School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: March 2013 Newsletter
Is that in your job description?

By Roland
I appeared at the door of the kitchen and politely asked Chris, the Chef at Rill, if he had a plaster I could have for my finger.

“How on earth did you manage to do that?” he asked as he carefully placed the plaster on my finger.   I explained I had been using a special tool to place some metal eyelets in some black material that we planned to hang over the windows of the dance studio. But in my frustration of not being able to use the tool correctly to make small holes in the material, I had taken a pair of scissors and jabbed them through the material not only making a hole that was far too large in the material but also causing a large deep cut in my finger.  To verify the severity of the wound I gestured down to the sizeable pool of blood that had now accumulated on the floor between us.  Chris gave me a very quizzical look and asked “Is that in your job description?”

This reminded me that I had been asked exactly the very same question a few days earlier.

I had gone with a friend in his large Mercedes van to pick up some stones for the sweat-lodge that was going to take place at Rill during the Phoenix Retreat workshop.  All had gone well and we had spent an enjoyable morning in the sunshine driving across Dartmoor to a special quarry that had the granite stones that we wanted.  When we arrived back at Rill to unload the stones from the van I persuaded my friend it would be convenient if he would drive his van down a rather muddy lane so that we could get as near as possible to the Sweat Lodge site.  We quickly unloaded the van and felt rather pleased with ourselves that we had completed the job in good time and in such a pleasant way.  All that was left was to reverse the van back out of the lane.

The first attempts to get the van out ended in failure with the front wheels embedding themselves deep into the mud.  We tried to improve the situation with bits of wood and some of the sweat lodge stones in order to give the tyres something to grip.  10 minutes later and we had succeeded in moving the van backwards exactly 6 inches.  We now adopted a new plan.  I remembered that we had some old blankets that we had collected to cover the sweat lodge.  I fetched two of the blankets and placed them on the ground behind the front wheels.  My friend was now going to reverse the van onto the blankets and I was going to push from the front of the van.  At first all seemed to go well.  I pushed hard from the front and the van moved backwards a little. I strained harder digging my heels into the ground, then suddenly the van moved further back with a start as the wheels gripped on the blankets.  For a moment I felt an exhilarating thrill that we had actually succeeded in carrying out the plan.  But then, instead of the van continuing to move backwards, something else happened that I had not predicted.  The two blankets shot forward from under the wheels – one just missing my face, followed by a voluminous shower of black sticky mud. 

I know I am not the first person to be literally covered head to foot in mud and I will not be the last.  But the effect of this on me was to rather deflate my spirits and quickly persuaded me that we would not manage to extract the van from the mud on our own. 

So I went off to find help.  I had not gone far when I came across Richard, the owner of the Rill Estate.  To his credit he did not smile too much when he saw my appearance, and as I told him the story of what had happened just the merest indication of a smirk appeared on his face rather than the desired sympathy.  And then he also asked me politely whether what I had been doing was part of my job description.

All in fact ended well.  A neighbour appeared with a four-wheel drive pick-up and with a display of great driving skills hauled the Mercedes van out of the mud and up out of the lane to the firm ground of the car park.  And as for the story about putting eyelets into material, I can now boast that I have truly mastered this skill and will happily put an eyelet into any piece of material you care to give me without shedding the smallest drop of blood.

So in case any of you wondered how I spend my working time when not answering emails, producing spread-sheets, entering information on the database, checking proofs, booking venues, dealing with enquiries on the phone, meeting with Susannah and Ya’Acov, writing and setting out newsletters, organising rooming for our residential workshops, handling payments and running the registration at workshops here in Devon, these two stories may help to give you an idea of the rest of my job description.

Booking people onto workshop is one of the main activities I have been involved with today with several last minute bookings for the Journey of Empowerment.  This 3 module journey covers all the essential practices of Movement Medicine and is a pre-requisite requirement for the next Apprenticeship Programme which begins in August 2014.  We still have a few places left and if you want to come on board please do contact me at or 01803 762255.

We have also received a number of new subscriptions for the Movement Medicine webinar which is growing in popularity each month.  To sign up please go  It’s really good value at only £35 for 10 webinars and this also includes access to the entire back catalogue of recorded webinars.  What is more, if you try it out and decide it’s not for you then we will refund your money as long as you tell us within 48 hours of your first webinar. So why not give it a go?

Next month 5 -7th April Ya’Acov will be in Berlin teaching The Way of the Dancing Warrior.  For more details and to book please contact Kathrin +49 30 28458820

Then both Susannah and Ya’Acov are off to South Africa where they will be teaching in Knysna, Cape Town and Johannesburg.  For more details look at the calendar page on the website or contact Jayne + 27 737487743

We are also taking bookings for Re-Creation , a residential workshop run by Ya’Acov which features the SEER process, which will take place 1st – 5th May here in Devon at the Rill Estate.

For the rest of the programme please go to

At first light this morning lifting elegantly from the river near my house was a pure white egret.  I share this image with you and hope to hear from you or meet you soon.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.