School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: May 2011
Do you have a dream? You did once.

By Ya'Acov

I have spent the past 4 days in skype sessions with our teacher training apprentices in preparation for the first module of our inaugural teacher training which is due to begin at the end of June. I have been so deeply touched by the process in so many ways. It has left me more committed than ever to the dance and to Movement Medicine in particular.


For the past 23 years, I have travelled and met and danced with thousands of people from many, many walks of life. In the mirror of the groups I work with, I have seen again and again my own capacity for disconnection and separation from life. I have seen again and again how we are nearly all (there have been one or two exceptions) in recovery from the education we were subjected to, both through the schooling system and through the culture. We have been trained to conform. And we have been trained to be afraid of getting things wrong. Mass education came into being during the industrial revolution. Its aim was to produce good workers. And it succeeded. But for now, at a time when we are faced with the biggest challenges we have faced for a very long time, maybe the biggest challenges we have ever faced, education based on producing heroic workers and consumers well trained to conform to social norms that are clearly failing in so many respects is not only unhelpful, it’s verging on madness.

If we are so afraid of getting things wrong, how dare we try anything new? Getting things right is not a bad thing in itself. Of course not! But when we are trained that anything other than an accurate repetition and giving back of the ideas we have been asked to cram our brain cells with is ‘wrong,’ then our idea of success will not add up to much.

Where is the education that leads us to find out who we are, what we care about, what we are here for? Where is the education that draws out of us what we know? Where is the education (and this is the killer!) that teaches us how to be creative and to risk getting things ‘wrong’ in order to find a better ‘right.’

Ah yes, back to that commitment thing I was telling you about. The dance teaches us about our own resources. It reintroduces us to the capacity to be creative, to imagine. And as many people have said, one of the greatest crises we face today is a crisis of imagination. Learning means being willing to be a fool. It means being willing to question our assumptions about our selves, about life, about each other. Without imagination and creativity, we are, in the immortal words of the song by Katie Goodman that may well be being played on a dance floor near you, f**ked! Great song by the way – it ends with the marvellous and passionate call to action: “I want to be an Un-F**ker!’

I wish to bow to all the thousands of dancers who have dared to step on to dance floors and take the risk of looking like a fool. And that includes me. And I truly did look like a fool when I first took the risk but the truth is, that very soon, I learned not to care. And I want to bow to all those who are risking this evolution of education that is Movement Medicine (and the many other wonderful emergent practices in the field of creativity) through our apprenticeship and teacher training. If we can get the story out there to as many people as possible (and yes, I am on a mission!) that each one of us, each one of you, is an extraordinary and creative being who has access to the intelligence of the dancer inside them and the resources to create with life for the good of all, then let’s do it. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if this kind of dance, that invites creativity and the direct experience of interconnection, were available in every school across the land?

So, challenged as we are by failing economies and changing weather patterns and who knows what challenges that lie ahead, I invite you again, as I intend to again and again until there ain’t no more breath in these lungs and movement in these fingers, to come and find your movement medicine.

Come to the Long Dance (yes there are still places left) and pray your socks off through the dance and dream your dreams for yourself and for all of life whilst you still can.

Or come and dance and dig your grave for the burial ceremony happening in Belgium in September and leave behind some of those old and no longer useful skins that get in the way of you being who you are and giving what you’ve got.

Or come and take the Initiation journey and rewrite some of the chapters of your life with the help of the creative flair of the dancer inside you.

Or come to one of the weekends Susannah and I are teaching in the next few weeks and wake up that dancer again as the summer calls us into a new season of fruit!

A wise one told me that everything matters, that everything makes a difference, that you matter, and that you make a difference. Yes you. And yes me too. And that’s even more true when a group of people come together with a shared intention to make a difference. All over this planet, in ceremonies and rituals, people dance for life around the time of the summer solstice. The idea of giving our time and our energy back to life in gratitude for life and reconnecting with the bigger picture in which our individual story exists, is an ancient one and a timely one. Our ancestors used to do it. And for me, it’s time we dusted down our old dreaming skills, shook off a little of the nonsense we may have learned from the great education establishments that told us we shouldn’t-couldn’t-mustn’t, and re-find the medicine that each one of us carries in the cells that make up this great gift of the physical body. And who knows, those dreams you came here to dream may just shake themselves down too and come and join you for a good old wiggle. All it takes a little imagination.

Ya’Acov. May 2011.

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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.