School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: April 2009
Bursting the Comfy Bubble

by Susannah
Dear friends,

I’m sitting in the sun on this perfect Sunday morning. I’m grateful for the warmth on my face, the well being in my body, for life, the green of the garden, for my husband, our dog, our blossoming work, the book which we’ve written, the network of amazing people of which we are part. And at the same time I know that the world is in crisis; ecologically and economically. It’s so easy to sit in my comfy bubble and not REALLY get the urgency and yet I’ve known this was coming since I was a child.

We do all the things we know how to do: we catch the train, we buy green electricity, organic, fair trade, low food miles… But it’s not enough. For all the rhetoric, good intentions and actions; mine, yours, and the politicians, CO2 emissions are still increasing. We’re still accelerating, and knowingly, towards that brick wall. What do we do? What do I do? For some time now I’ve been restless, feeling like I’m not doing enough. Not using my big mouth strongly enough. I’ve even wondered about becoming a politician.

Last week we took part in the Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposium facilitators training led by 5 Rhythms teacher Bernadette Ryder. The Pachamama Alliance’s guiding intention is to bring forth a human presence on the earth which is environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling. Wow. What audacity! And RIGHT ON, those 3 strands stand together.

I did the symposium some time ago with Bernadette, but this time I got it on another level. The material that the Pachamama alliance has created is formidable. Its been created with great consciousness, love, skill and knowledge. I found it a powerful and inspirational wake up call to what is happening and to realise where it comes from, in history and in our collective “unexamined assumptions.” This is what is so radical about this material. It does not just hit you with the bad news in a potent and heartfully meaningful way. It helps you see where we have been operating from. As someone says in the sympoium presentation, “it’s not that we are inherently flawed, but that we have been mistaken.”  This speaks to a great pain in my heart. Because, since I was a child, I have looked at what we humans do to the earth and to each other, and, deep down, thought that maybe we humans were a mistake. The symposium goes onto give a deeply inspiring presentation of the “new paradigm” of systemic, interconnected thinking, feeling and action.

I feel that we have found a new set of partners, a new resource which goes hand in hand with the work of the School of Movement Medicine. Ages ago, when Ya’Acov and I were first together, and we were called Mikk and Opi, we started our work together as the MikkOpi project. Recently I found the MikkOpi project file. In it, I had written that our project was about healing: intra personal, interpersonal, intercultural and healing of the relationship between us humans and the earth. We’re clearly not completely fulfilling that intention yet, but we are moving in that direction.

When I met Ya’Acov I felt as if we were an eagle and a dolphin who had been travelling for a long time in the same direction, and then finally saw each other and met to share the journey. Meeting the Pachamama alliance feels similar, like a joining of two rivers. I feel immensely relieved and a lightness and joy about knowing what to do and at the same time a responsibility to use what we have just been given. See Ya’Acov’s article about his upcoming For All Our Relations workshop for the first chance to experience the coming together of these rivers. There will be more, much more, to come. Watch this space. We are looking for how to bring our work to the symposium and the symposium to our work. What is happening for me right now is a sense of joining, of reaching out hands, of a new sense of what collaboration and co-creation could mean.

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet, see the film Age Of Stupid and get yourself to a Pachamama symposium. In the UK the PachaMama network is being co-ordinated by Be the Change. See
I am reminded of the text from the “Letter from the Grandmother’s” which Hans contributed to the newsletter a while ago. This is my abbreviated version of my favourite bits:

“You won’t be swept away by the changes sweeping across the world, and neither will you lull yourself into false security by ignoring the obvious. You will be able to stay tuned to ‘reality,’ move and act in a real way, but you won’t be overburdened by seriousness. You will be able to enjoy your life, stay awake... and be of service to others ....... Do not try to save yourself... Thinking like that is utter foolishness. It is nonsense. How does a thread remove itself from the tapestry of which it is a part, in order to ‘save’ itself? Nonsense,” they said again. “Send love,” they said, nodding emphatically. “Give love. Dive into life and serve wherever you can,” they said.

To me right now the key to everything is the heart. And for the heart to be awake and available to life; to live, to love, to feel, to breath, to express, to communicate, to receive, to heal, to guide, to act, our bodies need to be open, to be free. And for our bodies to be open, or free, we need to become unafraid of our hearts, of our passion, of our vulnerability, of our tenderness, of our strength. And it’s all a process which takes time. Certainly for me! Step by step for each one of us and for us as team humanity.

Sometimes my cynic says, “well, we’ve blown it, we’re just not good (as a species) at dealing with long term problems.” At the same time I remember Ken Wilber talking about adaptive pressure and that radical evolutionary change only comes when it is really needed. And I remember many times in recent workshops when, after begiing to practice waking up emobided cosciousness of self, other and the space between us all, the group started to act with a spontaneous intelligence and kindness which was bigger than any of the individuals in it. As if the cells of the organism, waking up in themselves and to each other allow the organism itself new possibilities. So I wonder, with the Grandmothers, when they say:

“You will never be able to figure out what is happening on your planet now, no matter how long you live or how hard you try. What is transpiring is far beyond your comprehension. And…” they said, looking at me from under raised brows, “the pace of change is accelerating so quickly that your mind cannot follow it.” Shaking their heads, they said, “Keep it simple. Love and serve,” they said, “love and serve.”

I wish you a beautiful spring, receiving the blessings you have, and spreading the gold dust of your love, and enjoying the gift of being in a body, being a heart and a mind, and of dancing, singing, speaking, loving and acting from your heart,

See you on a dance floor, or on the forest floor, or in our dreams,


Susannah DK
Susannah Ongoing Group The Journey starts in July.  For more details go to


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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.