School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 
Issue: January 2010

The Genie in the Snow & Mr Jefferson
By Roland

With great care I set my alarm clock on the evening of 9th Jan to go off at precisely 3.58 in the morning.   Susanne and I were due to be at Susannah and Ya’Acov’s house at 5.0 on Jan 10th for the ceremony to mark the
School of Movement Medicine’s 3rd birthday.  Snow was forecast and I had left plenty time so that we would be able to walk if we couldn’t drive. As I laid my head back on my pillow a rather conceited thought went through my head.  “You don’t really need to set that alarm clock” my smug self told me.  “You know you always wake up 2 minutes before the alarm is due to go off.” 


….. I woke from a disturbing dream, to the incessant beeping of the alarm clock.  I turned the light on and checked the time.  It was 8.0 o’clock!  How could this have happened after all my care and my famed ability to wake up before the alarm actually went off?  Something was strange about the situation but I couldn’t work out what it was.  I rushed downstairs to look at the clock on the wall in the kitchen.  It said a quarter to 5!  It was then I realised what was strange.  It was completely dark outside.  If it had been 8.0 it should have been light.  There was no time to work out what had happened to my alarm clock as we had to dress as fast as we could and drive to Susannah and Ya’Acov’s house. 

 

Ten minutes later we set off.   A thick layer of pristine snow lay on the road.  The world had acquired a certain kind of new born quietness.  A small flurry of wind picked up the fresh snow from the road in front of us and pulled it up into the air in a vortex like a storybook illustration of a genie coming out of a bottle.  "Genie," I said, "Here are my three wishes for the school."

 

We arrived only slightly late and quickly took our positions around the wonderful altar Susannah and Ya’Acov had built.

 

Later, after the beautiful prayers and songs, we sat and talked.  In my slightly deranged state I found myself telling them about another anniversary celebration that  I had recently learned about.  The 4th of July 1826 was the 50th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence.  There were on that day only two surviving members of the group of representatives who had signed the declaration 50 years before.  They were Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who had both gone on to become presidents and were now extremely old men.  On that day, the 4th of July 1826 they died within a few hours of each other.  Famously John Adams said on his deathbed “Thomas Jefferson survives.” But in fact Jefferson had died just a few hours before him.

 

I was unclear about why I should make a connection between the story of these two statesmen and Movement Medicine.  Later I realised that the connection was to do with the power of commemoration and ceremonial celebration and of course just as Jefferson and Adams are the parents of the American declaration of Independence, Susannah and Ya’Acov are the parents of the Movement Medicine..

I am very impressed by how much Susannah and Ya’Acov have achieved over the past 3 years.  Not only has their first book “Movement Medicine: How to Awaken, Embody and Dance Your Dream” and their CD Movement Medicine Movement Meditations Volume 1 been published by Hay House Publishers but they are now half way through the first Movement Medicine Apprenticeship Programme.  Many of those who are on the Apprenticeship Programme will go on to the teacher training programme next year and this wonderful work will then have grown up and left home and will be taught by many different teachers in many different places.

At the beginning of this year we made the decision that we would postpone the start of the second Apprenticeship Programme until January 2012 so that we could complete the full cycle of the first Apprenticeship and teacher training before embarking on the next one.  If you are interested in becoming part of the next Apprenticeship Programme, then there is still time to complete the necessary prerequisites which are: one Ongoing group with either Susannah or Ya’Acov (Journey of Empowerment with Susannah and Ritual with Ya’Acov even though doing both is strongly advised), the Initiation workshop and the Phoenix Retreat.  There are still some places left on both The Journey of Empowerment and the Ritual groups which are taking place this year.  By the way you can book for individual modules of the Ritual group if you wish to.  Click on the titles above to take you through to our website for more information where you are also able to download application forms.  You can also get application forms by emailing me at roland@rwevents.co.uk.  And there are still a few places available for this year’s Phoenix Retreat. 

In July last year Susannah and Ya’Acov led the first Summer Long Dance for their apprentices.  This year we are opening this event up to other dancers.  If you want to take part in this event you will need to fill out an application form and commit yourself to raising £200 for a charity or project of your choice.  Please contact me at roland@rwevents.co.uk if you want an application form.

It is still possible to book the Awakening workshop 13th – 17th April and get the early payment discount.  This four day workshop will now take place in Rattery, South Devon and we will be providing a free coach service to take participants who are staying in either Totnes or Dartington to and from the venue each day.  The workshop is our only intensive workshop open to those who are completely new to the work and is great value at £325 for a 5 day workshop led by both Susannah and Ya’Acov.  The price includes an excellent lunch each day which is provided by Carrie Allcott and if you book and pay the deposit by Jan 31st you will get the early payment discount of £65.  Contact me on 00 44 1803 762255 or roland@rwevents.co.uk if you want to book.

Over the next month Susannah and Ya’Acov are off teaching in the following places:

Warsaw.  29 -31 Jan.  Ya’Acov   For All Our Relations   Contact.  +48 509 774 884 olga@5rytmow.pl 

Hamburg  5 – 7 February.  Ya’Acov Emotion: Dancing with the Heart of the World. Contact: Jens +49 40 729 100 61 5R@spirit-in-movement.de

Olten 5 – 7 February. Susannah will teach a Move! evening on Friday 5th. and Fusion: Dancing Yin & Yang on the weekend. Contact  Katriona +41 33 676 2708 kat@kf-events.ch
www.kf-events.ch

London Wednesday 17 February. Ya’Acov Move! evening (the first of five such events taking place in London over the coming months). Contact Alex + 44 7868842219 alexhanly@hotmail.com.  Please note that this a Wednesday evening and gives a great chance for those in London to experience Movement Medicine.  The cost is £10.  Just turn up for 7.0 pm at the Toynbee Studios at 28 Commercial St E1 6AB.  Nearest tubes Aldgate East on the Hammersmith line or City on the District Line

Prague 19-21 February. Susannah DanSing. Contact Raduca +42 224 827 417  raduca.vojackova@gmail.com

Paris 26-28 February. Ya’Acov Return of the Light. Contact Pierre-Henri + 33 615 325 816 pierre-henri@gracefully.fr

And if you’re wondering about that alarm clock I concluded in the end that I must have altered the time on it when I was resetting the alarm.

Wintry greetings,

Roland

Letter from Susannah
By Susannah

I don’t know about you, but being alive right now feels like an amazing opportunity, gift, challenge and responsibility. How to balance the reality of life going on, on the one hand, with its day to day needs; the car needs repairing, the train needs booking, the gas hob needs fixing, whilst knowing, on the other hand, that the way we are living is unsustainable and we are hurtling towards…. ??


All the strenuous work which went towards Copenhagen, all the preparations over so many years by so many people, Franny’s all out work with Age of Stupid (which you can now get from the Movement Medicine Shop) One Climate’s live stream, our 6 Billion Reasons contribution, (about which you will hear more as we clarify its post-COP 15 direction) the amazing Klima Forum, (the people’s climate summit in Copenhagen) AVAAZ’s stunning 15 million signatures to their petition, the beautiful, creative demonstration which was so woe-fully reported, and now where are we? Climate change and all that it represents in terms of our willing consumption of our life support system has faded from the headlines but not from reality.

I sometimes have wondered whether I should just concentrate all my efforts on political planetary activism, but then I come back to the big question: what is really needed to help human beings (myself included) turn the corner of “me-thinking” i.e.“me-first-yes-I’ll-have-it-all-whatever-the-cost-to-others-or-the-future-generations” to “we-thinking” i.e.“we-need-to-find-a-sustainable-way-of-living-that-works-for-all-of-us-and-does-not-compromise-the-future-of-life-on-earth”?

And what I come up with is this, that what we need is human beings who are connected, connected with the earth, with the great mystery, with the spirit of life, with the intelligences of their hearts, bodies and minds, with the ancestors and the unborn, with the inter-connectedness of all of life, and who can find the courage to stand in their inner authourity and vulnerability and make their offering in conectedness. People who can see for them selves what is happening and with love, truth and action do what is necessary:  speak out, sing out, dance, pray, and manifest a vision of life which meets the emerging reality, heretics ready and able to weave new and old dreams into a fabric strong and flexible enough to move with the actual needs of the times.

And how to do this? The best way I know to awaken this state is movement medicine. Its not the only way of course, there are many, many brilliant other waves of breaking consciousness all over the planet, its just this is the wave I am riding with many strong, beautiful brothers and sisters. So, I return again and again to the strange knowing that what I am doing seems to be perfect. I am very grateful that we have been able to make a bridge between more explicit “speaking out” (6 Billion Reasons) and empowerment of the soul (Movement Medicine). And each one of us will find our own way with this question of how to marry outer action with inner conviction and guidance.

So you are welcome on our dance floors this year, to re-connect, to rejoice in life as it is, and to be guided by the great choreographer in the mysterious dance of it all.

I look forward to sharing the spirit of the dance, and the heart of song with you, and the simplicity of being human beings doing doing our best in the great dance of it all,

may all beings be happy and at peace,

 

With love,

 

Susannah

 

 

So here we are, 2010, post-Copenhagen, pre-whatever comes next.

Ya'Acov's News
By Ya'Acov

Happy New Year to one and all. I am writing from the Earth Spirit Centre in
Glastonbury just as we are about to begin the second module of our apprenticeship programme. We spent the day yesterday doing the Be The Change symposium for those of our apprentices who wanted to experience the very powerful tool for awakening created by the Pachamama Alliance, a dynamic partnership brought into being by the Achuar people of Ecuadorian rainforest and their partners in North America.

Though I’ve been in and ran the symposium many times, each time, its message gets stronger for me. I recognised yesterday just what a powerful effect it has had in my life so far. It has really woken me up from the consumerist trance I was in and got me enquiring deeply on so many levels into the choices we make in our lives. I recognised yesterday just what a liberation that awakening has been so far for me. And as always, I feel as if I’m just at the beginning. If you’re interested in participating in a symposium that is grounded in Movement Medicine, the next Dancing with the Heart of the World workshop will take place in Hamburg (taught in English) February 5-7th.

 

In our post Copenhagen world, where after the frenzy of world’s media had died down and rushed off to cover the next bit of bad news, all has gone quiet on the western front. Is it back to business as usual then?

 

Not it seems for us and for the many people we have been speaking with and meeting on the road. There is this feeling for me that something momentous is happening mostly, as Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest puts it, under the radar. The fact that nearly 15 million people signed the AVAAZ petition in the last few hours of desperate negotiations in Copenhagen, is staggering. I wonder if there has ever been such a strong mass mobilisation of feeling and intention for awakening and change.

 

We felt compelled to let you all know about that petition, even though we knew that many of you would already have signed it. Thanks for those of you who got back to us to tell us what you felt about our communications. We recognised that this was an emergency and we have been thinking about what is the best way to be able to communicate fast with those who want to be part of this meta part of the Movement Medicine work. We’ve decided that sending out more e-mails into an already e-mail flooded environment is not the right thing to do. Instead, we will be using our School of Movement Medicine facebook page to put out these kinds of messages in the future so if you want to be connected to this part of our work, please sign up to our Facebook page.

 

(To join the Movement Medicine Facebook group you will need to sign up for Facebook if you are not a member already.  Once you are there put Movement Medicine into the search box and find the Movement Medicine group and then ask to be a member)

 

The most sensible review I have seen of what actually happened at Copenhagen, not surprisingly comes from Franny Armstrong, director of the magnificent Age of Stupid film and the team doing the Stupid Show. Also, check out the final Stupid Show featuring Tony Juniper, Mark Lynas, Ed Miliband, Kumi Naidoo and President Nasheed from The Maldives in various states of exhaustion after they’d all been awake since Friday and everyone else had gone home. 

 

During the conference, and whilst Susannah was getting people singing and dancing in Copenhagen, I was with a brave circle of souls doing The Alchemy of Stillness workshop and ceremony. Part of the work involves creating the Alchemist’s Garden, a physical manifestation of the mandala of the four chambers of the heart we work with. At the centre of that mandala is the domain of grace. It’s the place where the wise elder resides, witnessing our lives, loving us without condition, and waiting for us to become quiet enough to listen. Together, inspired by the four other magnificent temples in the mandala (the domains of Awakening, Integrity, Surrender and Gratitude), we found that alchemical place of embodied prayer and made our contribution to the massive wave of energy that was awakened at that time.

 

We were deeply in that zone and then, at 5.45, an hour earlier than we were expecting, the Saturday night Compton Dundon Bingo set-up crew arrived. Not surprisingly, they were astonished and more than a little upset to find their Bingo Hall transformed into a magical dreamscape. I went out to apologise and let them know that we had been told that they wouldn’t be there for at least another hour. After the initial fury passed, I managed to persuade them that we would help them to be ready on time for Bingo. I then went back into the hall, treading lightly as I went through the eye of the needle back into the alchemy of stillness to tell the dancers that we had to take a deep breath, and then get down to action, clearing away the beautiful temples and making way for Bingo. After the initial shockwave passed, everyone just got down to it and within half an hour, dreamland had become Bingoland, our Bingo friends were delighted and the Alchemy crew were on their way back to the Earth Spirit centre. Once we got there, I put on the same piece of music that had been playing when we had to change frequency so suddenly, and lo and behold, that same exquisite vibration of silence was still there, waiting for us, as if we had never left. What an amazing lesson that was. One of my earliest teachers, Arwyn Dreamwalker, used to say to us that the power of a ceremony could be measured by how we cleared the space at the end and brought everything back to its original state in the physical world. With a brief nod to an amazing team of alchemists, and the remembrance of a quote from the Dalai Lama that adorned the Temple of Integrity that said: ‘Never Give Up! it’s time to leave the Alchemist’s Garden for another year.

 

Susannah and I had a deeply nourishing time over Christmas (which we cancelled entirely this year) and New Year. Reuben, our son, is working and snowboarding in Austria, so for the first time, we had the house to ourselves with Tali, our dog. We dreamed, spent hours telling stories by the fire, walked in the woods, and prepared for the ceremony to celebrate the 3rd birthday of our school through the night of January 9th. This year’s ceremony was particularly strong. We danced through all 21 steps of the Movement Medicine mandala and offered our prayers to the fire for the year ahead. What a medicine that mandala is! We are learning so much from it. We are astonished by how complete it seems to be. It’s as if it’s always been there, just like the silence. At 5am, Roland and Susanne arrived for the birthday moment, at 5.26am. We offered up our work for the next cycle, sang a few songs, drank tea and finally got to bed at about 6.30. Well, if that ceremony is in any way a mirror of the year ahead, we’re in for quite a journey!

 

A few highlights for 2010 we’d like to share with you that we’re excited about:

The 48 hour Long Dance ceremony will be open to all dancers for the first time July 2-6. It’s a not-for-profit event hosted the apprentices of the School of Movement Medicine and us. It’s a powerful ceremony to dream your dreams and dance your prayers for the community of life on earth. There will be a lot of live music, a great team of healers, visiting shamans from different traditions, and, if you feel it in your heart to be there, you.

Awakening, our introduction to Movement Medicine work will once again be happening in South Devon. It’s a great place for beginners and those wanting to go deeper to immerse themselves in the basic practices of Movement Medicine for a few days.

I’m looking forward to teaching Source in London and Dublin and Amsterdam over the coming month as well as teaching Move! in South Africa for the first time in May.

For those wanting to work towards the next apprenticeship programme, we are again offering Initiation, the Phoenix Retreat, the Journey of Empowerment and Ritual this year.

Finally, look out for a new workshop in the autumn called Mending the Circle of Self which I will be teaching in the autumn.

 

 

We hope to meet you on a dance floor sometime in the near future. Until then, we wish you all power, harmony, peace and hope based in action for the year ahead. May 2010 be beyond our dreams.

 

Ya’Acov. January 2010.

As Day Follows Night
By Ali Young

I can of course, only speak for myself, but I’ve found this Winter a dark one. Evenings saw me downloading news of
Copenhagen, whilst days brought participation in teaching meetings at the Centre for Leadership where some of the response to our current global unfolding is to prepare for yet more training in “safety and security”.

Rightly or wrongly, I feel like I’ve been staring down the Beast and my eyes are aching. I really must get my confrontational attitude sorted out once and for all and learn to embrace it every time I see it. It is so clearly desperate for love. “You, sir, are obviously in need of a stiff hug!”

 

We finished the third module of the Journey of Empowerment in November where we had all been deeply honored to witness the bright unfurling of the many souls who took flight in song, each pair of wings a miraculous demonstration of the unique beauty of every single cell in our collective body. Even if I haven’t been gifted with the glorious sight of the naked presence of every being around me, I came away from the Journey of Empowerment with an awesome sense of the magnificence, which lies just under the surface of our conditioned selves, awaiting it’s golden moment to show it’s bejeweled and wonderful array of perfection. I long for a world in which everyone has the same privilege as us. My research at CLS, which some of you are aware of, is my present contribution to the re-birth project, and so I thought I’d just share a little summary of what’s been said so far.

 

Asking people about their experience of leadership within the Movement Medicine work, metaphors about growth and gardening are what seem to poke their heads above the soil most often. Our community seems to be like ground which once over farmed, is now being returned to a fertile organic landscape. Our gardeners are seen as pouring their love, care and inspiration into all the plants which the wind blows onto their land. Tenderness is offered to thistles as well as roses and new seeds are given the space and time they need to emerge in full bloom, even when the gardeners don’t know what sort of plant they will mature into. Mirroring Gaia, there is an awareness of the inherent perfection of life itself which, “if you can tap into that, go with the flow of that...alot of things become possible, or become much simpler...when you’re fighting it, they’re not possible.”(Rob Porteous)

 

Asking people about how the work contributes to their well-being, I was reminded time and again of the body’s own innate, animal wisdom. Simply by allowing ourselves to move in the way we want and need to, rather than responding to external stimulants, in conjunction with the powerful container of our tribe around us, we are able to experience so much more of LIFE. The medicine of welcoming all that has been outcast by the rational, Western cultures of which we are a part, creates increased trust, relaxation, confidence, openness, acceptance, clarity, responsibility, grounding, strength, presence, healing, retrieval of lost aspects of self and feeling, power re-call, the dropping of judgement. In other words in learning to trust the body, we learn to trust life in all it’s “different colors, energies and speeds.”(Anna from Switzerland)

 

Our community is also very clearly modeling a way of being with spirituality which our conflict driven world desperately needs. There is a strong sense of ourselves as microcosmologies, each one of us expressing, reflecting and indeed, being part of the unknowable mystery. Many of us see our life task as being that of awakening, to the power of the heart, to freedom and love and interdependence. As we each set out on the the warrior’s archetypal journey, to slay monsters, wrestle demons, gather riches and win love on the path which leads back to home, we learn that the divine lives right where it has always been, in the flower of the human heart. In opening to life we begin to see that all our fellow travelers are heading for the same place. As acting as what one of the interviewees described as “lantern-bearers”, we hold the evolutionary vanguard of knowing and embodiment of the ultimate wisdom, that we are all God and that strangely enough, this learning germinates in the darkness of all we have hidden from the light. As Marold, one of the apprentices who assisted on JOE said, “...my soul is in my body..what I truly am is in every cell of my body...I don’t have to think about what I am - I am....my truth is not a concept, but is lived.....”

 

And working as we were, to make video footage for The Six Billion Reasons website, this is not a community which is blind to the turbulence on our planet, interviewees spoke of their concerns about pollution, consumerism, fundamentalism, justice, control and displacement, at the same time as recognizing that this practice offers a way of moving towards harmony and reconciliation. We unify in dance and song, listening to the Mother’s heartbeat, ancient practices for encouraging communion with self, other and nature, we hold each other when one of us is bottoming out in grief and suffering, no-one is ever left alone and in our practice we act as exemplars for what is possible. I would like to offer my deepest thanks to everyone who gave their time to be interviewed and to bow to the depth of wisdom and love in the community of which we have the enormous blessing to be part of. I’d like to finish by quoting the glorious Dee from Ireland. “...anything which gives power, like what we’re doing now, it’s really special,...it’s really important...it means that you can reject easily material stuff, you don’t need that shit, we all know we don’t need that shit, once you start looking into it a tiny bit even, it’s so surface really, .....control is through the material, hugely, on the planet and basically what I’d like to see is just gradually, gradually that people find that little bit of power for themselves and it can’t be taken away. I would really hope for that and their connection to God is theirs....the planet is theirs.” So mote it be!

 

Ali Young bliss@alijoy.plus.com


 

 

Your first three months – an open letter to my son Leewin

By Jayne Bullen

To My Son

So many months and a few years have passed since I first wanted to write this letter to you – when IT all happened. When you happened. 

I had resigned from my job so that I could spend the summer dance dance dancing and travelling to do it all over the place – I had decided I was ready to take the big step and start teaching this work and needed to take time out to do it. It was when you came to me, like a bolt of lightening you decided that this exact moment was the time you needed to come into the world and be in my body with me, in the heart of fulltime dancing.

When I found out about you I was on Alchemy of Stillness with Ya’Acov. I got there jaded from London corporate mayhem and directionless but as always, homesick and yearning to go back to my family and roots. That beautiful nurturing space and dance within it was true healing for me, reminding me as always of what really feeds me and reminding me that the life I had been in for the past several years was doing just the opposite of that. 


Throughout this amazing workshop where we processed so many parts of ourselves I was conscious of another presence being with me but unclear of what is was or who it was. I felt held more so than I usually do in the terrain of change. On the very last day we had a long dance ceremony and at the very end of this sweaty amazing experience, a voice I had never heard before came into my head. Crisp and clear an English man told me: ‘You are pregnant and he will be shiva’. I was not really familiar with Shiva or what he represented at the time, but ironically the next day Ya'Acov told us a story of his experience of him and his relationship to him.

 

Obviously, my mind shrugged it off as some imaginary dehydrated delusion – impossible that I was pregnant! Nine months and many dance floors and countries later, you hurtled into the world so fast we barely had time to get to the hospital.

 

Countless dance floors, many amazing people we encountered along the way, all of whom I love and remember, a thousand tales in-between. You were there with me for all of them.

 

Your arrival into my life and the time since then has been extraordinary. Your father and I chose to part and you brought me home to Africa, home to my body, home to what really matters.

 

Since you came into this world, you too have been a dancer. You danced before you waked and you keep on and on dancing and surprising me with how you just seemed to land in your body in an extraordinarily grounded way. More so than other children I have known you seem to have an innate understanding of your body in movement and its connection to stillness in a way I have never seen. You teach me everyday about the world and being.  

 

It could have been my crazy roomates in Dublin that put up with my exhaustion and early nights, or the wise woman in the forest with five children who told me that the world doesn't need more people, it needs more good people, or every other unique soul we had a chance to touch together over those months that made you such a wonderful human being before you even became one. Whatever it was, I thank you for sharing that journey and all the ones since with in me and now next to me.

 

So this letter is a thank you – to you – to all my teachers – to my fellow seekers and teachers that have all been a part my journey home where the drums beat and the sun shines - where I wanted you to grow and spend your childhood. To my family and my ancestors that rest here in African soil and air – we have a lot of work to do on this continent.  Mostly, a thank you to this amazing dance that consumes and heals us all again and again with its majesty and truth.

 

Ya’Acov is coming to SA next year and we will again have a chance to just simply be in the dance on African soil. I am so excited to dance with him again after the last time I did which was so connected to your beginning and when my life really began, and that I will be a part of growing the dance and going to new and wonderful places with it and my community here. 

 

There is nothing I wish for you more in your lifetime than to just keep dancing through wherever it takes you.

 

Love,

Mom


shellosh@yahoo.com



 

Toad Moved Inside Me

By Brenda Kelleher

Toad moved inside me. I had been feeling nauseous for a little while, but it was just then that I realised it was a toad, glistening, slimy, bulbous. It was the Saturday of Ya’Acov’s workshop E-motion in Amsterdam.

It was a joy to return to the dance floor after such a year of tumultuous change, moving country, becoming a parent. This amazing gift from my wonderful partner was like giving me a chance to push my head above water and breathe, look around and see where the hell I was.

            Saturday I just danced for the pure joy of dancing, of being back on the floor, sharing and connecting with other souls, beautiful. I was invited to get to know deer and jaguar, to feel their animal instincts, follow them in their awakefulness and in their protectiveness. I got it on some levels and on others it just kinda passed me by. I left on Saturday with a feeling of fragility. A space had been created around my heart. In the current jungle of my life where two gorgeous and demanding babies claim my space and my energy, I felt very curious and hopeful about this space.

            Sunday morning brought me back to the dance floor with that fragility all the more present, tears fell; many tears fell in recognition and acceptance of how hard it is right now. I was present in the chamber of surrender. I felt like vomiting, gagging, nauseous, something was inside me and it was making me sick. It was time for the cauldron of release, collective and individual, where the space is held by some and filled by others. It was then I realised that it was a toad inside me, full of bile and bitterness, anger and judgments. It was a personal, collective and ancestral toad, made up of thousands of stories, lies, one time true but now no longer valid. It was a very big toad. In that space of tribal trance I became the toad and I danced him, for myself, for others, for my ancestors and especially for my descendants. Above all else I don´t want them swallowing a toad nor the seeds of one. Still dancing, shaking, trembling, I moved in and out of the circle. I danced the toad, with repulsion and rejection but also with gratitude. I belched the toad, physically releasing him from my stomach. I danced him ‘til he disappeared, sweated, belched, EVAPORATED, back to sky, earth, air.

            What emerged was a bird that took flight and flew around the room in a dance of joy and freedom, wings spread, gliding on exhilaration. Next came gratitude and celebration. The whole group leapt or wept with joy and gratefulness. Imagine, I have begun the process of releasing something I hadn´t even felt was there before I came to this workshop. I knew it was around alright, poking and reprimanding me from time to time but I hadn´t really felt its physicality before, good ol’ bulbous, bloated toad.

            In the quietness, at the centre of my heart and all of our hearts lies wise old elder, tending the fire. I met him, amused and bemused, glad for me. I sat beside him for a while. I don´t take enough time with you old man.

            The journey of this weekend workshop was nearly over, my tears still fall. I´m tired now and so glad to have come. The next challenge is to bring these teachings into my life, not hide under the bed but stand at the door of my house, to love my wife and tend to my children while holding some space for myself. The journey continues, the destination still unknown but I´m very glad to have taken a break at this workshop, restocked my bag and rest a little. Thank you to all who danced your dance this weekend in Amsterdam, to  all who witnessed, who comforted, who connected. This is the way we can change the world.

Brenda Kelleher dharmabk@yahoo.co.uk

MA LANGUE MATERNELLE

By Therond

(English translation below)

Je me sens très privilégié d’être le premier à écrire ici dans une autre langue que l’anglais. Et cela pour plusieurs raisons. 

La première c’est qu’alors qu’on parle beaucoup d’écologie, de violation de la nature et d’extinction de certaines races d’animaux, nous – en tant qu’être humains – connaissons également, peut être sans le savoir, l’extinction de beaucoup de cultures humaines et donc aussi de langues.


Dans son superbe film « Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen », (Le Pays où rêvent les fourmis vertes ) -film que je recommande à tous - Werner Herzog met en scène une superbe situation où, dans leur combat contre l’autorité en place, les Aborigènes viennent exprimer à la cour Australienne leurs doléances. Un homme vient à la barre et parle dans son dialecte ; dialecte incompréhensible à la cour. Le juge s’étonne que l’homme parle car il est dit dans le rapport que l’homme est muet. Un autre aborigène intervient à ce moment là pour expliquer que l’homme en question est appelé « le muet » car personne chez les Aborigènes ne comprends son dialecte : tous ceux de sa tribu ayant disparu, il est le dernier survivant de sa tribu et donc le seul au monde à parler sa langue…A travers cet exemple, je défends donc ma culture, ma langue et mes racines : oh, ces racines ! si vitale pour me/nous maintenir en vie et me/nous permettre d’accéder à ma/notre profondeur…

 

La seconde est surement une sorte de joie d’être le premier. Moins tant par fierté que plutôt pour montrer une voie. J’aime particulièrement la vie lorsqu’elle me fait des cadeaux, comme, par exemple, être traversé par une bonne idée. Mais je l’aime encore plus lorsque cette idée peut servir à d’autres, et encore plus, si elle peut en inspirer d’autres à faire de même ! J’adorerai que la Movement Medicine newsletter puisse accueillir vos lettres dans vos langues : quelles soient croates, finlandaises ou portugaises. Pourquoi ? car je saurai que d’autres personnes dans vos pays respectifs auront ainsi la joie d’avoir accès à la Movement Medicine même s’il ne parle pas l’Anglais.

 

J’ai l’énorme privilège d’être celui qui a été choisi pour, dorénavant, organiser les stages de la Movement Medicine en France dont le premier sera « return to the light » avec Ya’acov à Paris du 26 au 28 Février ( voir http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/return-of-light.php ). Je me suis demandé ce que je pouvais apporter de plus dans cette organisation déjà très bien orchestrée par mes prédécesseurs. J’ai médité et, comme toujours, l’intelligence universelle est venue me souffler à l’oreille une réponse différente de celle de mon mental…Cette réponse a été de rendre la Movement Medicine encore plus accessible aux francophones ne parlant pas l’Anglais.

 

Cette lettre n’est bien évidemment pas un combat contre l’Anglais mais plus une manière de refléter ce que j’apprends à la Movement Medicine : écouter ce mouvement en moi, dialoguer avec, être en lien, sentir mon corps, le laisser s’exprimer etc... Que vient faire cette histoire de langue ? me diriez vous. Simple : à force d’observation j’ai identifié que, chez moi, cela passe beaucoup par savoir exprimer justement ce que j’ai entendu. Exprimer en moi, à moi, aux autres, à toutes mes relations. Même si le dialogue avec le corps peut se passer de mots, exprimer justement dans ma langue maternelle ce que je ressens peut avoir une résonnance très forte dans mon corps. Un seul mot de ma langue maternelle exprimé au bon moment peut ouvrir tout un tas de portes de prisons mentales et/ou faire apparaître de nouveaux mondes. Ce n’est pas par hasard, après tout, que la langue maternelle soit appelée langue « maternelle »…  

J’honore Ya’acov et Susannah d’avoir toujours voulu et su défendre les langues de chacun, notamment lors de leurs ateliers où, non seulement ils écoutent la vie qui les habitent pour nous la retranscrire mais, aussi, où ils prennent soin aussi à écouter leurs traducteurs pour s’assurer que ce qui est dit retranscrit bien ce qu’ils ont exprimé. Ils prennent particulièrement soin aussi de nous laisser nous exprimer dans nos langues maternelles en essayant de nous comprendre à partir de nos cultures. Et ça, c’est précieux…

 

Traduire cette lettre en Anglais n’était pas du travail mais de la vraie magie…

Je vous souhaite un bel hiver lent et méditatif en espérant vous voir à Paris à la fin de celui-ci.

 

Pierre-Henri

Déc 2009, Paris  pierre-henri@gracefully.fr

 

MY MOTHER TONGUE

I feel really priviledge to be the first to write in the Movement Medicine newsletter in another language than English ( see the french letter ; this English version you are reading now is the translation of the french one ). And this for 2 reasons.

 

The first one is that, while there are a lot of talks going on about ecology, the violation of nature and the disapearance of certain animal races, we – as human beings – experience too, maybe without knowing it, the extinction of many human cultures and, therefore, languages. In his superb movie, « Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen »( Where the Green Ants Dream ) – movie that I strongly recommand – Werner Herzog set up a beautiful scene where, in their fight against the power in place, the Aborigines come to the Australian court of justice with their complaints. In that particular scene, an aborigine comes in front of the judge and speaks in his own dialect ; dialect that no one from the court can understand. The judge doesn’t not understand why that man can even talk since it’s written on the police report that the man his deaf. At that moment another aborigine stands up and explains that the first man is called « the deaf » because no one amongst the Aborigines themselves can understand what he says : all the people of his tribe being dead, he is the ultimate survivor and the only one on earth to speak his language…Thru that exemple I point out the importance to protect all human cultures, languages and roots : Oh, these roots ! So vital to maintain life and to enable us/me to access our depth…

 

The second reason is surely the joy to be the first to write here in another language than English. Not so much because of pride but more to show a path. I love life specially when it offers me gifts, such as, for exemple, to recieve a good idea. But I love it even more when this idea can help others, and even more, when it can inspire others to do the same ! I would love that the Movement Medecine newsletter could welcome your letters in your own languages : wheather it’s in croatian, finish or portuguese. Why ? Because I will know that other people in your countries would have the pleasure to have access to the Movement Medecine even if they don’t speak English.

 

I have the huge priviledge to have been chosen to organise, from now on, the Movement Medecine workshop in France ; the first one being « return to the light » with Ya’acov in Paris from February 26 to 28 ( see http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/return-of-light.php ). I did ask myself what more can I bring in this already very well orchestrated organistation by my predecessor ? I medidated on this and, as usual,  the universal intelligence came with a very different answer than the one from my own mind…The answer was to make the Movement Medecine even more accessible to french people that don’t speak English.

 

This letter is everything but a letter against the English language, but more a way to reflect what I learn in the Movement Medicine : to listen to the movement inside me, to dialogue with, to be related to, to feel my body, to let it express itself, etc…So, what has this language thing to do with this ? you’ll ask. Simple : thru observation, I have identify that, in me, it is a lot about being abble to express what I heard. Express it to me, at me, to the others, to all my relations. Even if the dialogue with the body can do without words, to express rigthly in my mother toungue what I feel can have a trumendeous resonance in my body. A single word out of my mother toungue expressed at the right time can open an all set of mental jail doors and/or make appear new worlds. It is not by coïncidence, after all, that a mother toungue is called a « mother » tongue…

 

I honor Susannah and Ya’acov to have always wanted to defend each one’s language, specially in their workshop where not only do they listen what’s going on in them to tell us about it, but also they make sure to listen to the translators to insure that  what is being translated reflects what they expressed. They, also, make sure to let us express ourselves in our mother toungues,  by trying to understand us from the point of vue of our own cultures. And that, is precious…

 

Translating this letter from french to English was not work, it was magic…

 

I wish you a superb slow motion and inwardy winter and hopefully see you in Paris at the end of the winter

 

Pierre-Henri

Dec 2009, Paris  pierre-henri@gracefully.fr

 

 

 

 

Living the Dream: fulfilment, interconnection and realisation
By Kerri Cripps

As some of you know I have made a video poem, with my friend Helen, about my brother Simon’s suicide, which I am going to present at the International Association of Process Oriented Psychology (IAPOP) conference in
Portland in Feb 2010. The video focuses on the dreaming behind the suicidal process and explores what needs to die and what un-killable spirit needs to be lived more fully. We used art work, movement and shape-shifting and we had a strong sense of connection with Simon throughout.

More surprisingly we also had a sense of support and involvement at the dreaming level from my father – he kept arriving as a dream figure and asking if he could be a part of the healing work we were doing – on the everyday level this was very challenging because a big part of why Simon killed himself was the sexual abuse he, and I, had experienced from my father as we grew up.  So I was initially very reluctant to agree to let my dad be involved at all. Eventually after various dialogues he convinced us that at least on a dreaming level he really was ready to move beyond his denial of the abuse and wanted to be part of the healing process. His participation has enriched our work and many healing dialogues have happened. Most recently Helen and I were trying out an earth based vector exercise we have developed to explore what is ready to die. We each had a turn and found it very powerful. To help us ground our insights, we decided to go for a walk in the woods at the back of my house. After a while I felt my father’s presence asking if he could try the exercise! After a brief dialogue Helen agreed to facilitate and I agreed I would become him (words are inadequate to describe this process –it is mysterious and for now seems to need to remain so). It turned out to be a very slow, and delicate piece of work – at one point I/he/we felt as if we were walking along a cliff edge, at each step risking falling to our death. Helen asked if he was sure he wanted to continue and he said, ‘Yes – it’s difficult and dangerous for me, but I know how important this is and I want to do it’. His voice was very soft and Helen moved closer to him, he recoiled and asked her to move back a bit and then broke down, overcome by the impact of a sudden visceral understanding, he sobbed ‘Oh God! Oh Kerri I am so sorry!’ It seemed that the part ready to die was his total denial and the part needing more life was his openness to feeling the impact of his actions and beginning to take some responsibility for them. Afterwards Helen and I wondered if such powerful dream work would have an impact in the everyday world.

 

A few days later, I was dithering about buying my plane ticket, annoying Helen who had done all the research about the best flights and was ready to book hers. To get me over my edge I cried out for a clear signal that it was right for me to fly all the way to Portland for a 90 min presentation of our suicidal wisdom, and included in it a request for some financial support towards the cost of the flight.  A few days later my sister rang to tell me that my father had decided to give each of his children, including me, £1000 each. On one level this is fairly ordinary – my father has sold his house and moved into a smaller one and is giving of his children some money – but on another level it is part of a big dreaming process. In the past my father has threatened to cut me, and Simon, out of his will, and once when I asked him for some money, he told me he couldn’t give me any because it would be an admission of guilt.

 

To have reached a point where I can create bridges between the dreaming and my everyday world and receive something positive from my father that directly supports bringing my suicidal wisdom out into the world is both amazing and challenging! So not surprisingly actually receiving the cheque was not entirely straightforward. It has been a journey woven of grief and joy, despair and hope; nightmares and dreams; the ordinary and the extraordinary. Little me had allsorts of anxieties about the consequences of accepting money from my father – are there strings attached? What other more painful gifts might come with the money? What will those people who believe that if it had really happened I wouldn’t have anything to do with him, make of it? What if opening a bridge between the dreaming and everyday life allows more bad memories to cross? What if people find out the weird things I’ve been doing and think I really am mad, or that I’ve just made all of it up? And on and on and …

 

Suddenly a dream warrior appeared and stepped between me and my fears: Stop! Live your dreams! Let die what needs to die and let the un-killable spirit live more fully. You know that a shift has happened on the dreaming level, so accept this evidence that there has been a shift here too. The litany of fears died down immediately and was replaced by awe and gratitude. And before I rang my father to arrange to visit him I beamed gratitude to his dreaming self, and I gathered my frightened little selves together and we imagined a beautiful dream bridge with strong guards at either end who would only allow positive gifts to cross between the worlds. I was very aware of stepping into a protector role that had been missing in my childhood, but still it wasn’t enough - the first visit I arranged was cancelled because my father was ill. So next I asked Helen to add a discrete thank you to my father in the video poem credits, and I made a very clear statement to the mysterious Tao about definitely wanting the money as well as all the gifts of awareness that I had already received.

 

When I rang to arrange another visit my dad was at the bank and a few days later the cheque was in my hand and I was thanking him and telling him that the money was an answer to a prayer and that I would use it to buy my ticket to Portland where I was going to show a video poem. He liked  this idea but he didn’t ask what the video poem was about and so I didn’t tell him. In the past I might have just gone ahead and told him anyway but this time I really wanted to respect the dream work we had done and not get too close. I felt much more able to just accept him as he was.

 

After I left I discovered I had also received another huge gift: a realisation that I have such a clear sense of my self separate from my history, that enabled me not only to accept the money, but also to accept that my father behaved as if we just have a ‘normal’ relationship. And I didn’t lose myself, or feel the need to defend, or assert myself, I just let him be. This feels especially significant because 20 years ago when I first began to recover my memories of the abuse I stopped all contact with my father, because each time I saw him I lost my self as soon as I walked through his door, only to have the painful memories come flooding back in as soon as I left. This time I left with an expanded sense of my whole self and of the awesome journey I/we have been on.  And I fully felt the freedom of having completely left my history behind. At least until the next time I need it to help me take the next step on this awesome journey that is life.

 

With love and gratitude to all of you who helped me along the way

Kerri

 

kerri@waking-up.com

Copenhagen
By Susannah

Being in Copenhagen was wonderful and wierd. I felt so much hope and so much despair. Made so many connections and felt so much disconnection. Felt potent and insignificant. I went to Copenhagen to be another peaceful and passionate body on the street at the big demo. To stand up and be counted.

As well, I wanted to take 6 Billion Reasons there and give it the opportunity to be a part of the turning tide, along with its partners from One Climate, Peter and Anuradha. And I wanted to bring dance and song to the leven the mix, to offer another way to meet and connect.

Thanks to the work of a small group of Copenhagen dancers from past, current and future Ongoing Groups, I was able to bring dance to the “Bottom Up” climate meetings at Christiania, and led the singing for a 2 hour session of the 48 hour “Sing the Earth” event. The Klima forum became a power house of meeting and learning and exchange which was magnetic and impressive.

My thanks to Agnes who looked after me and organised my participation in Sing the Earth, Lise and Nina who organised my offerings at Christiania and Bina who gave hospitality and Matthias who supported everything with good heart. And to all the dancers from Copenhagen and beyond who came to dance and sing and pray together.

Here’s my diary:

Many of the activities at Christiania so small… wondered what on earth I was doing there. Had to face my own wish to be of significance, to feel of value by being “big”, important, rather, in Christinia, one tiny fish in a tiny pool of enquiring people separate from the mainstream, surrounded by an alternative culture that is drinking, smoking, socialising,  and then at Klima forum, one more tiny fish in a huge global sea of good initiatives, a massive sea of people overwhelmed with input and information…. Wonderful but overwhelming…. And my own uneasy-ness about “pushing” my thing, yet wanting people to know about it….

Not knowing how to make the connections, and yet many were made….

At same time, good connections made, and sung with Hagara, Achim, Ina, Bernadette….

Meeting of people from different times and parts of life, good…. Re-connecting with Annita, lovely….

Some people, like Joan Chittister, like Mary-Alice Arthur, like the woman next to me in the town square as we listened to Desmond Tutu and wept and danced and laughed with joy… just naturally we understood each other and they ‘got’ 6 Billion Reasons….

Special moments for me:

Dancing at Christiania. ½ hour session; groove and depth. Party and Pray, again! What’s can be possible, fast, if a critical mass of people are ready to leap. Beautiful.

One was in the demo, we’d been at the side, holding our banners, waiting to join the back, with the others from Christiania. So we saw the many colours and creativity of different groups walking by. A welsh dragon. polar bears, clowns, a samba group. We were singing. Chief Seattle’s words set to simple melodies which interweave. I’m very grateful to Hagara for that.

People were attracted and interested by the good sound. And so we handed out lots of postcards. Annita bouncing around joyously giving them out, Lise, Agnes and Bernadette regally holding the 6BR banner beneath ZEGG’s eco-community’s big bright one. Then we started to walk, sometimes singing was impossible because of other sound systems. I missed having drums with us. It felt like we were trying to hold our own in the middle of mayhem. Then we stopped, picked up the samba pulse in the distance, et voila, we had drums to sing with….

Another was in the 2 hours of singing in the chapel on Friday night. Agnes had organised it, I just had to turn up and sing. So we sang through a spiral of a few songs, learning them without a pause, one after the other, as that was the intention, to keep the sound prayer wave continuously for 48 hours. The West African drummers Nina had invited doing really well to slow into our groove. We got to Thuma Mina in the central of our spiral, and then came back out through the songs we had already learnt, and ended up in Om Mani Padme Om where the voices locked in and we were rolling in the mantra field with passion and prayer and steady strength. I was and am very grateful that Agnes made the link with the Singing Earth organiser Karin, who had a compelling vision and followed it.

I had no idea if anyone at Klima forum had heard of the Pachamama “Awakening the Dreamer” Symposium. Bernadette Ryder and I had both run dance and Symposium events at Christiania. I’d offered to run dance “connect and revive” at Klima forum but no response. At the Klima forum is a room called meshwork’s, an amazing networking room supported by welcoming staff and a computer program that helps you locate other people and organisations in the world whose interests or work overlap. I’d been impressed, but overwhelmed, and had decided to go back and take more time to check in with them.

Then Bernadette got an e-mail from Jon Symms in the USA, commending all Pachamama Symposium leaders who were in Copenhagen to connect with Peter and Morel who run Meshworks. Bernadette contacted them and found they were open to a symposium on Sunday night. B couldn’t do it herself as she was leaving, so she put it out to all the rest of us there. At that point I wasn’t sure if I could be there as I wanted to keep the space open to meet up with Peter and Anuradha if they were free that evening. A guy called Fernando said he would.

So on Sunday, after a wonderful event in the town square listening to Desmond Tutu with tears and joy, he is so CUTE, as well as wise and moving and joyous and stirring, I went to Klimaforum to have some time to do my Meshworks thing, and, as Peter and Anurdaha were busy, offered to help with the Symposium if Fernando turned up, and to run it if he didn’t, as no-one had heard from him. No advertising had been done for it, so, with the help of the Meshworks people, we put adverts up on the klimaforum screens and Nina went round and updated the old posters. 5 hours to go.

The symposium was there on a DVD, but no DVD player, so I was glad I had my computer, connectors and keynote. Annita, Agnes, Lise and Nina let their networks know about it.

Then Fernando turns up, he’s young bright and from Mexico, we decide to run it together. I’ve never done a 3 hour one before, (normally Chris and I do 8 hours…) so this is different.

Meshwork’s is a big, open space with lots of stuff happening. As 19.00 approaches the Meshwork’s staff are deep in their debrief, as people for the Symposium are gathering. Peter puts up the trailer. A group of about 40 assembles itself. Global. People from Africa, India, Europe, South America. We begin and the focus grows. We manage to get the lights down. Slowly the room grows quiet and people are weeping. More people gather and join, or participate from the fringes. Taking the moments with each other as deep communion. I feel the relief to be providing a space to FEEL this. And, as always, my gratitude and respect for the deep intelligence of the symposium. Fernando is great. Picks up the baton fast when the computer jams at the eagle and condor moment.

So, a true collaboration: Bernadette, Peter, Morel, Koen, Kaye, Jon, Nina, Lise, Annita, Fernando, me, and all the people.

And in the meantime, in the afternoon, I talked with Koen about Meshwork, Movement Medicine and 6 Billion Reasons, and possible cross collaborations and with his help entered myself, 6 Billion Reasons, and School of Movement Medicine into their computer programme. What struck me, impressed me, touched me, was that, in the middle of this hubbub of activity and people, there was such a feeling of calm, of enough time, of the lack of hurry. And so effective.

And Copenhagen, came, and went. We moved forward, and got stuck. Many tears. Many advances, many blockages. Now its up to us all to keep moving forward to forge a sustainable way of life, to make the small and the radical shifts necessary to manifest the dream of a benevolent human presence on earth. I wish courage to us all. Wisdom to us all. Love in action to us all.

 

Blessings,

 

Susannah

 

 

 

The Copenhagen climate fever – a personal account
by Agnes Madaras

The  climate fever had already started when Susannah arrived in Copenhagen. Throughout the town people were exhibiting climate friendly projects. In the Red Cross Cafe they priced  food based on the CO2 contents – a beef burger cost 10x the price of a veggie burger, as it takes ten times CO2 more to produce  beef.


Children in kindergarden listened to stories about the last ice bear struggling for survival on his tiny iceberg in the arctic.  Many of the school children had entered a competition with their creative art on how climate affects our earth.  In one picture a child drew the sick earth with a plaster and in another, the dying rain forest.

 

20 000 + people arrived during those days from all corners of the world.

There was a buzz and a fever around the main focal points – the Bella Center  - where politicians and heads of state met, and the Climate Forum which hosted participants of the civil society; among the many other venues across the country the one in Christiania hosted several of Susannahs revive-and-reconnect sessions. 

 

Listening to presenters at the Climate Forum I was impresssed about the multitude of issues connected to climate covering biodiversity, banking, food-secuity to gender based violence, just to name a few. A panel discussion with spiritual leaders was particularily moving, it was encouraging to know that the protection of the earth was considered a serious matter for all major world religions. I shared my hunger for more information on opportunities to resolve the climate issue with thousands of people, the temptation to spend all my time in the Climate Forum was enourmous. Yet there was an overwhelming amount of information which needed to settle in our bodies and minds – and this is where Susannahs revival and reconnect sessions made a tremendous difference. They helped  to integrate all the thoughts and ideas and support those who were sitting around the negotiationtables.  One  of the evenings was dedicated to“singtheearth“  during which Susannah lead the group with voice and movement accompanied by a group of drummers. The particular energy of all these beautiful voices dedicated to mother earth must have touched the whole universe.

 

One of the major highlights was the climate demonstration, a peaceful and meaningful walking meditation.  It was amazing to watch thousands of people walking, singing, dancing and displaying their creative ideas and support of the climate issues. For many hours we carried the 6billionreasons banner proudly on two tree-sticks,  freshly chopped by Susannah´s own hands the same morning, handing out info cards to curious bypassers, answering questions to journalists and TV people. The blister of my foot were quickly forgotten, when we – our 6billion reasons demonstrators group  - decided to close the evening with dancing, shaking our bodies  off in a nearby dance club after an improvised dinner at my home. I felt really priviledged to host all these committed 6billionreasons demonstrators. I was well aware that Desmond Tutu was going to speak next morning so we all gathered on the municipality square to hear his encouraging words and his laughter: yes,  each of us can contribute! The final event  at the Cathedral where Desmond Tutu guided us through an interdenominational ceremony with representatives from the east ( Tuvalu), the south (South Africa), the north (Greenland) and the west (Mexico) highlighted the reality and the seriouness of the earth´s condition.

Those who attended the climate events were drawn into this contagious ambience of global committment and stood together for to the same cause: to protect the earth from further destruction.

 

No, the climate agreement was not signed this time, a depressing experience for so many people in the world who were hoping to bring an end to the earth´s destruction.

 

But this conference was a unique and historical event with 160 Heads of States discussing climate issues during several days, their perceptions changed, their minds foucused on the seriousness of the situation – committment to climate change is no longer a matter of if, but a matter of how to tackle the issue in the respective countries. I am convinced that this conference had an impact on both high level politicians as well as the society.

 

Agnes Madaras, Denmark          Jan 2010  agnes_madaras@yahoo.com


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

by Rob Porteous


When I was a child I saw - or rather, I was encouraged to see - the life ahead of me as a series of hurdles to be overcome, or targets to be met: primary school, secondary school ,’O’ levels, ‘A’ levels, university, a profession, marriage, children. A succession of external markers that would prove I was good enough, and deserved a seat at the table of life.

The trouble was, I had a bunch of questions in my head that got in the way. ‘Why are people nasty to each other?’ ‘What am I frightened of?’ ‘Why does what is labelled ‘love’ feel like hate?’ ‘Where does shame come from?’ ‘How come I keep losing things, and getting the answers wrong?’ Even when I tried as hard as I could to do what was expected, it didn’t quite work out.

 

Now, six decades later, I have a different idea of what life is about. My aim now is to be myself, as fully and as consciously as I can.

 

Accepting that I have not achieved some of the things on my list that were important to me is not always easy. Being myself isn’t easy, either, when the doubting voices come back, telling me I’ll get it wrong, or haven’t been good enough. But empowerment is choosing to be myself in the face of the expectations and opportunities that come at me. It involves really questioning what I want, not in a bargaining kind of way- ‘If you do this, I’ll do that’- but taking up my responsibility to choose the next step of the way. It involves learning how to respond to what I feel. Which desires do I take literally, and which are a metaphor for something else? How can I reconcile conflicting emotions? How can my feelings inform my ability to respond?

 

The Hebrew word for peace, Shalom, comes from the same root as shalem, meaning full, and leshalem, to pay. The price of peace is to accept myself as fully as I can, good and bad, the bits I like and the warts I’d rather get rid of. The prize, of feeling more at peace than ever before, is sometimes there. Cycling round the harbour in Bristol early on a Sunday morning can be a magical experience, as it can be to sit in my chair and listen as someone tells their story, and feel the deep connection between us.

 

The delightful gift I received at the end of the Journey of Empowerment shows me how I may approach this task of being myself. It is a crown, but also a jester’s cap; an invitation to pick up my authority over my own life, but also not to take myself too seriously. Sometimes I like to stand aside and watch the changes that ripple through the dance, where nothing, and everything. matters. Out of deep sadness comes a cry of joy; out of anger, love; out of fear, courage. On this bridge between knowing and unknowing,

consciousness and unconsciousness, birth and death, I stand and dance, placing one foot in front of the other, following the thread of my breath, finding- and losing- my voice. I feel hugely grateful for the company of other dancers around me, for Susannah’s capacity to hold a space in which something can happen, and for my capacity to respond to it, and for the little bit of magic that creeps into the dance when I am not looking and transforms my world.

When I reclaim what I project onto the mirror of the other, both good and bad, and own it in myself, what I see is a wild hedgerow full of colours, smells, textures and tastes; a tangle of life that has its own order and discipline, rooted in the earth and climbing towards the sky.

 

Thank you.


Rob   robporteous@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

The next Journey of Empowerment will take place at the Waldhaus, Switzerland starting in May 2010.  There is an early payment discount for booking made before Jan 31st 2010.  For an application form and more details either go to the website or contact Roland roland@rwevents.co.uk

00 44 (0) 1803 762255

Complementary

By Susannah

I came away from Hamburg last November with a happy heart. Dancers and singers from many backgrounds came together to dance and to sing with myself and the fabulous Ben Burrow on drums. There were people who have danced with myself and Ya’Acov over years both in our 5 Rhythms era and with Movement Medicine, people who dance 5 Rhythms with Tom Schulz, with Michael and Gabriella Kuhn, people who dance Soul Motion and Nia with Edgar Spieker and people who dance Soul Motion with Vinn Marti and people who have never danced. I ran into Tom at a gig with Raoul Midon at which the singer had nearly lost his voice but was still absolutely amazing and riveting (see him!!!).

I think that we, whatever our identifications or tribal loyalties, are all searching to feel, to experience the deep, fine, vibration of life running through us, to connect with this. And then, at the same time, most of us need to belong, to belong to a group, to have an identity. This is human, it seems to be innate in our condition as a species. And at the same time we (at least we western selves) want and need to be individuals, to know ourselves. Here we are, how do we do both; unity and individuality, commonality and diversity?

Singing and dancing as we do at Resonance or the Journey of Empowerment or DanSing do this for me. What a joy to be part of chorus of sound, of harmony, rhythm, melody like that, to be immersed in, each like a cell shining within one organism, the organism of the song, the dance…. And then to sing solo, to hear the individual voices taking flight like birds let out of cages. In this Resonance so many births came, so many easy, joyous and deeply moving awakenings….

So I am so happy to be able to work with Edgar as my organizer in Hamburg, who is also a singer, a dancer, a teacher, a thinker….Edgar also organizes for Vinn Marti, who trained around the same time as us with Gabrielle Roth, and whose work has also developed from 5 Rhythms into a new incarnation. His work , Soul Motion has a brother or sister quality to Movement Medicine, and so we commend his work to you as different, and complementary.

So rock on Hamburg and the weaving.

Ya’Acov’s next workshop in Hamburg is: 

E-Motion. dancing with the heart of the world: 5.-7. February 2010

Organized by Jens Liedtke. Email: 5R@spirit-in-movement.de

Phone +49 (0)40 729 100 61

Susannah’s next workshop in Hamburg is: 

DanSing. ( Dancing and Singing) 12.-14. November 2010

More Info: www.soulmotion.com and www.soul-motion.de

 

Vinn Marti‘s next workshop in Hamburg is:

Soul Motion: Mindful Movement (Achtsame Bewegung): 23.-25. April 2010

Soul Motion is a movement ministry, a dance practice, and a philosophy of living that supports our unconditional acceptance of 'what is' and our fearless exploration outside the box of the familiar, sleep-inducing trance we sometimes find ourselves dancing to. We use the dance as metaphor for living a creative, expressive, and unified life of integrity, immensity, and intensity. Our hearts are ablaze with love of the divine and divine love toward all beings, and this becomes the beat, and the steps, and the music, to which we dance the everyday dance.

During this time together we nudge the spirit of innovative action and creativity to awaken and hold a high watch of unconditional acceptance as we stumble our way toward self-expression, self-acceptance, and self-recognition: we are spirit dancing this human experience. Through guided imagery and relaxed induction we track conditions and attitudes which no longer serve our ability to unwind in the stream of creative expression, and we open ourselves to the next movement moment with radical awe and wonder.

Vinn will also teach in Zurich and Vienna this April.

More Info: www.soulmotion.com and www.soul-motion.de

 

 

Carolina Naess
My name is Carolina Naess and I've been having the honor to dance with Ya’Acov and Susannah at their recent workshops both in London and abroad in Luzern. I'm originally from Sweden, but currently I'm studying a Masters in Dance and Somatic Wellbeing at the University of Central Lancashire. For my research project I’d like to research a group of children. I wonder if you know of anyone working with children (any age) who I may contact to discuss various possibilities for either the UK or Sweden?

I’m also looking for a part time job with children (any age), preferably in a work setting involving dance and movement. Therefore, if you have any idea of where I can turn, I would appreciate if you could let me know.

I’m based in
London but will gladly consider commuting outside  of London.

FYI, my background is in professional dance, as well as somatic movement study with  Dr. Martha Eddy in NYC, where I  obtained my degree in Psychology and Child development (trained in Montessori teaching pedagogy). In NYC I held a long term volunteering position in a therapeutic horseback riding center, assisting handicapped children in movement training. I was also involved in Art of Living's breath work practices for many years, 5Rhythms, and trained in "New Decision Therapy"(Behavioral Kinesiology) through Healing Arts Haven. Kindly see link below:

http://www.healingartshaven.org/the_co.html

Thank you for your consideration.

Kindly,
Carolina   

naesscarolina@hotmail.com

A funny thing about translation
by Susannah

It’s a strange but true that you need to be able to speak English to do our more advanced courses: “Journey of Empowerment” “Ritual”, “Initiation” “The Phoenix Retreat” and “The Apprenticeship Programme”…. This is because these groups attract people from many countries and so it would not be possible to translate into all the languages needed. So for these courses, without translation, we speak in more simple English. This is good practice for us. So, to do these courses, you need to be able to understand, and speak, basic school English, and we will adapt our English to what is needed.

Words ARE so important, and the mind is involved in Movement Medicine along along with the body, the heart and the soul, we do encourage you, if you are unsure of your English to take a few classes…

When, as on some weekends and some intensives, we DO have the luxury of translation, we can speak in more complex, subtle English and know that the brilliant translators who we are blessed to work with, and who understand the spirit of the work as well as technically being good at translation, can deliver the meaning in whichever language it is.

 

Susannah

Heart Dinner
By Hans Nusink

My dinner

See you sitting

    on the empty chair

    opposite me


Your eyes

My heart

 

Yesterday

 

Your light blue eyes

    I adore

Looking at me

Looking right in my heart

Cutting my breast

    with your soft knife eyes

    searching in my bleeding for-you-heart

What kind of man I am

What I really want with my life

    in your life

To open the deepest depth of my longing

    of my love for me

    of my love for you

    of my love for the world

To unravel the four chambers

To look for the magic animals

To smell

To touch

    the fear

the courage

    the anger

the love

    the to be in jail

    the to be cut off

    the celebration

    the freedom

    of life

Because of your love

    for you

    for me

    for the world

 

Hans at dinner after E-motion, 23.11.2009 


hansnusink@planet.nl

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. schoolofmovementmedicine.com