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Issue: June Newsletter
Re-Source Life Lab, My Report on this Growing Edge of My Own Teaching Practice

By Susannah
I was excited and a bit nervous about delivering my new concept Life Lab weekend 'workshop' in London a few weeks ago. On my birthday vision quest last summer I received a clear sense that one important direction for me at this point in my life is about bringing the learning from my life so far, including Movement Medicine itself, into the mainstream. I have the feeling that we are ready for the mainstream and the mainstream is ready for us. I have the feeling that I am ready for the mainstream and the mainstream is ready for me.

So, I came to this weekend in London with the intention to teach five simple practices to support people to learn how to develop more presence, potency, partnership, perspective and purpose.

I wanted people to understand what we were doing, and why. I wanted people to try out these practices, to reflect upon how it affected them, to adjust them, and through that to be able to take home something that they understood and had made their own. And I wanted this approach to work for people who dance as a central part of their life path, and for those who don’t identify with being dancers. I wanted to offer simple practices that are about HOW we do everyday life, rather than adding a whole new to-do list of practices which make us feel even more 'not good enough' when we just can’t/don’t find the time to do them.

So why was I nervous? Well, first of all, it was a completely new approach. It demanded a different kind of focus of me and of all of us. And, in my workshop life, I have ‘grown up’ in contexts which value deep felt experience over cognition, reflection and understanding. I was a little concerned that people might not connect with this different style.

So what happened? I felt as if my ‘teacher’ self had leg-room in the way she does on the Movement Medicine professional training. I was delighted by the level of energy, fascination and joy generated as we practised, reflected and learnt. The feedback I have had since has been great. So many people on the weekend thanked me for this new approach, saying something along the lines of “I love having those deep experiences, but as I don’t understand how what has happened has happened, I don’t know how to generate anything like the same experience for myself. So I go home and gradually the workshop experience fades and I don’t have any idea how to get back anywhere near it. THANK YOU! Now I do!”

One of the strongest things that happened for me was seeing, sensing and feeling how the atmosphere in the room completely changed every time we started practising generous, appreciative communication, whether it was verbal or non verbal. People literally lit up in the giving as much as in the receiving. This is what I have taken away with me, even stronger than before, a recognition of how profoundly we affect each other. The energy of how I am with everyone, whether it’s the bus driver, someone on the street, or people in a restaurant, or in a workshop ripples out and ripples back in. If I am warm and generous, apart from how it affects the recipient, I myself have made me feel good inside. Apparently I called it the 'love ripple effect' which I rather like.

So, thank you to all the dancers who came, and to everything I learnt from and with you, to Alex Hanley for organising, to Alex and Gabriel and Ed for help with the design inspiration, to all the Movement Medicine teachers, organisers and dancers who have asked me to go on developing this strand of the work. And thanks to Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer who wrote to me afterwards:

“Life Lab was an inspired idea. Bringing the MM gold nuggets for daily living to a weekend workshop worked well in my experience and I felt the depth was there too. I mention that as you said it was a concern/question you had at the outset. At this workshop I felt the depth as a vibrancy, a light, joy, connection which was a little different to the depth of healing, transformation and recovery that I notice/experience when there is more ongoing movement.

I've taken a number of simple things away from the workshop, things I've heard a million times before but never ACTUALLY do. And I'm doing them! Turns out that's where the magic is, haha! But the top thing I've taken away is this understanding that every moment is an opportunity to 'create the love affect'. That's really with me. I saw over the weekend how you truly LOVE moment by moment, in your responses, attitude, actions … it was utterly evident in all your interactions. So beautiful. You also reminded me how playfulness and lightness are so much a part of being loving. Thank you!”

I look forward to sharing and developing more of this work over the months and years to follow. It’s already appearing on our calendar. And I will also go on making magical journeys where you can simply let go and dive deep into music and my invocation and be carried to where your soul dreams and you can hear your guiding star whispering through your vibrating cells rocked in the pulse of life. It all has its place, bless you,

Love,

Susannah

And a big thank you to Jan Lee who we’ve known for many years, who brought her connection with Syria with such grace and enabled the participants on this workshop to experience their generosity and to contribute several hundred pounds to support a hospital in Syria which is the only one in its area (near where the gas attacks happened) which is still functioning, as the others have suffered bombing. Jan says:

The doctor at the hospital has personally received the donations collected at Life Lab, and he thanks each and every one of those who donated.

I am encouraged that some participants would like to do more for the hospital and are intending to Long dance for Syria. Should anyone want to make further donations, it is best to contact me personally for further information. My email: janrosalily@gmail.com, through Facebook: Jan Rosa Lily. My paypal account is currently not functioning.”

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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. schoolofmovementmedicine.com