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

Positive Shifts and Wonderful Upcoming Movement Medicine Workshops
By Hanna
Wow, what a rich year this has been for me, in so many ways and on so many levels. Another round circling the sun on this troubled, shifting and amazingly beautiful Earth with all its unbelievable wonder, mystery and life. Another round as part of all of this in its ugliness and its glory. Another round as human being amongst a whole bunch of other humans, learning and growing in this life and co-creation here – the giving and receiving, the being and becoming, and the living of more and more love, respect, connection and truth with myself and others.

For me this year has been one of deep, deep learning, of much transformation and big shifts. It has brought the seeing, recognizing and dropping of more layers that were covering my Self. It has been a daring journey of radical courage in following my freedom and my true joy more and more instead of following conditioning of lifetimes or generations and outdated, limiting believes.
I managed to find the door and gradually step out of a very fierce, dark, violent, self-made and conditioning-shaped internal ‘prison’, which was visible and ‘real’ to nobody but myself. Wow! – the freedom that comes when I dare to say yes to the pure essence of my being and its expression, when I continue to free it of all the ‘clutter’ covering it and live in accordance to its truth and movement while connected to the truth and movement of all other life around me ... The aliveness and possibility it brings.

These radical inner shifts life has facilitated and I have experienced have brought momentous outer shifts, as the ripples are going out. Such big transformations I never thought possible. And so I see and experience a ‘new world’. A completely new experience of now seeing and living life through the eyes of deep and honest love and respect for myself and the freedom and courage to ‘just’ BE ME.

So, on a personal level, I have been through a real revolution this year. And knowing how the personal is connected to the collective ... this hope in my heart is growing once again, that we can all come back to the experience of deep inner love and respect for self and everything around us, that we can wake up to our own unique magic, matching and mirroring all the magic of this creation all around. I believe freedom, harmony, love and truth can be ours to experience, if we choose so.

I wish all of you a wonderful rounding off of this cycle and this year. I wish you all a beautiful time of contemplation and celebration between the years, counting the blessings, and celebrating yourself for yet another learning circle around the sun, on this most interesting place called Earth.

And here are the upcoming Movement Medicine workshops, for more celebration of body, mind and heart, for the deepening of dreams and visions ahead and to start the new year fully embodied and dancing:

3–16 January: Dancing with the Heart of the World IV: Amazonian intensive with Dave Tucker, Susannah and Ya’Acov. Ecuador, South America.
In this radical and powerful intensive, Ya’Acov and Susannah team up with Pachamama Journeys director David Tucker to take participants on a life-changing journey into the rainforest.
Click
here for more information about the journey.

12 January: Awakening the Dancer with David Mooney. Paris, France.
This introductory event provides the opportunity to get into that body and just dance, express and move for one evening. Letting the mind drop into the body, our inner dancer will lead the way to free and authentic movement, bringing your whole self into the dance.
Contact Pierre-Henri:
+ 33 615 325 816; letsmoveinfrance@gmail.com

12–14 January: Spirit of the Dancing Heart with Rosie Perks and Ben Yeger. Dartington, Totnes, UK.
With gentleness, experience and embodied wisdom, Rosie and Ben are
leading the participants through the landscape of the feeling, expansive heart. In a safe and supported environment this workshop dances with the heart, with particular focus on grief and conflict, and explores how our emotions find movement and fluidity when they are expressed and embodied.
Contact Emily: +44 07876 494070;
beyournotenow@gmail.com

19–21 January: The Wisdom of Conflict with Ben Yeger. Athens, Greece.
Mostly we have unconscious patterns that are repeated over and over of how to meet situations of conflict. This workshop invites you to find some of these personal stories and guides you into bringing movement and physical exploration to the relationship between inner and outer conflict, finding new roads and possibilities enhanced by change as opposed to repetition.
Contact Maria: movement.medicine.greece@gmail.com

26–28 January: Gold of the Soul with David Mooney. Graz, Austria.
Seeing your own life energy as the
gold of your soul, this workshop offers the space to reclaim more of that energy, to release old and stuck patterns and unhelpful energy that are covering that 'gold' and will leave you with resources to integrate this into your daily life.
Contact: eva.jagati@gmail.com, helga@kochana.at

26–28 January: 21 Gratitudes with Ya’Acov. San Francisco, USA.
This workshop will bring the participants to the core of the work of Movement Medicine and will include a ceremonial ritual space to discover and dance through all 21 Gateways of the maps of Movement Medicine. This shamanic journey will bring joys and challenges and it will bring us closer to our very own essence. It will facilitate deep letting go, recommitting to what is important and finding balance between being and doing.
Contact Jennifer Coffey:
0014155055626; jencoffey@gmail.com

26–28 January: The Nine Gateways with Susannah. Burlington, Vermont, USA.
This weekend provides embodied and playful understanding of the nine Gateways of Movement Medicine, Body, Heart, Mind; Past, Present, Future; and Fulfilment, Interconnection and Realization. They form a three axis around the centre of our own circle, and through that can offer great orientation of our middle, our ground and our presence. Enjoy a full weekend workshop of dance, connection and song with great guidance and wonderful companions.
Contact Carolyne Cooke: cecookevt@comcast.net

26–28 January: Out of Ashes with Rosie Perks. Frankfurt, Germany.
In an embodied and safe way, this weekend invites
the dancers to explore our relationship with grief and how it moves in our bodies and hearts. How much we love becomes visible when we grieve what we have lost. This link between the grief of loss and the power of love are part of this safe exploration of Movement Medicine, where participants are invited to journey with their very personal relationship to loss and grief and the love it emerges from.
Contact Birgit Osterholt: +49-(0)173-3139115; dance@birgit-osterholt.de

30 Jan–4 Feb: Phoenix Retreat with Ya’Acov. Port Townsend, USA.
This intensive opens a space
to become aware of unhelpful stories inside of us, keeping us from living and expanding into our full potential, it opens a space for a new connections with the pure and essential parts of ourselves, some of which may have been hidden behind 'understudies' – voices and parts that take over certain areas in our psyche. This workshop is also one of the stepping stones towards and apprenticeship with Movement Medicine.
Contact:
Info@MadronaMindBody.com

5 February: Vulnerability and Power in the Shaman's World, a talk with Ya’Acov. Seattle, USA.
This event includes a reading from Ya'Acov's new book, a talk, a music led shamanic journey, and a book-signing.
Contact Aditi (Angie) Muir: 206-552-8056

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

8 February: Vulnerability and Power in the Shaman's World, a talk with Ya’Acov. Vancouver, Canada.
This event includes a reading from Ya'Acov's new book, a talk, a music led shamanic journey, and a book-signing.
Conact: bettina.rothe@gmail.com

9–11 February: Embodied Leadership (women’s edition) with Susannah. Geetbets, Belgium.
With the wonderful healing and grounding tools of Movement Medicine, this workshop offers a field of play, work and exploration for women, with the focus on how we women want to take our place in a shifting and changing world. Through learning in more depths about who we truly are and who we want to be, it can become clearer how to claim leadership spaces, be that as a mother of children or in the business world.
Contact Luc:
+32 61 32 99 20; luc@owc.be

9–11 February: Return of the Light with Ya’Acov. Vancouver, Canada.
This is an invitation for an embodied spring cleanse of heart, body and mind, releasing what is not needed any longer. It is also an invitation to refresh your sense of self, of your own centre and of the commitment to being all you are. A wonderful way to greet the fresh year, bringing life and light back into body, dance and being while confirming the direction you wish to travel towards.
Contact Bettina:
+1 (604) 767-3798; bettina@bettinarothe.com

10–11 February: Presence of Heart with David Mooney. Paris, France.
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.
Marie Gaëlle: 0033 (0)7 61 27 32 79; mgs@bbox.fr

16–18 February: Wisdom of Conflict with Ben Yeger. Gallman Centre, Kenya.
Mostly we have unconscious patterns that are repeated over and over of how to meet situations of conflict. This workshop invites you to find some of these personal stories and guides you into bringing movement and physical exploration to the relationship between inner and outer conflict, finding new roads and possibilities enhanced by change as opposed to repetition.
Contact Sveva: sveva8@icloud.com

Susannah and 2017 …
By Susannah
What a year! As we approach the turning time of the solstice, and what has become an annual “rite of passage” in our lives between one year and the next at our “Returning Home” workshop, I’m reflecting on what feels like a year of agony and ecstasy, of hope and of despair. I’m aware of so many levels of this, from the personal out to the macro.

Ya’Acov and I have been in a deepening dance of our relationship which is intense, challenging and sweet beyond my wildest, most tender dreams. This is linked to our joint decision for Ya’Acov’s book to lead the way for us to be able to offer our work to a wider group of people worldwide, whilst continuing to nurture and play our role within the development of Movement Medicine. It’s happening.

I’ve been really touched by the many strong and heartful responses to “Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart”. I’m not surprised, but I am really glad that the medicine of Ya’Acov’s honest, passionate writing is reaching and landing way beyond the circle of people who already know him and us. Hooray!

My own work is benefiting from the inner ‘drop’ into my own capacity to receive more support, from my man, from others and from life, which the process between us connected with Ya’Acov’s book (as described in my September article “A Postcard from my Learning Edge”) has catalysed in me. Over and over again I am recognising my unconscious default mode of self-reliance, how easy it is to subtly (and again unconsciously) ‘manage’ things so that I get the confirmation that my old story is correct. I’ve become aware of the sheer depth of scariness and vulnerability involved in moving from the safe territory of the known, however painful and lonely it is, to a place of greater openness and trust. And this is me, who comes from such a relatively sane background. As a consequence, my respect for the deep challenge of change and transformation for all and any of us has gone up another few notches.

I recognise just how much individual responsibility is needed to heal, release and transform habitual survival strategies (which, in Movement Medicine we call 'understudies') which, of course, have arisen not just through personal, but through society's wide and trans-generational deep suffering. And at the same time, like football, transformation is a team game. As humans, we need each other. There is no way I would have been able to get where I am getting to without Ya’Acov’s own growing awareness, strength, clarity and compassion. It does take two to tango. And it does take a village to raise a child, or grow an adult. We do need each other to heal, to transform and it’s not always easy or light going. Real change takes time, patience, tolerance and sincere effort by everyone involved to take responsibility and to recognise the systemic, co-arising, relational nature of pretty well any of our patterns. This is a deeper meaning of the both/and ‘autonomy and community’, ‘individuality and relationality’, ‘micro and macro’, ‘inner and outer’ work, which is central to Movement Medicine, and is reflected in our central five dimensions of awareness: self, other, community (all levels and all nesting spheres of community including the non-human world), spirit world and the divine.

Talking of relationship with the non-human world, Ivor and Ivanhoe, our two beautiful, strong and so sensitive wild-born Exmoor ponies are teaching me more than I could have dreamed of about the nature of leading from listening, about true conversation, gentleness, congruence and clarity. Teachings which emerge from this deep learning situation are already making it explicitly and implicitly on to my dance floors to beautiful effect. I’m very grateful for the pure love and pure mirroring these two are bringing me and I thank pony whisperer Dawn Westcott for her profound support in this journey. More about them in New and Good”, my November 2017 article.

Since my birthday vision quest in 2016, it’s been clear to me that it’s time for me to bring our work into the mainstream. I’m ready for it and its ready for me. My new workshop “Life Lab” is one of the several cutting edges for me in this regard, with its focus on resourcing people with a tool kit that can be useful in day to day life. It is designed both for dancers who want to learn more about how to bring the gifts of the dance-floor into everyday life, and for those who don’t identify with being dancers, but who want to learn tools that support presence, potency, partnership, perspective and purpose in life through embodied practice.

And, recently, I’ve begun what I hope will develop into a deep thread in my life, to bring Movement Medicine into the NHS (National Health Service of the UK). Thanks to the initiative of Rebekah O’Rourke, and collaboration between herself, the Kings Fund and the NHS, this start that has been made. It is but one small step, but a very good one, and I’m very grateful to all those who made this possible. It’s an answer to a deep prayer. In the process of this work I realised that my grandfather (my Mum’s father) was a historian who wrote a book which became a standard text book for those studying the subject: “The Coming of the Welfare State” by Maurice Bruce. I feel the echoes of my grandfather’s humanist passion for the welfare state in how strongly I feel about the NHS and caring for those who work in it and whom it serves. It was a great privilege to meet and work with some of the extra-ordinary women playing important roles in the NHS. I witnessed their deep care, courage and generosity, and it was such a gift to be able to offer them some Movement Medicine.

Which brings me to my father Richard Darlington, who is now 84 and is living well, 3 and half years after the death of his wife Elizabeth Darlington, my Mum. I feel so proud of him and how he is managing to both grieve her fully and embrace this new era of his life with open hands. He is going on learning, developing and offering his love, wisdom and art into the world in many ways. He drove to Waldhaus in Switzerland with Reuben in the summer, when Reuben, our son, was going to cook there, and spent a week as ‘grandfather in residence’, sketching away, experiencing and contributing to the loving field of energy that is Waldhaus and continuing his heart pilgrimage of visiting the special places he and Mum had loved together. I’m so grateful for this Waldhaus welcome of my Dad, clearly there was a fit! And right now they are continuing the tradition, welcoming Angela, Ya’Acov’s amazing Mum here with us for this week of our “Returning Home” workshop.

I’m settling into writing a book for Movement Medicine professionals and others who are offering Conscious Dance or embodied healing work. I’m wanting to bring together the concepts, understandings and stories which are the harvest of my 30 years in this field, and which there is never time to share in their full depth on our Professional Trainings. Writing this book has come to feel like a real personal need, to get this ‘down on paper’. Predictably, as I am writing, more is falling into place. It’s been so important to let this emerge in the right time and from a deep place of relaxation and personal “enough-ness” and not as a reflex of ‘trying to keep up’ with my stratospheric husband.

And lastly, Movement Medicine is growing. We feel it in the ether and we see it on the number of successful classes and workshops happening out there. Movement Medicine is growing a name for itself. As it does so, it becomes more and more of a living network; a living system which begins to mirror within itself the all and the everything that it is part of. This is inevitable, healthy and not always easy.

Recently, there have been challenges coming from within the Movement Medicine community as voices are raised to have different experiences of race and ethnicity more well recognised, and to know that we, as leaders, recognise the reality of racial prejudice is alive and kicking within society and the need for all of us to get more conscious, aware and responsible. We accept the challenge gladly and with excitement about the enrichment of our community awareness, and consequently we will be continuing our own studies in this area and making sure that diversity training is part of our professional training from now on.

Speaking of diversity, I want to share this little video that one of the elders who dance with us Judith Buchli asked to make with me recently. She is speaking to encourage other elders to come and move their medicine. Thank you Judith!

And lastly, I want to celebrate our new online course: “Standing at the Centre of your own Circle” and the wonderful feedback we are getting. Thank you to everyone who has already joined the course and let us know how it is landing with you. It is never too late to join the course and we have made a little video to explain how it works here.

Wishing you all a good solstice and renewal of the light, and the courage to own your part and play your part with joy, grace and co-creative collaboration in these challenging times of such possibility.

With love,

Susannah



Forthcoming Workshops with Susannah:

3–16 January: Dancing with the Heart of the World IV: Amazonian intensive with Dave Tucker, Susannah and Ya’Acov. Ecuador, South America.
In this radical and powerful intensive, Ya’Acov and Susannah team up with Pachamama Journeys director David Tucker to take participants on a life-changing journey into the rainforest.
Click
here for more information about the journey.

26–28 January: The Nine Gateways with Susannah. Burlington, Vermont, USA.
This weekend provides embodied and playful understanding of the nine Gateways of Movement Medicine, Body, Heart, Mind; Past, Present, Future; and Fulfilment, Interconnection and Realization. They form a three axis around the centre of our own circle, and through that can offer great orientation of our middle, our ground and our presence. Enjoy a full weekend workshop of dance, connection and song with great guidance and wonderful companions.
Contact Carolyne Cooke: cecookevt@comcast.net

9–11 February: Embodied Leadership (women’s edition) with Susannah. Geetbets, Belgium.
With the wonderful healing and grounding tools of Movement Medicine, this workshop offers a field of play, work and exploration for women, with the focus on how we women want to take our place in a shifting and changing world. Through learning in more depths about who we truly are and who we want to be, it can become clearer how to claim leadership spaces, be that as a mother of children or in the business world.
Contact Luc:
+32 61 32 99 20; luc@owc.be

28 Feb–3 March: Winter Dream Dance  (Apprentices only) with Susannah and Ya'Acov.
Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
This is a gathering where the Apprentices meet and rejoice in their community. As a winter dance, this is an invitation to turn inward and to nourish and be held by the practice shared, and to experience and be part of our dances and dreams weaving together.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255
roland@rwevents.co.uk

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

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

In Between Dreams
By Ya'Acov
Winter Solstice is on the near horizon and another new year is preparing to land bringing with it who knows what for us all in this magical mystery tour called life on earth. Does anyone know what’s actually happening? Here we are, poised between heaven and hell, between an old dream that does everyone and everything it touches harm and a new dream in which we might actually awaken and realise our responsibilities and the effect we have on each other and this whole web of life we so depend on.

I witness myself and many of us living in the space between these dreams. Sometimes I find the inner space and awareness to dance deeply with what’s happening, like a surfer – relaxed, balanced, focused and calm, riding the very edge of possibility. And sometimes I thrash around in the victim-persecutor-rescuer dance of all that has been and all that is. In the first place, I find the enormous courage it takes to see how I am the master of my own perception. And in the other, I fall again and again into the comfortable known of the deadly dance that is at the root of pretty much all of our human suffering. We are on the knife edge of evolution and that is an uncomfortable place to be. We have seen the story but we are still in it. Only through being honest with ourselves can we make space for both realities, acknowledging one and step by step, moving towards the other. Yes, we hurt each other. And yes, we are powerful in ways we do not recognise, paradoxically most of all when we don’t feel it.

In the past decades, it seems to me that evolution or at least change is speeding up, so much so that we can witness these interchangeable realities as they vie for supremacy inside us, between us and all around us. It’s a messy, time-consuming battle between old and new paradigms where the solid ground beneath us has become shifting sand and we need a high level of awareness if we are not to continue the cycle of violence and the victim-persecutor-rescuer dance that is apparently a necessary human theatre on the journey to becoming a dancing warrior.

I want to acknowledge that sometimes I find this waking up business really hard. I know we all do. I so know the temptation to throw myself back into the matrix, plug back in and fall comfortably numb into the short-termism of the blame-shame game. As they say, better the devil you know. But then I’ve been to the other side. I’ve remembered what it’s like to fall into the dark deep well of Artemis’s embrace and watch Apollo dance his magnificent dance across the illuminated sky. And that elixir, once tasted, changes everything. And strengthened beyond gratitude, I return to the fray. I pack my bag, get back on the road and invite as many people as I possibly can in as many places as I possibly can back into movement. Over the past three decades of work, I have stood at the gateway between the safety of the known and the call of the unknown, holding up the ‘this way’ sign post, thunderous beats at my finger-tips, and divine melodies waiting to be released like thousands of butterflies from their cocoons, sweeping away the dust from our shadowed eyes so that we can see again. What a privilege this life is! What a privilege my work, the choices I’ve made to keep on rocking up for that seemingly endless gig – taking things out of bags, putting them back in, planes, trains and long night drives, a road warrior leaving the place his heart longs to stay and saying yes to the places where his heart must go.

Yes, my life is an extraordinary gig and the road I have chosen to walk on has torn me to pieces often. I have no doubt it will continue to do so. Yes, I am deeply privileged. My ancestors made sure of that by surviving, and passing on a love of life that has endured some of the worst of human suffering. At times, they gave it out too. And thanks to our modern mixture of technology and the longing to learn, now I know that as well as being 92.4% Ashkenazi Jewish, some of my ancestors are North African, West Asian, Inuit and Greek. Wow, what a blend!

When I discovered this blend of where I come from, I cried such deep tears. In fact, I’ve cried more tears this year than in any year before. There is so much to cry for. And at the same time, I’ve felt clearer and stronger and more connected than at any other time in my life. I’ve earned the trust of my woman. And through that, I’ve earned the right to trust myself (not blindly – I’ve seen that and it’s never pretty). Do you know how rightly hard that is? It took me just under three decades. Not because she is who she is. But because we’ve all hurt each other so much over the thousands of years, the material we’re made from has been shape-shifting across a staggering diversity of experience. And as she has upheld me and recognised me, and as I do the same for her, the force that has come through the space between us might just be the greatest force in the universe and it is hard won. Not romantic love. Not idealistic love. Not a kind of love that tells us who we should be, how we should act according to whoever’s latest gospel. But love that is real, that sees, accepts and stays steady in the face of each other’s fear, imperfection, neurosis and blindness. Love that stands up and says yes, I am with you even as I witness another layer of defence peeling away from our massively tender hearts.

When we’re in the hell dance, there is someone to blame. And there are only two choices. It’s either your fault or mine and neither is pretty. That’s the vicious circle which just goes on creating more and more suffering. Or there is the infinity loop (or virtuous circle) in which the power of love is a never-ending source of blinding yang-solar-brilliance, beautifully interlaced with an ever deepening well of moss green, richly-dark-depth of yin embrace. It’s called a co-arising, a dance that is either a battle ground or a whole new creation that happens between any two apparently opposite forces. What co-arises is down to the story we tell.

Either we go on starting the story at some convenient place and ignore everything that came before and everything that doesn’t fit. And in this story, it’s always somebody or some group’s fault. It’s the Jews, it’s the immigrants, it’s the government, it’s the men, it’s ‘them’ … and on and on it goes.

And the other option? In my experience, there is a path and it always feels impossible to walk it. It takes a genuine leap into the unknown and into the archetype of the game-changer, the paradigm-shifter and in that place, we become the change that is needed. Firstly, it demands of us that we take the dangerous risk of speaking up. It asks that we acknowledge and become bigger than our fear. There is always resistance. We recognise our agency (our power) in the situation and we recognise that power equals responsibility (and consciousness of something that someone else is unconscious of is power too). And then, this being Movement Medicine, we get down in the beat and work, shape and express what needs expression, acknowledge the raw truth of the situation we’re facing, and responsibly and honestly communicate what we actually feel. This release of what we are carrying in time brings us to a new ground on which we can step out of the blame game, stop pointing the finger and begin to open to uncomfortable truths about ourselves. We begin to see how we ourselves are actually contributing to the situation that we feel so hurt by. And then we dance again, this time owning the very things we felt so hurt by. We sweat and dance, and dance some more until we create something new, together. At times, every one of us is capable of making these impossible leaps. And at others, we don’t yet have the ground to be with the feelings that are stirring beneath our conscious awareness. And painful as it is, we have to surrender to the mystery of timing, retreat, and commit to deepening our practice and our capacity. This is both an individual and systemic dance. Change is always catalysed by the brave. And, as a dear teacher of ours used to say: ‘You can’t stretch a leaf, it’s a growing thing.’

Maybe it’s just me and my Mrs., or maybe we’re all protecting the gold of the soul that’s hiding in the deepest of caves, guarded by the fiercest of dragons. Why? Well for me, it’s genuinely terrifying to reveal myself and I so want to and I so don’t. And therein is the dance dear Movement Medicine community. In my wounded and immature self, I want everyone to know what’s going on inside me without having to risk telling them. I want to stay hidden and identify with that which is broken inside me. I want the past to excuse me from the pain of revealing myself in the present. There are always a thousand reasons to keep the moon hidden behind the blanket grey skies. And more and more, thanks to the growing trust between Susannah and myself, I am able to choose this place that we are coming to recognise as mature love, and I remember that deep down place, the unbroken one, and I step forward to give what is in my heart to give.

For me, this year has been all about discovering that who I truly am is the acceptance of one (the scared one who wishes to hide) and the recognition of the other (the courageous one who loves leaping into the unknown). A dance of such tender delicacy that a butterfly’s wing would crush it. A dance of such fierce jaguar courage that no stone is left unturned. A recognition that the only real safety in this world is to be who I am and give what I’ve got, regardless.

So, dear dancing community, thank you for all the meetings this past year. For the tears cried and the revelations revealed. For the risks taken, for the prayers offered and all the thousands of actions taken as a result of those prayers. For the book written and released and read by many (thank you), for the new projects beginning (darlingkhanonline.com – online study in engaged shamanism), for the steady, step by step dance we are engaged in to bring this work to earth in its full form. The more people step forward to be part of the change we all wish to see, the stronger we all become. The more we step up, take responsibility for what matters to us and take steps to create it, the more likely it is that we fulfil our blueprints and make our offerings in full gratitude for the magnificent chance that life gives us. Reciprocity is the name of the game. Mature love is about taking a step further, past the idea of what we think we deserve, and recognising that what we want to receive, we must give. This is the power of the infinity loop that I am more and more aware of and it is the basis for growing up and living a balanced life. Not just for us as individuals, but across all five dimensions of relationship (community, other, self, imaginal or spirit world and source) that are the roots of Movement Medicine practice.

OK dear dancers - that’s me. 2017 out. 2018 in. And off to the Amazon we go (please click for an opportunity to give). Have a deep transition and don’t forget to let the Great Spirit know who you are as often as you can. Where’s the Great Spirit? Everywhere you look. And everywhere you don’t.

Ya’Acov Darling Khan. December 2017


Forthcoming Workshops with Ya’Acov:

3–16 January: Dancing with the Heart of the World IV: Amazonian intensive with Dave Tucker, Susannah and Ya’Acov. Ecuador, South America.
In this radical and powerful intensive, Ya’Acov and Susannah team up with Pachamama Journeys director David Tucker to take participants on a life-changing journey into the rainforest.
Click
here for more information about the journey.

26–28 January: 21 Gratitudes with Ya’Acov. San Francisco, USA.
This workshop will bring the participants to the core of the work of Movement Medicine and will include a ceremonial ritual space to discover and dance through all 21 Gateways of the maps of Movement Medicine. This shamanic journey will bring joys and challenges and it will bring us closer to our very own essence. It will facilitate deep letting go, recommitting to what is important and finding balance between being and doing.
Contact Jennifer Coffey:
0014155055626; jencoffey@gmail.com

30 Jan–4 Feb: Phoenix Retreat with Ya’Acov. Port Townsend, USA.
This intensive opens a space
to become aware of unhelpful stories inside of us, keeping us from living and expanding into our full potential, it opens a space for a new connections with the pure and essential parts of ourselves, some of which may have been hidden behind 'understudies' – voices and parts that take over certain areas in our psyche. This workshop is also one of the stepping stones towards and apprenticeship with Movement Medicine.
Contact:
Info@MadronaMindBody.com

5 February: Vulnerability and Power in the Shaman's World, a talk with Ya’Acov. Seattle, USA.
This event includes a reading from Ya'Acov's new book, a talk, a music led shamanic journey, and a book-signing.
Contact Aditi (Angie) Muir: 206-552-8056

8 February: Vulnerability and Power in the Shaman's World, a talk with Ya’Acov. Vancouver, Canada.
This event includes a reading from Ya'Acov's new book, a talk, a music led shamanic journey, and a book-signing.
Conact: bettina.rothe@gmail.com

9–11 February: Return of the Light with Ya’Acov. Vancouver, Canada.
This is an invitation for an embodied spring cleanse of heart, body and mind, releasing what is not needed any longer. It is also an invitation to refresh your sense of self, of your own centre and of the commitment to being all you are. A wonderful way to greet the fresh year, bringing life and light back into body, dance and being while confirming the direction you wish to travel towards.
Contact Bettina:
+1 (604) 767-3798; bettina@bettinarothe.com

A Personal Invitation from Vancouver
Soon Ya'Acov and Susannah will be teaching in the USA again and also in Canada. This round has Ya'Acov bring the Phoenix Retreat to the US, along with a few other workshops and events. A new workshop, The Return of the Light, will be offered in Vancouver and here is a personal invitation from Canada to partake in a wonderful weekend of dance, healing, connection and embodiment:

"Ya'Acov and I met on the dance floor in Switzerland in December 2000. His teaching style and personal energy deeply resonated. The intention was set then to bring him to my home town of Vancouver, Canada to offer his work. 17 years have passed and I am so happy to host him here in February. Vancouver is an incredible city between ocean and mountains, a perfect back drop for The Return of the Light."

Bettina Rothe

Honouring and Owning our Pain for the World – Grief and Conflict as Medicine for the Heart and Soul
By Ben Yeger
Joanna Macys spiral of ‘The work that reconnects’ offers us four points of reference: 1. Coming from gratitude, 2. Honouring and owning our pain for the world, 3. Seeing with new eyes, 4. Going forth. Joanna claims (and I agree) that the most vital and complex part of this repeating journey of reconnecting to our essence is the 2nd place on the cycle- honoring and owning our pain for the world.

She says “If we can really reconnect to our anger, fear, grief and sense of futility and emptiness we feel in response to the many manifestations of our human behavior on this planet in this unprecedented moment of challenge and opportunity, then we would truly be a force to reckon with.”

Why might this be true?
What would it be like if we chose to look deeply into our heart and allow ourselves to include the fear and grief that we feel at this moment in our human existence? What would it be like if we were able to accept the sense that this unprecedented moment in time is really upon us? That we are not just victims of this reality but also its creators? What would it be like if by taking this step towards this possible truth we could build a new kind of strength and resilience? A new reality in which we could dance with and move through this and emerge the other end with a whole load of new tools that we were not able to be in touch with before.

There seems to be collusion with the shutting down of grief (personal and collective), which is, in my opinion, a calamity and is no longer serving us. The acting out of the illusion of separation is the ultimate manifestation of conflict. It lives inside us and continuously spills out in violent ways onto others we come into contact with because we refuse to look at it in more direct ways.

At the moment, at every European city I pass through, I witness an increasing presence of armed police with grave looks. Looks of fear, which induces more fear in the passers by and me amongst them. This fear of the so-called threat to ‘civilised’ society, with the projection onto a dangerous and extreme ‘other’, is threatening to eat into the very fabric of our basic humanity. It is working very hard to convince us that we are separate, that there is an ‘us’ and ‘them’, in my understanding, this is simply not true! The invitation to find a new relationship to conflict is an invitation to heal this story of separation. What would it be like if we could start to find a new language, in which we were able to take full responsibility for which we are and how we relate?

What do we need to take this step? What tools and processes do we need right now?
First of all I’m pretty sure we need to dance. Finding ways to bring these questions and quest for reconnecting into movement, fully embody them, inviting our minds into our hearts and see what new information can emerge. The maps of Movement Medicine in general and the maps of the heart offer expansive gateways to explore big questions – so that's a good start …

My fellow Movement Medicine teacher and friend Rosie Perks has taken a long and deep personal journey to understand grief in all its painful beauty and glory. She has emerged from over 20 years of deep grieving, not only alive but also filled with riches that she is sharing with others right now. She has made it her medicine and is offering it all over the world. I have taken a long journey through a traumatic personal separation and experiences of what I now understand to be the distortion of conflict and have spent over 20 years of discovering, interacting with and articulating the wisdom of conflict. I too now share this as my medicine, drawing on this rich wisdom to offer another perspective on this ever present and persistent teacher as it manifests in all walks of life.

Rosie and I come together seeking a way to combine our medicine because we believe that grief and conflict are deeply related and that through our collaboration our combined medicine will become an even more potent offering.

We are on a journey together, on an enquiry. We are at a stage in our enquiry in which we want to offer an even more immersive journey. This starts with The Spirit of the dancing Heart in January and continues with the 5 day intensive in April. We are offering the intensive to allow us more time to dance, talk, process and learn together. To create a community of people who are willing and ready to take this step. On some level I want to believe that we all are ready, in our own way, to take this step. If this resonates for you then please contact Emily at beyournotenow@gmail.com to register this interest.

If you have already experienced the Out of the Ashes or The Wisdom of Conflict workshops that Rosie and I offer separately or indeed joined us last year for the first Spirit of the dancing heart, that is wonderful and will serve as strong ground for deepening the work. If this is your first step then that is also wonderful and you are most welcome. We all have a relationship with grief and conflict and all have a unique response to them. Now feels like a good time to come together in community to support each other to be brave enough to engage with what is true in our hearts.

Hope to see you on the journey soon,

Ben

To book onto The Spirit of The Dancing Heart please see information in this link.

Music Medicine
By Susannah
And my next musical offering Life Grooves is nearly out. Four movement meditations based in drums (Ya’Acov and myself and others) with Stef Vink’s piano and keyboards. I’ve been playing the instrumental versions a lot in my groups, and it’s so wonderful to have music made for the crescendo and de-crescendo and crescendo and de-crescendo that works so well in our work.

I asked on the Music Medicine FB page what meditations people would like, and someone asked for a meditation for starting the day, and one to end it. Thank you! So that’s what we’ve created, a Greeting the Day track plus an Ending the Day track, plus an Awakening the Dancer meditation and a Mesa Practice track. Each track will be available with and without the guiding voice. The album is called: Life Grooves.

Recently I visited Lua Maria (of Long Dance and Wild White Horses fame) and her family in the wilds of La Palma. She, I and her incredible dancing baby grooved to Greeting the Day and Ending the Day on the steep mountainside where they live. In the slanting first light cool early morning we danced Greeting the Day and in the warmth of the early evening sun through the pines of the mountain we danced together Ending the Day. Then I knew they worked. I’m sorry its taking such a long time to get them to you, finishing it off and making sure it is the best it can be is taking longer than we thought. Should be very soon now. Those people who have pre-ordered will get Greeting the Day now, as it is ready, and I didn’t want you to have to wait any longer for at least one track!

Lua’s new album, 'Semilla' will be out soon! Very beautiful! We’ll let you know first on the Music Medicine FB page.

Thank you for all the interest in the “Music for Life” album 4, which features some amazing tracks, including Reuben’s much asked for Hojita Verde. The Music for Life albums are sold 100% in aid of the Pachamama Alliance, which we are proud to support and be part of. Since last year there have been some hopeful movements for the Amazonian tribes who we stand with. More news about this from the Pachamama Alliance website. Do get involved. Adding your support as a regular donor is a powerful way to support and become an active part of this alliance.

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