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

Gold Dust
By Roland

I thrust my hand down into a clump of black seaweed and picked up the first stone that my hand touched and put it in my pocket.  It was the end of my journey walking to the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland and I was standing on a beach on the north shore.  The weather had turned overnight, the sky was overcast and a cold wind was blowing.  This stone was for a friend.  However, it was not to be a delightful memento of Iona but was to be a physical representation of the burden I felt he had made me carry on this last leg of my journey.

Just before I had left home he had phoned me and asked whether we could find a way to sort out a difficulty we were having.  This phone call had preoccupied me so much that I had had quite severe problems both sleeping and eating.   

Several days later I found the stone in the pocket of my fleece.  It was nothing like the stone that I had imagined that I had picked up.  The stone of my imagination was rough dark and ugly.  The stone in my hand was smooth.  I washed off the bits of seaweed still clinging to it.  Closer examination showed that the stone was light grey with delicate circular bands etched into it and it glittered as if it had been lightly rolled in fairy gold dust.  This stone did not fit at all with what I wanted to say to my friend.

I would love now to say that I came to an immediate realisation of what was going on.  But that would be a lie.  For several weeks the stone sat on my desk.  I would pick up and handle it.   Very slowly it came to me that my troubled mind did not in reality have much to do with my friend and that in fact that what he had said to me had entirely reasonable and when we came to speak together and sort out our problem it became clear that it was entirely inappropriate to give him the stone. 

I returned to my therapist who I had stopped see about two years ago. “Wasn’t this walk to do with your father?  Could these sleepless nights have anything to with him?” she asked.  Initial denial.  “I’ve made peace with my father.” I protested.   “I rebuilt the cairn where his ashes are.  I told him I loved him and that he had been a good father to me.  That I had learned a lot from him.”  But my body told me – the hurt in my heart told me - that her question had hit the nail on the head.

So what was it that I wanted to say to him?  What was it that was so difficult that I kept it even from myself?   When I started this walk over two years ago I had found myself curious about why I should bother to do something so monumental for someone who I essentially disliked and despised.  I had thought my father selfish.  I felt angry about the way he had treated my mother.  But now what is that I needed to say to him that would keep me awake at night and put me off my food? 

It is very appropriate given that this article is written for the Movement Medicine newsletter that the answer to this question should come a few days later when I picked up the stone and carried it as I did a slow swirling dance in my living room.   As I moved I had an image of my father standing in the centre of a circle and I was dancing around the perimeter.  Depending on where I was I had a slightly different image of him.  All the family letters I had read helped with the process.  Here he was baby being baptised in Sienna cathedral, here a child in France crawling under a hedge, here a teenager cycling back in the dark from Norwich after acting in a play, here a radio operator in Iceland in the Second world war, here a father for the first time, here a cheating husband, and so on through to an image of him in his hospital bed in the final week of his life.   Finally it came to me that what I wanted to say to my father was that he stopped me from being myself.  I said the words out loud and the the absurdity of the statement made me laugh.  No-one could actually stop me being myself.  This was just a power I had ascribed to him.  The pain I had carried for week melted and my arms were buzzing with an electric excitement.  The stone in my hand represented my reclaiming the power to be myself – gold dust.

It is no co-incidence that the Movement Medicine is mapped out into Journeys – The Journey of Empowerment, the Journey of Responsibility and Living the Dream.   The journey of Empowerment is covered by most of the weekend workshop and also Susannah’s group The Journey of Empowerment.  The Journey of Responsibility is cover by Initiation, The Phoenix Retreat and Ya’Acov’s Rituals.  Living the Dream is the work that you do if you take part in the Apprenticeship Programme.  Application form for all these can be found on the Movement Medicine website by following the links or you can email me at roland@rwevents.co.uk and I will send you one.

Wishing you well on your journey.

Roland

Forthcoming Workshops
By Roland

One the things I admire most about Susannah and Ya’Acov is that they are always actively learning something.  Each year they endeavour to tackle a new skill whether it be learning to play the guitar or how to grow vegetables successfully in a poly-tunnel.  Knowing this I am not surprised to learn that Ya’Acov will be joining Susannah’s Way of the Dancing Warrior workshop in London on 27th and 28th November as a participant.  If you fancy joining him on the dance floor to take part in this workshop please contact Alex on 07868842219 alexhanly@hotmail.com

Ya’Acov will be teaching a Move! evening in London on Monday 6th Dec 7 -10. at Union Chapel  St Peters, 310 Kennington lane, Vauxhall.   No need to book just turn up.  Nearest tube Highbury and Islington.

Returning Home 18 -22 Dec is now full and there is a waiting list.  Please contact me if you would like to join the waiting list for this residential workshop at the Waldhaus in Switzerland.

There are still places available for couples wishing to join the The Space Between Us workshop.  This is also taking place at in Switzerland at the Waldhaus.  Please contact me if you would like application forms for this.

There are just a few places still left available on the Phoenix Retreat 7 – 14th April.  This workshop is an essential pre-requisite for those wish to join the Apprenticeship Programme in 2012.  So if this something you are considering you really need to making your mind up now.  Application form for both the Phoenix Retreat and Apprenticeship Programme are available by following the links on the website but do contact me if you would like me to send you one by email.   The dates for the Phoenix Retreat in 2012 are 8th - 15th April

There are still places available for Source led by Ya'Acov 19 -21 Nov in Antwer.  Contact Luc on 0032 61 32 99 20 and E-Motion: Wild Life led by Susannah 20 -21 Nov Paris  Contact Pierre-Henri 00 33 615 325 816

For our full programme please go to http://schoolofmovementmedicine.com/ecstatic-dance-calendar.php

By the way did you know that you can follow Ya’Acov and Susannah either on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/SusannahDK/statuses/5248219499986944 (Susannah) http://twitter.com/yaacovdk/statuses/5247756998283264 (Ya’Acov)

or Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/#!/pages/Susannah-and-YaAcov-Darling-Khan/138814757998

Enjoy your dancing where you are and whoever you are with

 

Roland roland@rwevent.co.uk


 

 

11th November

By Susannah

It’s 11th November. I’m on the train to London. I’m on my way to Hamburg to teach DanSing. I’m thinking about last time I taught Resonance in Hamburg and we sang the East European Jewish Bim Bam song, and an elderly German woman lay in the middle of the circle and sobbed her heart out opening the gates for many others as the harmonies twined through the space joining all our hearts. No words needed.

Its 11.00 and the train conductor invites us to join the crew in two minutes silence to remember the human cost of armed conflict. I’m touched that they ask us, and that they say it like that, inclusive of all the suffering that war brings. The carriage falls silent, deeply silent. I close my eyes and let my heart open to the trenches, quiet tears. The man opposite me is huge and swollen and has consumed a sandwich, a hamburger, a bag of crisps, a kit-kat, a coke and a coffee on this trip (and yes I noticed!). As we sit in silence he leafs noisily through his paper, and the rustling is loud and feels to me like a rude defamation of this precious communal moment. I watch my judgment and annoyance with a wry smile. And wonder how I could give him some feedback in a way that would be useful to him and not just add to the stress he clearly is already in. I don’t manage though I try to say a few things with my eyes, but I don't think eye semaphore worked in this case!

The taxi driver who picks me up from Paddington is funny about my hat. It’s a funky, furry, mauve, hippy Cossack number that Ya’Acov dislikes (is that more war history?). The taxi driver says he thought I looked rather eccentric and was a bit worried about who, or what was getting into his cab. As I am happily sanely eccentric (jn my opinion!) we laugh and soon we are talking about dancing and how much he loves to dance, how much joy it brings, and that any music works for him that moves him, that makes him happy or that makes him cry, and that sometimes, he’s sat back and watched dancers and realised how strange, what are we doing? Why do we need to dance so much? I don’t know either except that it seems to be a human need. Just as singing, dancing and laughing are an intrinsic part of indigenous culture everywhere. I’m aware of how musically noisy our lives are, in shops, on the radio, in restaurants, cafes, bars, and yet we have become more silent. Apparently we sing far less than we did 50 years ago. And laugh far less too. I love the re-awakening to this natural state that can happen so easily when we are in the right setting. It’s as if we can wake from a temporary amnesia, and then our latent and natural capacity to ‘be’ music comes flooding back.

Later, on the way home:

DanSing in Hamburg was very beautiful. After only a little time the choral beauty and strength was apparent. And when we let go and let the body “sound” letting the sound ride out from the movement, what a cacophony of joyous unravelling noise. The freedom to be able to move between the poles of free sounding moving and the strict precision of Takita or the simple gravity of Lam Vam Ram, or the poignant sad, joy of Kwaheri.  YEAH!! This is the freedom I want. In the end these polarities came together in the co-creation of a beautiful spontaneous circle song which led us into a profound silence.

Here they are singing:


 

 

 

A Little Evolution Goes a Long Way

By Ya'Acov

Well that was a wild and windy night. I spent it rolling back and forth across the floor of the lounge of a Condor ferry travelling back to Portsmouth from Jersey. I wasn’t rolling on purpose. It was the heaving up and down of the ship on the waves and this was a time for surrender. No point fighting the ocean or the storm. So I rolled and dreamed of being on a catamaran and surfing down large waves down into the troughs and back up again. The ocean revealed all kinds of mystifying and strange beings who belong to dark and stormy night sea dreams.

And in the morning, still an hour from harbour, the rain was still thick and wintry. We were in a grey world, the only light coming from the twinkling of other ships’ lights as we passed them. It was hard to imagine that the sun was shining beyond the clouds. We were inside the storm, and there was hardly a difference between the colour of sky and sea. The occasional flash of lightening reminded us of the force of nature, not always pretty, not always kind.

Back on dry land now and preparing to teach in Padova, I am learning more and more about how to work with Movement Medicine each time I practice and each time I teach. We spent the month of October at home and much of our time was taken up with preparing for our first teacher training that will begin next summer. I had no idea what a job it was going to be, and what a challenge to get clear about the nature of the training. It’s one thing teaching something as a practice. It’s another entirely teaching people about teaching. And the challenge exists on many levels. We spent a lot of time with each other and a weekend with Sue Kuhn, helping each other to name the factors and skills that underlie something that has become second nature to us. We take some of these things for granted but they need to be named and worked with. For instance, how do we sense what’s going on in the group field and find ways to brings the disparate elements within that field into a sense of connection without losing the power of personal expression and freedom within it. Delightfully, as we worked, we realised that the principles and practices of Movement Medicine held within the mandala we work with are designed to answer many of these questions.

We have been greatly helped in this process by our Pathfinders, Christian de Sousa, Caroline Carey and Mark Boylan who have been part of our first apprenticeship journey. They are all long-term students with us as well as being experienced movement teachers through their work with 5Rhythms. It became clear that working with them as Pathfinders would help us to know what ground we needed to cover in order to support people to hold spaces for others. All of them have now started teaching Movement Medicine as Apprentice Movement Medicine Teachers. If you want to know what they’re up to, check out this link.

The 31st October was the deadline for those on the current apprenticeship to apply for the teacher training and we have been deeply moved by the quality of the applications we have received. It makes such a difference that the apprenticeship is the route for those wanting to teach Movement Medicine or integrate the principles and practices of Movement Medicine into their work. We are delighted that soon, there’s going to be a whole tribe of Movement Medicine Teacher Training apprentices out there sharing their own styles and flavours with a whole host of people. How things grow! To give you a little taste, here’s a few words I received from David Kellett, an apprentice who recently assisted Christian on his inaugural Movement Medicine weekend: “I assisted Christian last week for his Moving Energy workshop. It was fantastic!!! It was very beautiful to feel the Movement Medicine energy that I recognise and love and yet for it to come through the light and colour of Christian. It was both familiar and yet subtly different. It was very inspiring.”

This past week, we spent time with all of the pathfinders at Christian’s house in Oxford, working together and finding out how their teaching practice is going. They also helped us to see how the process was going for us in terms of us preparing to pass our work on to others. The second morning, we danced together to Susannah’s new CD, Elemental, which will be out in time for Christmas. It’s a beautiful guided journey through the elements, led by Susannah over a very lovely remix of her previous music. We danced to it a lot over the summer and I loved it so much that I decided it was time for me to do a workshop with Susannah as soon as I could. I’m excited that I’m going to get the opportunity to dance with her at The Way of the Dancing Warrior workshop later this month in London. After all the travelling we’ve done in search of deep teachings, we landed in that archetypal moment where we’ve recognised that the teachings we need are in our own work and mandala, our own living room, and even more than that, in our own bodies, hearts and minds.

Not that we’re ready to stop studying elsewhere. No chance of that. We both love learning and in the last month, we’ve discovered a delightfully leftfield road to travel down for a little while. We’ll let you know as soon as this new dimension finds its way into our work. Suffice to say for now, it may just bring a smile to your face!

As we continued to work on the training, we also had the time for an autumn clear out. Susannah started a new ayurvedic diet regime and I did another 6-day fast that went very well. We also had time to help our gardener change the garden pond. It was drying out regularly due to a leak in the lining. So, off we went to our local garden centre to procure for ourselves a fabulous moulded affair that we hoped would keep our slug eating frog and toad population happy. As our gardener was digging, he hit some old pipework in the ground. Oh dear, the pond we had was too deep unless we were to dig up the whole garden and re-route the pipework – not a very attractive option! By now, the autumn rains were in full flow. We borrowed a neighbours pick-up truck, strapped the new moulded monstrosity to the roof and returned to the garden centre in search of a shallower, perhaps slightly less ambitious version of pond. By this time, the garden was a muddy mess and so were we but I’m happy to say, the story has a happy ending and our new pond, surrounding plant-life and our amphibian friends are now settling in. Not only that, but it seems to be attracting a lot more species of birds who drop by regularly to drink and wash. After years of relying heavily on garden imagery for our metaphors, our own garden at home is becoming more and more important to us as it continues to evolve a rather exquisite reality all of its own.

After a lot of digging and laughing ‘til we nearly cried, I found I had pulled a muscle in my back. In our opinion, there’s only one place to go in our neck of the woods to help the body to help itself with an injury. So off I went for a session with sports injury specialist Michael Newman. He’s not afraid to go where other therapists may back off. We quote him in our book when we talk about how the body, like the psyche, doesn’t seem to have its own mechanism for recognising when the need for armouring (in the case of the psyche) or scar tissue (in the case of the body) has passed. He knows how to clear out the gritty crystalline material that seems to gather around physical hurts. He dug deep and once again, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry so I did both! As he worked, between the deeper more torturous moments where talking would not be possible, we talked about many things including creating trainings. He’s just begun offering his own training to pass on to others what he’s learned in years of practice and study. He told me a lovely story from when he was studying in China with a very venerable and well-known teacher. During one lesson, this teacher rather dramatically told his students that he was about to tell them the secret to good practice. Eagerly, they whipped out their notebooks and waited on his wise words. Would he be passing on some ancient and secret practice, or sharing some little known acupuncture point that was the key to success and happiness? The old teacher spoke slowly and carefully to make sure his students didn’t miss a word. “Every day, make sure to take a walk in nature.” That was it.

Most of the students were disappointed but Michael told me that it made perfect sense to him. And I must say, it does to me too. Every day in October, we took at least one walk in nature. It was a delight to have the time to witness the full glory of this passing autumn. The riot of colour, the smell of the leaf coloured muddy pathways and the bright frosty mornings we had from time to time, were a joy.

In our dance, we spend a lot of time coming into a deeper and more conscious relationship with the elemental world. Embodying our relationship with the elements and dancing to bring them into balance is one of the deepest processes we work with. It connects us to places in our own nature where just like the natural world, we just are what we are. The silver birch tree isn’t an oak and the river idling by or rushing headlong towards is the sea isn’t the same as the fire that burns in our living room fireplace. Nature is such a great teacher because it is what it is. And we could all do with a little more ability to simply be what we are. So whether it’s in the woods or on the dance floor, maybe we’ll meet somewhere on the merry road when we decide to heed the old teacher’s words and one of these days, take a walk in nature.

November blessings for one and all.

Ya’Acov. November 2010.

 

If you are interested in training to teach Movement Medicine or learning to integrate it into your work, the next teacher training will begin in March 2014. It follows the next apprenticeship which begins in March 2012. For those thinking about taking this path, please check this link which has all the details about prerequisites. One of the prerequisites is the Phoenix Retreat which happens in April 2011. At the time of writing, there are only 7 places left.

 

 

 

 

 

Finding my body in the grave

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

By Ailsa Lucas

I want to capture something of this moment in my life and share it with you, knowing that by the time I have finished writing, and certainly by the time you read what I write, my perspective will have changed again!

But it feels a precious time. A waking up from sleep time. A rich time to share.

Where to begin? Well … as I write, I feel profound gratitude for the powerful part played by Ya’Acov’s Burial Ceremony in this awakening, so I will begin there.

I was not scared in the least in the time leading up to the ceremony. Just open to each moment as it came.

Then, as I accepted the invitation to be helped in to my grave, I felt absolute terror. I felt sick and absolutely sure there was no way I could do it.

I called for the help, for the human contact, I needed … And I received such beautiful care.

I took, and was given, all the space I needed, all the time I needed, all the holding I needed, to truly feel ready to go inside. And when I was full. When I was ready. Once I had found, inside myself, what I needed to move through my fear. I let myself be buried. And I let them go.

And I found myself in one of the most peaceful, beautiful spaces I had known.

It was a place to reflect on my life, my death, my relationships, my place in this dance of life. But more than anything, it was a place to find my body. A place to find my ground.

When I returned home, some days later, I chose to commit to finding my ground, to finding my body each day as I rose out of bed. And throughout each day, where I found myself rushing forward without myself, full of tension, the phrase ‘there is time to find my ground’ would come and support me to take the time to feel in to my body, to come back in to the moment, to come back in to presence.

I have often noticed that despite my 17 year love affair with Five Rhythms and Movement Medicine, I have spent lots and lots of time wanting classes to end! In recent weeks I discovered a new curiosity: What is going on inside me when I’m wanting out. And that exploration has been profound.

Through all this I have found an exquisite new connection with my body.

I have often heard people say how much difference it makes to BE in your body, but when you’ve spent your whole life pretty disconnected, it’s hard to imagine what that difference could really be like. I have to say that I feel it is one of the biggest breakthroughs of my life!

You may wonder how I have managed to do this work for so long without finding a deep connection with my body. I guess one answer is that there were other things I needed to do first. From where I am, I actually find it hard to believe it has been possible for me to find this at all. I feel that what I am doing here is healing one of my deepest wounds.

And it is good. It is good! Much of the time I feel completely open to receiving the shifting, changing experience of sensation in my body. I feel exquisite pleasure. And I can be in and move through fear, anger and sadness. Being able to be with my feelings is huge. Just huge.

I am just astounded to find myself, again and again, able to move in to contact and able to stay in contact with others if I want to, with no sense of needing to run away to avoid my fear. Often it just feels easy and lovely! And I never would have believed this was possible for me.

I am finding that when I am in touch with my body, I am able to act with greater sensitivity, wisdom, integrity, ease, and positive effect.

And I find myself knowing that in so many different areas of my life I can move beyond what has been my safe territory. I know I am now equipped to offer much more of myself.

It is early days, and everything feels up in the air and unknown, but I feel I am on a delicious adventure.

Thank you to Ya’Acov and all those with whom I took my journey in to the ground, especially those who supported me so beautifully. Thank you too Susannah and my fellow travellers on Initiation, the Phoenix and Awakening, the discoveries and incantations from which all seem to meet, to coalesce at this point! And thank you to all who journey here, for the unique presence, perspective and wisdom that you bring to this powerful healing field.

Much love,

Ailsa  ailsa.david@gmail.com

Initiated into the elements…
By Veena Vasista

To initiate means, according to one on-line definition, ‘to introduce into the knowledge of some art or subject’ and ‘to admit or accept with formal rites into an organization or group, secret knowledge, adult society, etc.’  Initiation, therefore, is the act of doing the above. Two months ago, I completed the School of Movement Medicine Initiation workshop.

The label is relevant on a range of levels and in relation to both definitions. What I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how the workshop was an initiation, for me, into the four elements: air, water, earth, fire.

We kicked off the workshop with a focus on the elements, something I had not done much of before. A seed was planted in me that has since continued to grow and grow. It is flowering day after day into a greater awareness of the elements. I find myself thinking about what they symbolize, how they interact around me and in me. I’m increasingly using my awareness of them to help find balance in those unstable moments we all have. For example, if I’m feeling anxious, I think about ways I can ground myself, connect with the earth while my heart races and I get jumpy – a mixture fire and air getting out of control.

At the beginning of October, a friend and I went on a four day hike. Quite whimsically on the first day, I suggested that we devote each day to an element. We observed and contemplated it around us in and within us. While we may not have danced the elements in the sense of embodying them in our movement (for example, moving as if we were fire), we were dancing with them each day – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

On this four day hike, it became clear to me that the elements are valuable tools.  As we walked and talked about the elements, my friend and I began to see new connections with which we are still dancing, and continue to bring forth fruits of learning. In particular, I was surprised to realise the complex relationships the elements have with each other. Before, I would think that air fuels fire and earth puts it out, tames it. Simple. But then I remember that wood fuels fire. Not so simple. Similarly, fire gives heat and life, but fire also burns and destroys. Water can hold us and comprises seventy-five percent of us, but it can also drown us. And so forth. Through the elements, I am reminded that all our relationships – with ourselves and the world around us - have an aspect of both creation and destruction within them. As we dance with the elements on a day to day basis, it helps to have an awareness of this duality.

In short, having been initiated into the elements – air, water, earth, fire - I have also been initiated into a deeper understanding of my Self.

veena vasista  14 November 2010

http://www.dancingalltheway.com

 

 

Le Petit Gourmand. (the little greedy)

Chris Sherville regularly cooks for School of Movement Medicine events at the Rill Centre in Devon. Many of you have asked for his recipes. He now has a new website where some of his delicious recipes are available as well as his blog about, well about whatever crosses his mind! As those of you who have met him know, he has quite a sense of humour. Read on…..

By Chris Sherville

www.lepetitgourmand.co.uk

It is not a question I had ever had to ask myself, until I met The School of Movement Medicine. What do you give people for breakfast, who’ve spent all night in a grave?


Being a vegetarian course, blood products were, for obvious reasons, off the menu and anyway, you can’t get ‘huggy’ dragging those drip stands around.

I suppose ‘looking like death’ is considered a good thing at that stage of the process and it was not surprising when you consider that Y’Acov and his assistants were wondering the hillside beating drums, keeping you all awake, like hooligan, woodland faeries. I would have thought getting tucked up into an early grave for a nice bit of sleep could have been ok, if a bit unusual.

Thankfully, although you appeared to have come straight from the set of a George. A. Romero film, you settled down to a nice breakfast of Meusli and Barley cup (that’s another first for me) and we, in the kitchen could get on with preparing another yummy dinner of veg and 2 veg.

(Actually, if I can be frank, I think you got the wrong sort of Indians. I mean, Elk, Moose and Bison are not exactly roaming the Devon countryside and my suppliers have never even heard of Pemmican. On the other hand, vegetable tikka masala can be found on almost every high street and let’s face it, Yoga is a bit of a doddle, just a lot of lying around in weird positions. But no, Y’Acov wants you to follow the great parrot and the big bear across the big plain without considering the problems for the kitchen. Me, Me, Me, I say!)

But, even though folk who dance around in their pyjamas all day, wailing, might be considered certifiable in some quarters, we come from a broad church and have learnt to keep ourselves squirreled away in the kitchen, listening to The Archers and wondering what to do with quinoa…again, only occasionally venturing out for a random hug and see you climb the walls because there was refined sugar in the desert.

In all seriousness, we have had a journey of our own and met some lovely, lovely people. We have had the challenge of cooking food that had never even crossed my mind and had some fun  and learnt something while we did it. I hope you might find reading the blog useful and you can use the recipes for some of the food you have enjoyed, which will be uploaded on a regular basis.

 

 

Good News!

By Susannah

6 Billion Reasons spreads its wings and becomes Mosaic:Earth. Read more about the story below. Check out oneclimate.net for Mosaic: Earth and tell your friends!

Thanks to the work and commitment of One Climate, 6 Billion Reasons is transforming into its next incarnation. I am blown away, happy, relieved, amazed, and grateful. It’s been re-named “Mosaic:Earth” and is being supported by the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA) and will be attached to The Prince of Wales film ‘Harmony’ which will be seen all over the world. You’ll be able to add your own messages and visuals soon. (We’ll let you know!) Thank you to all of you who supported it in different ways, and who have put up images, messages and videos. Here’s my part of the story!

In 2008 when we first saw the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium created by the Pachamama Alliance, I was startled, inspired and challenged by Van Jones saying: “A standing ovation starts with one fool standing up”. In the early summer of 2009 I had an insistent vision. It kept coming back and just would not go away. It was to create a “standing ovation for life on earth,” a project to empower all of us to become visible, creative, and to give the politicians at the Climate Change summits courage and a clear, strong mandate from the earth’s people. I saw people standing up holding a coloured disc, either solo or in groups large and small, making patterns which could be read from a satellite to say “I care about life on earth, I mandate you the politicians, to make the leap, to work together, to think out of the box, to put the future first.” I saw rainbow serpents emerging and dancing on the earth, each dot representing one human being,

I hesitated for ages, feeling that I couldn’t do it, didn’t know how to do it. Surely someone else would! Ya’Acov encouraged me, and after a while of sharing with friends who were supportive and could see the potential, I realized, one misty day walking in the forest, that if Standing Ovation Day was a cloudy day we’d be skuppered! **** I couldn’t believe that this vision had come and bothered me so much for nothing, there must be a next step! Eventually Nick Hart Williams helped us realise that this dream could be played in cyber space, where it could be creative, long lasting, far-reaching, potent, intimate AND global. He put us in touch with the amazing Anuradha Vittachi (journalist, author and catalyst) and Peter Armstrong (award winning pioneer in interactive media) who created One Climate many years ago. They both found their hearts saying a huge YES to this project which resonated with a life-defining and compelling dream of Anuradha’s and an alliance was born. Soon after this I went to meeting, told people about this project and was given a cheque for a large amount by a woman who got “it”. I returned home weeping with joy and surprise. The universe turns. Rosie Perks (the designer of our website and our visuals ) came on board sparked by the same sense of earth love, worked with Peter and Anuradha to design the 6 Billion Reasons website. The logo is her beautiful creation.

Then we began working towards Copenhagen and it all got sticky. We were all over stretched. The money we had been given ran out. Somehow, after that impressive start, I couldn’t seem to raise more. Peter and Anuradha’s team put everything into getting it usable in time and they de-stabilised their own non-profit by over stretching their budget, their noble team and themselves.

Since Copenhagen Peter and Anuradha have been working steadily to steady their own boat and to continue to hold the flame of this vision. Sensing that they had become the main “parents” of this child, and that it was in their care now, and that we couldn’t do anything to support them until their own ideas and initiatives clarified, this time for me became about waiting, supporting, praying, and learning (again and again!) to trust the process and the grace of timing. And, after months of resting (thank you to Ya’Acov and to Sarah Patterson who have supported me in this, and I’ve needed their support! in the not knowing), this news arrived from Anuradha:

The Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA), the world's biggest civil society global climate coalition, agreed to support the next phase of the development of 6BR, now renamed 'Mosaic:Earth' ... and we are working hard to ensure that they, or some of their contacts, will also support the next-next phase of its development too.

GCCA have linked up with Prince Charles and his 'Harmony' group. You will no doubt have head about 'Harmony'- Prince Charles’s new book and film in which he has set out his own personal view of how we can live sustainably to protect the long-term future of our planet. ‘Harmony’ challenges the reader/viewer to reconsider the assumptions that determine how we live, and how we might change in seeking a more durable future for humankind. ... For the first time it reveals the philosophical convictions that drives The Prince of Wales’s diverse initiatives, highlighting the truly interconnected character of the world and demonstrating how Nature herself can help us to mend the crisis of perception that lies at the heart of so many modern challenges. ‘Harmony’ presents an integrated view of how we might positively address the awesome challenges that confront humankind. Harmony is a call to global action.

The "call to global action" is where we come in. At the end of the film, the audience will be presented with Mosaic:Earth - so wherever the film is shown, the mosaic will be seen too!  We now have some 40,000 images on an amazing new-look screen.  

We have worked so hard since September 2009 over this baby of ours, and I was almost beginning to feel despair when it finally broke through, and I know you too were torn between belief and despair, but it is really out there now. 

It was also worrying to me at one point that the approach could have fallen into danger, getting hijacked into the old way of thinking - the goal-oriented, fix-it, power-based, hurry-hurry, push-push mentality, instead of something that included action and expansion but also allowed space for beauty and creativity, wonder and inspiration, and going to the heart of what really deeply matters to people, the place of really profound motivation to change one’s own life, not just control the lives of others. But luckily we arrived at a great middle path – which also meant that the approach was much more conducive to Prince Charles's team wanting to work with us than if it had gone the simply fix-it way. 

Now that it is a widget, everyone who uses it on their own site will begin to 'own' it, of course, so that very soon it will break away and take on its own life, rippling out everywhere.

Yes, do tell everyone now - though it is best not to add any new images till December. Grappling with 40,000 images is enough for Ken right now!

- We'll also be showing it in Cancun in December. 

- The feature length (90 minute) Harmony film will premiered at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival in February. 

- Later in spring, the film will be promoted widely around the world: there is an expectation that 4-5 million people will see the film, and thus the mosaic too. 

- It is being promoted to all of GCCA's hundreds of big and small NGO partners around the world - and to incentivise NGOs to take it and ripple it out to a wider and wider audience, Ken and Gopal have developed a special widget. This enables NGOs to pick up and take the whole thing and put it on their own sites. This will give each NGO more incentive to use and promote the mosaic than if they felt they had to direct their audience to the OneClimate site - though of course it will also live on the OC and the GCCA sites. 

We also have some other cutting-edge ideas about how to develop this technology, though we'll have to wait for a new tranche of funding before we go there.”

So there we are. I am happy and grateful to all who have supported this vision, especially, of course Ya’Acov who has been with me in this all the way through, stabilizing me as I’ve experienced the heights of delight and moments of despair, to Sarah Patterson, who has been alongside the vision all the way, to Rosie, and Ruth Ben Tovim, and to the surprise donation from Anne Meike and Reinhardt’s wedding guests (Reinhardt and Anne Meike asked their guests to make their wedding gift into a donation to a charity, one of which was 6 Billion Reasons). This unlooked for donation came at a moment when I felt that maybe it had run into ground and was not going to find the buoyancy to re-float itself, and revived my faith. THANK YOU!

And to Peter and Anuradha I take my hat off. The way they have adopted this dream made it their own and given it roots and wings is such a beautiful blessing. This is their moment and their success and I’m so happy to let the dream fly free and become what it can be, for the sake of all the beautiful beings on this planet, and for all our children,

We’ll keep you posted and let you know how you can participate, if you want to!

Love to you wherever you are, keep the faith in your dreams, and the co-creative power of possibility,

Love,

 

Susannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

More good news!

By Susannah

1) You can save (1.9 square meters) of rainforest every time you make an internet  search by using Ecosia.  www.ecosia.org

2) Michael Newman, the sports injury specialist who has rescued our bodies many times from injury and who is a master, is finally passing on his gold dust work and training people. If you are a body worker or want to be, we couldn’t recommend him more highly. michaelnewman525@btinternet.com

3) 6 Billion Reasons spreads its wings and becomes Global:Mosaic, read more about Susannah’s story in the  article Good News!

4) The Way of the Dancing Warrior comes to London (27-28 November). A wonderful crew are gathering to dance this cornerstone inner work of Movement Medicine. It’s about standing up tall in the centre of your own circle, and creating your own energetically potent inner medicine wheel. Developing strength, faith, fluidity and connection with that which guides you. One aspect of this is discovering the allies of the elements, and how they can support the creative, potent, empowered and connected human being in each of us. I love that we can learn and practise so much to expand the possibilities of our humanity in what I call the ‘joy stream’ of the dance. The weekend will offer you the possibility of deep dancing experience, and you will learn tools which you can take with you and use in your day to day life, whether you are on the dance floor or not. The kind of warrior we are talking about is balanced and awake in both yin and yang (i.e. its not about becoming “tough” but balancing strength and sensitivity) and can find the fluidity and power to respond to life in choiceful, creative ways.

Sometime in the weekend we will learn the Hussle, a groovy dance prayer to the 4 directions, and continue to develop Alex’s Mass on Party dream. You are welcome! More info: alexhanly@hotmail.com  Or call Alex on: 0786 8842219

5) My new CD ‘Elemental’ had its first semi public ‘coming out’ in Oxford last week, and did its stuff. Its in the hands of its mixing engineer, Soli Marshall, for last tweeks, and we intend it to be available very soon! www.movementmedicineshop.com

Also we have a new Kila album in, and the Long Dance album is proceeding apace, and should be ready early next year.

6) I’m learning to twit, and rather enjoying it, our twits (I know!) are on ……

 

I wish us all love, joy, strength and the joy of co-creation with life,

 

Susannah

 

 

 

 

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