School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion
 
Issue: March Newsletter

Our Community and Upcoming Events and Workshops
By Hanna
I welcome you to another Movement Medicine Newsletter. Wherever you are, inside and outside, it is so good that you are here and part of this community! Having just returned back home from my last Apprenticeship module (including the Winter Dream Dance), I am feeling very grateful for this Movement Medicine community in a deep and multi-layered way, which is still to fully sink into my being.

From my experience of community in a wider sense, this MM community is something truly unique. Nowhere else so far have I been blessed to experience such a strong and deep sense of connection – both with individual people as well as with our collective of the Movement Medicine community. Nowhere else so far have I experienced a community where it always is simply OK to be where I am, who I am, what I bring or not, how I feel or not. In fact, it’s not only OK, but the where and how of what I am and bring (emotionally, mentally, physically, ...) is always loved and welcome in a safe kind of way.

Experiences of conditional love or acceptance have taught me that if I behave and show myself in a certain way, yes, there is ‘love’. If, however, I show myself in a real and maybe challenging (for myself and others) kind of way, it is not OK and there will be humiliation, rejection, punishment, judgement, etc. In these spaces here, I have had the almost unbelievable experience that ‘nothing bad happens’ if I am all that I am. Wow ...

This absolutely unconditional ‘yes’, the unconditional seeing, love and support, despite how we show up in these MM spaces is one of the crucial ingredients for deep journeying and process. However, I still do not take it for granted and I still am moved to the depths of my heart each time I enter one of these spaces. I know for myself that THAT alone (you are loved and welcome as you are) is one of the deepest healings I know. And still, each time, I am touched deeply by the rawness, the gentleness, the love, the depths and the realness of these spaces – and the immense beauty it brings! On some level, for me, there really are no words for that, for the shivering beauty of so many open hearts and beings, meeting without veils and pretence, in a safe, and open, accepting, supportive and loving way.

For me, on a micro level, these Movement Medicine spaces are what I am dreaming of for humanity on a macro level. I know I am not alone with this dream ;-) and it is so deeply touching to be able to experience a space like that. So beautiful to merge my dream and my reality, that often my heart seems to ‘break open’ in love, joy and awe – of the sheer beauty and truth we can be and experience with each other. So magical to be able to live what I am dreaming of – a healthy, loving, respectful, accepting, real and honest being, dreaming and creating together as humans.

Healing and growing together is so much more fun! And I still believe that the wounds there are to heal, collectively and individually, must (at least partly) be healed together.

A BIG thank you to everyone in this Movement Medicine Community, far and wide.

And so: The following upcoming workshops are not only invitations to dance and grow, they are also invitations to experience a magical and safe space shared with other humans; a space to witness and to be seen; a space to be and express all that you are; a space of a clear and unconditional yes to how you show up in every moment – wow, that alone is such a precious gift!

Sending Love to you all, Hanna.
(For newsletter contributions
of your experiences, mail Roland or myself, hannamaria@mailbox.org)

Upcoming Movement Medicine Workshops:

23–25 March: Dreaming and Creating with Christian De Sousa. Rome, Italy.
Through the dance we can reconnect to our dreams and allow it to awaken our creativity. As everything in this creation, we humans are also subject to and blessed by the essential forces of Yin and Yang – in our doing, dreaming, creating and becoming. We will play with and discover the energies of Yin and Yang as the central principles outside and inside ourselves, and in a dance of respect and curiosity, weaving them together into our being, dreaming and creating.
Contact Tamara & Silvana: +39 3396571499; info movement.medicine.italia@gmail.com

24–25 March: Life Lab with Susannah. Aarau, Switzerland.
With Move! Evening on March 23.
I
n this new workshop, the participants can discover new possibilities of showing up in every day life, and new ways of engaging and relating to body, heart and mind, inviting widened awareness and presence within self. The participants will walk (or dance) away with a wide knowledge of and new skills around embodiment, and a practical tool kit empowering each one to integrate this into every day life, bringing about real and tangible positive shifts in personal and professional life.
Contact Monika Dittli: +41 78 738 8470; modi@gmx.ch

31 Mar–1 Apr: Presence of Heart with David Mooney. Tallinn, Estonia.
With Move! Evening on March 30.
From this workshop you will take with you many awesome Movement Medicine tools that can empower and ground you in the emotional landscape of your heart. Especially in our changing and shifting times it is important to remain present with and centred in the heart to navigate life and relationships. You will be planting ‘heart seeds’ for this new year, you will get to know more about the dancer inside you,
learning a tree of life meditation and much more.
Contact Aivi: gitake@yahoo.com

31 Mar–5 Apr: Compost and RosesAP Elective with Jo Hardy. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
The compost and the rose. Both seem so opposing, in smell, appearance, meaning etc., yet they are of the same existence, the one emerging from the other and vice versa. In this deep immersion we will discover what the compost is that everyone brings (personal wounds and challenges) and how that shapes and is also the nourishment for our ‘rose’ that who we are and are continuously becoming.
Contact Roland: +44 (0)1803 762255; roland@rwevents.co.uk

31 Mar–5 Apr: Your Voice Matters AP Elective with Susannah. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
As the title says, this course is about finding, trusting, loving and expanding your own voice, as only
you can share and sing the songs of your heart and being. You will find out more about how your unique voice finds embodiment, how it expresses, what style it brings and what medicine songs are waiting to come through your voice into the world. This is a deeply empowering workshop on many levels.
FULLY BOOKED
Contact Roland: +44 (0)1803 762255;
roland@rwevents.co.uk

6 April: Movement Medicine in the Service of Engaged Shamanism
An introductory event: Talk and Move with Ya’Acov. Paris, France.

7–8 Apr: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Paris, France.
Based on Ya’Acov’s recent book and on his own 30-year long initiation into being a shaman, this workshop is an invitation to review your life, to further discover who you are and what is yours to give. You will skilfully be guided to meeting that ‘Jaguar’ inside you that protects fiercely what it loves, and the ‘Butterfly’, that part which is vulnerable, magically beautiful, only coming out when it really is safe to be seen. The workshop will explore the blend of these two parts and challenge our paradigm of separation.
Contact Pierre-Henri Therond:
+ 33 615 325 816; pierrehenritherond@gmail.com

10 April: Bringing the Dance Back Home. Webinar, online.
This is a wonderful way to get to know Movement Medicine or integrate workshop experiences and bridge the medicine of the dance into your every day life. It is also a way to connect with the wider Movement Medicine community around the world. The webinar offers you the music, space and guidance to discover and strengthen your personal dance practice at home (or wherever you are).
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255
roland@rwevents.co.uk

13–15 April: Kindness is … with Jo Hardy. Isle of Sylt, Germany.
With a Move! Evening on 12 April.
This is a deep and wonderful residential workshop during which we will explore the immense compassion and kindness that is available in us towards ourselves and others. We will get to know the yin and the yang ways of kindness and challenge old belief structures that may hold us back from being kind or allowing to receive kindness. We will create a safe space together that can hold and include deep dancing, true support of each other, laughter, painful moments and relieving openings.
Contact Petra Cegla: +49 4651 871276; info@core-movement.com

26–29 April: Creating Change with David Mooney. Haluzice, Czech Republic.
C
hange in the world starts with the change from within. In this residential workshop participants will experience and learn some of the powerful ways and tools in which Movement Medicine enables deep personal shifts and change. From dancing with and transforming the victim-persecutor-rescuer cycle that almost everybody unconsciously is a part of, the facilitation of the SEER process (Systemic Essential Energy Retrieval), an introduction to Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects to a dynamic and healing ceremony – this workshop is rich in offering and facilitating true change from within.
Contact Veronika Ziva: veronika@dansea.cz

29 April: Bringing the Dance Back Home. Webinar, online.
This is a wonderful way to get to know Movement Medicine or integrate workshop experiences and bridge the medicine of the dance into your every day life. It is also a way to connect with the wider Movement Medicine community around the world. The webinar offers you the music, space and guidance to discover and strengthen your personal dance practice at home (or wherever you are).
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255
roland@rwevents.co.uk

2–6 May: Sanctuary with Susannah. Orval, Belgium.
A ceremonial residential intensive for women.
This intensive offers each woman a deep journey to connect with herself and her unique way of being a woman in the safe space and company of other women. It includes an invitation to craft her own rite of passage within a circle of women – as part of a process of identifying and disentangling unconscious messages from her line of female ancestors that may prevent free expression and the courage or permission to be seen. The intensive is embedded in the powerful yet gentle medium of Movement Medicine, including voice and ceremony.
Contact Luc: +32 61 32 99 20; luc@owc.be

4–6 May: Circles of Connections with David Mooney. Berlin, Germany.
Here is an opportunity to dance through anything that may be in the way of being and expressing all that you are in relationships, on all levels of being. We will resource and strengthen our own personal ground and we will explore ways of how to be more authentic and present in relationship with others. There is also space for ceremony, in which we will dance and offer our prayers to all different levels of relationship – with ourselves, with our close-ones, with our community, with unseen support and with the Great Mystery of life and creation.
Contact Kathrin Keller +49 30 28458820; info@kathrin-keller.com

4–6 May: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Copenhagen, Denmark.
With Move! Evening on May 4.
Based on Ya’Acov’s recent book and on his own 30-year long initiation into being a shaman, t
his workshop is an invitation to review your life, to further discover who you are and what is yours to give. You will skilfully be guided to meeting that ‘Jaguar’ inside you that protects fiercely what it loves, and the ‘Butterfly’, that part which is vulnerable, magically beautiful, only coming out when it really is safe to be seen. The workshop will explore the blend of these two parts and challenge our paradigm of separation.
Contact Matthias Axelsen:
+45 212 611 20; matthias@dancingyourspirit.dk

8 May: Bringing the Dance Back Home. Webinar, online.
This is a wonderful way to get to know Movement Medicine or integrate workshop experiences and bridge the medicine of the dance into your every day life. It is also a way to connect with the wider Movement Medicine community around the world. The webinar offers you the music, space and guidance to discover and strengthen your personal dance practice at home (or wherever you are).
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255
roland@rwevents.co.uk

12–13 May: Power Stories with Ya’Acov. Munich, Germany.
With
Move! Evening on May 11.
This workshop is an invitation to find out more about the power you hold inside and your relationship to that resource. Through dance and embodiment, we explore how it manifests through past stories, how we might deny our own power, or give it over to another authority within or without, and how we can access that power in a healthy, truthful way to give space to even more of what we are.
Contact Claudia:
+49 89 292 644; CRR@move-life.com

14–20 May: Phoenix Retreat with Susannah. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
This intensive opens a space for a new and raw connection with essential parts of your being, some of which may have been hidden behind 'understudies' – voices and parts that take over certain areas in our psyche and our life, unconsciously running actions and decisions that actually are harmful to us. During this retreat we are making space for a new level of self acceptance and for your essential real self to come back more fully and stronger. This workshop is also one of the stepping stones towards an apprenticeship with Movement Medicine.
FULLY BOOKED, but there is a waiting list.
Contact Roland: Roland Wilkinson +44 1803 762255; Roland@RWEvents.co.uk

19–20 May: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Luzern, Switzerland.
With Move! Evening on May 18.
Based on Ya’Acov’s recent book and on his own 30-year long initiation into being a shaman, t
his workshop is an invitation to review your life, to further discover who you are and what is yours to give. You will skilfully be guided to meeting that ‘Jaguar’ inside you that protects fiercely what it loves, and the ‘Butterfly’, that part which is vulnerable, magically beautiful, only coming out when it really is safe to be seen. The workshop will explore the blend of these two parts and challenge our paradigm of separation.
Contact Katriona Forester: +41 79 563 6067; kat@kf-events.ch

25–27 May: Dreaming and Creating with Christian de Sousa. Hamburg, Germany.
Through the dance we can reconnect to our dreams and allow it to awaken our creativity. As everything in this creation, we humans are also subject to and blessed by the essential forces of Yin and Yang – in our doing, dreaming, creating and becoming. We will play with and discover the energies of Yin and Yang as the central principles outside and inside ourselves, and in a dance of respect and curiosity, weaving them together into our being, dreaming and creating.
Contact Nina Jütting: +49 (0)172 415 2070; mail@ninajuetting.de

The Well-Spring Flows (all in good time) ...
By Ya'Acov
The older I get, the more precious time becomes. The poignant passing of the seasons and the reality that every minute, death comes closer is simultaneously the sharpest thorn on the rose and its sweetest perfume. It’s hard to believe that it’s already spring equinox. And time’s bendy nature makes it seem that every year, it gets here quicker. My father died on the spring equinox 23 years ago. If I were to die at the same age as he did, I’d have two more springs to enjoy after this one.

The closer I get to the age he died, the more I get how young he was to die.
But the passage of time has other gifts. My view of the world now is so different to the view I had in my twenties. Then, there was that pungent blend of determination (with a touch of ‘the arrogance of the young’) and insecurity that gave that decade such a particular flavour. My thirties were a merry-go-round helter-skelter joy ride of ecstasy and agony as my dreams landed and crashed with the regularity of the tide coming in and out.

In my forties, there was a settling. No less passion. No less challenge. Just a settling into a ground that I could call self. A Self rooted in my own experience rather than the opinions of others. The rose-tinted spectacles had truly fallen away, but at the same time, the shocking pink of a winter sunset was so much more beautiful. There’s a slowing down that comes with ageing that at this point, still just on the ‘right side’ of my 50’s, I’m really enjoying. Our elder friends tell me to make the most of it before what they call ‘the hospital years’ descend. They love to laugh at the goji berries I add to my morning smoothie. No matter how death defying our super foods are advertised to be, decay and decrepitude are on the way! Whenever I have to find my glasses to be able to read something, my friend Jake laughs delightedly telling me he’s going to stay around for a long time just to enjoy my face as the creeping reality of mortality slowly hits home.

Today I said goodbye to my sweetheart again as I packed my road warrior bags and set off for London, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem (where I am now writing to you from) and the desert of Mitzpeh Ramon. I know how blessed I am to have chosen work that has such meaning and purpose. And, it never gets easier to leave home. On the skirts of Ugborough Beacon, the land was covered in its second winter white coat this past weekend but we can sense that under the snow, the land is beginning to awaken again. We’re on that bridge between the winter and the spring. But there’s no doubt that deep inside, there is that familiar and mysterious stirring. I am no stranger to that gorgeous imperative to grow that is common to all life as the year turns and life’s tides surge in the blood. I used to think I had to do something about it. A bit like a cartoon I see in my dream sometimes of a man using his full force to turn an automatic revolving door in the direction it’s going in anyway. He thinks the door is opening due to his exertions. He’s proud of his efforts and the results and he doesn’t understand the kind and amused smiles of the elders watching him on either side of that revolving door.

Hindsight is a fine thing. If I’d known then what I know now, I may have been so much more relaxed. But then, we have to learn our own lessons, don’t we? So despite the fact that numerous teachers in forms ranging from shamans, to artists and to taxi drivers told me to relax a little more, pushing was what I knew so pushing was what I did. After all, the door turned, didn’t it? I don’t mean to say that all of my effort was a waste. Not at all. To create momentum, effort is required. And when we began to teach 30 years ago, there was no such thing as conscious dance. In reality, there still isn’t. I much prefer the term unconscious dance to describe what we teach; so much more real! And the more I learn how rich the unconscious is, and the more I see the depth of my own unconsciousness, Unconscious Dance seems a much more fitting ‘name on the tin’ to me.

I don’t think I’ll ever know how much of the effort I put in was necessary and how much wasn’t. What’s more important is to remember how much was coming from the feeling of not-enough-ness. I was being driven by the same sickness I see all around me that is so endemic to our time and culture. Rooted in greed (which is itself rooted in a deep wound in our sense of self and our capacity to receive life) our insatiable hunger for more keeps us firmly imprisoned in a high octane, faster and faster whirlwind of activity driven by a story that is the root cause of so much suffering both in and for our world. Our insecurity is based in a lack of self-knowledge. Even more than that, people who want to do the work to discover their true selves are often pilloried as self-centred time-wasters who would be better off just getting down to the serious work of acquisition that we are told is the road to human happiness. It isn’t. We know this now. Not to say that we should give it all up and go and do a Captain Fantastic and disappear off-grid into the woods. There is no going back. Life has to evolve and consciousness with it.

In my 30’s and 40’s, I gave myself such a hard time for not being creative enough. My internal dialogue was telling me: I should be writing. I should be doing more photography, more films, more sculpting, more singing and dancing. I should be leaving my mark on the world and making so much more impact. All this pressure came from the same place. It came from a lack of self-acceptance and a confusion about who should be choreographing my life. There was always that quiet voice of the wise elder, kindly encouraging me to enjoy what was happening but the balance of power in my psyche was a mirror of the dominant story in our world. I knew about free will but the fact is, my free will had been hijacked by a host of ego structures and so, whilst I was still telling the story of my own imprisonment, freedom was a distant dream. It’s only in the last few years that the balance of power inside me has shifted. I began to spend more and more time in the place where I could witness the hard push of these ego structures and the belief that was underpinning them. Not good enough has many forms. That part of me that was afraid to feel the pain underneath it all was a clever shape-shifter.

But in my late 40’s, the intensity of my practice over the decades began to reveal its harvest. I became aware of the fear that was driving me. I began to hear the cry inside me. That part of me that was lost in the grey landscape of a repetitive childhood nightmare that haunted me for years. In that nightmare, I was on a carousel that was out of control. The faster it turned, the more the colour bled from the scene until everything in the dream except me was black and white. I was terrified and felt exposed and unprotected. I knew I had to find a way to hide my colour so as not to get seen and hurt. I felt so very alone. Through a sheer force of will, I bled the colour from my own soul so that I could disappear into that black and white world along with everyone else. The pain I felt as I made that choice was acute. It crushed my heart. The energetic command in that dream was to freeze my heart and to keep it hidden at all costs. The harvest of my practice was that a thaw had set in. It became more and more impossible for me to hide from my heart. All that interoception work and MESA practice (micro-medio-macro-meta-mystica) meant that I gained access to a sense of self that was at once super sensitive and deeply unshakeable.

All those glimpses of Self in relationship with Susannah, as a father, on the dance floor, on the forest floor, and in numerous dreams and rituals over the decades were now bringing me again and again to that place inside me that I have started to call the unbroken. Being willing to feel was the key. And the key to that has been relationship, primarily with Susannah, whose love for me, seeing of me, companionship and courage to explore alongside me are the greatest gifts that life has given me. It’s a co-arising thing. The more I felt the unbroken inside me, the more resilience I found to feel the pain in my heart. I met so many broken dreams. I discovered so much shattering evidence of the ways in which I was hiding myself from life, and holding back my love and powerfully standing in my own way.

And the result? My love for life (my wife, our son, our land, our family and friends, our work, the forest and the magnificent and awe-inspiring power of nature) surpassed my fear and in the moment when that balance shifted, the well spring of creativity that I knew was there all that time burst forth like the rich sap of the tree of life that’s in us all. And now I can’t stop. Not from a feeling of not enough-ness but from the feeling of that deep flow state inside me that is the well spring of life. I’ve started my next book which has the working title Shaman - The Inner Shaman’s 5-Step Guide to Transforming your World. In April, I’ll be recording a new CD for Hay House (with my wife at my side and all her experience of producing work in the studio for which I am deeply grateful) called Shaman’s Song – 5 Guided Shamanic Journeys. And I’ve started work on an oracle pack based on the Movement Medicine mandala. In my dreams, I keep meeting the characters from my first novel, which I am so looking forward to writing. It’s called The Unbroken.

Susannah has written in this newsletter about Didier’s t-shirt that he wore at the Winter dream dance that read would the boy you were be proud of the man you have become? The question touched many of us, me included. My own answer is that the boy I was would be amazed, astonished and proud. And at the same time, he might give me a secret wink and whisper in my ear: I told you so.

The focus of this article is about the time it takes to land in who we really are and the flow of creativity and giving that is inherent to that state. Each of us has our own road to walk. Each of us has our own timing. And all we need is the ongoing courage to keep on revealing ourselves as we are. To life, to each other, to the powers of nature and the source of who we are. There is no useful comparison we can make between us. There is just the work to accept ourselves, reveal ourselves, go on discovering the Self that has always been with us, and give absolutely everything we have in gratitude for this miracle of life we are given. Movement Medicine is the way we have created to hold space for that journey for ourselves and for you. And the Apprenticeship Programme is the deepest container we offer in which to do that work. There are just two more opportunities to apprentice with Susannah and myself. So if you want to take that road with us, take that leap and get going with your pre-requisites and apply. Applications for the apprenticeship that begins in the Autumn are open now and there is a beautiful and strong circle gathering that will be the 6th generation of apprentices.

We are passing on what we have learned so that we can go on learning more. The unconscious is such a deep well and there is so much to discover. I hope to see you there, in the ceremony of life where the dreams we dream are woven into our day-to-day experience. At some point along the road, we realise, with the exhilaration and shock of the responsibility that comes with it, that free will is real and the choice we make is ours. Not about what happens, but about the meaning we give to it, the purpose we choose and therefore the actions we take.

Wishing you access to the well-spring inside you and the courage to dance with it all.

Ya’Acov. Spring Equinox 2018.

Ya’Acov’s Spring 2018 Schedule:

6 April: Movement Medicine in the Service of Engaged Shamanism
An introductory event: Talk and Move with Ya’Acov. Paris, France.

7–8 Apr: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Paris, France.
Based on Ya’Acov’s recent book and on his own 30-year long initiation into being a shaman, this workshop is an invitation to review your life, to further discover who you are and what is yours to give. You will skilfully be guided to meeting that ‘Jaguar’ inside you that protects fiercely what it loves, and the ‘Butterfly’, that part which is vulnerable, magically beautiful, only coming out when it really is safe to be seen. The workshop will explore the blend of these two parts and challenge our paradigm of separation.
Contact Pierre-Henri Therond:
+ 33 615 325 816; pierrehenritherond@gmail.com

4–6 May: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Copenhagen, Denmark.
With Move! Evening on May 4.
Based on Ya’Acov’s recent book and on his own 30-year long initiation into being a shaman, t
his workshop is an invitation to review your life, to further discover who you are and what is yours to give. You will skilfully be guided to meeting that ‘Jaguar’ inside you that protects fiercely what it loves, and the ‘Butterfly’, that part which is vulnerable, magically beautiful, only coming out when it really is safe to be seen. The workshop will explore the blend of these two parts and challenge our paradigm of separation.
Contact Matthias Axelsen:
+45 212 611 20; matthias@dancingyourspirit.dk

11–13 May: Power Stories with Ya’Acov. Munich, Germany.
With
Move! Evening on May 11.
This workshop is an invitation to find out more about the power you hold inside and your relationship to that resource. Through dance and embodiment, we explore how it manifests through past stories, how we might deny our own power, or give it over to another authority within or without, and how we can access that power in a healthy, truthful way to give space to even more of what we are.
Contact Claudia:
+49 89 292 644; CRR@move-life.com

18–20 May: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Luzern, Switzerland.
With Move! Evening on May 18.
Based on Ya’Acov’s recent book and on his own 30-year long initiation into being a shaman, t
his workshop is an invitation to review your life, to further discover who you are and what is yours to give. You will skilfully be guided to meeting that ‘Jaguar’ inside you that protects fiercely what it loves, and the ‘Butterfly’, that part which is vulnerable, magically beautiful, only coming out when it really is safe to be seen. The workshop will explore the blend of these two parts and challenge our paradigm of separation.
Contact Katriona Forester: +41 79 563 6067; kat@kf-events.ch

Would the Girl that I was be Proud of the Woman I Have Become?
By Susannah
One of the incredible assistants in the recent Apprenticeship ‘Immersion’ module wore a striking tee-shirt with these words on the back: “Est-ce le petit garçon que tu étais, fier de l'homme que tu es devenu?”: “Would the boy that you were be proud of the man that you are?” These words touched something deep inside me: “Would the girl that I was be proud of the woman I have become?”

Like a Russian doll inside a Russian doll, within the Apprenticeship ‘Immersion’ module there is a magical module hidden deep within. It’s called the Winter Dream Dance and is the ‘moon’ to the ‘sun’ of the Summer Long Dance. The Winter Dream Dance is a 48 hour ceremony which is just for Movement Medicine Apprentices. It was in ‘that’ white week. The curtain of snow descended and stopped all traffic just after the last people arrived and so we entered the Winter Dream Dance ceremony in the arms of the snow. Tucked into our snow bound sanctuary we danced and prayed and sang and made music and witnessed and were witnessed. Movement medicine ‘black belts’ practising side by side with their relative ‘white belts.’ All of us deep in the full moon snow magic light and dark vibration of this few days. What a gift.

That question went on working away at something deep inside me. Every now and again I was able to go and dance for and with my own personal journey. I remembered the girl I was not so long ago. I danced for her and as her. I felt her innocent strength, her shyness, her fine, sensitive resonance with the natural world, her wild-fire energy and how she felt the quiet buzz of what she called ‘god in everything’. I felt her dance, her prayer, her heart, her fear and her courage. Right at the end, I felt my mother bless me, her wings around my shoulders, and as my tears fell, I felt my little Susy self bless me from within. With pride, amazement and gratitude she said: “It’s happening!”

Yes. Within that Winter Dream Dance we had six ‘Graduation Hoops’. “What is a Graduation Hoop?” I hear you asking. Well, I’ll tell you. People who want to train to offer Movement Medicine professionally go through a long and demanding journey to get to that point. In that journey, there are lots of ‘hoops’. Even after they start working as Apprentice Teachers or facilitators they have another journey ahead of them before getting to graduation. This journey involves supervision (which is ongoing for all Movement Medicine professionals), self and peer reflection on their work as it evolves and writing a big graduation report. It’s not a test of perfection. It’s a practice of self-knowledge, self-awareness and responsibility. Then they come to their Graduation Panel, which normally constitutes myself and Ya’Acov, an elder, a peer and a representative of the Council of the Movement Medicine Association.

We have now had 72 Graduations, which constitute: 50 Movement Medicine teachers, 6 Movement Medicine facilitators and 16 who have graduated as both Movement Medicine teachers and facilitators. Each Graduation panel has been potent, personal and a deep existential meeting between us and the graduee. Over time we have recognised that these Graduation panels are, in effect, initiations. As a deeply individual rite of passage there is nothing that can be generalised about them, except that they are designed to combine thorough co-enquiry and challenge with honour. And this they do.

Then, sometime near the conclusion of the Winter Dream Dance or the Summer Long Dance (whichever is next after their Graduation panel), comes the ‘Graduation Hoop’ which is the public celebration and announcement of the graduation. The hoop is simply a large hoola hoop which is decorated each time with beauty from the natural world. Each graduee stands at the end of a double line of all the dancers present. They form an avenue of people and somewhere near the end is the hoop. Beyond the hoop are their colleagues who have already graduated, their teachers and any of their family who have come to be present. The graduee announces themselves to the mesa and to the gathered ensemble, naming their work, the intent that underlies their work and their particular commitment or direction. They ask for the kind of energy they feel they need as they walk or dance to the hoop and jump, step or dive through. Each ‘graduation walk’ is as particular as the individual walking. Sometimes there is a deep hush, some invoke a whirlwind of noise: drums, rattles or wild sounds of the forest. For some there is song or ululations and cries of jubilation. On the other side, there are often tears and joy and hugs as we confirm their graduation and they are embraced by their colleagues and friends.

We are incredibly fortunate in the depth of service, love, inspiration, courage and creativity of those who have chosen to take this journey with us. As well as those who are teaching Movement Medicine in classes and workshops and thus bringing it to their communities, which is quite a task in and of itself, people are bringing Movement Medicine in their own way and with high integrity into so many different contexts, both mainstream and ‘alternative’. People are graduating who are working in partnership with indigenous people, people who take Movement Medicine into churches and cathedrals, people who work in prisons, in the world of mental health, in hospices, into work in the developing world.

I feel so grateful and so proud of this cadre. There is so much that is distinct and individual in each one. And what is in common is a quality of love in action, of sincere effort to make a positive difference in this world and a capacity to be human, to be fallible, to cry and laugh and celebrate and the love of the dance itself.

So that is what I am doing right here. I want to celebrate the growing depth of this energetic field and of this network. To all the people within it, whether Apprentice or occasional weekend dancer, or Movement Medicine Newsletter reader, I raise a toast of kindness, of joy and I say: “THANK YOU!” Wow. As little Susy said: “It’s happening!”

And at the other end of the ceremony, the local roads opened literally to the hour as people needed to leave. THANK YOU weather divas, and thank you Didier for wearing that tee-shirt!

Other good news of things already available:

The Pachamama Alliance has just brought out a brilliant new version of the Awakening the Dreamer symposium which has been such a powerful part of our lives. It’s available and it’s free and it’s amazing. Be warned though, you will not be able to go back to how it was before you saw this. It’s a seriously inspiring wakeup call.

Our Online course: Standing at the Centre of your own Circle is fully available now. It’s receiving strong plaudits from people doing it, and we are very happy that this is available for people to do in your own time, whether you dance Movement Medicine or not. It’s a high-quality piece of work, though I say it myself. Big thanks to the film maker and animation creator, Emilio Mula.

And if you haven’t yet read Ya’Acov’s book Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart do! The feedback he’s been getting seems to indicate that this book carries a powerful transmission. It’s a beautiful, intimate, honest and real story of this man’s inner life. And re me, he’s managed to do a difficult thing really well: to honour me fully and my role in his life, and at the same time, not to step in and tell my story. Thank you dear Ya’Acov! My story is coming in its own sweet time. And Ya’Acov has just signed a contract to write his next book through Hay House. It will be called ‘Shaman’ and it will be out in 2019. He’s in a roll!

Life Grooves: my new album of Movement Medicine guided meditations is weaving its magic round the world. Thanks to keyboard player Stef Vink and producer and drum programmer Volker Kaczinski and co-drummer extra-ordinaire Ya’Acov for the music and co-creation. Enjoy!

It is becoming clearer and clearer that Ya’Acov and myself will teach two more Apprenticeships, starting this Autumn 2018 and next Autumn 2019. After this we will still teach Movement Medicine, we will continue to run the Professional Training, but we will be passing the Apprenticeship baton to a cadre of brilliant people who are on a Continued Professional Development path with us now. So, if you want to do an Apprenticeship with us, now’s the time to get into action.

And how can you find all those incredible Movement Medicine Professionals? Here!

Keith Mills, the wonderful guitarist who graces Wild Prayer is bringing his magic to the Summer Long Dance. He collaborated with Volker, Ben Burrow and myself for Wild Prayer and that band seems to be slowly re-forming itself. Hooray! When the amazing Phil Perthoud told us that he couldn’t make it to the Long Dance band this year I simply couldn’t think of who to call on to take his place. Then Shimmering was played twice at the Winter Dream Dance and Keith swung into view. Keith said “yes” to the Summer Long Dance and we are all delighted. Thank you Silvana for playing the track! If you are coming to the Long dance (or not) and want to raise money for the Pachamama Alliance, they have a special page for Movement Medicine inspired donations.

A little story: We recorded Northern Angel in Keith’s studio, for which I drank rather a lot of whisky and smoked rather a lot of roll-ups one evening so that the next morning I’d have a deep husky voice I wanted to record the “feet in the beat” rap. After we did that recording, Volker dropped the voice an octave, and I freaked out. It seemed way too extreme. Volker suggested that I forget that it was me, and just listened to the voice and imagined who that was. I liked who I saw, and he became “San”; Susannah’s animus. Over the years several women have asked where they can find him, but I always say: “sorry- he’s taken!” So now you know!

I wish each of you the joy of company in your creative life, to choose to know yourself as part of many love ripples, and part of this human family of life on earth, and to remember the healing power of human warmth, whether you are giving or receiving,

In this challenging time on the planet, thank you for being there, for being you and for reading this.

I want to end with a quite from the late Stephen Hawking:
Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up.”

Love to us all,

Susannah Darling Khan. March 2018

Upcoming Workshops with Susannah:

24–25 March: Life Lab with Susannah. Aarau, Switzerland.
With Move! Evening on March 23
I
n this new workshop, the participants can discover new possibilities of showing up in every day life, and new ways of engaging and relating to body, heart and mind, inviting widened awareness and presence within self. The participants will walk (or dance) away with a wide knowledge of and new skills around embodiment, and a practical tool kit empowering each one to integrate this into every day life, bringing about real and tangible positive shifts in personal and professional life.
Contact Monika Dittli: +41 78 738 8470; modi@gmx.ch

31 Mar–5 Apr: Your Voice Matters AP Elective with Susannah. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
As the title says, this course is about finding, trusting, loving and expanding your own voice, as only
you can share and sing the songs of your heart and being. You will find out more about how your unique voice finds embodiment, how it expresses, what style it brings and what medicine songs are waiting to come through your voice into the world. This is a deeply empowering workshop on many levels.
FULLY BOOKED
Contact Roland: +44 (0)1803 762255;
roland@rwevents.co.uk

2–6 May: Sanctuary with Susannah. Orval, Belgium.
A ceremonial residential intensive for women.
This intensive offers each woman a deep journey to connect with herself and her unique way of being a woman
in the safe space and company of other women. It includes an invitation to craft her own rite of passage within a circle of women – as part of a process of identifying and disentangling unconscious messages from her line of female ancestors that may prevent free expression and the courage or permission to be seen. The intensive is embedded in the powerful yet gentle medium of Movement Medicine, including voice and ceremony.
Contact Luc: +32 61 32 99 20; luc@owc.be

14–20 May: Phoenix Retreat with Susannah. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
This intensive opens a space for a new and raw connection with essential parts of your being, some of which may have been hidden behind 'understudies' – voices and parts that take over certain areas in our psyche and our life, unconsciously running actions and decisions that actually are harmful to us. During this retreat we are making space for a new level of self acceptance and for your essential real self to come back more fully. This workshop is also one of the stepping stones towards an apprenticeship with Movement Medicine.
FULLY BOOKED, but there is a waiting list.
Contact Roland: Roland Wilkinson +44 1803 762255; Roland@RWEvents.co.uk

Interview with Faculty Teacher Christian de Sousa
This is the next contribution in our series of interviews we published over the last year with the faculty teachers of the School of Movement Medicine, who all play a very important part in the School through their teaching, their coaching, their experience and their support. Christian de Sousa is sharing an audio-interview with us in which he speaks to some of the questions that Patricia and myself put together. Enjoy!

Once again myself and Patricia wish to thank Christian and the other faculty teachers who have put time and energy into these interviews. I also wish to thank Christian for going playfully along with our unusual format of not holding the interview personally, put instead leaving the questions with each of the interviewees, to do what works best individually – writing, audio or video; a format of ‘interviewing yourself’.

To go to the 30 minute interview, please click here

Upcoming workshops with Christian:

23–25 March: Dreaming and Creating with Christian. Rome, Italy.
Through the dance we can reconnect to our dreams and allow it to awaken our creativity. As everything in this creation, we humans are also subject to and blessed by the essential forces of Yin and Yang – in our doing, dreaming, creating and becoming. We will play with and discover the energies of Yin and Yang as the central principles outside and inside ourselves, and in a dance of respect and curiosity, weaving them together into our being, dreaming and creating.
Contact Tamara & Silvana: +39 3396571499; info movement.medicine.italia@gmail.com

27–29 April: Dreaming and Creating with Christian. London, UK.
Including an all-night-ceremony.

25–27 May: Dreaming and Creating with Christian. Hamburg, Germany.
Contact Nina Jütting: +49 (0)172 415 2070; mail@ninajuetting.de 

1822 July: Roots – Dancing With the Ancestors with Christian. Kientalerhof, Alps, Switzerland.
Contact Ursula Haas: +41 76 453 30 87; u.haas@gmx.ch

21–23 September: Ecstatic Nature Dancing with the Elements with Christian. Basel, Switzerland.
Contact Ursula Haas: +41 76 453 30 87; u.haas@gmx.ch

And here is a link to Christian’s music mixes for home dancing practice.



The Gap: Reclaiming Dynamic Balance in Challenging Times
By Jo Hardy
I am not a writer but I am a passionate and experienced teacher. I love this work and it is my passion to deeply support those who pass through my workshops and mentoring sessions to be the best versions of themselves they can be in any given moment. Life seems pretty complex at this time, with many challenges and outrages and many calls for each of us to ‘step up’. And yet, for myself, the overwhelming number of these calls can just seem too much at times.

I can edge into the shadow of wanting to step back and out, feeling impotent and like I am watching us humans hurtling towards a cliff edge with my hands and feet tied and unable to move, or like I just want to check out in habit and numbing.

Many of us seem to be walking a fine line between ‘stepping up’ and feeling overwhelmed. In all this it seems so crucial for us to learn to love ourselves with deep acceptance, as a part of this earth and Divine creation, welcoming all the imperfections of our very human nature. I will call this Yin Kindness, the Acceptance in the Movement Medicine mandala. And then there is the following of our aspirations, creativity and intentions – to grow, give, awaken and follow our dreams and to respond to the evolutionary impulse of collective awakening. I will call this Yang Kindness, the Intention in the Movement Medicine mandala.

For myself and for many I witness in one-on-one sessions and workshops, an often painful gap exists between the acceptance and the intention. There is also a gap between our aspiration, vision and calling and the degree to which we feel resourced enough to really follow this impulse. Our bodies, nervous systems and emotional bodies are often profoundly challenged, not only by our personal edges but also through this overwhelm of feelings arising from a daily onslaught of insults to our humanity and this beautiful and exquisite planet and creation.

As a helpful recourse from the Movement Medicine map, helping us to balance in challenging times, there is our ‘position’ as the Dancing Warrior at the centre of our circle an empowered, well-resourced and grounded, dancing human. It is a place that offers perspective, a field where we can learn to hold a dynamic balance between power and love, agency and relatedness. A place where our curiosity and sense of humour is alive and accessible and where we can align with openness, flexibility and responsiveness; a place where we are loving and able to hold relatedness in conflict. When we loose this ‘position’ we may slip into this gap.

As many of us, me included, keep falling into this gap, it seems wise to get super interested in the creative dynamics of this gap, to become ‘gap-experts’ if you will. Perhaps this very gap and all its paradoxical dynamics are a catalyst for emergence or transformative fuel for awakening and deepening wisdom. Years ago I did a workshop with a psychotherapist aptly named Hymie Wise and I have never forgotten one simple phrase he spoke: “The true nature of wisdom is coming to terms with paradox”. In other words, becoming the Dancing Warrior. The one who can hold an open space, despite dynamic tension and challenging opposites, who can balance in the face of many seemingly diverse ‘pulls’, who knows how to hold it all, yin and yang, power, love, curiosity and paradox – while still being able to move with it.

However, as this evolutionary process of collective awakening seems to be speeding up exponentially, the pressure in this gap in each of our experience can be intense. My precious aspirations and intentions slip into their shadow of self judgement and punishment. My intention to be more open hearted and loving, slips into its shadow of collapse, numbness or addiction. It takes real skill and patience to learn to really track these movements, to be loving enough to tenderly explore these shadows and reclaim the parts of us that got lost and identified in these shadows. To realise that this is a collective process of awakening, that it actually is not about me and yet it so is, in the sense that every step I make within my own ecology towards aligning with this process is a contribution.

Thank goodness we have the dance and the Dancing Warrior to help us dynamically balance in these challenging times. Thank goodness we have each other as mirrors and as support – other unique ‘faces’ of the Divine Presence, brothers and sisters awakening together. Big Heart, Big Mind, Big Presence. And I would like to finish with some words form Ken Wilber: "Slowly but surely, carefully but fiercely, deliberately but radiantly we will find ourselves sharing in the same circle of understanding, abiding in the eye of spirit, dancing in the freedom of the whole, expressed in all its parts."

Jo Hardy
www.consciousdancespace.com

Jo will be exploring these themes in a workshop Kindness Is …. A deeply transformative residential workshop by the sea on the beautiful island of Sylt, Germany:

12–15 April: Kindness is … with Jo Hardy. Isle of Sylt, Germany.
With a Move! Evening on 12 April.
This is a deep and wonderful residential workshop during which we will explore the immense compassion and kindness that is available in us towards ourselves and others. We will get to know the yin and the yang ways of kindness and challenge old belief structures that may hold us back from being kind or allowing to receive kindness. We will create a safe space together that can hold and include deep dancing, true support of each other, laughter, painful moments and relieving openings.
Contact Petra Cegla: +49 4651 871276; info@core-movement.com

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