October 20, 2018
by Laura Branco, Ohio, USA
In one of our sessions during Teacher’s Training, Jonathan talked about pain in the system. He announced to the attentive TIT novices: “It’s not a matter of if it will happen, it’s a matter of when it will happen,” as he released his gargantuan laugh.
When everything was pointing to a disastrous class or no class at all, the practice of 5Rhythms as a truthful and effective embodiment method transformed a challenging night into a wonderful lesson as a facilitator.
Picture a humble weekly class in the Midwest, USA. Cleveland is a new ground for the work: although we have a diverse community, things haven’t picked up in big leaps. I’ve been carving steadily and patiently the opportunity to hold space for the practice for the last 2 1/2 years and every single participant that is seduced to come back, finding feet, hips, heart, joy, sweat, and authentic revolutions, feels like mission accomplished.
Last night, one of the major speakers exploded (noise and smoke included) and tripped half of our outlets. This occurred 10 minutes before opening the door. For some time, we couldn’t figure out if the whole system was fried or what the heck was happening. I made an emergency call to my daughter, asking her to bring a back up sound system. Mind you, home is about 20 minutes away (of course it was rush hour.)
Meanwhile, my husband tried to sneak behind the massive wooden Indian column to reach for some of the cords. The column, which weighs about a 1/2 ton, tumbled to the side, 1/3 hanging its loose colonnade from the 5th-floor window, leaving both of us stuck holding it until somebody came to help. I had just announced a minute ago to the door person “Do not let anybody in!” Thanks to Krishna, Shiva, and Hanuman, they sent a helping hand in.
I was expecting the usual crowd that had been coming for the last 2 years so I needed to start conjuring up a class with no music.
Adding to my disbelief at this unusual night, I had made arrangements with a marketing representative to come in and do a shoot with our regular dancing group in mind. My usual group for 5 Rhythms is very supportive and would love to help with advertising it!
Still without a clue, I took a deep breath and thought, “What do I need right now to collect myself? What do I need in my body to be steady, think clearly and solve this problem?” I really needed to pee.
That’s when I opened the door and saw a multitude of new faces, prepared to enter the room. A line! We surpassed our attendance x3 that night! The hall was filled with excited, young, old, new and experienced people and even visitors from New York!
Hot Damn! A line of people is what we’ve been waiting for! However, it came as a déja vu/nightmare: I had, between module 2 & 3 training, a perfect crowd and the perfect disastrous gadget pane.
For a second, thoughts raced through my mind: “What if there’s no music tonight? Can I pull it off? Do I send everyone home? What a fiasco!”
This was a moment filled with fear but I partnered with courage to move onward and continue the class. Action!
We ran a cord across to another outlet and all of a sudden one of the speakers burst into action as well. One was better than none!!! The music began and I decided to run a different show. I opened the door and greeted people as they came in. I wanted to witness those who came to dance this evening and know who I was dancing with.
For the next 30 minutes, warming up, my head was chanting the mantra “Oh shit” every time I looked at the computer. For the 1st time in all my weekly classes I had forgotten my computer’s charger at home. In Sleeping Beauty mode, my computer leaked before my eyes from 20% to 10%, just like an hourglass.
A quick sign to my partner to break the news. I had a tactic: he would run home and I would play the music, let the tick tock define how long I had before starting my demo and how fast he would make it back for me to start a 2nd Wave. My hope now was that he would find the charger easily.
We checked in with each other while he was at his mission to save the night!
Me: Are you there? Did you find it?
Me: Did you leave yet?
Rogerio: Coming back!
Me: DID YOU FIND the right one, Air not Pro?
Him: Demo time
Him:Yes I found it…
While he was out, I searched for my backups. None worked. My bad – it’s been ages since I checked my emergency escapes, my new phone didn’t fit Traktor’s plug anymore, the ancient iPod didn’t have a decent playlist nor battery … and so on …
Yeah, there was room for a disaster: if it wasn’t for that tall good-looking man walking in just as I was about to do the demo, two chargers and another computer in hand. Things could have gone downhill. Just like the 1000th level of a video game (I imagine – I am not a gamer). “Yeah – can you balance three plates? What about on top of three chairs? Try balancing on a ladder now! Now sing and wag your tail.”
Flawless transition from dying computer to a class demonstration. I didn’t mention this earlier but it was the first time I had gathered the courage to play my big ass Iranian drum (Daf) while conducting a walking meditation. My thoughts as I rehearsed at home was “It’s my usual people, they love me and support me.” My reality now: “Can I stay on beat and talk?”
Things began to breathe and a peaceful energy started to manifest in the room. My computer shot on and things continued to fall into place; excellent engagement from a full room, cooperative and energetic people doing Porpoise Meditation led by the drumming. I transitioned to a partner exercise and into the demo. It felt just like lifting my arms going down on a roller-coaster.
As the unfolding night finished, I danced deeply to the marketing camera, then a much-deserved late dinner filled with celebration motifs, but the best realization was in bed.
“I nailed it”.
I didn’t nail it because I conducted a great class, or because people praised it all without noticing what was happening, but because I didn’t feel like drowning. I didn’t feel lost or despairing, as I always feared I would. Okay, maybe for a second or two, but the terror of being humiliated by failing and falling didn’t freeze me. I felt myself, I felt ready and supported in the presence of all my family and friends. I felt supported by the practice and the training we have had,. I felt all of you and all we’ve done to stand in this place. I felt my mentors, Meera, Kusum, Gabrielle, Jonathan, Morgan, Peter, Alan, Erik, Martha, Kierra, Lucia and many others filling the empty spaces, dancing with me along the night.
In the perfect stillness of rest, breathing was the only thing moving. I had just witnessed myself surfing the most beautiful wave, a realistic wave in class in an aware mode. The kind of wave that swells up right in front of your eyes, coming at you, pulling the “Oh Shit” out of you, Uh-oh, too late to back up, “I am at the edge, I’vegot to trust,” surrender and finally contemplation. The game we all came to play when we decided to walk on this Earth. The Leela we all came to dance once we decided to take responsibility for our Dharma and not collapse facing our Karma.
I am thankful for the opportunity to stand on my feet, trust my Hara, let my heart shine and keep on moving!