January 13, 2017
by Julie DoBias, Richmond, Virginia USA
Art by Liz Collier
During the break at a recent workshop, as I lay face down on the floor after what was probably an hour and a half of dancing the rhythm of Chaos, I realized I was in a place I had never been before. I was in an open space, dancers going about their own business around me, and yet I was completely present in myself. I could hear the noise of the people around me, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care what I looked like, I didn’t care that I was emotional, and I didn’t care that I was vulnerable. It was an utterly unfamiliar feeling, but at the same time I felt a longing to have this feeling all of the time.
This is what the rhythm of Chaos is for me. It allows me to empty out and yet feel so much that I don’t typically allow in my life: the feeling of “nothing”, along with being completely at peace with it. Tribal beats allow me to tap into past energies, drawing me into places I’m not yet able to face in my life. Swirling and twirling around when the energy takes me, often faster than I can stand, I fight to stop it, only to give in when the music transports me where I need to go. It surprises me, amazes me, and gives me what I need at that very moment.
Chaos is often “my” rhythm in a wave. One that I wish to keep to myself. So when we were asked to partner up during this frenetic dance in the workshop, I felt the familiar resistance I often encounter when having to become part of something else – facing the risk of feeling inadequate or vulnerable, of being judged. All of these weighty feelings were absent as I completed my dance alone, so why do they return when I am face to face with another beautiful human?
Calming reassurance comes from the guidance to stay in my own flow and yet accept what is present before me. Use it. Hold a space for them as they hold a space for you. And as we were guided to move into a circle, taking turns to enter it to dance our Chaos, I was brought to tears with the recognition that we are all just trying to face this thing called life. Facing our demons, face our fears, our anger, our sadness. And we are all finding our way through our bodies and the dance. It was beautiful that everyone was so present in doing so, but I was also touched by sadness at the fact that it was necessary at all.
In our final dance into Stillness, I found myself, hands to my heart, going back and forth between crying and giggling. I often flow from one to the other in life, but this was a more profound experience: I found myself with a total feeling of release and freedom in the moment. I had touched a place within me so deep that I was brought to tears, and yet at the same time I was elated at the prospect of finding a “key” to unlock so much more.
Such are the life-changing moments of the 5Rhythms practice.