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

The Man in Red Leather
By Roland
Oh No! The voice was plaintive but slightly muffled. Roland!! Now the voice was much louder and strongly insistent. I sat up in bed. Silence.

I woke my loved one. Together we listened to the voice. It was coming from outside.  We couldn’t distinguish any words.

“Perhaps it’s ____” Susanne said, naming one of my closest friends who has been having a difficult time recently.  “Drunk!” she added by way of explanation for such behaviour.

I decided to investigate and put on shoes and a dressing gown, found a torch and stepped outside into the night.   I walked a few paces away from the house and shining the torch about, found the source of the 'voice'.  Two cats – our resident cat, Hitchcock, and his dearest and only feline friend, Miss Chivers, were engaged in the cat equivalent of the Gunfight at OK Coral.  Neither cat looked up at me.  Their bodies were weirdly distorted.  Their faces grimaced.  Their attentions were locked in combat. Each cat occasionally uttered the foulest insult it could muster. 

I felt I had intruded upon something deeply private, not meant for my eyes.  I quietly retraced my steps and returned to bed.

The cat stand-off continued for 2 hours and its sounds intruded into long protracted dreams about the theft of a dearly loved red motorbike that I owned about 30 years ago. 

During the following days I wondered both about my slightly bizarre interpretation of cat screeching as my name being called and also about the significance of the dream about the motor-bike. 

I recall the feeling I had when I first saw the motor-bike with its deep red petrol tank and mudguards – a feeling which emanated from the pit of my stomach and which told me I must buy it - absolutely must buy it - even though the price was somewhat more than I could afford.  When the young man who was selling the machine also gave me his red leather jacket and red crash helmet and I put them on and rode off, I felt that a new chapter in life had begun and that I had allowed myself a new identity to grow into – ‘The Man in Red Leather’.  Several years later, following a near accident, similarly strong feelings told me to stop riding motorbikes for ever.  That brought that chapter in my life to a close.

It is, I believe, the not utterly rational decisions that are of the most profound consequence in our lives.  So when I read Susannah’s article about how they came to buy their new house, I realise the fundamental importance to them of finding land to care for and know how much that is not only going to enrich their lives but also will empower and deepen their teaching.

So many are the times that I have phone calls with potential participants for workshops that begin with them saying something like “I don’t know why, but I know that I must do this workshop”, that now I am no longer surprised but accept it as being part of the magic of the Movement Medicine work.  We are called to make change and waking to that call is part of the work that we must do.

The Initiation workshop 27th Sept – 3 Oct is now fully booked and we have just started a waiting list.  It may still be worth your while to make an application as usually one or two places become available at the last moment.

The other major residential workshop of the second half of the year is also booking very well.  This is the Returning Home workshop which runs from the 18th December to 22nd December at Waldhaus in Switzerland.  This workshop is already very well booked and I would recommend signing up soon if you want a place.  There is an early payment discount of Sfr 150 for those booking before the end of September.

The Bringing The Dance Back Home webinar series in now entering its third year.  At £35 for a subscription for 10 live webinars plus access to all the past webinars in the archive sections to watch as often as you want (this includes catching any live one you miss) this offers fantastic value for money.  Many people get together with a few friends to dance together on Webinar evenings which strikes me as a great way of sharing this work with those we care about.  The next webinar will take place on Tuesday 8th Oct.  And the other two date for the autumn are November 5th and December 17th.  Just follow the link for all next years’ dates and to sign up.

Other School of Movement Medicine workshops to look out for this autumn are:

October

18 - 20   Berlin, Germany.  She is Wild led by Caroline Carey. Contact: Kathrin +49 30 28458820 info@kathrin-keller.com

25 - 27 Verona, Italy. Freedom led by Mark Boylan.  Contact: Silvana & Tamara + 39 339 6571488 movement.medicine.italia@gmail.com

November

1-3     Luzern, Switzerland.  Arc of Time led by Susannah .  Contact: Kristin +41 788 013210 movementmedicinebasel@gmx.ch   www.kf-events.ch

8-10   Paris. Source led by Susannah Contact: Pierre Henri:  + 33 615 325 816 letsmoveinfrance@gmail.com  www.letsmove.fr

8-10     Hamburg Tending the Circle led by Ya’Acov. Contact: Jens on +49 40 729 100 61 mm@spirit-in-movement.de

15 – 17  Cape Town, SA.  Heart Matters led by Caroline Carey.  Contact: Jayne + 27 737487743 info@movementmedicine.co.za

15-17    Munich, Germany.  Circle and the Sword led by Susannah. Contact: Claudia on +49 89 292644 CRR@move-life.com

22-24   London.  Love Stories led by Susannah.  Contact:  Alex + 44 7868842219 alexhanly@hotmail.com  www.alexhanly.com/movement-medicine

22 -24  Johannesburg, SA.  Circle, Fire and Phoenix led by Caroline Carey. Contact: Jayne + 27 737487743 info@movementmedicine.co.za

22-24   Prague The Way of the Dancing Warrior led by Ya’Acov in Prague. Contact: Veronika on +420 776 243 348 veronika@zitnik.org

Wishing you the abundance of Autumn

Roland

Standing on New Ground
By Ya'Acov
Back on the road again and were at the beginning of our 25th year of teaching. They say that time speeds up as we get older but Im not so sure. The more Im here, the more time stops. When Im not here or to be more precise, when Im caught in that strange place were all educated in to where the head, (or at least that portion of fantastic rationality somewhat to the left of the brain), seems to think its in control, then indeed time is moving way too fast.

If I were to ask that part of my intelligence to comment on the summer we’ve just lived through, I’m sure it would come up with a more or less accurate bullet point summary of the past six weeks. As useful as that might be at times, I doubt you’d find it very interesting. Would a description of my new garden friend, a 4-stroke ‘green’ Honda powered strimmer, inspire you to get up and dance? Probably not; but I dare say if I tell you how surprised I am at the simple joy of getting up early and doing an hour on the garden before breakfast, you might just read on. People are stories. Here’s a little of mine from the summer past.

Strimming is a whole new kind of movement medicine, with full shaking medicine attachments and connection to the four directions fully included. And the absolute need for present moment embodied awareness of the slope I’m climbing and the plants that I’m leaving be, as the whir of the cutters seeks out the spiky roots of the brambles. I’m still pulling out the tiny thorns that seem able to find the softest parts of my hands in revenge for my impertinent human interference.

Some months ago in February, we asked the seller of our new home if we could spend the night there and do a little ceremony. He’d already checked out our website and recognised our slightly leftfield approach to life, so he didn’t bat an eyelid. He’s quite an unusual fellow himself and over the months of our negotiations, we grew fond of him and the juxtapositions of his character. I’ve never met anyone who says goodbye or ends a conversation as speedily as he does. When the conversation is over, he’s gone before there’s a chance for any lingering fondness to creep in. And yet his love of life is so, so obvious in the way he battled through an extraordinary amount of bureaucratic red-tape to set up the mini hydro-electric scheme that now provides the electricity for our property from the little brook that runs through it. Anyway, he agreed, and even went to the trouble of lighting a fire in the little house by the water that is down the hill from the main residence. We parked up, set up the space and began a conversation with the land that has been going on ever since. As we drummed, we spoke to the spirits of the land. We told them a little of who we are and the sense of meaning and purpose that runs like that little brook through our lives. We asked: ‘if it supports the deep purpose of our lives and our work to be here, then may it be so. If not, we let go.’ I was shown a couple of images of who I would have to become to be the caretaker of such natural power and beauty. I saw myself riding a horse across the moors. I saw myself cutting through the undergrowth to make more space for the young trees that the previous caretaker had planted everywhere. I saw and I was fairly certain that I was seeing something of the future, maybe a decade or so from now. But I was wrong. The land called us and we responded and we have spent a summer coming into deeper relationship with it, and through that, each other and our selves too.

Moving house was one thing. But our beautiful little home in Dartington had also been the energetic centre of our mesa (*). So, naturally, we had to dismantle that too as we were in the process of moving. We gave thanks, prayed for the new owners, and asked that which was integral to our work and lives to come with us. Over the summer, we have unpacked both on the physical and the metaphysical level. The power of nature is that much more evident on the edge of Dartmoor. The rocks and the old oaks, the sycamore that sings through the night outside my bedroom window, and the many thousands of beings that we share our new home with, have a force that was simply not present in our old home. And where there is more power, there is the need for more responsibility. Summertime seems to be our relationship intensive time. And this year, the bar has been significantly raised. Little things that we could get away with in a less lucid or powerfully illuminating context suddenly appeared as rather sore or significantly-in-need-of-attention-blind-spots in this new landscape. It became quickly evident that we needed to up our game. It’s one thing to be connected to the elemental powers on the dance floor and the occasional ritual that takes us out into nature. And it’s another altogether to be living inside them. If we do not take care of the land and its needs, it will become quickly evident and the same it appears is true for our relationship with our selves and each other in this new chapter of our lives. Congruity is an ever-deepening dance of uncovering that which no longer fits.

For many years, we have made sure to always do something new each summer and immerse ourselves back into complete beginner territory. This year, our new home is providing a wealth of opportunities to remember our status as beginners. One of my incantations this summer has been: I’m working up to being a novice. I feel the land is stripping me back, just as I am asked as one of its caretakers to strip back the invading colony of Himalayan balsam weed before it pops its seed and jumps nearly 15 metres in any direction the wind takes it to spread its watery roots. Things that look beautiful are not always good for the whole it seems! And so, the daily ceremony of learning what is needed from us here and communicating what it is we need has been the dance of my summer. I have been on a fast learning curve. How does ground source heating work? How does the 10KW hydroelectric Pelton wheel work and what kind of maintenance does it need? Where is the leak in the thousands of metres of water pipe that has ‘donated’ 96000 litres of water at our expense? And why might the land have needed 96000 litre of water?

Our new home is on the land from which the stone that built the mental hospital next to us was quarried. The hospital closed down only in the 90’s. The previous owner and his ex-wife made their money by buying that and developing it into a very lovely village with over 200 homes. During the time that the mental hospital was operating, some 700 patients died there. There is a graveyard very close to us. The graves do not have names attached to them but numbers. The earth was sad and needed to cry. 96000 litres of water it seems. In ceremony, we met many of those who had lived and died here. Some of them had suffered greatly and needed to simply be acknowledged and helped on their way. Others were super creative folks who had just not been able to find their way in this world. Others had been admitted to the hospital against their will. Stories need to be told and heard. So we listened. And we told our own too. And we asked the power of the sun that shone through the burning logs in our ceremony to take those souls that wanted to be released home.

At times, we were asked to share more details of our ancestry, or our work, or our personal stories. At times, the energy was so strong that we left our personalities behind and became the masculine and feminine spirits of the land dancing and meeting through our bodies and hearts. And that was quite a ride! And amazingly, we were given horses to ride and we travelled from our home out onto Dartmoor to meet the old stones and circles, and to take in the views and the clean air, and to climb the rocky torrs and hear the buzzards cry out to the wind. One walker told me as we passed by that we were cheating (being on horseback). I replied that all depended on which game we were playing and with what rules. So for me, the game has changed and I with it. Who is this man that rides a horse and wants to know about the nutrients in the waters? Who is this man that has followed his dream and is being stretched into a new place of being and strength at the centre of his circle. Though I know this feeling that is constant and old that has accompanied me since I was a child talking to the spirits in the garden, this new expression is a delightful and unexpected surprise. I rediscovered the stars behind my belly button and remembered where I come from. I found a new level of sensitivity and the ground to hold it. I found that the quantum leap we took in our relationship last summer was just a warm-up for this one. It’s not easy but I don’t think easy suits me very well. Relaxation yes, but I like to be stretched and pulled apart from time to time.

And so here I am, arriving in Oslo to begin again. Rested and regenerated. I feel humbled by the task that may be common to us all to cut away what no longer serves us so that the shining simplicity of our true nature can shine through and dance its dance in this precious world. Going back to work used to remind me of the dread of beginning a new year at school but this year, there is a continuity that just makes sense. From rest to action and back again. And so I will continue to travel and offer the direct medicine that is the dance. And I will bring with me this sense of standing on new ground. I hope to meet you out there on the road and dance a dance with you, and remember again who we are, and what matters to us. In October, I will spend another month at home and I have committed myself to writing down the story of my initiation into shamanic practice and turning it into a new book. Another chapter, another story to tell. And as they say, telling the story that was, makes space for a new story to be born.

I wish you all a beautiful and balanced equinox time. May the ground beneath you hold you and strengthen you and may the wind lift up your heart to the sky.

Ya’Acov. September 2013.

 

Ya’Acov’s Autumn Term Calendar

 

September

16-22                    Apprenticeship Final Module at Rill with Susannah

27-6/10       Initiation at Rill with Susannah (still a few spots left – contact Roland)

 

October

8                  Bringing the Dance Back Home: Webinar online wherever you are

November

5                  Bringing the Dance Back Home: Webinar online wherever you are

8-10            Tending the Circle in Hamburg: Contact Jens on +49 40 729 100 61

22-24                    The Way of the Dancing Warrior in Prague. Contact Veronika on +420 776 243 348      

December

2-11            Professional Training Module 1 at Rill with Susannah

17                Bringing the Dance Back Home: Webinar online wherever you are

18-22                    Returning Home: Switzerland with Susannah. Contact Roland

(*) mesa is the Spanish word for table. In the shamanic context, it means the energetic container that a shaman develops through their training that makes the space safe to work in. The Movement Medicine mandala is the symbol, which describes the territory that is the energetic field that is Movement Medicine.

Landing at 50 ...
By Susannah What a beautiful, unexpected, splendid, extraordinary summer we have had. In June we arrived in our new house and land, laughing with awe and gratitude and (almost) disbelief. In July I was 50 and we had my birthday party and house warming in one long beautiful celebration.

We’ve spent the summer at home in the beautiful sun of this unusual English summer, receiving the quietness, the beauty, the smells, and slowly meeting this land; tree by tree, hedge by hedge, dock, nettle and bramble by dock, nettle and bramble. And we’ve been learning what it needs from us. We’ve done a lot, and of course this is only the beginning of the journey which will evolve in the dialogue between us and the land, as we learn how to be stewards of its flowering.

We’ve been asking ourselves a question, how did this come about? It certainly wasn’t the result of a seriously held intentional intention. We’ve been following a playful thread of possibility, underneath which is a backdrop of love and desire for wilderness and earth under our feet. This is my part of the story, at least, as I am aware of it right now. Since I was a child in Africa, and then back in the UK, every summer at my Uncle and Aunt’s organic farm in Wales, working with land and animals has been a strong part of my love and my longing. In the last decades its been expressed in many ways, but not directly in my every day life, except through gathering nettles in the forest where we used to live and caring for our garden.

In the mountains in Portugal last summer I was instructed that I really needed land… We heard the instruction which felt like it came from the rocks themselves, but, as we looked at what this meant for our lives, we felt that it would have to wait a few years, “we’re too busy now, with the Apprenticeships and everything” we said. That reminds me of how we felt before we really heard the call to become parents… “Oh no, we’re not having children” we said, “we’re much too busy with important things to do to have children!” So much for that arrogance, and thank god we heard and followed the whisper from the infinite which turned into our beautiful son.

Anyway, last year we put away thoughts of land, until we came back from the journey with the Pachamama Alliance to Ecuador in January, when suddenly it erupted again, and we started, still playfully, looking in Estate Agent’s windows and at properties on the internet. We looked at this property because of the magnificent horses in the Estate Agent’s picture, and went to see it because of all the eco-features. That proved to be like going to “just look” at a puppy. We were smitten. We both felt immediately “oh god, this is home.” Somehow what had seemed impossible became possible. I am so grateful. Of course there was lots we did to make it possible and lots of support on many levels made it possible. The thing which drove it was a feeling that, in some way, we were already there. And what has been startling is how everyone has said more or less the same thing; “this fits you” which has really surprised us.

Many great people have helped us deal with all the details which at times have felt overwhelming. On the day we had to move out of our old house, we still had not exchanged or completed our contract on the new one, but it worked out, almost to the minute. That was a moment of having to hold our faith and trust the adventure!

I have to take my hat off to Ya’Acov. I grew up farming, but this has been a huge leap for him. Before we moved he said something like “I can feel that the land is going to ask me to grow into whole new and previously unknown parts of myself”. And he is! It’s so beautiful for me to see my man discovering the joy of physical work on and with the land. I love him in his work clothes in the strimmer harness, making sure that the brambles don’t take over our world, and to gallop next to him on the moor, wow!

My parents wrote, on their birthday card to me, “Your love of the land has born fruit” and this feels true and at the same time astonishing and amazing. I have been longing for this since I was little, but I’m not really sure how it has happened, except that we have gone on following the thread of what we feel is being asked of us and of our excitement, interest and desire. I can feel already that our contribution to the world is going to be substantially enhanced and supported by the land which we are becoming intimately energetically and practically involved with. It feels like having a really, deep, wide and spacious ground from which to engage with the world.

I’m really still taking it in and as we learn about what our role is. What I know so far is that we are here to enhance the bio-diversity in and between the meadows especially for the birds, bees and butterflies, and by making our small lake into a wildlife haven. And I feel we are only at the beginning of deepening into the dance of living a personal day to day communion with pachamama and the dance of the seasons. I am so grateful.

And there is another strand to our presence here. This land, which looks so peaceful and beautiful, has not always been so. This house is built on the site of the old gas works (where they turned coal into gas for lighting) for a big psychiatric hospital which was opened in 1891 and closed in 1992. I feel we are also here to be part of the healing and renewal of this land by bringing remembrance, honouring, and beauty. Some of the land we “own” was a quarry from which they mined the stone to build the hospital, then the quarry was used for rubbish from the hospital. Johnny, the guy who, with his wife, bought and transformed this place has done an amazing job in healing that scar and bringing healthy life back. Our job seems to be the next step in that reparation; Phoenix medicine with the land itself. I feel the earth energy here is so, so beautiful, strong and supportive, and at the same time is longing for gentleness. And we are engaging with this dance of reciprocity step by dancing, gentle, explorative, learning step. The patients’ graveyard is up the road, and in one meditation I was asked to take flowers there every month for a year. I’ve just taken our second months flowers there with our dear friend Sarah Patterson, and as we had a quite moment in prayer with the flowers and the memorial stone in the graveyard, a glad peace came. I asked the florist to make a bouquet with as many different flowers as possible, to represent all the different, unique human beings who were buried here. This feels good. Part of our journey of responsibility in being here.

And us! Yes, we’ve had another one of our summer relationship intensives! In the last years we have learnt that we both can be (differently) right. This year we have learnt that we can both be wrong! That’s been so good, humbling and funny (once we got it). I’ve seen another layer of my defences and how hard I will battle to keep them and my story that they are necessary. And there has been such softening and relief. This relationship thing is really the greatest, most challenging, most wonderful teacher I have ever had. Thank you Ya’Acov! I’m so appreciative of us both for staying with the journey. And we find it does keep getting better.

And becoming 50. Wow. Becoming 50 feels like a beautiful and potent fulcrum in my life. At one moment in the several day celebration, I was with a small group of close women friends. I was talking about my metaphorical “bridge to 50” and Susie suggested that as we walked up to Dartmoor I made a conscious bridging of the stream. The women who were under 50 stood behind me, the ones who were over 50 stood on the other side of a small bridge. Before I walked over the bridge, I looked back and saw the track of my life from birth to now laid out on the ground. Julie gave me some cedar-wood, and I went back to the start, and blessed and thanked my parents and my conception and birth and walked through the decades remembering, thanking and blessing. What was startling was seeing the 3 decades of sustained work in one direction. Since I left medical school at 19 I’ve been on a clear compass. It was quite something to realise that and the length of it. Then the women who were younger than 50 asked me what I would want to pass on to them from my 50 years so far. I found myself saying (rather startlingly) “Don’t be afraid of hard work and strong, committed, long term effort. Get clear what is important to you and simply to go for it, stay with it, and give whatever you are committed to the time to put down roots and to grow.” Then I looked across the bridge at my two beautiful older woman friends who were standing on the other side of the bridge. They were radiant and shining, holding flowers and my deer blanket and ready to welcome me. I walked over singing “Now I walk in beauty” and was enfolded in their sweet, joyous, gentle welcome. As they whispered their welcome to me, I felt I was receiving a secret, about how wonderful it is to be older, freer and even more oneself. The younger women said how important it was for them to receive this beautiful inner picture of what it can mean to get older as a woman. Then we all crossed the bridge and went up to Dartmoor where we washed in the stream before going to have birthday tea. Yum. And then Ya’Acov started an extra-ordinary roll of surprise after surprise after glorious surprise. Reuben cooked an haute cuisine supper for 12 of us, and the next night we had the party of parties (so far!). I felt so loved and celebrated. Thank you Ya’Acov, and thank you all. One very special moment was when everyone sang happy birthday (twice- thank you Malcolm!) and the harmony and strength of the song in 360 degrees was music medicine of such beautiful strong, loving, joyous vibrational calibre- thank you! And I am so grateful that my Mum (in good health) my Dad, my brother and Ya’Acov’s Mum and many of his family were all there to celebrate with us.

I remember a lovely older lady who, at the end of Initiation years many years ago had something to announce; “Listen you young people!” she said,  “I see many of you going through such angst about your lives, your identity and what you are here for and all that. I understand,” she said, “I’ve been there too! But there is good news! Once you get to 50 it all gets easier.” So far, that is what it feels like.

I’ve just been in The Hague to dancing Love Stories with a very strong group, and I can feel a change in the work. I don’t know if it’s the land, being 50, or just having had time off, but I feel another level of integration, ease and depth which I look forward to sharing with you if/when you want to come and share a dance floor with me. Ya’Acov and I are offering our yearly ‘washing machine workshop’ Initiation at the Rill centre in late September. A very few places left if you fancy a deep dive into the dance of your life. And next year’s ‘Journey of Empowerment’ back at the beautiful Waldhaus in Switzerland is open for booking. This course (along with Initiation and the Phoenix) is an important step in laying the foundation for the AP for those of you wanting to move in this direction. And of course it’s a powerful transformative journey just in its own right.

Love to you and wishing you the courage to love and to desire what you truly desire and to work with joy for what you really, really feel is important,

And wishing us all a beautiful turning of the season,

Susannah

Susannah’s Autumn Term Calendar

September

16-22           Apprenticeship Final Module at Rill with Ya’Acov

27-6/10        Initiation at Rill with Ya’Acov (a few places left – contact Roland)

October

8                  Bringing the Dance Back Home: Webinar online wherever you are

November

1-3            Arc of Time in Luzern. Contact Kristin +41 788 013210  movementmedicinebasel@gmx.ch   www.kf-events.ch

5                  Bringing the Dance Back Home: Webinar online wherever you

8-10             Source in Paris. Contact Pierre Henri:  + 33 615 325 816  letsmoveinfrance@gmail.com www.letsmove.fr

15-17           The Circle and the Sword in Munchen. Contact Claudia on +49 89  292644 CRR@move-life.com

22-24             Love Stories in London, Contact Alex + 44 7868842219 alexhanly@hotmail.com   www.alexhanly.com/movement-medicine

December

2-11             Professional Training Module 1 at Rill with Ya’Acov

17                Bringing the Dance Back Home: Webinar online wherever you are

18-22           Returning Home: Switzerland with Ya’Acov. Contact Roland

 

My Left Foot
By Samantha Brauer
Movement Medicine with my left foot. 4 days of Dancing with the Heart of the World. As always, my heart calling me to be there. My life arranged and orientated towards another opportunity to be reunited with our community of dancers and the privilege of Yaacov and Susannah holding us all in their creative mastery.

As I lay in the agony of the broken foot with the Awareness of what had just happened, I thought sometimes pain is there to call us to presence.  So in the days to follow I came to accept my fate surrendering to the 4 walls of my enforced vision quest. As I lay with my foot elevated in a moonboot praying by some miracle that the surgeon’s insistence  to operate would not be my story. I felt deeply into my body and the story I wished to write was one where I trusted my body and its intelligence to know what it needed to do to heal itself. I took comfrey to assist the bones in knitting, remained immobile and prayed. After 10 days I found a second opinion that supported my choice not to operate. I breathed a deep sigh of relief, in fact I was ecstatic for an entire! However this relief was short lived as now I was to be married to my moonboot for 3 months with no weight bearing. I could not help but wonder what treasures lay beneath this shipwreck of my now broken left foot.

The gifts of my left foot continued as I struggled through the frustration and dependency and need to ask for help. I came to moments of sweet stillness and presence to it all and as with all waves I then dropped into such deep vulnerability, grief and frustration that had me cornered as if there was no way out. From the darkness I would then be drawn to hearing the birds singing outside my window and a rush of energy would move through my body. I felt the miracle of life coming to meet me even from my place of immobility.

Step by step I watched the old forms breaking away dislodging themselves from my body, my being making way for the new forms to emerge as my bones began to meet again a new.

Initially with talk of an operation I saw no way to being at “The Heart of the World” with Susannah and Ya’acov. My life planned around their arrival like life buoys floating in the deep blue. In the months leading up to the workshop this is one of the few things that makes sense to me; dancing in prayer for all our relations. One footed or two need not make a difference to my offering in the dance. It slowly dawned on me that maybe, just maybe this was one of the treasures to be unearthed.

What would it be like to practice this medicine I hold so dearly in my life with only one foot mobile and not being able to stand. I would be totally dependent on others for support, a thought that left me feeling very uncomfortable, and of course bringing my deep vulnerability to the dance floor.

Was this a gateway to experience what it’s like to have a physical limitation? How would that change the experience for me and for others? And so the mind became very active trying to figure it all out. What would it feel like to be a special needs case, to need support and help so visibly? How am I going to manage to move?

In movement as in life we can get stuck in habitual ways of moving and doing things if we do not invite presence and consciousness to our movement in life.

When you are literally taken off your feet there is no space for habitual ways of moving and engaging. It is all new and so herein lay the many gifts and blessings of this experience. I accessed ancient memories buried deep in my body having no bearing on my ability to stand on both my feet.

In order to show up with what ever we perceive to be our limitation we simply have to surrender to what is. So I let go of all the questions and chose to enter the moment letting my left foot guide me, trusting in the medicine of the dance and offering my prayer that when this foot touches the Earth once again it will know in which direction to walk this Earth - with Love, Respect, Gratitude, Blessings and Divine Guidance.

And now 3 months later, I am walking with my embodied realized prayers about to enter the African wilderness, one of many dreams come true.

Meeting the wild with Caroline Carey and Annemeike van Bellen
By Almut Ibler
I am on my journey home from a wonderful workshop led by Caroline Carey and Annemeike van Bellen. Meeting the wild was much more than just a dance movement workshop. It was a multi- facetted retreat where we were reminded again who we are really are.

Arriving in Cae Mabon, where the workshop took place, was like being in the lands of hobbits and trolls. Cae Mabon is one of the most magical retreat places I have ever been to. Hobbit huts in the middle of the forest, surrounded by a river and a beautiful lake with the mountains of snowdonia as backdrop. It felt like being in the spirit and fairy kingdom with the assistance of nature and all its elements.

On our first day, the earth day, we looked at our own story of leaving home. After dancing our story in a beautiful barn, we met at the bonfire, where we expressed our thoughts and feelings with some clay artwork. After that we ventured into the forest to meditate and contemplate further our leaving home story. In the evening we met for a shamanic journey led by the drumming of Caroline and Annemeike.

The next day, the fire day, we had a closer look with the support of our dance and with more artwork at our leaving home story and how much it still sculpts our lives today. I think I have looked at a lot of stories and events in my past, but I never really investigated my leaving home story. I was amazed at how much that story still shows up in my life. Before we went to bed we were led into another shamanic journey and went to the forest for more answers.

After a good night sleep and lots of dreaming in my wooden hut, that was built like a traditional home of the Navajo people, I raised to venture into our next day together, the water day. I felt immediately connected to the element of water, the constant roar of the river as background music defintely helped. The element of water just washed through my body and I had the feeling that a big clensing of old stories and beliefs was taking place.

On our last day, the air day, we got up early in the morning and went on a vision quest in nature. It was just pure bliss to lie in a field of blueberries, covered by ferns and trees and listen to the answers of mother nature. I never felt more held and supported. In the evening we met for our ceremonial theatre around the fire place in a roundhouse. Here we had the chance to let the spirit world know what our vision is for our life and what fairytale we would love to live.

I truly enjoyed my time in Cae Mabon and I felt always supported by the gentleness, love and support I received from Annemeike, Caroline and my fellow dancers. Meeting the wild was a workshop, where dance, vision quests, art work and wonderful people helped me to connect to myself again and encouraged me to live the life I want to live.

Movement Medicine Shop
From Susannah
Dear all, I want to introduce you to Tabitha, who has now taken over running the Movement Medicine Shop now that Frazer has moved on to focus on his counselling work. Frazer did a wonderful job for many years, and I know that many of you enjoyed his kind, warm, lovely presence and help in finding what you needed. Im sure you will join me in wishing him all the very best as his counselling work takes off.

So Tabitha continues the tradition of warm shopkeepers with great taste in music and great people skills which was started by Kay Chambers, (thank you lovely Kay), continued by Frazer (thank you Frazerli) and now passes to Tabitha.  

Tabitha brings a new presence to the shop, which is her ease with facebook, so you’ll be hearing from her on the MM Facebook page every now and again. If you want to suggest any track for her to highlight, please let her know.

So, here is Tabitha:

 

"Dear MM community,

As some of you may already know I have recently taken over from Frazer running the MM shop. I'm delighted to be doing this and to be a part of providing support for this brilliant practice we love so much!

Please get in touch with me if you have any suggestions or things you would like to see more of. I'll be bringing the shop to workshops at Rill as usual & will soon be adding more music as mp3s. If you haven't already explored the online shop as a resource I highly recommend it & I will do my best to help you with any questions you may have. I look forward to connecting with even more of you over the coming months. Also there are two wonderful new products soon to be available, one is Susannah's new album, 'All The Earth Is Sacred' which is in the final stages of production & the other is Caroline Carey's new book of poetry called 'SHE has a voice'.

With love,

Tabitha."

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