School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: May Newsletter
Celebrating a New Beginning and the End of an Era

By Susannah
I want to share some celebrations with you. David Rose and I have just completed the first side-by-side electives at Rill. These are part of the new format of a more flexible and personalised Apprenticeship Programme. The electives are open to anyone who is an Apprentice or who has completed an Apprenticeship in the past. They are designed as part of a rolling programme of deep work that is open to those who have committed to this level of work with Movement Medicine and us.

A couple of years ago we realised that the facilities at Rill lend themselves to the possibility of smaller courses going on side by side. This was a “Halleluiah!” moment as it opened up the possibility of smaller courses with individual and small group work. And it was somehow obvious that David Rose and I should offer the first ones alongside one another. Along with Sue Kuhn and Jo Hardy, David has been an elder for the School of Movement Medicine since our launch in 2007, bringing his gravitas and professional excellence to help us establish the vibration of the School.

David Rose was offering his Soul Medicine work using movement and ceremonial theatre. This is deep individual work within a group field and a field of ceremonial awareness. It has resonances with constellations work, is very much in keeping with the ethos of Movement Medicine and at the same time is very much David’s unique creation and medicine. In particular, he interweaves the personal threads of the work within an awareness of the bigger, wider context. Only an elder of decades of such work could bring this in the way he does. He was ably assisted by Rosie Perks (faculty member of the School) who worked alongside him, bringing her own experience of working with individual and collective process in her Totnes based ongoing groups and workshops for the School.

I was offering “Kindness in the Mirror” my video feedback work which was honed through the years of all those amazing ongoing groups: Fundamentals, Journey of Empowerment and all their other names which I can’t even remember right now. In this work each person is videoed dancing, and then, with my help, works with what they see, and how they see it. Ultimately we look to find love and truth in the seeing. As you can imagine, for many people this brings a deep meeting with their own self-judgement and inner criticism. So it becomes a multi-layered process, not just of witnessing ourselves dancing, but becoming the witness of how we treat ourselves, how we think of ourselves, how we love and uphold or destruct and belittle ourselves. I love this work. It gives me a chance to bring together my medicine woman and my therapist and to see and work with each individual in the field of love and honesty that becomes deeper and deeper as we do this work.

A strange and wonderful thing happens when we connect this feedback loop. We dance and we are videoed. We know how that feels in our bodies. The next day we watch ourselves on the big screen. The inner information of how it felt comes together with the outer information of how it looks, and this novel combination of information often illuminates unexpected self-knowledge. This awareness enables us to learn and accept more of who we are and to naturally give ourselves the next step of permission to let our souls shine.

The first time I ever did this was on a Gestalt weekend with Ursula Fawcett and Charles Sherno. I saw my beauty, grace, freedom and deep shyness and felt so much love for myself. I will always be grateful for the way Charles sat with me, so kindly connected, in that process. The next time I experienced this was on a training in the States with Gabrielle Roth. Lori Salzmann sat with me in that video feedback. I had felt that I was letting so much raw power out in my dance, but what I saw was how much I was holding it in and back. That really made a difference. Thank you Lori!

It becomes obvious again and again to me that once we dare to stand in the truth the love comes naturally. And once we stand in the love the truth becomes possible and wants to come through. They birth each other. And, when our fears and wounds, together with our beauty and strength, are out in the light, simply acknowledged, we become more loved- not less. More beautiful- not less, more fully ourselves- not less. We bring ourselves in our full humanity to each other, and to the great mystery/god/spirit and we find we are received. For me, this is holy communion.

In the old days of my ongoing groups, on the middle module we would do this video work and we would do this process with 40 individuals. It was deep and wonderful and, as those of you who were there can attest, I imagine, also gruelling and LONG. So, for these video electives I was very clear that I would only work with a much smaller group. And it was wonderful. We were able to do 2 feedback processes for everyone and the evolution from the first to the second was clear to see. We have made this shift, bringing some of the work including the video feedback that I was doing in the Journey of Empowerment into the Apprenticeship as we have recognised that it is Apprenticeship level work. I thank Anna Sierpowska and Joanne Breton, who assisted, for the depth and generosity of their assisting and their kindness to me and to everyone.

And then we had the novel and beautiful feeling of two groups working alongside each other, doing similar and different work. We were two groups and also one. We started and ended together, and danced together every morning and one evening with the whole group together, which allowed a wonderful cross-fertilisation and mutual witnessing to occur. One evening most of us went out to Schumacher to hear Pat McCabe of Dine Nation (Dinetah) and Tiokasin of Lakota Nation speak. Thank you Pat and Tiokasin for that deep inspiration.

And we ended as one group on Sunday morning, to gather the medicine, to honour and thank each other, to bless our own and each other’s ongoing journeys and, as representatives of the whole, to thank and honour David Rose as he completed his era as part of the School of Movement Medicine. David has decided that it’s time for him to focus on his own work professionally, and to let our friendship rather than our colleague-ship take centre stage again in the space between us.

We met David in 1987, a year after Ya’Acov and I met and became partners. Since then we all did our training together with Gabrielle Roth which began in 1989. David has been there for so many momentous moments in our life. He was there for our first 5 Rhythms workshop at Bodywise in Bethnal Green, held the chupah at our wedding, was there with Julie his wife for the birth of our son, and was, along with Sue Kuhn and Jo Hardy, an immense stabiliser and wisdom bringer at the tumultuous time of the birth of our School of Movement Medicine in 2007. And now he is the first of the elders and pathfinders to let go of this role in the School.

We want to honour all the extra-ordinary work David has done with individual Apprentices and Professional trainees. We know that when someone comes to graduation having been working with David, they have been prepared, challenged and supported with great care, respect and professionalism.

Ya’Acov and I thank you David for all your support, your professionalism, your good heart, all the great fun and laughter we have shared, your wisdom, sitting at our side during ceremony after ceremony, especially the Long Dance, your one-to-one work with our apprentices, all of these things have been of such value to them and to us. We are grateful, honour you for the choice to let go and look forward to the next era of our journey,

Wishing everyone who was at these electives the best possible integrations and continuations.

With love, Susannah

Here you find more informatino on the MM Apprenticeship Programme

And if you wish, watch this video, linking in with the theme of this article.

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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.