BSc (Occupational Therapy), MA (Leadership), Occupational Therapist and 5Rhythms Teacher. Victoria, Canada.
My observation has been that people (in public and private sectors, small and large organizations: corporate, federal, non profit, independently owned companies and business…all the places where people work, interact with others, and spend the majority of their day) are in deep need of inspiration. They desperately want to be inspired. They want meaning, connection, and purpose -at work and when they are being educated and trained. And, my belief is this is generally NOT happening with conventional training methods; the conventional intellectual training techniques only go so far. My experience is that to increase speed and the impact of transformational learning we need to pull the knowledge into the body, to lock it in at a cellular body level, and do this while we learn at a visual and auditory level. My belief is that the 5Rhythms is a tool for this type of transformational learning in the workplace.
I would love to meet a woman who has never had ambivalence about her body, who lives in and accepts her physical self with only positive regard and acceptance. What would that be like?
As a child, I became disconnected from my body. My mind was the ‘real’ me, my body just a head on a coat hanger. I did my best to ignore my body and only spoke up when I felt pain. On the rare occasions I felt pleasure, I kept quiet and felt guilty. I came to value my body when it met the definition of socially attractive. I engaged in physical activities to look good, never for health or enjoyment.
What I didn’t know for much of my life was that I feared my body for the unwanted memories buried inside. My brain was the real me. Only my brain wasn’t so happy. As long as I could remember, I felt sad. As soon as I left home, I embarked upon a lifelong journey of fixing myself. I engaged in therapy: individual and group; participated in growth workshops too many to name; read tons of self-help books; learned hypnosis and stress management techniques; successfully found medicine that allowed me to stop crying and think clearly; and explored Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), an integrative psychotherapy approach.
And I did feel much better, even happy.
It wasn’t until my mid-forties when my dearest friend asked me a pointed question, “You’ve only explored your thinking, what about your body?” I knew she was right. I’d done everything except deeply explore and experience my body. It was time. READ MORE
The 5Rhythms map has been a huge part of my life and my journey for over 14 years now. It has aided me in healing and integrating some of the “big stuff” as well as processing those more minor challenges and irritants that can cloud our ability to be and relate to others on a daily basis.
In July 2015, during the morning warm-up wave of a workshop run by Kate Shela in London, I purposefully gave an issue to the dance. I used the 5Rhythms map to process leaving and losing my personal, wheeled, shopping trolley on the tube on my way to the workshop.
The following is a short recreation of that process which naturally unfolded during the 45 minute wave, thus bypassing my usual torturous mental loop of denial, anxiety, blame and self-directed anger that may have gone on for days otherwise. VIDEO
“For two entire hours, I dance. And I travel, from country to continent, from city to hamlet. A journey with no map, no itinerary and no destination. Despite the random wanderings of my body, the rhythm roots it into this very moment. There is no other place I’d rather be. There is no place I want to go. My wanderlust, quenched.”
A few weeks ago, I wrote a story for the travel writing competition by Bradt/Independenton Sunday. I had recently discovered 5Rhythms and inspired by the experience, I scribbled this in thirty minutes after returning from class one evening. The theme of the competition was ‘DESTINATION UNKNOWN.’ To my pleasant surprise, my story was shortlisted — out of hundreds of submissions, mine made it to the final circle of 19 stories. Even though I didn’t win, I thought that was pretty cool, so I decided to share my story:
“…And then the wave begins, New York, the world, it all slips away. I start to move more freely, the music rushes through me like that adrenaline-filled moment of arriving to an unknown city that’s topped a dream list for years. The next thing I know African drums are making my muscles shake in ways previously unknown to my body. I could be in some backwater village of Angola. It is nighttime and the stars are bright. Then I’m off to India — my hips swaying, the belly fluttering in tune with melody. Before I know it, I am kicking my legs up and sensually sliding across the floor to the sound of Argentine tango. Alone, as if tango were a desert island. A didgeridoo calls me to the outback where I can nearly feel the dry red rock under my bare feet. The smell of eucaplyptus forest, a waft of scented wind….” READ MORE
The 5Rhythms community is a 21st century collective unbound by history, culture, race, religion, gender or politics. We are bound by the beat, following our feet on a dancing path to freedom. We are beat-driven, service-oriented, heart-based individuals who come together to embrace our tribal longings.
The measure of a community is its respect for the wisdom of its elders, the innocence of its children, the passion of its artists, and the hope of its healers.
We are committed to inspiring and serving these roots and wings of community.
5Rhythms Global | PO Box 1960 | New York, NY 10013 | 212.760.1381