An Exquisite Day – June 2018
This was written the day after supporting the ‘send-off’ for the Vision Questers as they left home base, to go on their Vision Quest under Ya’Acov’s guidance.
Yesterday was an exquisite day for me. In the morning, I was blessed to be there by the fire, to say a few words and offer my support to those Movement Medicine Apprentices about to go out on a three day Vision Quest led by Ya’Acov. Reuben (our son) is home for a while, having been on some seriously strong adventures and initiations and he also shared some of what he has learnt in his vision quests.
We drummed the people off together, the three of us, standing side by side. This was a new moment, and not one we had looked for, but one that felt full of joy and sweet steadiness. All blessings to those brave souls on the mountain and their individual quests. (They all came back and seem to have brought many gifts home with them).
Synchronously, I am about to lead a workshop in the Peak District in which each participant also goes into the wilds and brings their inner nature into dialogue with the rock and trees and spirit of the place. I’m really looking forward to sharing this wild at heart medicine and going back to one of the wild places I returned to again and again in my childhood. (We did some exquisite work which is going to be colouring my work for years to come. One of the gifts from this weekend is these two videos, made after the workshop, about why (these) men dance Why Men Dance 1 and Why Men Dance 2. Big thanks to Matt Booth and Bryn Davis for stepping up to encourage other men to take the plunge.
Then, in the afternoon, Clive Ponsford, the Barefoot Equine specialist (Blue Moon Equine), came to trim the hooves of my two wild born Exmoor ponies. This was a big day for me. I’d been aware of their hooves growing faster than their trust (at least with Ivor) and feeling the weight of my responsibility for this. And trying to surrender to how long things need to take.
My two ponies are brothers and are completely different. They lived the first year of their lives wild on Exmoor with their herd, and came to us when they were nearly one, unhandled and super shy of humans. They are mirror masters and keep showing me myself. At the same time they are themselves and are very different and need me to be very different with them.
One is steady, calm, brave and bold and he’s super-cool around me. With him it was about five months before I could put a halter on him and lead him. The other, Ivor, is sensitive and shy and spent the first year hiding behind his brother. Their hooves were getting embarrassingly long, so there had been some pressure in my pony taming efforts. That does not help!
Clive came six weeks ago (for their first ever much needed foot care). Ivor (aka Shy Boy) was still very nervous and Clive could only take a whisper off his hooves. Clive has the wisdom that I am learning with these guys (if you want to hurry up, SLOW DOWN) and was careful not to push for too much in that first session, and (in his words) “give them time to think about it before the next time”. The second time, on this big day, Ivor stood with his head in my chest, cuddling in, and peacefully lifted each foot and kept it still and mostly relaxed, trustingly letting Clive take everything off that he needed to. I was incredibly moved to receive again this mirror of his growing trust and connection and the feeling of our hearts together. When he and his brother cantered off afterwards, I could see their renewed freedom and joy in having their feet ‘right’.
And then, in the evening, Amy Behrens and I ran a Pachamama Awakening the Dreamer Symposium. She and I are part of an inter-generational women’s group called IGWIG (Inter-Generational Women’s Inspiration Group). We often facilitate sessions in a pair, with a ‘younger’ and an ‘older’ together and are finding this a rich way of sharing, learning together, and, as an older, ‘passing on’ what I have learnt. IGWIG was born through Fanny Behrens and I (we are ‘age mates’ born one day apart) recognizing how much we feel we have to give AND receive from and with younger and older generations of women. We’d both recognized that in our connections with her daughters (one of them is my god daughter Lua Maria, whose music many of you know and love, whose sister is Amy, with whom I was doing this) we have so much to give, AND so much to receive from them.
This evening event was a BIGWIG, which is when IGWIG hosts a bigger, open event. This was our first BIGWIG, and, of those who came, about half of us were IGWIGers and half were BIGWIG guests. This circle rocked.
The Symposium has recently been updated and its new form is clean, clear, inspiring, heart wrenching, beautiful, powerful. I find it profoundly integrative of micro and macro, of personal, political, spiritual and scientific, rational and mystical, indigenous and industrialised world wisdoms. As one of the women said in the last circle, it is such a call to ‘joyous service’. Thanks for naming that so succinctly for all of us. Huge respect to the commitment and willingness of those who were there to dive deep and open to the landscapes the symposium opens.
As Amy and I reflected afterwards, we recognize that we had both been able to rest into each other’s presence, as well as the depth, intelligence and integrity of the symposium. I have been facilitating transformative human process for over 30 years and Amy has been for a few years. This was transparent and complementary; our different levels of being ‘seasoned’ working together in a song of innocence and experience. As Amy said, a day of inter-generational and inter-being for me… My heart is happy and full of celebration.
Sending love to you and your inter-generational and inter-species weavings, and wishing you a wonderful summer. Please send you prayers to us and the many people gathering for this year’s Summer Long Dance. If you want to join in energetically with the commitment of the Long Dance to give back to life, you could, like many people who come to the Long Dance, become a donor, (or make a donation) or raise money for the Pachamama Alliance. Or do the same for any other charity of your choice, dance long and hard and deep and sweet with your love for life, and give it all, receive it all and say hello to us on the wind.
Thank you for all the co-creations of this year, we look forward to sharing the gifts and creations of the summer.
Susannah Darling Khan
Susannah’s Autumn Workshops:
21–23 September: Life Lab with Susannah. Berlin, Germany
With Move! Evening on Sept 21st.
In this 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 presence within self. The participants will walk (or dance) away with a wide knowledge of and new skills around embodiment, and a practical tool kit empowering each one to integrate this into every day life, bringing about real and tangible positive shifts in personal and professional life.
Contact Kathrin Keller: +49 30 28458820; firstname.lastname@example.org
13–21 October: Initiation with Susannah and Ya’Acov. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
Initiation is an intensive 10-day retreat during which the dancers are invited and guided to embody and dance through the rich landscape of all nine life cycle from conception to death – including play, deep processes, and the support of the group and teachers. This workshop is an extraordinary, life-changing, colourful, profound and rewarding journey; and it is one of the prerequisites for the Apprenticeship Training.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255; email@example.com
26 Oct–4 November: Apprenticeship Training Module I: Intention with Susannah and Ya’Acov. Rill Estate, Devon, UK.
This is the first of three main modules as part of the Movement Medicine Apprenticeship Programme starting in 2018. The roots and foundations are being build for an intense and deep journey of self discovery and expansion, of grounding and letting go. The group is being knitted together and the intentions are being set for each one’s Apprenticeship journey.
Contact Roland: +44 1803 762255; firstname.lastname@example.org