I have just had the good fortune of being in California, USA for a Heartbeat Refresh Training with Jonathan Horan (Gabrielle Roth’s son and the “keeper of the flame”) for the ongoing global sharing of her life’s work – 5Rhythms.
Many of you may not know, but 5Rhythms is deeply shamanic, and magical while also being incredibly accessible and down to earth. It’s a wonderful mix of the profound and simple and it’s for this reason that I love to share the work with a group of people that hunger to go deep and truly experience the magic and healing possible for themselves and others.
If you’re anything like me, and you want to remain open to the world and others – it means feeling a shit load of stuff – a lot of the time. For me, welcoming feeling into my dance was a life changer.
5Rhythms first became my saviour when I was working in mental health care in London in my 20’s and one day I had a panic attack on my way to work. When I’d recovered from that episode I decided to tell the manager of the Day hospital that I was going through a rough patch (after all, it was a mental health service). My manager was very understanding… but it unsettled me, when she confided that she had been self harming only 10 months earlier as a way of copying with her own life!
This became a turning point in my life – I realised that if I was to survive I had to take care of myself.
This experience made me realise that my colleagues and I were employed to help others – but there was very little provision for self-care embedded in the job. This became a turning point in my life when I realised that if I was to survive I had to take care of myself. I started psychotherapy, joined a women’s choir and became a regular 5Rhythms dancer (usually twice a week) plus attending workshops, whenever I could get to one.
A decade later, having returned to Melbourne, 5Rhythms Heartbeat work saved me again when our family was hit by misfortune. My niece of 3 years old died of a brain tumour and left our family bereft. Then, within the same year, my 25 year-old nephew, was murdered in a gang bashing in the streets of Melbourne. You can’t prepare for tragedies like this. But you can practice moving with really hard stuff on the dance floor to enable you to better cope with life.
Moving through the Heartbeat Map of the 5Rhythms is an opportunity to let your heart catch up with your life and truly feel and empty what it needs to. Generally, modern life doesn’t offer us the space to do that. But, when we give ourselves time and a practice like the 5Rhythms, the heart and body knows exactly what it needs to do… we just need to get out of the way. After we’ve left the dance floor we also gain great insights about our emotions and their purpose.
You can’t prepare for tragedies like this. But you can practice moving with really hard stuff on the dance floor to enable you to better cope with life.
If you haven’t already seen this video of me dancing through the Emotional Map of the 5Rhythms (Fear – Anger – Sadness – Joy and Compassion) – PLEASE watch it. It gives you a picture of how this process works.
So, if my words or this video calls to you in some way, please be in touch, to ask a question, or share your experience.
I hope you can join us in January. I’m delighted to be offering this Heartbeat Intensive south of the river – in gorgeous Elwood with thanks to Lucine Eusani, my colleague and producer. The venue is a perfect place for a summer workshop in Melbourne. Overlooking the sea, we can all literally swim in the sea of compassion afterwards!
Heartbeat Intensive – Elwood, Melbourne
Jan 17 (Friday Evening) and Jan 18 (Saturday Day) 2020