Dear fellow human being,
Our lives and 21 Gratitudes
We were talking with our elders and very dear friends, Jake and Eva Chapman last week. Jake told us that at the ripe age of 70+, he has finally found within himself a sense of overflowing gratitude for life. He and Eva are not the kind of people to take on some spiritual ideology in order to dull the sharp edges of life. Gratitude when we feel bad is what Eva would call ‘sugar on shit.’
We talked in depth then about the root of why we have called our online Study Hub “21 Gratitudes”.
We explained to them that we, like them, have no interest in forcing ourselves or anyone else to feel anything. At the same time, many years ago, Ya’Acov had one of those ‘command’ dreams in which he was told to practice ‘the 21 Gratitudes’ daily. There was no further instruction and he found himself somewhat bemused by the dream. Nevertheless, having learned the hard way the folly of ignoring such dreams, he began to create his
21 Gratitudes practice by beginning or ending his day by finding 21 things to say thank you for. He didn’t put himself under any pressure at all to feel grateful. He just made a choice to notice and articulate the things that he could genuinely say “thank you” for in that moment.
Thank you that gravity still exists.
Thank you that when I opened my eyes this morning, I could see out of them.
Thank you that there is oxygen to breathe.
Thank you for the food for breakfast that’s waiting for me downstairs.
Thank you that my team just won the Premier League (football)……..
You get the picture. What he found was that this simple practice regularly changed his state by putting into context the challenges and problems that he was also aware of in himself, his loved ones and the world around us.
Later on, when the mandala that is the symbol of Movement Medicine landed in another dream, both he and Susannah were fascinated to discover that the mandala had, you guessed it, 21 Gateways. Intrigued, especially when in one of their trips to the Amazon they were both told in separate visions that this mandala represented all the teachings of their body of work, they began to ask themselves; “What did each of these gateways represent?”
It took them three years of deep enquiry to crack the code. Their leading question was: “Of all the things that we’ve ever learned and practiced, what helped us the most to discover who we are, and what our purpose and direction in life is?”
Susannah had also had one of those command dreams around the same time telling her that their work was to be called Movement Medicine. That was nearly 20 years ago and in 2007, on January 10th, after a stormy night of prayer, Movement Medicine was born. Since then, we have worked with seven generations of apprentices and trained 150+ people from around the world to bring the teachings and practice of Movement Medicine into the world.
On top of that, neuroscience has played a role. Susannah learnt that giving thanks for what we can say thank you for, does in fact play a role in changing our biochemistry and our state.
Over and over again in working with thousands of people around the world, we have seen the change that regularly focusing on gratitude brings. Not to deny or try and change the other feelings that are in the mix, but to simply stir in the added ingredient of remembering what we can say thank you for. This simple and profound practice brings renewed dignity, resilience, resource, and a quality of self-acceptance and deeper love for life.
Why the 21 Gratitudes Study Hub?
We called our Study Hub 21 Gratitudes as offering our work widely and making it accessible to many more people around the world is our way of saying thank you to life. In the Study Hub we are sharing the harvest of our own understanding about how to grow embodied consciousness and live a soulful life.
Our Study Hub is the heart and soul of our online offering - monthly bite size teachings that take our Hub members on an ongoing deep journey of enquiry that supports them to stand up, grow up and play their role in life.
We also have several online self-study courses available including Susannah’s wonderful Embodied Listening course, Standing at the Centre of Your Own Circle and a mini course on the Shamanic Drum.
In 2021, we will be offering online workshops for the first time; intense, limited number
6-week series for those who want a deep dive with listening circle support, study buddies and weekly input. Our first online workshop will be Encounter - Your Inner Shaman in the Modern World with Ya’Acov and a team of trained assistants, beginning in February 2021.
We are praying with every step we take, and every dance we do, with each that our collective human consciousness will continue to expand and evolve to include who we all truly are so that each and every one of us can take their place in this magnificent biosphere.
For us, life in a body on earth, with all its challenges and heartache, is nevertheless an unlikely miracle. So as we head into 2021, we wish you every blessing and the creative engagement that 2021 Gratitudes will bring. May this next year leave you overflowing with natural born gratitude,
Ya’Acov & Susannah Darling Khan