5Rhythms Tribe | Moving with Grief

April 14, 2018

by Julia Mercurio – Budapest, Hungary

A couple of years ago, I was in a relationship. It was about the time that I started dancing that we started breaking up. Unfortunately, the relationship didn’t end well. It was heartbreaking for me to see that any of my good intentions would just further pave the way to my own hell. It was time to leave for good and start a new chapter.

Last year, on a very hot summer day, I received a message from my friends when I had just woken up from a late afternoon nap. My previous partner had violently ended her own life.

What followed for me was a sickening emotional ride, which I didn’t know until quite recently was actually grieving. Never had I grieved before in this way. So deeply touched. Life was suddenly always shadowed by this entity that hadn’t been visible to me before. This entity was death. In the beginning, I felt a strong sense of aliveness and presence. I was not dead! But then the waves of emotional pain started to paralyze me and the fear of my own death started creeping in.

I dragged myself to a 5Rhythms class because I knew that movement would do me good. But I could hardly move as the emotional pain blocked my fluidity. The few classes that followed were similar. I felt heavy and broken. Ultra vulnerable. Embarrassed that I couldn’t feel joy. Every move was accompanied by the feeling of hopelessness and sadness. Lying down to cry felt much more desirable than forcing myself to move. Even Chaos, beloved Chaos that had always been so easy to enter and felt so liberating and energizing, could not liberate me from feeling misplaced on the dancefloor. Grief had completely swallowed me.

I withdrew from dancing. Listening to my intuition, I gave myself time and permission to feel and do things that felt good. De-cluttering the apartment, crying, doing nothing for days …. I entered my own healing cocoon, with its own laws of time. Then, another friend of mine passed away suddenly. My trust in the essential goodness of life crumbled.

It was only months later that things started to change. Slowly, very slowly, my longing to dance started coming back. The first workshop I took was centered on Flow. A whole weekend flowing. Damn! I already started crying in the introductory circle. I was assisting my mentor and wished to be lighter and happier, but I just couldn’t. Because I saw no other option for getting through the weekend in one piece, I dismissed the opinion of my inner judge (it’s a whole committee actually) and followed my own intuitive rhythm without judging myself for how I felt. Just showing up, even if it meant showing up broken. It worked magic. And flowing worked magic. And my teacher’s trust. Release. Trust. Feet. Gravity. Slowing down. Continuation.

I knew it was time to get back onto the dance floor for good. A deep immersion in a 5 day Heartbeat workshop seemed scary but just the right thing. A thorough investigation of our emotions and our body parts and their movements in relation to our emotions. And there it was again: between all the crying and cringing, a sense of trust and groundedness. And occasionally even joy. It was the art of slowing down that allowed me to re-connect with myself and facilitate the digestion of my emotions in movement. The wisdom and experience of the four teachers was such a blessing. Where are we rushing anyway? Slowing down. Breathing. Sensing. Rooting.

Now that spring is about to pop open all the buds of the flowers and trees, I feel like I’ve walked through the toughest part of what I know is a process of grieving.

One of the lessons I learned is that everything needs time. The right amount of time. And the right moment in time. We can‘t choose the moment something happens, but we can decide how to approach it. Going through a process, whether it be grieving or any other emotional process, is held within a very personal timeline. My regular approach, my usual ratio of moving and resting that had worked for other instances didn’t work anymore. It was my intuition which told me to be patient with myself, to allow the space to unfold and let time do its magic.

One of the central medicines for me has been to slow down. On the dance floor and off the dance floor. But especially on the dance floor. A whole new world of physical sensations has opened up to me. I feel more grounded, more rooted. Still vulnerable, yet able to access power from my rootedness. What can I do if most of the people in a room are on a high vibration and I feel heavy and sad? Breathe. Trust.

My teachers have shown me that gentleness, slowing down and emotional transparency are priceless gifts. We all struggle. Whether it is visible or hidden. Acknowledging this struggle grows compassion for ourselves and for others.

When we slow down, we make space for this acknowledgment: we make space for the subtle inner voice of wisdom to teach us. We make space for growing, for compassion and healing.

Julia is a 5Rhythms Sweat Spaceholder in Budapest, Hungary who has been dancing since 2010. She enjoys paying forward the gifts she receives from her teachers and the teachings of life as she holds space for the Budapest tribe.

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