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

Knowing That I don't Know, Choosing That I can Trust
By Hanna
Dear moving community! This is the last newsletter before the annual summer break, and we will be back with news and stories to share in September. This seems a 'short and sweet' issue this time, in which you find an update from Susannah and Ya'Acov, a piece on the Movement Medicine Sponsorship Fund, and my own sharing around trust. Enjoy!
Is it always a given that I can trust? Being human, I sometimes find myself in a situation where I would like to know an answer to that; even though I have jumped into the absolute unknown many times before, and am still here

Yet, I am presently going through a fairly 'wobbly' phase in my life where parts of my system (body, heart, mind, psyche, …) keep 'nagging' me to please have answers and certainties.

Having followed my choices of personal truth and integrity, I am currently finding myself in a situation where most basics of living life are totally up in the air and very uncertain, such as where I am living, what I can call my home besides my body, the earth and Source, where next I will unpack my bags, what further choices will be necessary, and what work and source of income I will create. Additionally, another important life-basic, my body expresses a phase of now and then 'taking a vacation' in carrying me/'us' reliably from A to B, in form of pains, fatigues, and 'crushing'; occasional 'body-strike'.

An image comes of me holding and looking at a deck of cards in my hands the day before, or the week or month before … and I now smile (with anxiety included) at the sight of my empty hands and the cards flying somewhere in the air, playing with the winds – to be completely reshuffled or to maybe fly off.

Compassionately and whole heartedly I listen to my system voicing the wish to know what's going on, to know where we are going, to know that we can trust – in life, in my choices, in my body, in basics being met and more stability being on its way. Responsibly I try to provide answers to my system, which keeps asking. However, after thorough reflection of the questions asked by my own self, I 'nakedly' and honestly give the feedback of 'I do not know'.

I, my humble me does not know whether my choices are making 'sense' and where it is going. At times I feel that I don't know if I can trust, nor how exactly this trust looks and feels like. Some readers may think: “We can always trust” – in the universe, our guidance, the divine plan etc.; and yes, I do think the same. Yet, I realize in my current personal situation and experience, this 'ironically' doesn't always seem to be 'enough': doubts keep creeping in …

Two 'things' I remember help me in this:
One, if I examine and verify thoroughly that my next steps and immediate choices are informed by and emerging from nowhere but from deep within my hearts spaces and grand wisdom, and if I am really certain of this, I can in fact know that I can trust! Why? I don't really know. I have simply made the experience that my hearts truth seems to be supported by bigger forces than I will be able to grasp or name. If I choose and step in line with my deepest hearts wishes, there does in fact come a non-mind-knowing of 'I can trust'. To me this almost seems like an unwritten 'law'. Something 'more than' my own self is then saying 'yes', while I myself along with my heart am saying a loud 'yes' as well.

Two, and in case a part of my system still communicates doubt, as I experienced lately, I have found once again that I can make a choice to trust! And in doing that, happily I found as well: if I make a conscious choice to trust (again and again), my energy, my vibration and the ripples going outwards from my heart centre immediately change. In my experience there can be a difference in 'somehow and somewhat knowing I can trust' and 'consciously choosing to trust'.

I do really like this 'power of choice', another jewel available to me from my tools- and wisdom basket since journeying with Movement Medicine. It does bring something powerful, and it becomes even more potent, if I bring this power of choice together with the wisdom of my heart – what a significant combination!

And with that combination I get a 'double yes'! – One from the universe (God, Source, the Divine, ...) as it 'secretly' supports my hearts longing and wisdom, and one from my own self through a clear and powerful choice to trust.

So, enjoy your dances, and the one certainty of being carried and fed by Mother Earth!

If you feel inspired to join the Movement Medicine community with the Earth Dance ceremony, thanking for and celebrating life and magic on Earth, please find an Earth Dance happening in or close to your local community, or contact Roland for details of the Earth Dance at Rill.

With Love,


Summer 2016
By Susannah and Ya'Acov
Dear All, we are coming to the end of another extraordinary year of teaching and preparing for our last offerings before our summer break.
Last week, we completed our third Professional Training with a very strong group and they have all set off to deepen their offerings in many places around the world. We are glad to thoroughly recommend all those who have trained with us and been given the permission to use Movement Medicine to you, and we hope you will seek them out.

Gabrielle used to call all of the teachers she had trained fine wines and we know what she means. A fine variety indeed! You can find most of what people are offering through Movement Medicine on the website of the Movement Medicine Association.

On Monday, Ya’Acov will be taking a group of apprentices out for a Vision Quest. After that, we have our Summer Solstice fund raising ceremony called Earth Dance, and finally, Susannah will be running her Wild at Heart workshop in Derbyshire the weekend after.

Over the summer, Ya’Acov will be completing his new book, Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart – The 21st Century Initiation of an Everyday Shaman and Susannah will be completing her new album Let Her Go. All this will be mixed in with lots of working on the land, battling with the slugs and snails and generally enjoying each other’s company, resting and being at home.

Before we turn off our work computers for a few weeks and go offline, we wanted to send you a link to this interview we did for Shakti Malan’s online course about relationship as spiritual practice. It’s one of the strongest and most frank interviews we have ever given, largely due to the way Shakti was with us. It’s a good listen for anyone in or out of relationship. It’s called Beyond the Honeymoon. We also highly recommend it as preparation for our first couples’ workshop for more than 5 years, The Space Between Us, which will be our first offering of the new season at the end of August. At the time of writing, the workshop is full but spaces do often open up so please be in touch with Roland if you are interested.

There are many deep changes afoot in our lives and we continue to feel blessed to have this opportunity to share what matters to us with so many people.

We wish you all a very fine few weeks and we will write again in our next newsletter in September, hopefully with good news about books and music, in the early autumn.

With our love and respect,

Ya’Acov & Susannah

The Life of Mind and the Movement Medicine Sponsorship Fund
By Margaret Davies and Colin Harrison
I consider myself a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. As well as a human being, I had the human condition first of course. I feel lots of people are suffering emotionally and spiritually. My story just represents the substance and alcohol abuse part of a diseased society. Colin was brought up with a very violent man for a father. He was severely neglected and abused, physically but also emotionally.

“My father’s favourite weapon would be the instillation of fear via humiliation. I remember thinking clearly: I am not a ‘shithouse’, I am just a boy with my Mickey Mouse T-shirt on.” As he got older Colin spent as little time as possible at home. Inevitably he became a fighter, often fighting older boys who wanted to prove themselves against the very violent ‘champion’ he had become. “I had a fast efficient rage in me on a trigger, ready to go.”

Unable to bear how he felt, Colin would self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. Starting with cigarettes and alcohol when he was ten, by the time he was eleven he was smoking Cannabis and taking Amphetamine. “At fifteen I was at free festivals, dropping copious amounts of LSD; at sixteen I was a proper alcoholic. By the time I was seventeen I was an out of control wild and reckless alcoholic, simply lurching from one crisis to another.”

Colin couldn’t stand to be in his own company without hurting himself and so he travelled through the revolving doors of psychiatric units, jails, detox units and intensive care. “Self-loathing was the norm. I never really discovered how to ‘do’ my own life.”

20 years ago, Colin fell from a roof three storeys high. “I fell, however I simply let go. I could not physically hold on any more due to the amount of drugs in my system, and spiritually I was dead inside. I could not live another day of my life.” Narrowly missing death, and with grievous injuries, his long road to recovery began. More recently it has been recognised that Colin has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with its origins in his childhood trauma, compounded by what his system had to cope with from his own behaviour: violence, drugs and alcohol abuse.

“I eventually got clean and sober. However, I was hit with a tidal wave of emotions the size of a mountain, some of which I never knew existed, emotions that I had suppressed and pushed down forever.”

From street sleeping, Colin moved to live in hostels, supported accommodation, and in mental health residential facilities, progressing to a ‘low support social housing unit’. He engaged with the Alcoholics Anonymous' 12 step programme, where he was supported by other recovering addicts to start learning how to cope with himself. Being in nature and communal living helped him to find connection, a ‘family’, and continue to heal emotionally and spiritually.

Three years ago he began to go to Movement Medicine sessions offered by Apprentice Teachers, Ali, Rob, and Jurek, and loved it! Eventually, encouraged by the people he met dancing, he went to an intensive weekend workshop with Caroline Carey, Ben Cole and Rosie Perks, called Re-generation.

“That weekend and those women instilled some kind of faith within me. It wasn’t re-instilled, it was just instilled, like a brand new plastic wrapped discovery. I thought: 'Man, there are nice people out here! IT'S TRUE. It’s not a lie, it’s true, it really is actually true. My God!' The weekend was magical for me. Not all roses – it was challenging, but magical none the less.”

Colin explains how Movement Medicine has supported him. He says that the 12 Step Programme was an intervention that saved his life, but that Movement Medicine has been a way of healing emotionally and spiritually, and without that healing he could relapse into addiction: “My own personal connection with the dance is that I find it transformative. Like a drink or a drug changed the way I feel, well, the dance changes the way I feel also. There seems to be clarity, conclusions, awakenings, and what appear to be very solid realisations. I suppose the best way to describe my connection to the dance is: I change; I become something other than who my head believes me to be. When I say 'change' I don’t mean to exchange or substitute the dance for narcotics, not hide within the dance, I mean TRUE change.”

He has attended further workshops, supported by organisers and teachers offering him free or low cost ‘assisting’ places. Supported by the Sponsorship Fund, and mostly paying for himself out of his limited state benefits, he is now participating in a yearlong group called the Journey of Empowerment.

Colin hopes to be able to go on to train to teach Movement Medicine. Inspired by a weekend workshop with Ya’Acov he says: “This is what I want to do, I want to be this; I want to live in this truth; I want to be and share this. I want to be a Movement Medicine teacher. I would like to work with people with mental health issues, potentially alcoholics and addicts. I would want to deliver the dance to them; see them change, if only for a while. That 'while' will plant a seed in the psyche of those people, a message of HOPE.

Addiction is a spiritual and emotional illness; the substances are merely symptoms of the illness. Held movement practice provides a space to dance and move through all those spiritual and emotional issues, i.e. to know it is OK to be a lost and traumatised child in an adult body. It’s a path to move through them safely, a very ancient way to become something other than the mind-made fabrications that we are conditioned to hold. Movement Medicine is a tool to help us to learn to live our own lives, to help us to live with ourselves and thrive.”

Ongoing intensive workshops and the training to become a Movement Medicine teacher are  costly. If Colin and others like him are to achieve their dreams of receiving this medicine and then giving it back, the Sponsorship Fund needs generous support. Please give all the help that you can.

We are looking forward to any feedback, or to you getting in touch with the Sposorship Fund:

If you would like to support the Movement Medicine Sponsorship Fund, please donate by:

  • following this link to click our Pay Pal button at Donate to MMSF (if the link does not work go to

  • making a bank transfer to our account: The Co-operative Bank, sort code: 089299, account number: 69244687

Thank you.

Upcomming School of Movement Medicine Workshops
By Hanna
Even though the newsletter will have a summer break and only come back in September, there are Movement Medicine workshops on offer for you all the way through to dance, to recuperate, and to add into your summer holidays as a special treat, because you are worth it. Note: there are only a few places left for 'Initiation' in September.

25 June: Earth Dance, with Susannah and Ya'Acov DK. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
This is an allnight dance ritual to immerse in prayer and gratitudes for earth, and for life on earth, for all that is, and all that is to come. This event is also one of Movement Medicine's 'give aways', meaning the raised money will go to the Pachamama Alliance.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255;

1–3 July: Wild at Heart, with Susannah. Derbyshire, UK.
We humans are nature and part of nature, and so our connection with the land and the wild – outside and inside is essential to our well being. In our modern times this often seems missing in our lives. Be invited to explore your wildness in the dance and to create a movement space for yourself in nature.
Contact Kerri Cripps:
+44 (0) 779 633 4584;

5 July: Bringing the Dance Back Home. Webinar.
In this webinar you are able to strengthen and experience your practice at home (or wherever you are), dance a led Movement Medicine session in your own living room, invite friends to join in, and feel connected to the wider Movement Medicine community joining in. Its £35 for 10 webinars, plus the online access to all the past webinars.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255

9–10 July: Freedom in Motion, with Rosie Perks. Worthing, Sussex.
When we are leaving behind the 'shoulds' and 'musts' of life, we may arrive at the beauty of being. There is the freedom of connection, with the elements, with each other, and with your heart, body and mind. And so we remember our right to exist, and to follow our inner impulse in movement and in listening and being.
Contact Mags:
+49 (0)7941 576016;

22–24 July: Magic of Mandorla, with Caroline Carey. Glarisegg, Switzerland.
With preceding Move! Evening 21 July. We all know about opposites in life and in our personal journeys, it is part of a dualistic world we are living in. The Mandorla is the space where two circles overlap, where two seemingly opposing energies merging. It is also known to be the sacred space of our soul work where transformation is possible.
Contact Elisabeth Schrag:
00 41 774478149;

27 Aug–1 Sep: The Space Between Us, with Susannah and Ya'Acov, Waldhaus, Switzerland. An intensive two-module workshop for couples in a committed relationship.
This offering gives the opportunity to dance, play and learn with Susannah and Ya'Acov who have been walking together for nearly 30 years, and have found unique strengths, vulnerability and new beauty and freedom in relationship. You will be able to find a new vision for your partnership, and expand further into your love and the spaces between you.
Contact Roland:
+44 1803 762255;

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.