5 June 2024
9 min read

Dear Movement Medicine Community, 

Whenever I sit down to write these blogs, my heart wells up. I know how hard these times are for many of us and how many challenges abound on personal, relational and the wider community levels. I am not immune to those challenges or the suffering in our world. Spiritual practice in Movement Medicine means becoming more sensitive, and stronger at the same time, in order to be able to stand at the centre of our circles and dance with life. At the same time, I am full of the miracle that I am here – the multi-level blessings of my life, and the possibilities that being here presents. And my job is to pay attention to both of these and to go on making what offering I can into the world, regardless of the outcome. As spring has arrived and is turning faster than I might like into summer, hope wakes up in me each day with the rising sun. And as Vaclav Havel famously said:

“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

I wonder how you are as you read this. Would you join me in taking a moment to recognise the space within you into which these words are landing. I am speaking to that spark of unbroken life in you that is able to hold all that you are aware of and so much more. I am reaching out dear fellow human, to the place in you that refuses to give up on yourself, your loved ones and life itself. I am writing to that part of you who is able and willing to dance deeply enough with life to experience it as it moves through you. I am speaking to that part of you who is both aware of the  unknown and awed by it. 

If you’ve been reading my recent blogs, you’ll know that already. But I know how easy it is to fall back into unhelpful habits of certainty. I heard Dr.Joe Dispenza the other day telling us that we have around 60-70,000 thoughts every day! Wow! And 90% of those thoughts are exactly the same as we had yesterday! That got my attention. Especially as it came after he asked the audience: ‘How many of you here believe that the way you think has some effect on your life?’ He goes on to point out that if that if we’re having the same thoughts every day and not paying much attention to them or their effects, it’s hardly surprising that we find it so hard to change. He invites a passionate presence of consciousness to become aware of how our mind operates – this is something very close to our hearts in Movement Medicine practice. 

If you've been reading my blogs or Susannah's , you'll already know that I turned 60 recently and though I agree that on one level, that’s just a number, entering my 7th decade has had an effect on me. I see the sands of time running through my fingers.

I feel the reality of mortality on my shoulder and the bitter-sweet knowledge that time is shorter by the day. When I hold Susannah’s hand as we walk across the moor in the early morning light, often tears of gratitude for what is alive now blend with tears of sadness for the inevitability of letting go. My heart is broken by this knowledge and yet, as Lady Mariko says in the Shogun series I fell so deeply into:  ‘A flower is only a flower because it falls.’ 

It would be easier to go through life a little more numb to the beauty and the pain. But the fact is that year by year, and more so recently, I am more and more in love with my life, my wife, my work, and the world we live in. 

I truly understand why we might want to be unattached. But I’m not. I’m all in for the ride. And the deeper it goes, the more those elemental beings we invoke so regularly have their way through me. As I dance and as I dream, sometimes awake and sometimes asleep, the more the energy that lives this body, that feeds from light and the bountiful energy of earth, that is water and wind, shapes my body-heart-mind. 

J.R.Tolkien said that 'all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.' And that’s what my first month of this new decade has brought. So many questions. So much to juggle. And the feeling of needing more time to write and to be home. And the call, deeper and deeper to serve a dream of peace, no matter what I’m told may or may not be possible. 

Some things are very clear. Teaching Movement Medicine has such meaning for me. And teaching others to use it through our Professional Training is the best way we have found to share the goodness and strength that it’s made from. 

The blend of online and in-the-room work we are now doing is wonderful. I love the advantages and differences of the online learning model for teaching things such as Phoenix Rising.

Whilst our in-the-room work brings such a different experience. We will be taking a small group back into the Amazon rainforest in January 2025 and that journey is now open for bookings.

Following our time in the Amazon, we will be returning to Costa Rica to offer two intensives. Watch this space for more details.

We are offering more work for Couples this year and I am so glad about that. We have found a formula that both holds and challenges our wounds and makes space for a deepening experience of intimacy and sexuality than I ever dreamed was possible. We call it Forging Understanding Community and Kinship in the Space Between Us and there’ll be two chances to dive in in the upcoming months (more information and booking will be available very soon). 

Offering non-denominational ceremonies, embodied spiritual spaces without dogma where we can acknowledge what is real, let go, heal, re-member, and open up to guidance from a higher power, whilst lifting up each other’s prayers, and raising a shit-load of resources for some excellent causes makes sense that almost nothing else to me. The Long Dance is in full steam ahead preparation and there’s a wonderful crew from many places coming together. And yes, there’s still space for if you hear the call. And yes, it is a not-for-profit event and the cost of the Long Dance is simply the cost of putting it on. 

I bow deeply to the servants of life who refuse war, revenge, and shaming and choose to reach out beyond the possible. We went to two ceremonies held by Combatants for Peace in May. One for Israeli Memorial Day and the other, the Nakba Memorial ceremony. Both were deeply moving – to hear the stories of the human beings who have lost so much, and yet who seem to me to be genuine activists for peace, standing courageously in the dignity of their broken hearts at the same time as holding that olive branch to one another. They are the genuine seeds of peace though the choices they are making, and we bow to you. 

And our Movement Medicine Study Hub, a library of resource and gathered wisdom, continues to grow from strength to strength. We recently had Kristin Glenewinkel as a guest teacher and more will follow. June’s theme is Memory, Mystery and Meaning,beautifully crafted and offered by Susannah and in July, I’ll be offering Envision - The Future as Life's Invitation to Create.

Being a member of the Study Hub is now mandatory for anyone in Professional Training – and it’s a fantastic way to start and gather your prerequisites for anyone wanting to take that path.

Finally for this month, I am very happy to be going on a short pilgrimage to meet by dear brother Arkan Lushwala to join him in ceremony this month. Arkan’s latest book The Spirit of the Glacier Speaks, is a deep sharing of indigenous wisdom.

"Singing and dancing, we align ourselves with the moon, the equinoxes, the solstices, and all the events that move us from the sky without forgetting to welcome the beginning of great cosmic cycles like the one happening at just this moment." - Arkan Lushwala.

Arkan is a very good friend of Manari’s who I am happy to tell you will be joining us once again at the Long Dance, alongside Ramiro (Chumpi) Vargas. One of the things I am very much looking forward to, apart from three days of deep prayer with Arkan and his community, is the conversation that Arkan hosts at the end of the ceremony. This conversation is about how indigenous wisdom is being passed on to people from non-indigenous roots and how that is going. Arkan invited me to participate in this conversation last year with Manari but the timing didn’t work. It’s a conversation that I am deeply interested in and I will let you all know what I learn there. 

Wishing you and your loved ones all blessing, good healthy body, strong and flexible heart, creative and clear mind – and the courage to go on dreaming and bringing those dreams to earth whilst the heart still beats.

YDK. June 2024

Ya’Acov DK

Ya’Acov Darling Khan, is the author of ‘Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart...