Climate Change
by Ya'Acov

Climate Change is the story of the moment as we race towards
Copenhagen. There are those that argue that it’s already happening and those that argue that it isn’t. But whatever the truth, what has all this got to do with Movement Medicine and why do we keep going on about it?

Wow! I can’t believe it. I’ve never experienced that before. I was standing in the queue to get on board my flight to Israel and the whole of the airport was asked to observe 2 minutes silence for those who had fallen in war. We observed 2 minutes of silence at the busiest airport in the world; 2 Minutes of peace amongst the madness of us all going about our lives. Hundreds of thousands of strangers united in the simplest of rituals. Just stop, shut up and remember. And all that could be heard was the sound of a child crying, maybe for us all. I felt like joining in as an image of the soldier who was killed this morning in Afghanistan came into my mind. This was followed swiftly by the image of the millions of young men who have died on the battlefields of the world over time. What are we like!


Here I am on my way back to the conflict torn hubbub and human drama that is the Middle East. As always, I travel with the prayer and intention of dropping a little dancing peace pebble into the ocean and hopefully, being part of creating a little oasis in the desert where we will dance in Mitzpeh Ramon. Since we came back from celebrating 20 years of marriage with a honeymoon, my heart has been working overtime. I was so deeply touched by the fragile beauty of the islands we visited, As one of the many new friends we met said: “When you come here, the people welcome you, the sky welcomes you, the sea welcomes you. Everything says welcome.” And we are told that unless we make big changes collectively, this beautiful place will be gone within 5 decades. The land will sink under the sea and the magnificent coral and all the beings that depend on it will disappear too. It’s hard to believe. Conservationists are freezing corals in the hope that we will reverse the acidity of the seas in time to come and re-plant these magnificent underwater gardens. It’s hard to believe that over 90% of the ocean’s fish have already disappeared.


It’s bad news and yet at the same time, there is this wave of awakening and understanding sweeping the planet as we recognise the reality of the interconnected nature of life.  My mum gave me a well-written article by Christopher Booker in the Sunday Telegraph (October 25th). It is important to note that his article and book have been thoroughly debunked. He categorically states that the planet is not warming up as scientists had feared. It is in fact cooling down. He says that polar bear population has in fact grown over the past 40 years. On the cover of his newly released book, he quotes a man called Professor Lindzen who says: “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree and……..proceeded to contemplate a rollback of the industrial age.” Mr. Booker tells us that a successful negotiation on CO2 emissions at the upcoming Copenhagen summit would amount to “the most expensive economic suicide note ever written,” which would threaten to “take us back to the dark ages.”


Oh dear, what a blasphemy to contemplate moving on from the industrial age, a concept that I think is commonly referred to as evolution. As well as his arguments being works of fiction, isn’t Mr.Booker missing the point? One thing is for sure. As a species, we are sleep walking through a time of massive destruction of the natural world, of nature itself, of thousands of species and of the magnificent and delicate life support system of an entire planet. Is there any dispute that the rainforests are the lungs of the world? Is there any dispute that the holy grail of the industrial age has unwittingly created such devastation to the communities and species who live in harmony with nature? Our friends the Kogi people (Colombia) and the Achuar people (Ecuador) and the many other voices coming from humans who still have the ability to hear the voices of the suffering species  (including humans) and of the living earth itself crying out, have been warning us for years. Isn’t the point that the story we have been telling that insists on our separation from nature and from each other continues to be the cause of our ability to threaten each other and life itself? Do Mr.Booker and other climate change deniers really believe that if the warming and cooling of the planet isn’t caused by us, that we should just carry on living in a system that is socially unjust, spiritually corrupt and unsustainable for the matrix of life on earth? Would an evolution of our species towards justice, sustainability and genuine happiness and peace really be a step back to the dark ages? If CO2 emissions and climate change as the most widely reported issues of our time get the world community to realise that we are in reality one family with all of life on earth whether we like it or not and that we are collectively responsible for the wellbeing of all life on earth, wouldn’t that be a good thing, even if it means that we may have to change the way we live and the rules that we live by?


So how does Movement Medicine or any other spiritual practice come into this? What has dancing got to do with it? And why would going to workshops to study conscious movement be of any use to us, especially in the current financial climate?


Our work with the Pachamama Alliance and the Change the Dream symposium, which we continue to integrate into our work, has shown us that we have arrived in the crisis we are in because of the collective story we have grown up with about the nature of reality and our place in it. The autumn comes and the body responds but we just continue, as if the cycle of the seasons has no effect on us whatsoever. We suffer the loneliness that this story creates and we continue to try to fill the emptiness we feel by consuming more and more things. And even if we rise to the top of the pile, our suffering remains, a constant companion nagging us with its insatiable hunger. If we’re lucky, we recognise that something essential is missing and we go looking for it. And there is something essential missing. It’s us. We’re not at home here. We’re not at home in the body, or in the heart, and the mind is a maze of unexamined assumptions. We’re refugees from our own souls.


I can only share my own experience with you. I wasn’t a dancer. I definitely had a horror of dancing anywhere except when I was a little drunk. But Gabrielle Roth (our teacher during an 18 year apprenticeship and the mother of the 5Rhythms practice that Movement Medicine has evolved from) called me to come back to the wisdom of my own body and my own embodied heart all those years ago. Her call hit such a chord in me. I was SO self-conscious. I was scared of being exposed in a room full of ‘experts.’ And, I was still emotionally a victim of my history, waiting to be recognised and rescued and sent on a shamanic adventure that would entirely by-pass the very real need to engage with the raw material of my life. I couldn’t believe how quickly the dancer in me woke up and how creative he was! And 20 years later, the dance has become an oasis. It’s the place I go to remember what matters. It’s the place I go to dream, to create, and to pray. Movement is the medicine my soul hungered for and the dance is such a wonderful mistress, ever changing, ever humbling, ever resourceful. My practice is my way to remember the essential nature of who I am, and to keep coming back to the direct experience that the life that moves inside me is the same as the life that animates the corals under the Indian Ocean. It is the same as the life in this great Mother beneath our feet. It shines with the same mystery as this blue jewel of a planet as it spins through the great mystery. And yes, it is dancing, already, eternally and forever. And the more I connect with this remembrance, the more love I feel, the deeper my contentment runs, the more I wish to live a life grounded in this miracle and grounded in actions congruent with the reality of our interdependence.


And what’s more, the dance, and of course, the specific practices that Movement Medicine offers, are one of many ways, and for me, the best I have found, to embrace my responsibility as a co-creator of life for those that will follow. I believe with all my heart that we human beings are creators and that we are happiest when we engage with our capability to create.


And so, I will continue my merry dance around this planet, inviting you to join us whenever you feel the need to remember and to find your own way out of suffering and into the freedom and joy of an empowered and creative life. I know we are capable of an integration of the brilliance of the scientific and the artistic, the material and the spiritual, the practicality and survival mode of the left brain and the open page story of possibility of the right brain. I see us walking the tight rope across the great chasm of the unknown and I see us awakening to the power we have to enjoy this moment fully and create a future that shines like a birthing star. I look forward to seeing you in the alchemical alembic that is a Movement Medicine dance floor!


Please don’t forget to add your voice or picture to the growing mosaic of passionate communication that the 6 Billion Reasons project is becoming. Please take a moment and go to and communicate what you want to communicate. And if you want to be part of a powerful community ceremony in which your own heart will have the space to give expression to the deepest prayers in you for your self and family, your community and the community of life on earth during the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, there are still free places on the Alchemy of Stillness workshop. Maybe see you there.


Ya’Acov. November 2009.



Dance and Politics

by Susannah

Q: “What’s the link between dance and politics?” Short answer:  “Life!”

Q: ”Why does movement medicine concern itself with environmental concerns?” Short answer:  “Life!”

Q: “What’s the link between dance and politics?” Short answer:  “Life!”

Q: ”Why does movement medicine concern itself with environmental concerns?” Short answer:  “Life!”

“Funnily enough” answer: “When we were recently in the Maldives, (planted lots of trees to offset CO2 emissions and couldn’t have chosen a more radically awakening place for our honeymoon, could we?) we got to have dinner with the vice president, Dr Waheed, who is a profound guy. One of the reasons that happened was because of the 6 Billion Reasons project. And the other was that he saw us dancing (the Hustle, to a band of Maldivian drummers- YEAH!). And we got to have deep conversations and record interviews with many of the staff on the resort where we were staying. And one of the reasons that happened was because of the 6 Billion Reasons project. And the other was, they saw us dancing (great band!).”

More serious answer: “Movement medicine is a way to practise embodied consciousness. And a way to allow oneself to feel the delicious, delicate beauty that is life. And when you become conscious of what is, and the power of your ability to respond, and when you awaken to the connectedness and love that is your heart, the intelligence that is your mind, the being-here-ness which is your body, when you feel your ancestors and the torch of life they have passed to you, and sense the ones who come after, and become aware of the question of what we pass to them, then, remaining in the collective entrancement of denial, of “business as usual” ceases to be an option.

That is why the Movement Medicine works with the 3 axis which form the 9 gateways. And why the vertical axis; the integration of our mental, emotional and physical intelligence, and strengthening our own “spirit line” between the ‘as above’ and the ‘so below’ is key to the Journey of Empowerment. If you want to know more about this do read our book: “Movement Medicine.” Available from and now from

I read somewhere recently that someone had been doing research into why we humans, though gifted with great intelligence, very often act in very irrational ways. His conclusion was that the main cause of this is that we are herd animals, and that “all we like sheep” follow the leader and follow the herd, so that if everyone is doing something, regardless of contra-indications we can clearly see, we will tend to convince ourselves that it is OK, so great is our need to belong.

So every one of us that assume the authourity to follow our individual conscience, to respond to what seems to be real as far as we can ascertain, is opening more possibilties for others.

Movement medicine, for me, in strengthening my direct spirit line with “that which guides me” has helped me stand up in my own strength and love to find the courage to offer what I have to give to this beautiful endangered world. I am so grateful to not be alone, and not have so many inspired and happening people to dance with, to create with, to happen with. I could not do what I am doing alone. I would be who I am becoming without all of you, and most of all, without Ya’Acov, with whom I have co-grown over more than half my life!

Thank you for all your love, and for all that becomes possible when we link up and say “yes!”.


Movement Medicine Book
by Frazer Reid

At last, you can buy Susannah and Ya’Acov’s book: “Movement Medicine” (about MM, with stories about their lives, and with lots of meditations and practises for you to do at home) and their new, beautiful and really useful CD: Movement Medicine (which has 2 CDs, one of which has music with instructions, and the other the music without words).  I keep hearing great things from people about them both.

Alex Hanly has written this review for Amazon

"this is one of the most practical, helpful and insightful books i have ever read.
it makes sense on a mental, emotional and spiritual level. it evolves the beauty purpose and struggle of not only you as an individual, but also the whole universe and evey species, plant and human in it.

It also opens your eyes to how to be 'you' in relationships (intimate and wider.) and how you can control & relasie the way in which you are connected to the wider global community. it give you tools to self realisation and through that enables you to find your true passion in life. allowing you to manifest your wildest dreams for your life into a day to day practical REALITY!

an absolute necessity for modern living. an AMAZING guide to how we as individuals and as a global community can stop the mess we are in and step forward in a global evolution on a spiritual, environmental and just wave of ecstasy.

get this BOOK it will have a profound effect on your life, well it has mine and everyone i recommend it to. "

The Book is £11, the CD is £12, but if you order them both, you can have them for £20, howzat?

You can order online

or by phone: 0044 (0) 1803 731003…


We also have lots of other unusual CDs which you will have heard S and Y play in workshops, and will soon have the film the “Age of Stupid”….

I look forward to hearing from you!

Frazer Reid

The Eagle, the Condor and the Capitalist
By Kerri Cripps

At the beginning of October I did Dancing with the Heart of the World with Ya’Acov, during which we watched a video called ‘Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream’. It was made by the Pachamama Alliance in response to a call from the Achuar people of
Ecuador. The Achuar have an ancient prophecy about a time when the Eagle and the Condor will fly together. The Condor represents the people of the South and the Eagle the people of the North which I take to mean those of us who are currently living unsustainably and using up the earths resources faster than they can be regenerated.

The Achua are asking us to wake up and join them in changing our collective dreaming, our view of the world and how it works, to one which is sustainable for all of us. I had a strong feeling that it was important that we engage with our current ‘Eagle’ dreaming and find out which aspects of it we might want to sustain.


The following week I went to a meeting of the climate change group I belong to and suggested we explore the role of the capitalist in order to discover if it had any wisdom that could help us change our dreaming. ‘Capitalism is the problem’ had come up as a strong theme in a public open forum on climate change which we ran a while ago and had recurred in different contexts several times since, so we decided to focus on it more deeply.  


We had a lot of fun becoming capitalists and climate change activists and having dialogues between them about how to save the planet. The capitalist role seemed totally able to adapt and exploit the climate change crisis and was unmoved by any of our social, moral, environmental or political assertions and accusations and after a while the activist side was beginning to despair!


Then I began to feel the energy of the Achua elder I had seen in the video and offered myself as a channel. Unlike in the other roles I had previously spoken from, this time I felt able to really meet the capitalist. I felt so grounded in my belief in the prophecy, in the support of my ancestors and my community and in the future wellbeing of my descendants. My total focus was on finding out what its essential dreaming was, beneath the surface of its exploitative nature.


The capitalist patronised me, and had many creative suggestions as to how to make a profit from me, and was only briefly thrown by our lack of money and only fleetingly interested in our social and political processes and my alternative definitions of wealth and profit. I however, had such a long term view that the capitalist’s series of short term adaptations had little effect on me. I wasn’t even attached to it changing during my lifetime, but I was interested in its ingenuity, its incredibly free creativity and its ‘Can Do’ attitude and in how I could exploit them, not for my own ends, but for our collective wellbeing.


We finished the group process by all taking the role of the capitalist and tuning in to the essential qualities relevant to each of us as people wanting to change the dreaming and the exploitative practices of capitalism. The qualities I found were a feeling of freedom and of going beyond the limits of our known capacity. These both seem important if we are to create a more socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling human presence on earth, - the stated aims of the Pachamama Alliance.


One participant noticed that many of the qualities we found were the same as the ones we had discovered when we had processed our evidently unsustainable but non-the-less persistent desire to fly in aeroplanes. They are also remarkably similar to the qualities that I find when I process my brother’s suicide and the un-killable spirit that survives and needs more expression in me and in my family and in the world. It seems as if everything is interconnected!


As a result of this process, I now have a much stronger embodied sense of one of MM’s thematic concepts. I felt what it was like to stand at the centre of my own circle. I had a very present sense of connection with my ancestors and descendants and my circle of companions, and I felt supported by the earth to speak my truth and to be willing to listen to the truth of others however different from my own. It felt good. I personally would like more of that feeling and it is one we could all have more of without it costing the earth. And I also know that we Eagles have a wealth of ingenuity and creativity and a strong desire to expand the limits of what is currently humanly possible – the essence of the very things that have been the source of our destruction. These are potentially transformatory gifts which we can use to begin to change our dreaming and take our place alongside the people of the Condor and together create a new way of living together.



PS spell checker doesn’t like my unintentional mis-spelling of transformatory and suggests ‘transform Tory’ as an alternative, which I take as positive feedback from Word on behalf of all our relations!


Pachamama video

Be the change

6 billion reasons

Planet Saving, Emotional Stuff- the Stuff that Dreams are Made of….

By Hilary Chadwick

Recently I attended the brilliant E-Motion workshop facilitated by Ya’Acov in Sheffield. I am certainly inspired to “Be the Change’ and am making small and manageable steps to fulfill that aim.

But I am left inquisitive about what my future holds now? Here is what happened in the few preceding days before the workshop… call it serendipitous, connected or uncanny!

I had a dream…. I am with a family of close friends, we are looking for somewhere to park the car and park by a river in the grounds of one of their old houses (tho it’s a dreamscape house not real).

We leave the car and walk up on to a piece of land, and here I see a bird of prey perched next to a nest, it has a small head- I don’t recognize it, the colour is white with a few purple feathers.

We then we start walking amidst a group of big cats, they look towards us and all have amazing blue or green eyes. I am stroking a lionesses head, she takes my mobile phone very gently in her mouth and I suddenly remember that these are wild animals and are potentially dangerous.

I look up and around, there are more animals of different varieties crowded together on this piece of land, - and there is a message ‘We are running out of space'. There is a sadness is the air.

I move through the group of big cats and I stop to stroke a black panther. I, again, recall the wildness of the animal and remember to be scared. I look around for something for us all to use for protection and find some long handled bathroom bushes to put in their mouths if they attack (very handy implements in such situations obviously!)

We move on and I am worried they may follow, with enter a building and are greeting my another of my friends, who practices Shiatsu and is very calm, but as I look back I see the shadow of a cat following….. I woke in the dark of the night and wrote it down.


The next day I am packing up to go to Sheffield for the E-Motion workshop and decide to check my email before leaving for the weekend. Here was this link in my inbox, sent from Roland, who in turn had received it from Ya’Acov. The beauty, power… and cats, of the Ashes and Snow footage blew me away, and with that I left swiftly for Ya’Acov’s workshop, already feeling lighter.  



The workshop was incredible! If there are any of you that care about the state our beautiful home planet is in then I believe this workshop is a must!

If you want to help and be part of the change to make this world a better place for all living beings then this workshop gives you some simple base instructions to enable positive progress. The Pachamama Alliance ‘Awakening the Dreamer’ or 'Be the Change’ Symposium that Ya’Acov wove into the weekends activities was direct, informative and powerful. In terms of the planetary situation the following was covered- Where are we/ what is the situation now? How did we get here? and What can we do to help to create a good future for all? Dancing through all this, using Movement Medicine to find my feet, my dreams, my connectivity with the world community, my fire, my determination, my peace and reassurance knowing that I am one of many dreamers dreaming a good and better dream for All and the Earth, one that is ‘Spiritually Fulfilling, Environmentally Sustainable and Socially Just’ (The stated intent of the ‘Be the Change’ symposium)


And for me, the dream I had also found its feet there, and within the dance. The alter painting by Sarah Blagg, included a black puma watching over us, my feet were often cats feet, sensing that animal instinct- I found an incredible balance and softness in those feet. When we were connecting to the Ancestors, I found the Cat Ancestors were there too- and that was amazing! Shocking and saddening however was the information that, since the time of the Industrial Revolution, Earth has lost 90% of her wildlife population… in my dream last week, I look up and around, there are more animals of different varieties crowded together on this piece of land, - and there is a message ‘We are running out of space'. There is a sadness is the air.


Also on the alter painting are an Eagle (a sign of the USA, hunter) and a Condor (the sign of South America, recycler). Together they are a symbol for the Pachamama Alliance???? The condor has a small, bald head, and although not usually white like in my dream, it was definitely the same bird. 


My dream this week is that more of us join the dreamscape of the Pachamama Alliance- it a dream worth sharing.


The Day After

By Oliver Winghart

The day after the dance weekend with Susannah in Stockholm
Monday morning. I usually conduct a short yoga warm-up and meditation on Monday mornings, and this time I felt tired as I was doing it! But it was a good tiredness, and a wonderful aftertaste of this dance weekend. Two days afterwards, I still couldn’t believe that I enjoyed myself so much on that Party and Pray celebration on Saturday evening.

I said “no” to a job offer that I was considering taking – I have been unemployed for over a year now, so it was not easy to say “no” but I didn’t really believe in it, it was not aligned with me basically. So I felt good and proud about that decision.


Later on that day, I realized I needed to be more courageous, fiercer in directing myself to what I most want to do professionally. I really felt that the dance workshop helped me feel that. Clarity of intention through the body. Not only that, but also finding and letting go of the notions and habits that are impeding me professionally at this point.


I had then various things to do, I wanted to go to a 5 Rhythms class in the evening but I missed it, as I finished working too late. Then in the evening I put on the CD of your Movement Medicine Guided Meditations, and let it echo in me, as I was not even trying to follow it, just half-listening to the instructions and Ya’acov’s whistling to the drum. I felt immensely grateful to you that you chew it for us and make it so obvious so that even someone like me can sense it and feel it on my own. By “it”, I mean feeling the elements, the Dancer, our proper place as human beings, all the guidance we can get from this universe…


Part of that work as teachers that you have been doing and that I am so grateful for is to find and craft the proper words, as you say in your book. When I heard for the first time Ya’acov say: “Here I am. Right here. Standing at the center of my own circle.” I thought – Hmm, what is he saying? Somewhat like on the first retreat with my zen teacher Reb, I heard him saying “Give yourself back to yourself; only when you give yourself back to yourself can you give yourself to others.”, I really wondered what he was talking about. But now I realize it is an art, and a very useful art, to creatively and in accordance with the time and place and society as it is today, find the words that will make their way to the inside of the people you are talking to. Thank you for your art!


Courage and delicacy, these two qualities united and supporting each other. Vibrating, fully alive. Enjoying all that is there for us. Hmmm!


Olivier, Stockholm, Nov. 10, 2009.

Rock my soul rocked my soul!
by Susannah

When I asked “Can we marry the full on heights of party rocking hip rolling deep down juicy bad bass boogy-ing WITH the celestial tender exquisite prayerful deep quiet sensitive silence of meditative moving?"  "Can we find the freedom to be unique individuals whirling in the stratosphere of our own dreams, becoming the landing strip for spirit which is only and uniquely us, AND drop deep into our connectedness, unity, community, connecting 'I am' with 'we are' with 'it is'?" "Can we relax in our beings and stretch into our becomings, be matter and energy, light and substance, sky beings and earthlings, strong and tender, courageous and vulnerable?"

They answered "YES!"  And they did, we did. SO so so beautiful and when loads more came to join us for our Party and Prayer night, the vibe was so strong. 110 people found that full spectrum; teenagers and grandparents and everyone in between…. Stockholm you ROCK! This was a real moment in my life, to witness (and play music for!) the party prayer mix happening with such sauce and source, such ease and depth and joy. Thank you everyone! Thank you John Carrier, Jonas and Pernilla… Thank you Rock my Soul workshop group, and thank you everyone!

Next Rock My Soul -  Bern, Switzerland December 5 - 6th.  For more details contact  Katriona +41 33 676 2708


By Gunda Wagner

Hello Everyone!

I am just back from Berlin having participated Susannah's Workshop Trance-Formations and I am still feeling so grateful for some opening, deepening time in a loving and safe environment.

My original plan was to participate Susannah's Resonance workshop in Hamburg but because that Workshop was already fully booked at the beginning of September, I luckily found the "Berlin-opportunity" on the web. The topic was even more appropriate to my current life-situation. I am in deep grief at the moment because my Ddad is nearly ready to pass.

Yes, nearly, 'cause it seems as if someone's still holding him back to leave in peace.


The workshop very much enabled me to let go of old attachments that were bound to my expectations as a little girl towards my dad. My longing still feels incredibly strong and at the same time, I just know, that all is very very well (as Eileen Caddy would say). Doors were opening within (upward from my chest), that I even felt I couldn't bear the freedom, that was coming from inside my body. I was able to notice how precious it is to feel completety individual and being part of the "big family" at the same time. Being aware of communion with complete "strangers" is such a big gift and gives so much hope for a global communion too.


The combination of dancing, singing, and sharing experiences felt so healing to me, allowing body mind and spirit to reconnect. Susannah encourages participants with a lightness to open their hearts while she's magically interweaving various exercises from different psychological fields.


When we gathered together with the whole group right at the end of the workshop, a deep feeling of longing for this sort of connection was so obvious for everyone. Susannah even mentioned that it might be time for us Germans to let go of old burdens that might not allow communion amongst ourselves or even cross cultural. These words very much touched most of the group and I could even notice the precious quality of the energy that came with the response of the group. It's amazing, how strong the impact of the spoken unseen can be... while being connected to mother earth and father sky.


With humbleness and gratitude




Initiation - Italian Grandmother Story
by Laura Valenti

Few days after I came back from Initiation I went to Italy. 

My heart was full of love, enthusiasm and fear: I was going back home, where for a long time I couldn`t feel safe and where I would allow all the ghosts from the past to attack me. Home it was the place where I would feel always exhausted and depleted.

I knew that this time I was going to experience something different after Initiation. I felt something new was growing inside me, delicate seeds and stronger hearth and roots. I felt that this time in the battle with the demons of my family, with my crazy adorable father and my stormy past, I was going to be centred, grounded and I wouldn`t have been blown away. Here I am. And I knew, that this time the Ancestors were with me because I would call them to support me and because during Initiation I was deeply connected to them, since I offered them prayers,  tears, dances, chants and healing. And I knew that during Initiation, at the end of each day, after having experienced grief, being pulled apart and being reborn, I would meet the companions of the Good Ship and I would sing with them. Every night I felt moved by the beauty and the courage of these people and by the power of my own singing voice.


I went back home, with the idea to connect more to my origins, to my Ancestors and the past of my family. I wanted to be fully present in front of my family members with open heart: here I am. I went there with the feeling that I didn`t want to hide anymore. I knew since few years that something was going on with my voice, but I never really took responsibility about it, I never valued it and I never shared it with my family, almost being ashamed of that! One afternoon I went to my grandmother and for the first time I sang for her a song that I learnt during Initiation. I was full with emotion and my heart was beating so much. We both cried. She asked me when I learnt to sing. I never really studied, I just found my voice. During Initiation we sang every day and our songs brought deep joy and healing to my heart. I liked the story that Susannah shared with us about her grandmother, as she received the torch from her... gifts, love, responsibilities! So I told to my grandmother that she is the one who gave me the torch. My voice is her voice. It is time to continue what she created and she couldn`t express fully. When she was young she was a half soprano singer and an actress, but later she wasn’t allowed by her family to sing, to continue to study and to have a career. In the Italian rural society, in those years immediately before the Second World War, a woman who was an artist wouldn`t have been considered to be “serious” or a good woman (in fact women who have been creative in those times have been literally persecuted, attacked by society and institutions and abused!). So, after more than 70 years, I am growing my grandma`s juicy seeds. She is 90 years old and I found wonderful to meet her and to share with her the experience of Initiation. She gave me deep support and understanding and it was amazing to feel how she could be so open at her age! It is an honour to feel of much of her is living in me and to continue to work in the beautiful garden she created. I want to sing and dance until I die. I want to give voice to all the women behind me who have been muted and who gave me the strength and the courage to stand and to live my dreams. Here I am. They stand behind me.



London, October 2009.

The Next Initiation workshop will take place 3 -12 Sepetember 2009 at Dartington, South Devon.  Cotnact Roland at

for an application form.



Is This Self Love?

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

by Ailsa Lucas

I have brought something home from ‘Initiation’ which I do not yet fully understand. Something huge and deep, which I can already sense making a profound difference to my life. This is new. To feel so good, so steady, somewhere deep inside. Even in the darkest moments. To be discovering something which holds me, something in me that really does know I am OK, even when things go just the way I hoped they wouldn’t.

Like this moment.


Having invited quite a few women to share in fulfilling a beautiful vision of mine, I find myself alone. No-one has come! No-one has come! This is exactly the kind of thing I have found it hardest to bear. The kind of thing that has sent me down a spiral of negativity so many times before. Yet I am welcoming this perfect painful opportunity. This chance to discover that I can bear it. Yes it hurts. Yes I feel sad. Yes this is difficult. But I feel a deep sense of peace underneath it all.


And I am observing. Noticing my thoughts: “How will people see me when I admit that no-one came”? “Maybe they won’t see me in too bad a bad light if I show what an opportunity I’m taking this as”. And I am acknowledging these responses and tenderly letting them go. Again and again.


I dance and each dip back into the pain just brings energy surging through my body. It feels good to meet these responses with warmth and let them move through me. I am very much alive.


And you know what, I have the level headedness to wonder constructively about what happened and where I will go from here: “Maybe I’ll ask people how they’d felt about the idea”. “The other week I had a beautiful, unique, intimate gathering, so I know I can create spaces that others love and want”. “OK so next time I’ll find four people with a clear “Yes” and find a date we can all make”.


This is new for me. To have a sense of the ground beneath me, to be able to observe such a situation with compassion and clarity. I have spent so much time bogged down in thinking that this or that happened because I was just not lovable or good enough. Or consumed inside thoughts of how people would now see me as even less loveable or capable. Or too scared to act for fear of failing or looking bad. And this has really limited me. This has really limited me.


So yes, you know I do believe that what I have just discovered is self love. Or a new depth of self love. And I can see it opening up so much in my life: I can take more risks. I can dare to make contact. I can let myself be vulnerable. I can go places where I don’t know what I am doing. I can experiment. I can try taking responsibility for things that I wouldn’t have dared to before. I can make a whole new range of things happen. I can let myself be. I can give myself time. I can learn. I can allow myself more pleasure in life. And I suspect that I will find deeper love for others too.


I can bring more of myself to the world … knowing that whatever happens … I am here to hold myself with love … and grow from the experience.


Hey maybe I’ll forget how to love myself sometimes. But I know I will remember again. And again. And again.


I feel like a butterfly …with the sun warmth it needs … to finally begin to emerge from its cocoon.



Ailsa Lucas

9th November 2009

On the Move to England
by Caroline Carey

Its been awhile coming and I've been talking about it for a year or two, but I really am traveling home now.
Ireland has been so amazing for me. I came here in desperate need of finding clarity and healing in my life. What it gave me was a huge amount of space in which to do this. Its expansiveness and openness meant I too could expand my life, dance freely and learn about who I really was. It is a country to heal a childhood, that is for sure!


I have been here for 17 years and fulfilled many dreams, undergone some rather painful relationships that have been a root to healing also and created my own business and worked hard to bring up my children. I found the dance here, in a little retreat way out in the West Cork countryside. Fulfilling a mighty need to continue my dancing practice that had stagnated on and off during the birthing's and raising of my children.


Over the last few years as I have danced and connected more and more deeply with my roots, my body and my ancestors, I have received the callings to come home. I wrote about this once before when I came for the first time to teach a workshop in Sheffield.


When I talk to others I hear similar stories that many of us feel the need to be in our own communities, to connect with the place on earth that bore us and raised us.


I resisted for awhile, thinking I lived in a far too beautiful a place to possibly need to leave. But then I fell in love, and my heart new it had to be. A beautiful love story set in the Colombian mountains; well it actually began as he said "I believe I am sitting next to you" on the plane crossing over there. A ten hour flight, traveling to the same place, we fell in love. I could not have wished for a better way to meet my soul mate who just happened to live in Uk in the same town as the remainder of my family.


So now I am really doing it. There is a little fear now and again as I witness the increase in traffic, the busyness and I wonder will my two wild Irish cats really cope here, not to mention the teenage daughters so used to the freedom of Irish countryside.  Little moments of fear but as in Susannahs paragraph in Movement Medicine book, I am being like the horse, taking little steps back to safety and then allowing my curiosity and especially the love in my heart for my man, Ben Cole, stepping forward to find my new home with him.

So I am looking for a house to rent for awhile until I am ready to buy a place again and make the decision where we will live. 

If any of you wonderful dancers know of a house that needs some loving energy please let us know and we will come take a look.

I promise it will be danced in!


Much Love, Caroline x




Dark light night

By Hans Husink

Dark clouds

Dark grey clouds

All different grey

Light spots

Yellow sunset

White sunset

A drip of orange

All different yellow

Bird’s call in my front

Machine’s call at my back


Silence around me

Space around me

I breath the silence

I breath the space

in me


Three dimensions

Becomes four


Head in the clouds

Feet on the clay

Arms in the wind

Eyes to the sunset

Body in silence


Only four elements


Hans Nusink, 18.10.2009

The art of change: negotiating the future of our planet
Below is the weekly 'postcard' from OneClimate that we thought you might be interested in.

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  Picture your part in protecting life on earth, get serious with Incredible Ed, find out how your country's emissions rank with a brilliant graphing tool and Get On The Wave! Welcome to the OneClimate postcard on 12th Nov 2009  

From the OneClimate Newsroom

The art of change: Six Billion Reasons initiative launches

Gorbachev on climate change: This is your wall, your defining moment

You cannot be serious! UK climate chief denies shattering government credibility ahead of COP15. But is he missing the point?


Time to deliver Climate Justice. Tck tck tck...  (video by time4climatejustice)


Easy Action

*Online Wave - be part of it
*I am a reason!

*Keep up to date on twitter

*Make an action pact

*Saving the climate - a personal guide

Planning ahead

*Sort your coach to Copenhagen

*Get on the Wave (London/Scotland)


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Delve deeper

Where countries stand pre-Cop15 and what happens if they fail

Graphing global CO2 emissions - how does your country rank?

Cost of climate change adaptation may be 2-3 times more than thought

Low impact living in Pembrokeshire


Negotiating for the planet (video by MIClimate)


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.