As we come to the end of this challenging year, I've been reflecting on the experiences, the learning, the growth and the gratitude that I can find for 2022. And there is so much. At the same time, there has been so much grief and loss. I've been doing my best to bear dancing witness to it all. The beautiful has been so beautiful, the shadows have been anguishing, and throughout it all movement has kept helping me return to a (relatively!) even keel.
And there have been some surprising inspirations from this last year.
I'm really grateful for the sharing on my Susannah Darling Khan FB page about "the time between the years", which fed into our decision, on the Movement Medicine Study Hub, to not only have December as a month of embodied remembering (acknowledging, honouring and releasing the last year) but to have January as a "dreaming bowl" for a deep embodied enquiry of dreaming and setting an intentional “soul compass” for 2023.
For those of you not familiar with the Movement Medicine Study Hub, it’s our online membership community where we offer Movement Medicine in bite-sized chunks where you can study, practice and be alongside other seekers as we apply movement as medicine within the flow of our daily lives. It’s something I’m coming to love being part of more and more.
So, I want to honour the Lionesses (English women’s football team) for lifting the lid on the physical power, joy and freedom of women as footballers. I was shaking, weeping, laughing, hooting, leaping as I watched them play and celebrate. I am inspired, not to become a footballer, but to become stronger physically and see how that affects my whole energetic, emotional sense of self and what is possible. It's been one of the big things of 2022, getting on the (peloton) bike.
A week or so ago, as we drove to the Rill Estate where I joined Ya'Acov for the wonderful day of Movement Medicine ceremony that was part of his end of the year “Returning Home” workshop, we hit black ice, and slid, very slowly, into a wall. Ya’Acov is a very good driver and we were going at 2 miles an hour in 4 wheel drive, but there was nothing we could do. Gentle crunch noise and then silence.
We got out of the car, and the people into whose wall we had slid came out to meet us. As we saw each other, the woman of the house said; "Susannah and Ya'Acov, hello! I danced with you 25 years ago!" . So we said hello and they kindly took care of our car, salting around its wheels, as we walked the rest of the way to the Rill Centre to work.
Later on that day I returned and, with the guy's help, drove our car to safety. And then I had a chat with the woman. It turned out that after that 5 Rhyhms workshop all those years ago, she became a professional dancer and then a yoga teacher. As she has come into her menopausal years, her body has gravitated towards strength training and she has become a kettlebell expert. Kettlebells are a weight used for free weight training.
Our son, Reuben Darling Khan who is trained in health coaching, has been directing me, as a nearly 60 year old (what~?!) post-menopausal woman towards what will support my health and vigour in the next era of my life, and, as well as the peloton bike, I am reliably told that weight training is high on the list!
I'm a physical person. I dance. I have strong interoceptive awareness. I walk. I lift buckets. I work on the land. I have always felt that the physical activity my body needs “should” naturally be part of my daily normal life. Plus, I have never wanted to give energy to the “perfect body” self-hate self-talk, which is a cause of so much misery and wasted energy for so many people.
I was inspired by one of the coach’s on Peleton saying “Don’t get skinny, get STRONG!” Yes. I feel that. So this is a new focus. And I'm really curious what it will do to my emotional and energetic sense of self.
So I want to celebrate the magic that can be at work when you have an intention and sometimes "slide into walls" to be greeted by long lost fellow travellers and see what grows from unplanned meetings. The synchronicities which emerge more and more as I attend to them and allow the possibility that life is with me, as I am doing my best to be with life.
Huge gratitude to Ya'Acov, to all our amazing Movement Medicine Apprentices, teachers and thriving Study Hub community (in which I am, amazed and grateful that I am able to study, as well as teach Movement Medicine myself too) and to our family at home, including older and younger human generations and our four Exmoor Pony Gatsby Boys (this is Ivor) and fine dog (Moxi).
We wish you all joy and blessings, Happy New Year!
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