October 2018


Musings + Art + Happenings from our Tribal Individuals

The 5Rhythms practice | A lens for life 



Veterans, especially ones with service-connected injuries, are notoriously resistant to and skeptical of alternative health practices like Yoga and Dance. Although these have been found effective for rehabilitation and are readily available, they remain ignored and held in contempt because of the stereotype of being perceived as feminine. My own story bears out this reality.

As a Marine Corps Infantry veteran who suffered debilitating injuries during my enlistment, I went through the Veterans Hospital system trying to get back on my feet, figuratively and literally. I had to bottom out before finally admitting I was suffering so horribly, physically and emotionally, that I was willing to betray my pride in being a hyper-masculinized male in order to try the milder form of therapy that is Yoga.

Perhaps taking a Yoga class is not a big deal to you, but for former military men conditioned into the ultimate macho form of patriarchal tribalism, the mere thought of dancing or doing Yoga immediately registers as fear of being shamed and humiliated by peers. We all want to belong and be accepted by our tribe, and even if it’s toxic, stupid and morally wrong, we more often than not conform to fit in and fall in line with the dominant group beliefs.

You see, the military, especially the Marines, beat the feminine-aspect of men right out of them. This is because, if things come to warfare and violence, the marine should be a stone-cold killer, a disciplined drone who follows orders and executes his mission without any qualities that might endear him to his enemy... READ MORE


PERMISSION AND PAIN by Sue Sutherland, United Kingdom

In the last couple of days, I have tapped into something new in relation to my constant, and ever present, pain.

For the very first time, I was given permission to feel it. I mean, really feel it.

It would be so easy to assume that the permission was granted by another, and, that was partly true. The permission I am talking about, is darker and lurking in the tightest corner of my psyche. Let me explain…..

On Friday, I was on the door for those arriving to ‘A Deeper Acceptance: moving with chronic illness’, a 5Rhythms movement meditation practice led by Richard Wiltshire as part of the Rhythm Village Festival. In my head, I was there as an advocate. In my head, it’s not really happening to me. In my head, I do not have a chronic illness...READ MORE


The 5Rhythms Reach Out is happy to have played a small role in supporting Richard Wiltshire’s offering of working with people with chronic illness at Rhythm Village Festival.


DANCING INTO CHAOS by Sarah Lighthipe, California, USA

My whole life, I was taught to avoid chaos. I never got messy. I never got a bad grade. I never did anything out of line or inappropriate. Perfection was a childhood obsession of mine. I felt that if I did everything perfectly, then nothing bad would happen to me and eventually my obedience would be rewarded.

I became obsessed with ballerinas as a young girl—their poised arabesques, their perfectly pointed toes—all in the name of achievement and sacrifice. I willingly entered into the classical world of ballet because it upheld its own system of punishment and reward. There were rules. And if I followed the rules, I would receive glory.

I subconsciously chose ballet as an external system of checks and balances to reinforce my internal need for self-punishment. Eventually my obsession led to disillusionment. Only then did I realize other dance forms existed from other parts of the world. Many were very liberal with their standards for body types, age requirements and movement vocabularies. I resolved to learn as many as I could until I found “the one”—the one that matched my essence with the promise that once I mastered the steps, I could then safely express my chaos. But each one was yet another system, no matter how loosely that system was meant to be adhered to. So, I gave up dance altogether.

But when chaos calls to you, the universe will help you get there. READ MORE

Swirling in Darkness


I can’t seem to write about the dance. It’s so strange. Because it’s all whirling in my head, the words. I can’t put them down in any particular order. The letters whirl like a calligraphic-dervish in my head. In Arabic. From right to left. Whirling, whirling, and whirling. Over and over and over. It makes me dizzy. So I switch to English. And they whirl again. From left to right.

I guess it’s a different form of chaos. Maybe I am chaos.

Then again, maybe tomorrow it will come. And they will flow. In circles and circles and circles until they find their way into a stream to dance on my screen.

I can’t write on paper anymore. Isn’t that strange? My hand doesn’t write fast enough on paper. Pencils and pens like ski poles, dragging my words...READ MORE


WAVE WITHIN THE WAVE 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....READ MORE



Here is a loving portrait of Gabrielle Roth, the person, not the icon. Written by Robert Ansell, her husband of 35 years, Gabrielle is an intimate tribute to the power and grace of one of the most dynamic and beloved figures in the world of feminine spirituality. Originally published in hardcover, we are delighted to now bring it to you in digital form.

SPOILER ALERT – this is a love story.


Community is the next Buddha

- Thich Nhat Hahn 

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.

is co-curated by

Morgan Nichols and Morgan Rae

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