Change is in the Air! – February 2015
I laughed the first time I heard the phrase: the only thing that’s constant in this life is change.” Funny as it was, it also felt like a prediction and I instinctively knew it was true. And that made me a little nervous!
I was in my early 20’s at the time, struggling with the debilitating fear of not knowing how to make a living or make my contribution in this life. I longed for some stability but I had no idea how to find it. I longed for a way out but then I met Gabrielle Roth who told me that the only way out was through.
It’s remarkable to look back from here. In ceremonies, I often remember specific moments in my life of deep confusion, fear bordering on terror, and a sense of loss or lack of direction. I see these previous versions of myself and I feel a great deal of love for them. When I look deeper, I often see the roots of these experiences and they run deep. When I follow them, they take me back into situations in my childhood. If I follow them further, I see pictures of my ancestors’ lives and particular situations that were never digested or released. These range from battlefields to concentration camps. I have lost count of the amount of times I have witnessed previous versions of myself dying. I experience the holographic nature of who we are, layer upon layer of experience mapped in the lines on our faces, the shape of our muscles and the texture of our bones. It seems to me that our cells hold fragments of memory too and that what we call reality us in fact a perception of reality made up of many, many pieces. The jigsaw puzzle of our perception is a picture made up of a thousand stories that have been lived on every continent and in every epoch. And yet, at the core of it all, through all the change, and beyond all the stories, there is a place, an oasis of self that rests in the knowledge of now and the direct experience of the ineffable spirit that breathes through it all.
I live what I have come to call a ridiculously blessed life. I’ve followed a road for 30 years and tilled the soil of my intention year on year. I really have no idea how things actually happen. But I have a deep sense that the outcome I am living now is the dance between the ten thousand choices I have made and the will of the Great Spirit. Creation happens between us and life and our Movement Medicine practice seeks to remind us again and again to become conscious of and take responsibility for the choices we are making. Movement Medicine is both really simple and deeply complex. The further we go on our journey, the subtler the dance becomes. The stories that keep us attached to the past and condemn us to repeat it again and again run through us on every level. They run through the body, the heart and the mind. And, they don’t just belong to us. They belong to the time, the place and the culture we are born into.
Trip to the Amazon
We have just returned once more from visiting our family and friends in the Ecuadorian Amazon. We once again visited our Achuar brothers and sisters and our Sappara family. The journey this time went deeper than ever. The sense of exchange of energy, dreaming, healing and support is beyond my capacity to describe. To be welcomed and acknowledged by these people, to be given the opportunity to share my medicine as well as receive theirs, to be welcomed into their homes as a friend and as family gives me more strength than I knew was possible. And naturally, the more we fall in love with the forest and these human guardians of all it stands for, the more I wish to stand alongside them and protect the forest for the generations to come. These people are our family. On this journey, our dreaming connection was stronger than ever. And Manari Ushigua, the Tribal Leader of the Sappara people who visited the Long Dance last year and who will do so again this year, told us all something that made me very happy. He told us that he and his people knew that there were people outside of the forest who stood with them. What he said he and they didn’t know before he came to the Long Dance was that there are people out here in our world who understand them and can meet them on a spiritual level.
The Sappara people are dreamers. They are people who recognise the spirit that moves through physical matter. And Manari saw in the Long Dance ceremony that we are the same. It’s good not to feel alone in this world. On this visit, we officially became godparents of Manari’s Great Nephew, also called Manari. The ceremony was simple and moving.
The Summer Long Dance – An Appeal for Support
The Summer Long Dance is the pinnacle of our School’s year. It brings together all that is inherent in our practice into a powerful ceremony that goes well beyond the workshop experience. It’s a huge effort from everyone present and from Roland and ourselves throughout the year. In the past years, it has cost us money to provide the Long Dance. We are currently looking for people who might be able to support the Long Dance financially. We would like to find a group of people or an individual who would feel able to underwrite the Long Dance so that if it makes a loss, this would be covered. Such support would also enable us to move the ceremony into a round tent which would much better suit the energy of the ceremony. Please do get in touch with me if you are interested in offering this support. The Long Dance has so far raised more than £250,000-00 for a whole host of excellent projects including the Pachamama Alliance. Send me an e-mail to email@example.com if you wish to know more.
For the past several years, ever since we ran our first apprenticeship programme, we have been looking for successful ways to pass on our work. We now have a body of Movement Medicine Teachers and Facilitators out there who are offering the work in a whole host of places and contexts. We are proud of them and their work. And we have reached a time when we are happy for their work to now count as prerequisites for our Apprenticeship Programme, the next one of which begins in the Autumn of 2016. We will give more details of this soon on our website.
One change that we are making is that we will stop holding the Journey of Empowerment Ongoing Group after this year and hand it over to our Staff team and other teachers. That means that this is the last opportunity for any of you who wish to take this journey with the Darling Khans. The Journey of Empowerment is a wonderful gateway into deeper work within Movement Medicine. We have been offering it in one form or another for well over 20 years and we intend that the last one we offer will be a jewel of a journey. We are equally happy that from next year, this part of our work will be offered by our Staff and we feel this to be a natural evolution. Our last Journey of Empowerment Ongoing Group begins on March 17th. There are still places left. Please contact Roland to book.
Part of the beauty of Movement Medicine practice is its relationship to the turning seasons of the year. As spring knocks on the door for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the time is ripe for a little recreation. Re-Creation is the workshop I offer that teaches us how to use the fantastically powerful shamanic tool that is the SEER Process. It’s a tool for cleansing the past but more importantly, for releasing life energy from where it may be locked in past events so that it is available to us now in the present. Rather than being an excuse, the SEER process transforms our relationship with the past into a source of high octane energy for creating in the here and now. This year, I am offering this workshop in two places, in Poland and in Switzerland.
So dear Moving companions on this Life Dance road, I have come to the bottom of the page and South Africa is calling. May we all know who we are. May we all give everything we’ve got. May we recognise the opportunity of living in these times and all make the most of it. May the crises we face wake us up to our responsibilities as guardians co-creators of the future. And may the dance pick you up in its infinite embrace and always, always bring you back home to the heart.
Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.
With deep love and respect and For All our Relations.
Ya’Acov DK. February 2015