A Year of Greeting the Dawn
by Susannah Darling Khan
Dear all, I just wrote a long, beautiful poetic article sharing with you 21 gratitudes for this year I have just lived, and in which I’ve learnt so much. And now it’s gone. All my and even Ya’Acov’s computer wizardry can’t seem to bring it back. And the time I have to write this article has just run out.
I guess this mirrors many things about this extraordinary year, but what to do! I wanted to share what was in there with you. I remember being impressed, at the start of 2020, about the meaning of 2020 vision, but we just didn’t know what we were going to see. We’ve crossed a line and we are feeling it. That’s been our collective 2020 vision as far as I can see.
So, I’ll cut to the chase. I’m grateful beyond words to be alive, to be alive and warm and well fed, able to make a contribution and to grow older slowly, maturing into recognising the pure gift of being alive and able to dance, to walk, to smell the damp woods, see the stars, feel the cold water on my skin and relish my beloved’s warm embrace. I’m grateful to be part of a community and world wide web of people who seek to listen, to honour and respect difference and at the same time seek to live up to high standards of truth and kindness.
One day recently I was coming back from my weekly shop and realised that I had a queue of cars at my back, trying to get on and go faster. I stopped and let them past, and as I paused in the layby recognised that that is a role I know so well: “Go ON! Get a move on! Don’t you know some of us have got lives to live, people to see, work to do?!!!” Now I was the slow coach, enjoying meandering home with peace in my belly, gently swooshing through the lanes. I must be getting older! And I can tell you it’s very different here than I had thought. I’m loving going slower. I’m loving life at home and I bow to the guiding voice which whispered in my ear all last winter: “it’s time to stay at home and connect globally”.
I give thanks to the 21 Gratitudes Study Hub and to all those who have joined this ship. We are sailing on an adventure of ongoing learning through the lens of travelling around the 21 gateways of the Movement Medicine mandala. It’s deep for us; this adventure is stretching us in new ways and we are learning so much more about the work we thought we knew so well.
The destination is soulful and congruent living and the way as embodied, heartful practice grounded in conceptual understanding so each person can own their own journey. We are loving sharing the harvest of our three decades of teaching movement practice as a way to grow human consciousness in these ‘wisdom nuggets’. I am loving being a mini film maker and bringing our work into a living library. AND I’m loving that it’s hugely more accessible geographically and financially than our work in the room could be.
And I ache to dance together again, to dance together through the intensity, catharsis, joy and tears into those ecstatic moments when the gates open. And I feel I could hug people for several days, once it is safe to do so. And at the same time this lockdown has mandated a retreat, a vision quest, a profound re-arrangement and re-ordering of priorities and turned life inside out and upside down, which I am so grateful for.
And I bow to all the people who have worked so hard to keep the systems which feed and water us and take away the rubbish and to keep all of that going. I bow to all the acts of love and kindness and mercy which have been noticed and which have not been noticed this year. And I know so many people have had and are having a very hard time.
There have been many moments this year of feeling a level of agitation, pain, fear and distress which has been overwhelming. As if the collective distress of our species is palpable in my very body. And then it’s been so important to have our practice, to dance and dance and dance and also to simply name what we are experiencing. Especially to name the fear and distress that I’ve been feeling without any one specific cause. As if it’s been in the air. Again and again this has helped me to land: dancing it, feeling it, naming it. That simple.
I am super proud of my Embodied Listening course which is available now. I felt this was the best contribution I could make to these challenging times. And making it has changed my life, as it brought this skill set into focus in me and between Ya’acov and myself in a whole new way. I wanted this work to be accessible and though I’m sure I brought a whole host of assumptions to the table, I know I did pretty well to break it down into simple steps and to being a vibration of peace to the practices and the explanations. I had the unreasonable luck to be able to work with Kata Mathe who created cartoon style illustrations for the concepts with deep understanding and gentle humour. As always, scholarship places are available for this as well as our other online courses.
I want to share the harvest of my life so far and this is the beginning. Those books (thanks to some of you for asking) which I’ve been cooking for a while took the back seat whilst ‘Embodied Listening’ got made. But they are beginning to cook again.
I thank my mirror master Exmoor ponies for teaching me and reaching me and including me in their herd.
One night recently it was wild out there with blustery wind and the air cutting wet with cold rain. For some reason I had to go up to the top field where the ponies were. With rainproofs on and a torch in hand, I climbed the hill and huffing and puffing arrived in their midst. They are not used to night visits from me and ran off fast in four directions. I called and let them know it was me. And then an unexpected and beautiful thing happened. All four of them ran to me, seeming to be filled with joy that I was there. We simply stood together quietly for a while in a cluster of gentle happiness. I hope you can taste a drop of that feeling.
Later someone asked if I had been scared of the horses, and I recognised that that had not even occurred to me, powerful and with their wildness lit up by the stormy night as they were. This was when I realised that it’s a mutual trust thing that we’ve been developing, gentle step by gentle step. They are very powerful and very sensitive. Just like you and me. Like all of us. And this is what I am learning with them, which is seeping into all my offerings, the dance of listening deeper, the joy of connection and of simply being alive and being able to share that.
I take my hat off to the Movement Medicine professional community and everything that has been offered through all their creative work this year. I’m proud to be amongst you. www.movemementmedicineassocation.org
I’m grateful for everything I have learnt this year and most of all for the experience of staying home with my honey, watching the seasons turn and for watching dawn after dawn bring its light to the dark with the rhythm of our early morning tea. I love my life. I love my husband and how we are still getting to know more and more of each other. I love the work I am drawn to offer and I love to be alive on this sweet earth. I pray for all of us that we find the way through so that future generations may enjoy the air, the birds, the waters and the joys of life lived in connection with life.
A couple of other highlights have been:
Interview with Alexandra Pope about Ya’Acov’s and my menopausal journey. Thank you so much to dear Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer for creating this meeting.
This podcast is a recent interview about how Ya’Acov and I met, why ‘listening is the new hug’ and about the dangers and seductive attraction of polarization thinking and some stuff about ethical magic/prayers. Amy Solara and Jeremy Renta got me going!
With love to you and your dear ones, and to the web of life.
Happy Solstice. I hope to ‘see’ you at the ceremony this Saturday!