Movement Medicine Teachers Worldwide link
+44 1803 762255 | info@schoolofmm.com

Blog

The Well Spring Flows (all in good time…..) March 2018

  |   News, Ya’Acov's Posts

The older I get, the more precious time becomes. The poignant passing of the seasons and the reality that every minute, death comes closer is simultaneously the sharpest thorn on the rose and its sweetest perfume. It’s hard to believe that it’s already spring equinox. And time’s bendy nature makes it seem that every year, it gets here quicker. My father died on the spring equinox 23 years ago. If I were to die at the same age as he did, I’d have two more springs to enjoy after this one.

The closer I get to the age he died, the more I get how young he was to die.
But the passage of time has other gifts. My view of the world now is so different to the view I had in my twenties. Then, there was that pungent blend of determination (with a touch of ‘the arrogance of the young’) and insecurity that gave that decade such a particular flavour. My thirties were a merry-go-round helter-skelter joy ride of ecstasy and agony as my dreams landed and crashed with the regularity of the tide coming in and out.

In my forties, there was a settling. No less passion. No less challenge. Just a settling into a ground that I could call self. A Self rooted in my own experience rather than the opinions of others. The rose-tinted spectacles had truly fallen away, but at the same time, the shocking pink of a winter sunset was so much more beautiful. There’s a slowing down that comes with ageing that at this point, still just on the ‘right side’ of my 50’s, I’m really enjoying. Our elder friends tell me to make the most of it before what they call ‘the hospital years’ descend. They love to laugh at the goji berries I add to my morning smoothie. No matter how death defying our super foods are advertised to be, decay and decrepitude are on the way! Whenever I have to find my glasses to be able to read something, my friend Jake laughs delightedly telling me he’s going to stay around for a long time just to enjoy my face as the creeping reality of mortality slowly hits home.

Today I said goodbye to my sweetheart again as I packed my road warrior bags and set off for London, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem (where I am now writing to you from) and the desert of Mitzpeh Ramon. I know how blessed I am to have chosen work that has such meaning and purpose. And, it never gets easier to leave home. On the skirts of Ugborough Beacon, the land was covered in its second winter white coat this past weekend but we can sense that under the snow, the land is beginning to awaken again. We’re on that bridge between the winter and the spring. But there’s no doubt that deep inside, there is that familiar and mysterious stirring. I am no stranger to that gorgeous imperative to grow that is common to all life as the year turns and life’s tides surge in the blood. I used to think I had to do something about it. A bit like a cartoon I see in my dream sometimes of a man using his full force to turn an automatic revolving door in the direction it’s going in anyway. He thinks the door is opening due to his exertions. He’s proud of his efforts and the results and he doesn’t understand the kind and amused smiles of the elders watching him on either side of that revolving door.

Hindsight is a fine thing. If I’d known then what I know now, I may have been so much more relaxed. But then, we have to learn our own lessons, don’t we? So despite the fact that numerous teachers in forms ranging from shamans, to artists and to taxi drivers told me to relax a little more, pushing was what I knew so pushing was what I did. After all, the door turned, didn’t it? I don’t mean to say that all of my effort was a waste. Not at all. To create momentum, effort is required. And when we began to teach 30 years ago, there was no such thing as conscious dance. In reality, there still isn’t. I much prefer the term unconscious dance to describe what we teach; so much more real! And the more I learn how rich the unconscious is, and the more I see the depth of my own unconsciousness, Unconscious Dance seems a much more fitting ‘name on the tin’ to me.

I don’t think I’ll ever know how much of the effort I put in was necessary and how much wasn’t. What’s more important is to remember how much was coming from the feeling of not-enough-ness. I was being driven by the same sickness I see all around me that is so endemic to our time and culture. Rooted in greed (which is itself rooted in a deep wound in our sense of self and our capacity to receive life) our insatiable hunger for more keeps us firmly imprisoned in a high octane, faster and faster whirlwind of activity driven by a story that is the root cause of so much suffering both in and for our world. Our insecurity is based in a lack of self-knowledge. Even more than that, people who want to do the work to discover their true selves are often pilloried as self-centred time-wasters who would be better off just getting down to the serious work of acquisition that we are told is the road to human happiness. It isn’t. We know this now. Not to say that we should give it all up and go and do a Captain Fantastic and disappear off-grid into the woods. There is no going back. Life has to evolve and consciousness with it.

In my 30’s and 40’s, I gave myself such a hard time for not being creative enough. My internal dialogue was telling me: I should be writing. I should be doing more photography, more films, more sculpting, more singing and dancing. I should be leaving my mark on the world and making so much more impact. All this pressure came from the same place. It came from a lack of self-acceptance and a confusion about who should be choreographing my life. There was always that quiet voice of the wise elder, kindly encouraging me to enjoy what was happening but the balance of power in my psyche was a mirror of the dominant story in our world. I knew about free will but the fact is, my free will had been hijacked by a host of ego structures and so, whilst I was still telling the story of my own imprisonment, freedom was a distant dream. It’s only in the last few years that the balance of power inside me has shifted. I began to spend more and more time in the place where I could witness the hard push of these ego structures and the belief that was underpinning them. Not good enough has many forms. That part of me that was afraid to feel the pain underneath it all was a clever shape-shifter.

But in my late 40’s, the intensity of my practice over the decades began to reveal its harvest. I became aware of the fear that was driving me. I began to hear the cry inside me. That part of me that was lost in the grey landscape of a repetitive childhood nightmare that haunted me for years. In that nightmare, I was on a carousel that was out of control. The faster it turned, the more the colour bled from the scene until everything in the dream except me was black and white. I was terrified and felt exposed and unprotected. I knew I had to find a way to hide my colour so as not to get seen and hurt. I felt so very alone. Through a sheer force of will, I bled the colour from my own soul so that I could disappear into that black and white world along with everyone else. The pain I felt as I made that choice was acute. It crushed my heart. The energetic command in that dream was to freeze my heart and to keep it hidden at all costs. The harvest of my practice was that a thaw had set in. It became more and more impossible for me to hide from my heart. All that interoception work and MESA practice (micro-medio-macro-meta-mystica) meant that I gained access to a sense of self that was at once super sensitive and deeply unshakeable.

All those glimpses of Self in relationship with Susannah, as a father, on the dance floor, on the forest floor, and in numerous dreams and rituals over the decades were now bringing me again and again to that place inside me that I have started to call the unbroken. Being willing to feel was the key. And the key to that has been relationship, primarily with Susannah, whose love for me, seeing of me, companionship and courage to explore alongside me are the greatest gifts that life has given me. It’s a co-arising thing. The more I felt the unbroken inside me, the more resilience I found to feel the pain in my heart. I met so many broken dreams. I discovered so much shattering evidence of the ways in which I was hiding myself from life, and holding back my love and powerfully standing in my own way.

And the result? My love for life (my wife, our son, our land, our family and friends, our work, the forest and the magnificent and awe-inspiring power of nature) surpassed my fear and in the moment when that balance shifted, the well spring of creativity that I knew was there all that time burst forth like the rich sap of the tree of life that’s in us all. And now I can’t stop. Not from a feeling of not enough-ness but from the feeling of that deep flow state inside me that is the well spring of life. I’ve started my next book which has the working title Shaman – The Inner Shaman’s 5-Step Guide to Transforming your World. In April, I’ll be recording a new CD for Hay House (with my wife at my side and all her experience of producing work in the studio for which I am deeply grateful) called Shaman’s Song – 5 Guided Shamanic Journeys. And I’ve started work on an oracle pack based on the Movement Medicine mandala. In my dreams, I keep meeting the characters from my first novel, which I am so looking forward to writing. It’s called The Unbroken.

Susannah has written in this newsletter about Didier’s t-shirt that he wore at the Winter dream dance that read would the boy you were be proud of the man you have become? The question touched many of us, me included. My own answer is that the boy I was would be amazed, astonished and proud. And at the same time, he might give me a secret wink and whisper in my ear: I told you so.

The focus of this article is about the time it takes to land in who we really are and the flow of creativity and giving that is inherent to that state. Each of us has our own road to walk. Each of us has our own timing. And all we need is the ongoing courage to keep on revealing ourselves as we are. To life, to each other, to the powers of nature and the source of who we are. There is no useful comparison we can make between us. There is just the work to accept ourselves, reveal ourselves, go on discovering the Self that has always been with us, and give absolutely everything we have in gratitude for this miracle of life we are given. Movement Medicine is the way we have created to hold space for that journey for ourselves and for you. And the Apprenticeship Programme is the deepest container we offer in which to do that work. There are just two more opportunities to apprentice with Susannah and myself. So if you want to take that road with us, take that leap and get going with your pre-requisites and apply. Applications for the apprenticeship that begins in the Autumn are open now and there is a beautiful and strong circle gathering that will be the 6th generation of apprentices.

We are passing on what we have learned so that we can go on learning more. The unconscious is such a deep well and there is so much to discover. I hope to see you there, in the ceremony of life where the dreams we dream are woven into our day-to-day experience. At some point along the road, we realise, with the exhilaration and shock of the responsibility that comes with it, that free will is real and the choice we make is ours. Not about what happens, but about the meaning we give to it, the purpose we choose and therefore the actions we take.

Wishing you access to the well-spring inside you and the courage to dance with it all.

Ya’Acov. Spring Equinox 2018.

Ya’Acov’s Spring 2018 Schedule:

6 April: Movement Medicine in the Service of Engaged Shamanism
An introductory event: Talk and Move with Ya’Acov. Paris, France.

7–8 Apr: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Paris, France.
Based on Ya’Acov’s recent book and on his own 30-year long initiation into being a shaman, this workshop is an invitation to review your life, to further discover who you are and what is yours to give. You will skilfully be guided to meeting that ‘Jaguar’ inside you that protects fiercely what it loves, and the ‘Butterfly’, that part which is vulnerable, magically beautiful, only coming out when it really is safe to be seen. The workshop will explore the blend of these two parts and challenge our paradigm of separation.
Contact Pierre-Henri Therond: + 33 615 325 816; pierrehenritherond@gmail.com

4–6 May: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Copenhagen, Denmark.
With Move! Evening on May 4.
Based on Ya’Acov’s recent book and on his own 30-year long initiation into being a shaman, this workshop is an invitation to review your life, to further discover who you are and what is yours to give. You will skilfully be guided to meeting that ‘Jaguar’ inside you that protects fiercely what it loves, and the ‘Butterfly’, that part which is vulnerable, magically beautiful, only coming out when it really is safe to be seen. The workshop will explore the blend of these two parts and challenge our paradigm of separation.
Contact Matthias Axelsen: +45 212 611 20; matthias@dancingyourspirit.dk

11–13 May: Power Stories with Ya’Acov. Munich, Germany.
With
Move! Evening on May 11.
This workshop is an invitation to find out more about the power you hold inside and your relationship to that resource. Through dance and embodiment, we explore how it manifests through past stories, how we might deny our own power, or give it over to another authority within or without, and how we can access that power in a healthy, truthful way to give space to even more of what we are.
Contact Claudia:
+49 89 292 644; CRR@move-life.com

18–20 May: Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart with Ya’Acov. Luzern, Switzerland.
With Move! Evening on May 18.
Based on Ya’Acov’s recent book and on his own 30-year long initiation into being a shaman, t
his workshop is an invitation to review your life, to further discover who you are and what is yours to give. You will skilfully be guided to meeting that ‘Jaguar’ inside you that protects fiercely what it loves, and the ‘Butterfly’, that part which is vulnerable, magically beautiful, only coming out when it really is safe to be seen. The workshop will explore the blend of these two parts and challenge our paradigm of separation.
Contact Katriona Forester: +41 79 563 6067; kat@kf-events.ch