School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: March 2010 Newsletter
Awakening the Dreamer

By Susannah

“When we throw something “away” where is “away”?  There is no such thing! When we throw something “away” we are saying that it is acceptable to throw the planet and its people away.”

Julia Butterfly Hill

 “The reason we are locked into this nightmare dream of consumption is that we are LONELY. And things, our obsession with things, will never cure the hunger in the human heart”

“What you do to the earth you do to yourself”

Attributed to Chief Joseph Seattle

“You are part of the land. It’s your body- its you”

Jeanette Armstrong

These are some of the quotes from the Pachamama “Awakening the Dreamer” Symposium which have come to mean a lot to me as I’m in a process of un-weaving and re-weaving my assumptions and the actions which flow from them. I need words and reminders like these help me wake up from the sleep of the “consume and throw away” culture which it has been our generations lot to participate in.  Desmond Tutu’s words from Copenhagen are still ringing in my heart: “A peaceful, just, sustainable and joyous world IS possible, IF we choose it”. I love the word joyous in there, and you should have seen the dance he danced as he spoke this..

In the wake of the beautiful, deep, heartful Pachamama symposium Ya’Acov and I just facilitated at Waldhaus, I feel deeply relieved to have shared this with people willing to go so deep in feeling what we are doing to the earth and its beings, human and otherwise. I felt a huge personal relief to be in the company of others willing to feel the pain of the collective “entrancement.” I realise again how much I need this to feel the courage to go on finding ways to live the new and old dream of connectedness.

For me the dance of healing is to bring together feeling, word and action, to bring the oneness we can feel on a spiritual, vibrational and emotional level to inform our actions, our manifestation, our ways of life, so that there is an alignment between the spirit level and the earth level. “On earth as in heaven”… This us why on our workshops we take time for each participant to link what is being experienced and learnt on the dance floor, with the wider dance of life.

One thing I realise for myself gets in the way of this, can make me complacent is the self-identity I have as a “caring” or “ecologically conscious person”. I can easily lounge about in this self-perception and not see how what I am doing is often in direct contradiction to my avowed intention. Because it’s easy. Because everyone else is doing it. Because “I am already doing so much, aren’t I? Because I really want/deserve etc that coffee”…

And the other thing I realise again and again is the way that we are ‘herd” animals. I read an article recently from a research about why human beings act so irrationally, not just about things like climate change, but about stuff like investment and mortgages. The research found that there is a very strong pull in us to do what the others do, especially people we respect and/or give status to. So even if we can see that something is dangerous/wrong/stupid and even if it not sensible even in terms of our own narrowly defined self-interest- if enough other people are doing it, we say to ourselves, “Oh, it must be alright”.

I just had 15 minutes in Bern train station and I had a take-away coffee and sandwich, even with Julia Butterfly Hill’s words ringing in my ears. Then I looked at the amount of rubbish I just contributed to the landfill and I felt so ashamed and sad and torn. I did really want that coffee! And yes, I COULD bring my own little flask with me to  put the coffee in, but again I forgot!  The pull of the collective “this is what we do- this is OK-“ is so strong!

I caught another moment like this for myself at a venue, standing deep in thought at the tea and coffee machine. I made myself a Vervaine tea, and then slipped the tea bag into the bin, with just a whisper of an implicit thought, “oh it should go into the compost bucket but there is no compost bucket here, only in the kitchen, Oh, if its OK for the people here it must be OK….and somewhere a slightly macho feeling….” Ya’Acov saw me and said “what are you doing???!” As we fished my tea bag and some others out and carried them to the kitchen compost bin, I realised I had been back in the trance…

“What I do to the earth I do to myself”. So I was acting as if my body is trash-able. And you know what I can feel now? My resistance to really feeling this, not sometimes, or most of the time, but as a given fact, is the pain of the sensitivity and loneliness it brings…. I am, as much as anyone, a herd animal, I need to belong.

So I want you to know that I need you to help me wake up, that we need each other, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, action by action to bring our spiritual sense of connection and love for all life into manifest reality, to walk our talk and manifest a new paradigm of lived inter-connectedness.

Again: “A peaceful, just, sustainable and joyous world IS possible, IF we choose it”. Desmond Tutu

With love, respect and gratitude that we are sharing the journey, and wishing you the courage to follow your heart and the blessing of good company on the way,


Susannah DK




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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.