This Poignant Moment – Oct 2019
This is a poignant moment for me as we approach the beginning of our seventh (and last) Movement Medicine apprenticeship. Don’t worry, it’s not the last Movement Medicine Apprenticeship! Over the last few weeks, Ya’Acov and I have been having our individual “Hello and welcome to the Apprenticeship” skype’s with each of them. It’s been a really deep pleasure to meet my half of all the individuals in this group individually. Having met them in this way, I’m looking forward even more to our journey together.
I feel such a mixture of feelings knowing that this is the last group of people we’ll take through the apprenticeship journey; excited, poignantly sad and warmly grateful. Our commitment to our Apprentices is to be there with them in long term connection, if this is appropriate. There is clearly a limit to the number of people one can realistically and humanly do this with. And this is it, this is our realistic limit, that’s why this is our last Apprenticeship. At the same time I’m excited about the new vistas this opens up for us. Amongst those that we know about are: more time for writing, our new online offering, new learning, time to enjoy going on learning about each other, time for breathing with the land and to go on giving full attention to the professional trainings and the CPD journeys with those Apprentices who take this professional path with us. We will continue to do this work with those who did their Apprenticeship with us and those who will do Apprenticeships with other Movement Medicine Apprentice leaders in the future.
I feel touched and grateful to everything I’ve learnt in the Movement Medicine Apprenticeship journeys, much of it beautiful, some of it challenging, some of it hard and all of if full of learning.
One of the things that we have seen over and over again is the power of community, especially where a community manages to configure a norm of kindness, warmth, acceptance and of welcoming for all and by all its members. When I say this I don’t mean that there is no conflict or difference or friction, but simply a base line of warmth and acceptance. In this kind of community atmosphere each person seems to be able to find the nutrients needed to grow, to heal and to contribute, which makes the community stronger, which makes it more able to support each of its members. This is a medicine circle, and it is powerful, healing and beautiful. We are social animals and to be able to feel this safety to be ourselves with each other is transformative. And we also experienced the pain of when it has not been possible, and we when we have only just found the way through together. That has been humbling and full of learning.
There is one thing that keeps being re-iterated as I go along in life. I keep learning more and more about the liberating power of feeling safe. Through my studies, through my own inner work, through my work with dancers and Movement Medicine professionals, through my collaboration and relationship with Ya’Acov and with my four “mirror master” Exmoor ponies, I’m learning more and more about this simple, liberating power. I am adding ingredients to the way that I teach that are designed to add more cues of real and authentic safety and support. What I am witnessing astonishes me in its gentle power; power to gently unlock people’s dance, people’s creativity, people’s capacity to cooperate in a way which is mind blowing, heart opening and really different than anything I have experienced before.
One aspect of this is to give more breathing space to receive what is. And what is right now for me, is that we are coming into this last of our Apprenticeships. After this we’re passing the baton into the deeply capable hands of Yasia Leiserach and David Mooney, who will be offering the next Movement Medicine Apprenticeship in the Czech Republic in 2021. They will be followed by more Movement Medicine Apprenticeship leaders in the years to come.
I’m aware of how succession is or can be a tough issue in many arenas. One thing I am aware of, in my role now, and connected to the issue of safety, is how vulnerable it can feel to be in the role of the elder one who is letting go and supporting the younger ones to come up. It is maybe easier to see the vulnerability in the role of the younger ones coming up, and maybe harder to see it in the older role as well as the roles of those who are peers and who are not taking that baton. As I now know how it feels to be in all these roles, I feel more and more compassion for those occupying all of them. I’m so grateful to all the supervision we have had in which we have been encouraged not to try to go any faster than our more insecure parts can move, and, when they come up, to catch them in our arms and be with them.
When Yasia and I first co-taught something in the realm of voice work, I was really surprised by the visceral power of my own vulnerability; my fear of not being seen, my fear of not being respected, of being cast aside in favour of the new “star”. It was so important that I could allow myself to feel this and then to share it with Yasia. Yasia was able to hear it and receive it with understanding, tenderness and support. And so we passed through that gateway and went on and it was a beautiful weaving of work together which I am lookging forward to sharing again.
Giving the Apprenticeship baton forward to David and Yasia has already been deep work for all four of us, and I think for many in the wider community too, as we are all pathfinding this way. As other Apprenticeship leaders step into this role in the future, I imagine that they will be supported by this pathfinding and the learning that comes from it and the mistakes we will inevitably make. I thank David and Yasia and the wider MM professional community for giving me and us the safety to let go, through knowing that my and our places as the founders are secure as we shift our roles within the field.
I share all this, not because I want to flaunt my personal insecurities, but because we have found that being real with our humanity, owning the full breadth of ourselves is important for the good of ourselves and the whole. If I strive to present only the image of an idealised version of myself, this creates splits, both inner and outer. Owning more of ourselves, which is of course, always a work in progress, supports the possibility of flourishing, rooted in the solid ground of realness and wholeness.
As we write and explore other ways to share the harvest of our work so far, it becomes more and more clear to us that it’s all about Movement Medicine. We have co-created something which rings true for us in our depths and, though we are shifting roles, we are not leaving. I feel as if we are actually just beginning to arrive on a new level.
I wish much love, courage and support to you in these difficult times of such challenge, confusion, danger and opportunity for transformation,
Upcoming Workshops with Susannah Darling Khan:
30 Nov–1 Dec: Fire in the Heart with Susannah Darling Khan. Basel, Switzerland.
With the strong and beautiful practices of Movement Medicine, we will spend this weekend dancing through, in and with our hearts. We will learn how to be in movement and remain fluid through all and any emotion that moves through the heart, so that in our everyday lives we can be as fluid and creative through any challenge or emotion arising. Courage and compassion will guide us bring space, freedom and expansion to our heart, so that it can express and feel freely.
Contact Kristin +41 78 801 32 10; firstname.lastname@example.org
7–8 December: Embodied Leadership and Co-creation with Susannah Darling Khan. Paris, France.
With Move! Evening on 6 December.
What a great combination – Leadership training through the playful and embodied work of Movement Medicine! This workshop offers a safe and very well guided space to explore various facets and qualities required in leadership and co-creation, such as congruence, clarity, self-trust and the ability to guide creative team-work. Personal authority together with the skill to co-create makes great leaders and brings these beautiful qualities into your personal life too. Come along to dance, to play, to co-create and to remember that everyone is a leader.
Contact Pierre-Henri: + 33 615 325 816; email@example.com
12 December CPD Webinar with Ya’Acov and Susannah Darling Khan. Online.
This is a webinar for everyone who has taken or is participating in Movement Medicine Professional Training. It provides the space to hear about and explore subjects or themes, suggested by you or Ya’Acov and Susannah, which are related to your professional work with Movement Medicine. All sessions are recorded and accessible to the subscribers of the CPD webinars.
Contact Roland: firstname.lastname@example.org
16–20 December: Returning Home with Ya’Acov and Susannah Darling Khan. Waldhaus, Switzerland.
This annual workshop of story telling, art, dance and ritual, invites participants to reflect on the year that has past and unveil new dreams of another year ahead. Set amidst the stunning mountains of the Swiss Alps, this retreat provides an invitation to return to the essence of who you are, let go of what has been, plant new seeds and nurture your connection to community and to all life.
Contact Roland Wilkinson: +44 (0)1803 762255; email@example.com
21 December: Solstice Party with Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan. Waldhaus, Switzerland.
This party is welcoming everybody in any body who would like to participate in this fabulous dance celebration. Here, party and prayer meet, and we celebrate the pleasure of living and dancing, the sacredness of the divine and the beauty of life on earth. All income from this event will go to the Pachamama Alliance to protect the Amazon.
Contact Waldhaus: +41-(0)34-461 07 05; firstname.lastname@example.org