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

Movement Medicine Rocks! Plus Upcoming Workshops
By Hanna Maria
Another newsletter. Another greeting from the School of Movement Medicine. Enjoy! I feel I haven’t said it for a while: Movement Medicine really is a very special body of work and community and continues to touch and inspire me deeply. As I follow some of the teachers or read articles of participants, it simply is so very beautiful, heart-opening, and joy-bringing to witness all this amazing work and play that happens in many different places and ways, all with the spirit and intention of connection, peace, positive transformation, healing, embodiment and empowerment.

In the landscape of the ‘Conscious Movement’ (with which I mean communities and collaborations that seek to embody more consciousness, to heal, to come back to remembering life as sacred, and to aid in the general raising of our collective consciousness), Movement Medicine for me is a real gem! Despite it not being ‘perfect’, as there's no such thing, it really is an amazing tool for self discovery and growth, with countles simple and wonderful tools for more presence, meaning and consicousnes in everyday living. It simply is an incredible and fairly ‘complete’ way and approach to an all in all more conscious, real, embodied, present, connected and joyful way of living and co-creating. The deep power of real connection – to the body, to the heart, to the partner, to the elements, to the community, to spirit and to the truth in myself and in the moment – that is so present in this work, is, I believe, something very special and precious of the offering and the community of Movement Medicine.

Partly my intro for this newsletter edition was inspired by two contributions that speak of the work Ya’Acov and Ben were doing in Israel last month (very touching) and by Sophie who's article is also in this newsletter. You’ll find them further down.

Having said all that, here are the upcoming workshops and events of Movement Medicine. Come and connect, dance, grow, heal and meet a wonderful community:

9 April: Vulnerability and Power in the Shaman's World. Talk, Book Launch and Movement Medicine Journey with Ya’Acov. Budapest, Hungary.
Celebrating the launch of ‘Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart’, we come together to hear Ya’Acov speak about the book and the Shaman’s World. Because it is Movement Medicine, we won’t just sit and listen and talk, we will dance too, ending the evening with a Movement Medicine journey.
Contact Patricia:
+36 70 5457811; mihalyi.p@gmail.com

9 April: Bringing the Dance Back Home. Webinar, online. With Susannah.
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

10–14 April: Phoenix Rising with Ya’Acov. Near Berlin, Germany.
The central icon of Movement Medicine, the Phoenix, can assist us in rising above past wounds and stories that were holding us back into a much more empowered and real place where we chose to fully expand into all that we are, giving what we came here to give. With the power of our own choice and the support of the dance, the Phoenix and a strong Movement Medicine practice we can free ourselves, our life’s and our unconscious from outdated and limiting stories that influence our being and acting.
Contact Kathrin Keller: +49 30 284 58 820; info@kathrin-keller.com

12–14 April: Life Lab with Susannah. Salzburg, Austria.
In this workshop the dancer will learn a few of the powerful tools of Movement Medicine, which have a positive impact on life, business and relating. The participants can discover new possibilities of being more present, resourceful and conscious in every day life, and will walk (or dance) away with a wide knowledge of and new skills around embodiment. The workshop provides a practical tool kit to take home, empowering each one to integrate new conscious ways of being, bringing about real and tangible positive shifts in personal and professional life.
Contact Andrea: +43 680 238 7628; yoga@andrearainer.com

30 Apr–5 May: Phoenix Retreat with Ya’Acov. Taraska, Poland.
This intensive clears the path to more self-awareness,
becoming conscious of old stories that are unconsciously running your life. With powerful tools and support, the Phoenix Retreat assists in reclaiming lost parts of yourself, expanding more and more into the being you came here to be. This workshop is also one of the stepping stones towards the Apprenticeship with Movement Medicine.
Contact Olga:
+48 601 179 424; MovementMedicinePoland@gmail.com

7 May: Bringing the Dance Back Home. Webinar, online. With Rosie Perks.
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

10–12 May: For the Love of Life with David Mooney. Budapest, Hungary.
The questions of what really matters to us in life, what connects us with life around us and what helps us to be more conscious and present in the connection with ourselves and with others around us build the core of this Movement Medicine exploration with David. Deep and powerful dance practices will enable us to move with all our relationships within our life, bringing healing and fresh perspective, while building a little tool-kit to take home for a more conscious and connected everyday living.
Contact Patricia: +3670 5457811; mihalyi.p@gmail.com

10–12 May: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Hamburg, Germany.
With Move! Evening on 10
th of May.
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: Nina Jüetting: +49 172 415 2070; mail@ninajuetting.de

10–12 May: The Wild Within with Mark Boylan. Ljubljana, Slovenia.
We all need the wild. We all need to remember wilderness inside ourselves. We and our bodies are nature, a piece of the ‘wild’, a piece of creation. This workshop will remind us through dance, play and movement of the wildness inside our skin, our animal bodies. It will remind us of the wild and beautiful landscape of the heart and of our emotion, and will help us befriend the wildness inside to be able to bring all our passion of living into everyday lives and into our relations.
Contact Breda: perme.breda@gmail.com

11–12 May: Heart of Brothers, Module 3 with Ben Yeger. Nantes, France.
This is a wonderful and precious offering to the men in our communities: a safe space for playful yet deep discovery and expression of purpose, of emotion, of getting real and vulnerable with each other, of freeing oneself from limiting conditioning, and much more … It is an ongoing group, meeting three times in seven months, the last module bringing together the group of men with the group of women who journeyed through their own process at the same time.
Contact Virginie Rastello: 0033 770 15 83 80; virginie@e-luminescences.fr

17–19 May: Earthdream with Christian De Sousa. Frankfurt, Germany.
With Move! Evening on 17
th of May.
This is a great event, which offers an all-night Movement Medicine Ceremony as its main ingredient. Time to dance! through the night, in community and through all levels of relationship we have in our life and living, infusing them with change, healing, empowerment, sweat, love and deep prayers. We humans have always danced in night ceremonies together – to honour life and spirit, to shift stuck and old stories, to bond and co-create, to pray and to heal on all kinds of different levels. Be inspired
and renewed by an urban, deep and meaningful ceremony of dance and connection.
Contact Katrin Kohlbecher:
+49 1633 152 714; katrin@movement-medicine-frankfurt.de

30 May–1 June: En-Tranced. Walking Between the Worlds with Ya’Acov. Luzern, Switzerland.
With Move! Day on 30th of May.

This workshop with Ya’Acov is an invitation to connect inward and outward, to bridge worlds and realities and to question perception and stories. It’s also an invitation to get to know the part inside that knows how to stay connected to the sacredness of life and living, that part that knows about that particular and unique song you came here to be, sing and live. Learn about the archetype of the Shaman and connect with your part of that archetype for new perspective, edge-walking, fun and insight.
Contact Katriona Forester: +41 41 228 90 10; kat@kf-events.ch

31 May–2 June: Ashes and Blossom with Rosie Perks. Cork, Ireland.
This safe space invites us to dance and be intimate with our grief and heart-break, as a part of our lives. Grief brings a certain intelligence and can show us more about who we are and what really matters to us. The dancing, moving body creates its own safe container as it best knows how to move with and transform intense emotion in a healthy way. This allows us to do deep process-work and find the blossoms in our grief.
Contact
Maria: +353 (0)8570 50350; maria.o.flynn@icloud.com

31 May–2 June: Presence of Heart with David Mooney. Valetta, Malta.
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 Audra: audramic@gmail.com

4 June: Bringing the Dance Back Home. Webinar, online. With Christian de Sousa.
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

8–16 June: Initiation with Susannah and Ya’Acov. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
Initiation is an intensive 10-day retreat during which the dancers are invited and guided to embody and dance through the rich landscape of all nine life cycle from conception to death – including play, deep processes, and the support of the group and teachers. This workshop is an extraordinary, life-changing, colourful, profound and rewarding journey; and it is one of the prerequisites for the Apprenticeship Training.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255;
roland@rwevents.co.uk

Brexit and the Vagus Nerve
By Susannah Darling Khan
I’m in Copenhagen. I’ve been teaching “Embodied Leadership and Co-creation” with a wonderful group, in which I have been learning so much about the power of feeling safe to empower people to find courage, connection and co-creative freedom. On Saturday night, after eating with my assistant team in a steamy African restaurant, I caught a taxi back to the flat where I was staying. My driver was a young Syrian man who had been in Denmark for three years. His parents and family were still in Syria.

Quietly he told me how he worries about them every day and makes sure that he speaks with them every day. Then he said: “Denmark is a good country. I am very grateful to be here. Here I can work and send my family money. Here, in politics and in normal life they discuss, they debate, they talk about disagreements, rather than killing each other. And so they can work together, even people who disagree try to understand each other. In Syria we have the opposite. And you see the result. I hope one day we in Syria can learn to talk with each other and debate and listen and work together as they do here.” I’m sure not all Danes would agree with this rosy depiction of their country, but, the point is clear. I find myself thinking the same about the UK.

What has been giving me hope in the political mess called Brexit all along is that as the ‘binary-either-or’ system is so clearly not working, something else will have to come into play. My hope is in the elected men and women in parliament, and in the good people of this country to find a way forward together. Because it is needed. Because the need of the moment is stronger than the force of polarised and polarising habit. Because the old way is so clearly not working. I feel a flame of hope in this moment that a new way of non-polarised politics might be born. And I have something I want to add into this from my recent experience teaching Movement Medicine.

I’ve been exploring working with (even) more awareness of what our nervous systems need to feel safe. Bessel van Der Kolk’s “The Body Keeps the Score” has been inspiring me, together with the understandings of Stephen Porges and his son Seth, on trauma, safety and polyvagal theory. All of this together with my pony whispering practice with my beautiful Exmoor Pony “mirror masters” is meaning that my understanding of what we need to grow and change is being profoundly re-arranged.

I feel like I’m looking at all of our work from a new angle. Everything is different. From the point of view of nervous system regulation, I’m amazed and happy to see how, in the creation of Movement Medicine, we have been so instinctively resonant with the latest understandings of what is needed to support humans to grow their consciousness through being present in the body. However, the new understandings I have gained through researching for my book, and the resultant fine tuning of my work, are making a profound difference to what is possible for people on the dance floor. And this has huge implications for everything that I have been talking about above.

So, what is the difference?
Since I have begun working with this stuff, I have seen groups operate with a co-creative ease, an effortless synchrony and synergy which was simply stunning to witness. Dancers are more able to work positively with difference, to create more beauty and strength, rather than less. Movement Medicine has many strap lines, but this is one that I especially love, which the dolphins taught me: “Individuality without separation, and unity without conformity”.

On the dance floors, since I’ve been working with “added safety,” I’ve seen this vision come into being on a whole other level of embodied manifestation. You can see the difference, feel the difference. People are softer and stronger. The bodies become more pliant, less brittle, like wood that regains its sap. More open, but also clearer. If you want to know more, I’ve added a P.S. at the end of this article about what people have shared with me about their own experience of the “added safety” work.

So, if we are all part of one evolving and complex system called life on planet earth, the following is the connection I have so far made between the bigger picture of Brexit (and adversarial politics in general) and Movement Medicine and its offering.

Our adversarial system of politics herds us back into tribal mentalities of “us and them” and ensures that our physiology maintains this. We stay in adrenalized survival mode which is so normalised that we don’t even notice it, which means that listening and working together and being able to see from the other’s view point, becomes almost impossible. Apparently, even the mechanics of our hearing changes according to whether we are in peace or adrenalised. We actually hear differently and become more (when we are at peace) or less (when adrenalised) sensitive to the nuances of feeling in human speech.

In order to have a political process where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, we need to be able to listen, to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, to know that we are all safe. Which means that how we speak to each other or about each other, is crucial. Words are very powerful. Words such as “treachery”, “betrayal”, “coward” and “traitor” call on a deeply primal survival part of ourselves which leads us in a direction of exclusion of the “other” from what we consider to be human or identify as “us”. This opens the way towards us/them polarisation and the vicious circle of fear, defence and attack. At the same time, these words are being used either by people who are enraged because they have not felt heard or respected or by leaders who are using them (consciously or unconsciously) to manipulate. They are a snarl that evokes fear and either submission or resistance which can become violence. This is human history. It is not new, and it is not the way forward.

No-one feels safe when they are not heard. But it is hard to the point of impossible, to truly hear another point of view when safety isn’t present.

Imagine a new parliament where they meditate or dance together before debating. Imagine support for the physiology of safety, for the reality that we need to learn how to listen as well as to speak. Where the benches are not facing one another, but in a curve (as was suggested by a TIG MP). Where there is support for calmness and where there is commitment to hear each other. Imagine a “co-regulation aware” government. And let’s come back to imagining the politicians of the world dancing! I’m ready. You?

By the time you get this, I hope and pray that Brexit will have moved on in a good way, but all the stuff about safety remains. If you want to know more about what has inspired me re this safety thing, see the PPS.

With love!

Susannah DK

P.S.

One participant who is an accomplished and seasoned dancer summed it up like this:
At the beginning (of the “added safety” work) I thought “I don’t need that!” but I tried it anyway. Then I was surprised by how good it felt and how much feeling came up when I was in the safe harbour. I was surprised by how much I felt I needed it and wanted it. And then, each time I returned from the harbour to dance, I found myself braver: more curious, expansive and adventurous. And then I would come back to the safe harbour and drink in the support, and then, when I went out to dance again, I would find myself even more curious, expansive and adventurous. Wow.

Another participant, who is a master movement teacher in his own right and has danced with me many times, told me that he had never experienced a group like it. He said that he felt that where ever he went in the room, he felt that he knew he would be safe, that here would be benevolent harbour, kindness, welcome. That meant that he felt safe to let go, and on a physical and emotional level he could go much further than he’d gone before.

P.P.S.

I have recently been inspired by these videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br8-qebjIgs&t=853s, with Seth Porges about regulating our nervous system, and how it works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pbVTla932Y an interview with Stephen Porges about the importance of safety in relationships.

And this is wonderful and really helpful from Dee Wagner..

As you will see if you watch them, the input of polyvagal theory and Stephen and Seth Porges has been very important for me. I honour and thank them both. If you wish to learn more about the theory behind Movement Medicine, I recommend you to our book “Movement Medicine” available from our online shop. And this is a must if you are interested in this area: Bessel van Der Kolk’s book: “The Body Keeps the Score”.

Upcoming Workshops with Susannah:

9 April: Bringing the Dance Back Home. Webinar, online. With Susannah.
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

10 April: CPD Webinar with Susannah and Ya’Acov. Online.
This is a webinar for everyone who has taken or is participating in Movement Medicine Professional Training. It provides the space to hear about and explore subjects or themes, suggested by you or Ya’Acov and Susannah, which are related to your professional work with Movement Medicine. All sessions are recorded and accessible to the subscribers of the CPD webinars.
Contact Roland:
roland@rwevents.co.uk

12–14 April: Life Lab with Susannah. Salzburg, Austria.
In this workshop the dancer will learn a few of the powerful tools of Movement Medicine, which have a positive impact on life, business and relating. The participants can discover new possibilities of being more present, resourceful and conscious in every day life, and will walk (or dance) away with a wide knowledge of and new skills around embodiment. The workshop provides a practical tool kit to take home, empowering each one to integrate new conscious ways of being, bringing about real and tangible positive shifts in personal and professional life.
Contact Andrea: +43 680 238 7628; yoga@andrearainer.com

8–16 June: Initiation with Susannah and Ya’Acov. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
Initiation is an intensive 10-day retreat during which the dancers are invited and guided to embody and dance through the rich landscape of all nine life cycle from conception to death – including play, deep processes, and the support of the group and teachers. This workshop is an extraordinary, life-changing, colourful, profound and rewarding journey; and it is one of the prerequisites for the Apprenticeship Training.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255;
roland@rwevents.co.uk

The Re-Firement of Spring
By Ya'Acov Darling Khan
What a glorious mystery this life is. I’m consistently overwhelmed by our human capacity to cause such suffering for ourselves, each other, and the web of life that not only sustains us but is an inherent aspect of who and what we are. What paradoxes we are presented with as we do our best to discover who we are and our most creative response to the challenges we face.

Life in a body on earth! I love it here. I love being alive. I’m totally attached to my body, my wife, our son, our land and Susannah’s ponies, and the blessings and harvest of more than three decades of work that I enjoy every day. What’s more, I intend to stay as attached as I can for as long as possible. And I love my work. I love meeting you all on my travels or online, and creating spaces for people to remember who and what they are. Retirement isn’t on my horizon. Re-firement is. Passion seems to be growing. Creativity begets creativity.

And paradoxically, death seems closer every day. Maybe it’s because I just passed the 24th anniversary of my papa’s early death. He died at 56 and I will be 55 next month. How young that seems to me now. Maybe it’s the fact that Susannah and I will run our last ever Movement Medicine Apprenticeship later this year (it’s full already but there is an active waiting list). And for all those who are worried you’ve missed the boat, worry no more. We are delighted to tell you the next Movement Medicine Apprenticeship after our last one will take place in 2020 run by David Mooney and Yasia Leiserach. More details will follow.

I feel my heart is expanding and along with it, my capacity to feel and to love. And far from that being a pink spectacled romantic illusion, the further I go, the more I discover how much courage it takes to love. As attached as I am, death never misses an opportunity these days to remind me that though the life that lives this body may well go on forever, the body itself is a temporary form.

I remember being in an Achuar village called Wayusentsa in the Amazon. We’d been in ceremony with Don Rafael Taisch, a powerful Elder Shaman. I love his enigmatic, cheeky humour and I love his dedication to healing anyone who comes to him for help. I was outside in an open clearing. The sky was bright with stars. The night-time song of the forest was exquisite. My awareness was awash with the melodies, sights and sounds of the unbroken magnificence of spirit incarnate all around me, the life of the forest moving through my bones. I was insect and bird, reptile and feline. I was the darkness of the roots connected with the forest all around for hundreds of miles in all directions. I was life in a billion forms, and I was death too, crunching through bones and wrapping itself round the soft food of my body, squeezing the life out of it. A cathedral of life and death dancing, always dancing. I went beyond my edge and out into the infinite space inside me and all around. I say “I,” but “I” in the everyday sense was no longer present. In this condition, there is only what is happening. The tenderness and the ferocity entwined. The silence that is at the centre of all noise embraces everything. Melody and rhythm meld into the rapture of expanding and collapsing spheres. And right there, at the centre of it all, silent and waiting, forever present, patient and powerful beyond measure, that space and presence that has so many names. Here, the idea that my experience of this mystery could somehow be better or worse than yours is so far beyond ridiculous that it’s a profound shock when duality returns and I again become a unique and formed individual for this tiny moment in eternity called my life.

Since I was struck by lightning, these kinds of experiences that used to fill my dreams as a child, have returned and deepened immeasurably. And it’s such a relief to me that as I grow older, I seem more capable of living with the paradoxes of life. All my teachers, and the experiences I have had under their guidance, helped me to fall in love with the incarnate mystery of the body-heart-mind working together. Through that, I fell in love with the forest, the untameable wildness of nature and the way that it can pour through us as creative sexual energy. The knowledge of the unbroken in me and in you and in everything is what gives me the strength to be with that which is broken in me and you and in our world. And if we are to evolve as a species beyond where we have got to, and not just disappear like some shooting star across the vast sky of time, we need to grow the emotional strength and maturity to be able to be with the pain that we all carry. We visit this pain in each other without censorship whenever we feel threatened beyond safety. We say we are defending ourselves, but the irresponsibility of maintaining our attachment to being the victim and ignoring the violence of our own stance is killing us. And worse than that, it’s killing the beauty and variety of life that we share this planet with.

As attached as I am to my own form, I also accept death as my teacher. I prefer to do this now rather than to wait until the last minute and act surprised as death marches in with his ‘time’s up’ sign flashing neon in the darkness of the night. That’s why we work with death in the dance. And that’s why come May, I’ll be offering a burial ceremony again for our apprentices who have come to the place of wanting to enter into the deep dialogue with death that this ritual provides. And it’s why I thank my death every time I wake up in the morning and taste that sweet breath of life as a new day begins. And I love the paradox that with the new life of the spring, comes the time to service the strimmer and participate in this crazy dance of life and death called the garden. And the result? Life tastes both sweeter and sharper. I experience it more. It hurts more and it hurts less. It’s more precious and more ordinary. And whilst I can, I will do my best to dance and dance until the last sweet breath leaves my body and I fall back into the sky.

News

  • We started to organise our online conscious dance conference and then realised that organising it isn’t our gig. It looks like it’s still going to happen. We’ll let you know as and when we know
  • You’ll be hearing from us soon with a questionnaire. Oh no, groan…..why? Simple really. We want to serve you, our community. To do that, it would help us enormously to know how we can do that through our new project being launched on 9/9/19, Movement Tribe. Please help us with this. The short questionnaire should arrive in your in-box in the next month
  • Summer Long Dance – the highlight of the Movement Medicine year for us, is now finding its feet and its shape for the coming summer. There are still spaces if you want to join. We are delighted to tell you that our dear friend, the shaman and leader of the Sapara, Manari Ushigua, will join us once again. This year, he will be accompanied by Belen, his lady, and Tsamaraw, their son

OK dear ones, that’s it from me for now. Time to teach. Time to dance. Time to let this body-heart-mind out of its cage to play. See you on the road.

YDK. April 2019

Upcoming Workshops with Ya'Acov:

9 April: Vulnerability and Power in the Shaman's World. Talk, Book Launch and Movement Medicine Journey with Ya’Acov. Budapest, Hungary.
Celebrating the launch of Ya’Acov’s book ‘Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart’, we come together to hear Ya’Acov speak about the book and the Shaman’s World. Because it is Movement Medicine, we won’t just sit and listen and talk, we will dance too, ending the evening with a Movement Medicine journey.
Contact Patricia:
+36 70 5457811; mihalyi.p@gmail.com

10–14 April: Phoenix Rising with Ya’Acov. Near Berlin, Germany.
The central icon of Movement Medicine, the Phoenix, can assist us in rising above past wounds and stories that were holding us back into a much more empowered and real place where we chose to fully expand into all that we are, giving what we came here to give. With the power of our own choice and the support of the dance, the Phoenix and a strong Movement Medicine practice we can free ourselves, our life’s and our unconscious from outdated and limiting stories that influence our being and acting.
Contact Kathrin Keller: +49 30 284 58 820; info@kathrin-keller.com

30 Apr–5 May: Phoenix Retreat with Ya’Acov. Taraska, Poland.
This intensive clears the path to more self-awareness,
becoming conscious of old stories that are unconsciously running your life. With powerful tools and support, the Phoenix Retreat assists in reclaiming lost parts of yourself, expanding more and more into the being you came here to be. This workshop is also one of the stepping stones towards the Apprenticeship with Movement Medicine.
Contact Olga:
+48 601 179 424; MovementMedicinePoland@gmail.com

10–12 May: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Hamburg, Germany.
With Move! Evening on 10
th of May.
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: Nina Jüetting: +49 172 415 2070; mail@ninajuetting.de

30 May–1 June: En-Tranced. Walking Between the Worlds with Ya’Acov Darling Khan. Luzern, Switzerland.
With Move! Day on 30th of May.

This workshop with Ya’Acov is an invitation to connect inward and outward, to bridge worlds and realities and to question perception and stories. It’s also an invitation to get to know the part inside that knows how to stay connected to the sacredness of life and living, that part that knows about that particular and unique song you came here to be, sing and live. Learn about the archetype of the Shaman and connect with your part of that archetype for new perspective, edge-walking, fun and insight.
Contact Katriona Forester: +41 41 228 90 10; kat@kf-events.ch

8–16 June: Initiation with Susannah and Ya’Acov. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
Initiation is an intensive 10-day retreat during which the dancers are invited and guided to embody and dance through the rich landscape of all nine life cycle from conception to death – including play, deep processes, and the support of the group and teachers. This workshop is an extraordinary, life-changing, colourful, profound and rewarding journey; and it is one of the prerequisites for the Apprenticeship Training.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255;
roland@rwevents.co.uk

At Home in the Desert
By Rob Porteous
One day, when I was 13 and living in Israel, my Uncle Emil took my mum and me on a trip into the desert. We set out from the dusty, sandy little town of Beesheva (which means, my uncle explained, ‘seven wells’) into a harsh landscape of hills and canyons – bare yellow rock sparsely dotted with a low, spiny desert bush. The surface of the ground was like rough sandpaper. Dry watercourses tumbled into valleys and rose again in sharp ridges. It was a day, as I recall, of khamsin, the hot wind from the south that stifles the air.

Immediately in this landscape I felt at home. I couldn’t have told you why, but something in my heart resonated with the bare hills around me. It was as if I’d lived in this world all my life without knowing it.

Eight years later, when I was volunteering at kibbitz Ga’aton in northern Israel after I left university, I accompanied a friend, who was returning to South Africa, on a bus journey to Eilat. In the middle of the desert, in a place I didn’t know existed, suddenly there were people outside the bus and a few huts. This was Mitzpeh Ramon. I wondered how on earth people could live in such a remote place, with no more than two or three buses a week to connect them to the world beyond the desert. Then the bus made the long descent into the makhtesh ha gadol, the big canyon. It was as if we had dropped through the rough surface of life into a deeper level of being.

When I went back to Mitzpeh Ramon last year for Ya’Acov’s workshop, I found a complete town, with a bank and supermarket, a synagogue, street lights and stray cats. It was odd, like something out of a dream. The town had completely changed, but the desert remained the same, uncompromisingly itself.

This year, again, I went back to delve into The Alchemist’s Garden through the chambers of the heart. In one of the hangars of the spice quarter, that was once the ‘industrial zone’, we danced on Friday evening deep into the night. Outside a fierce wind blew; inside a wood burning stove kept us warm, plus the heat of more than eighty bodies dancing together. It was, for me, a wonderful experience of dropping deep into the heart.

A few years ago I would have said I don’t get on with ritual, just as a few years before that I would have said I don’t know how to dance. Now I know that when we dive into ceremony I really feel at home. My heart was open. In the round where we danced the relationship with self I felt incredible fear; when we danced with community as our focus, I experienced great sadness, followed by a fierce anger that flowed out of me into movement. The following morning, in our final dance together, I felt huge joy.

There’s still a part of me that wants to be rescued in the difficult places; but I am learning that if I simply stay with what is and let it move through me, it will change. I can hold myself in the place of fear, now, and keep myself safe.

There’s also a part of me that thinks I should be better at small talk, the casual chatter of the every-day. But I know my heart is in the deep place where I can meet another face to face in the reality of what is, without disguise. It’s at the heart of the work I do as a counsellor. It’s at the heart of who I am.

On the Saturday morning after the ceremony it rained. It was amazing to see the road streaming with water; an image, perhaps, of how healing can come even in the harshest environment.

This poem, that I wrote around the time of the workshop, expresses something of that energy.


The Wound that Becomes a Gift

The wound that is just a wound is a place

to which I unconsciously return, time

after time.- blindly- without knowing why.

In a chaotic, jumbled amalgam

of events and choices, I find myself

repeatedly back on familiar ground,

bewildered by the pain, the dread, the hate.

The wound that becomes a gift is a grace

I consciously begin to know; a rhyme

and reason of my life, a melody,

a rhythm that expresses who I am.

For in the dark place where I lose myself

I hear the faint reverberating sound

of love that nourishes each earthly state.



The I Became us
By Jen Coffey
In March this year, in Israel, Ya’Acov Darling Khan taught an exploration of the chambers of the heart in his workshop The Alchemists Garden. The workshop took place in a remote desert location a few hours south of Tel Aviv. Over 80 participants from all over Israel made the journey to dive deep into this work. Ben Yeger led an international team of assistants, of which I was honoured to be a part of.

Prior to this, all of my experience assisting Ya’Acov had been in the United States, where I can relate to the feeling of being a new country of immigrants, impossible to simply explain, easy for outsiders to stereotype. One of the participants gave me some advice about taking in the Israeli experience, which I will carry with me when I think of life in my home country: “It’s not a package deal.”

So much gratitude to all of the dancers that made the journey to the desert for this work. Deep bow to my teacher Ya’Acov Darling Khan, my sister assistants, Petra van Wickeren, Veronica Amazonica, Efrat Balelty, Dana Kutin, brother Rob, and my mentor, Ben Yeger. Thank you Michal Israelstam and the Simply Peace crew, for producing this event, my hat’s off to you.

A lot of words and poetry flow through me when I dance, and this gem of a poem came to me on the final integration day. Enjoy and please share.

 

THE I’s BECAME US

We went to the edge of a crater and we danced.

We danced fear.

We danced arrogance.

We danced pain.

We danced truth.

We danced power.

We danced love.

We dipped into grace.

We invited our ancestors.

We invited our descendants.

We danced and we danced and danced and

We danced until it became

A prayer for peace, unity, and understanding.

We danced.

We stepped into the mystery and

It danced us. We became us.

The many eyes became one us,

And we danced.

The glory of God poured through you

And me and we became us.

I saw you in me.

Our skirts twirled in the light.

The old and the new.

We spun new webs.

We wove new stories.

The brides of Shabbat battled

Between fire and earth.

The husbands roaring and

Linking elbows, spinning new stories

Out of the old, into the new.

The sand and the grit.

The lead and the gold.

An alchemist sat in the center, on the outside,

On the inside, silently roaring.

Asking for peace and quiet,

Shalom ve sheket.

And the brides and the grooms

Spun at elbows.

The I’s became us.

Crystal Communication
By Kristin Glenewinkel
Two years ago, I was dancing the Summer Long Dance. We were in the second day of the ceremony and I remember the sunlight and the wind dancing with the grass. There was a magical, translucent and tender atmosphere in the marquee. We went into the third dimension, dancing with the community of life. In this dance we were asked to invite a member of the earth family, an animal, a human or a plant.

I felt my being was dancing in the Swiss Alps, I saw the mountains I lived in years ago at a meditation centre in the Swiss Alps. I found myself connecting to the land and mountain spirits more deeply. I was drawn into the earth, I felt myself dancing in darkness, in density, in the ground with rocks.

I was met by a crystal the same size as me, this mineral stood strong and clear in front of me. The energy of the crystal touched me deeply and I started crying. It was like meeting a good old friend I had forgotten about. I wept and wept. In the journey we were invited to have a conversation with this being and find out about what we could do to support life, to find a healthy way of living. The crystal spoke with clarity and said: “Come to the mountains, hang out with the rocks. Remember the solid ground, big mountain spirits. We would love to hang out with you.“ I felt taken back home to a part of my own nature that I did not know about. Something resonated in my bones about the crystal’s message. I felt apologetic towards the mineral world, about how much exploitation is done; and about how many crystals are pulled out of the mountains. How greedy we humans are! The stone stood strong. The stone said: „Be the mountain, remember the crystal family, in your surroundings and in your soul. Be crystal clear, grow strong, stretch out and shine.“ I felt blessed with clarity and pure energy, the journey ended, and I went into the next dances with much lightness and grounded-ness.

I have to mention that my ancestors all come from the sea and in my journeys my being often merges with the ocean and deep water. When I travelled in the Himalayan mountains of India earlier in my life, I remember the urge to come down in the valley, down from the mountains. I never felt like a mountain person and when I moved up to Switzerland my friends made fun of me. How would I be able to exist up there as a water and ocean being? I felt this communication with the mineral world helped me a lot to land and root my being in this country, I felt deeply welcome and respected.

Last summer Christian De Sousa came to hold an Intensive Movement Medicine journey called “Roots“ in the Swiss Alps at Kientalerhof and I was happy to support him and translate his work. The days in the mountains were beautiful and part of another layer of coming home, working with my ancestors, deepening my connection with Movement Medicine and to the land. Christian shared his connection to the mountains and his origin in the French speaking part of Switzerland, close to Lac Léman which is surrounded by the Alps and the Jurals. We were literally dancing with the mountains, beautiful, big beings. Ya’Acov and Susannah Darling Khan were also holding workshops at Kientalerhof many years ago and it is wonderful to again be able to bring Movement Medicine to this special place.

I am very grateful to continue this journey into the mountains and have the chance to be there again this July. Christian is holding an Intensive Movement Medicine journey called “Spirit Body – Dancing with the Mountains“. It would be wonderful to meet some of you dancers there. It is a precious place. There will be a circle of committed dancers to explore with and there will be good music, delicious food and plenty of mountain energy. I am sure the crystal family deep in the mountain will enjoy our dances.

Kristin Glenewinkel

Movement Medicine mit mir:
https://kristin-glenewinkel.ch

Erneuerung an Ostern: SEER Process
https://kristin-glenewinkel.ch/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Erneuerung.pdf

Ein MM Intensive mit Christian De Sousa im Kientalerhof im Juli 2019. Anmeldung bei Kristin.
https://kristin-glenewinkel.ch/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Spirit-Body-2019-GER-WEB.pdf

Joining the Summer Long Dance
By Ailsa
The Summer Long Dance is always a beautiful and powerful chance for us as Movement Medicine community to come together to celebrate, to connect and to dance for life. A very special and fun ceremony of prayer, play, connection, music and dance. It takes place in a large marquee close to the Somerset Levels in England, this year between 28 June and 4 July.

If you’ve never been to the Summer Long Dance before, do take a look at the description here.

If you would like to book, contact Roland on +44 (0) 1803 762 255 or roland@rwevents.co.uk. You can find the Long Dance application form here.

Roland also still has some places available on his team of practical assistants. This role involves a willingness to take part in the ceremony in a different way to other participants, but I know from personal experience that serving the ceremony in this way can be equally rewarding. And other benefits include paying a much lower cost, a free weekend workshop and choice about whether you fundraise. Contact Roland on +44 (0) 1803 762 255 or roland@rwevents.co.uk to find out more about what it involves.

Earthed in the Wind of Change
By Sophie Rieu
It is about a month since we completed the second module of the Apprenticeship. I wish to reach out to speak my deep gratitude to the Movement Medicine community, my fellow Apprentices and my teachers, Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan. First of all let me say that this ‘reaching out’ is rather new for me and denotes the successful opening of a path which I am ready to walk along wherever it may lead me.

From tentatively standing on the outskirts, the periphery of what seemed to me an inaccessible dream, I am now so gratefully able to see and feel the possibilities of self realisation! WOW! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

It started with the sudden realisation, after dancing the chambers of the heart, that my fear of falling, my fear of heights was deeply connected to my lack of a safe relationship with the Earth, the big Mama. For it is her I meet when I fall, when I trust the ground beneath my feet. It is thanks to this unwavering support that I can stand more powerfully within my own circle, that I can embrace a more intimately loving relationship with my self and from there relate to another being, a community, my ancestors and Spirit. It is the foundation of my home, my territory.

Then I had a massive 'Aaaaah' moment when Ya’Acov read a text by an indigenous elder just before the Winter Dream Dance (Dear and Thunder; Arkan Lushwala). I am paraphrasing but what I heard was that if we are to become effective agents of change for our ailing Mother Earth we first must learn to ‘own our territory’, i.e. ‘take care of’ or ‘care for’ who we are. How indeed can we manifest a dream of a saner, healthier, more loving and harmonious relationship with Pachamama if we cannot step in and acceptfully, take full responsibility for who we are, for our magnificence as well as our shadow.

These simple, common sense words were like a love bomb. There was no escape. They resonated like an ultimatum to myself: no more excuses, you are either in or you forever hold your piece. If I wish to become who I truly am then the time of fiddling about in the hope that dissociation will save me was over. Escaping my body because of overwhelm did a great job at protecting me in the past, thank you very much, but it is of no use to me right now, as I wish to complete my Apprentice project of stepping fully in my power and freely express it through the spoken and written word and through my healing work.

My mind was peaceful, my heart was beating a little faster but not so much that I could not voice exactly what I wished to when my turn came to speak in the circle. And for the very first time I stayed embodied and heard my voice soar from deep within clearly and powerfully. It was like day 1 on planet Earth. I had just landed at long last. I am not kidding. It was so so huge for me. I felt so anchored and it was so natural too, so matter of fact. It was current age Sophie speaking from an aligned body-heart-mind kind of place and listening with her bum firmly on the floor and just quietly delighting in this soft landing... after 49 years of fearful expression of an insecure ‘I’.

Not that I have not tried before to make a contribution and manifest dreams. I founded Unicorn Design, the very first eco-fashion label in Ireland in 2003. I first designed and produced an organic and fair trade cotton yoga range and a year later a line of ethically-made women’s designer wear which I sold at art markets and to shops in Ireland, abroad and eventually through my own boutique.

This is just one example. Before that I was an environmental and social journalist and a press officer for an Irish Green MEP. I also took an active part in nature protecting and conserving NGOs and in anti-racist student organisations. I did not feel safe growing up but nature, dancing, reading and writing were among my greatest resources. I remember wishing to explore my full potential and engage in life with a sense of responsibility from an early age. I felt a need to find meaning and give back. But I could not publicly voice my dissent on a consistent basis, and properly articulate my mission, fully own what I stood for.

I remember once sitting on the stage at a debate on ethical fashion with the great UK fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, and with Constance Harris a wonderful Irish fashion journalist who had supported me from the start. I was so terrified of failing that when my turn came, I refused to speak, I silenced myself. It was a great opportunity to say my piece from my heart and soul but back then, 15 years ago, I simply could not.

I was afraid of my and other people’s anger and I let it shut me down. I was in fight or flight mode and dissociated on a regular basis and only safely shone behind the scenes. The Phoenix retreat, three years ago, was one of the milestones heralding the possibility of change. I had explored Five Rhythms, then Movement Medicine for 20 odd years at that point and I had qualified as a biodynamic craniosacral therapist the year before.

The Phoenix process helped me to accept instead of fight against my entrapping patterns of behaviour. It was also my first six days dance retreat. The simple act of treating myself to this luxury was in itself a massive step forward. I thought I understood the physiological reasons for dissociation since I had studied them in detail through my biodynamic craniosacral studies. But it actually took me a few years before they landed within, before I could own them. It is during the closing circle of Initiation, in September 2017, that I first said, “I will try and stay in my body...”. It’s only then that I really fully owned my tendency to dissociate and really ‘got’ what was happening to me physiologically and emotionally.

Prior to that, because I was in overwhelm mode, it was very hard to understand anything relating to dissociation or fight/flight clearly. First I had to step out, identify and then I could step back in as a kind witness. The Wise Elder, the Dancing Fool and the Dancing Warrior were extremely useful tools to help me see from different vantage points. A year after Initiation I decided to close my ethical business with a beautiful ritual of thanks to my clients and friends. Since then I have started the Apprenticeship, I have worked as a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, I have travelled solo in South East Asia for two months, I have written 40 blog posts...

Thanks to the ease of presence and the rich teachings of Susannah and Ya’Acov, simply and beautifully walking their talk; thanks to their books, practices, tools, thanks to the help of my mentor, Margaret Davies, thanks to the inspiration of other MM teachers such as David Mooney. Thanks to the company and mirroring of fellow dancers I now know at a cellular level that it is possible to be a magnificent human being among other magnificent human beings and that I am not alone in wanting to believe and manifest better ways of living in harmony with the Earth!

WOW!!! I felt it so clearly when I saw Apprentices from previous years come into the dance space during the Winter Dream Dance: I was reminded of passages from Avatar looking and listening to them, I felt so proud to be human. I felt it when I heard my heart beat throughout my body and open so much that I could melt into the total bliss of interconnection, without judgement, without words, pure fluid, pure movement, pure Love.

I felt it when my rattle suddenly liberated itself from my insecure shaking to surrender to the rhythm of your drums while my spine launched fireworks. And now that I stand much more inside my own circle, I also know I can go on my journey of responsibility with eyes wide open and unafraid. It is possible!! There are still voices within that wish to stop me from dreaming big, step up, and act accordingly of course ... but I feel so much more resourced than I ever have and the threshold has been crossed. I can take care of my territory, and fully own (and play, practice, manifest) all the possibilities.

Thank you, thank you, thank you

ends

Sophie Rieu

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