Moving with Mosquitos

I have the most mosquito bites I’ve ever had per square inch of skin. The most affected area is my left calf, but there are bites covering my entire body.

This year I’m spending the summer with my parents in Northern Connecticut, along with my 11-year-old son, Simon. In the past, I brought a heavy duty speaker and set it up under a shady maple tree to dance. A big patch of grass was worn away by mid-August last year and the dirt was dusty and hard packed. 

On the days I didn’t dance in the yard, I would run to a place I love in the woods by the humble Scantic River and dance there instead.

This summer, I didn’t bring the heavy duty speaker, so my best option has been to dance in the woods. 

The only problem is the mosquitos.

On Monday there were a lot of mosquitos. But Tuesday and Wednesday were ridiculous. 

Turning down the road into the woods, gnats and mosquitos swarmed my face. Both days, I was happy to find my favorite spot available, and no one fishing anywhere nearby. Making sure I was alone, I created a circle on the sandy riverbank, asking all ancestors, deities, guides, and protectors to support me in my practice. The mosquitos smothered me as I moved through this ritual, landing on my arms and biting right through my leggings. At one point, I looked down and there were five mosquitos all attached to one leg.

I realized it was either leave the woods or surrender, so I stopped my wild swatting and said, “Ok, mosquitos, have at it! Feast on me for all you’re worth.” And I started to move in Flowing. I found that the more I moved the more I was able to discourage the mosquitos from landing, but they continued to bite as I turned my attention to the soles of the feet, noticing the pull of gravity and allowing it to draw me into circling.

Sustaining attention throughout an entire 5Rhythms wave for nearly an hour both days, I barely noticed the tiny parasites.

Later, scratching the many bites on my legs, I asked myself if this was really the best idea. It was a valuable experience to decide to re-cast something that was extremely unpleasant into something neutral, but I thought I might have to suspend the woods practice at least temporarily if the mosquitos kept up at this level.

I wasn’t feeling inspired about moving in any other spot, though. 

So I decided to try a little harder to make it work. I laid leggings, a tank top, baseball hat, running shoes, and socks over a chair on the deck and sprayed them down with a highly concentrated Deet bug repellent. As soon as the Deet dried I put all of this on. Despite the over-100 soaring temperatures and high humidity, I also pulled on a pair of light, loose pants over the leggings, hoping to thwart the mosquitos who had bitten me right through the leggings on the previous two days. I tucked in the tank top and tied the pants at the waist. Finally, I sprayed my exposed skin with a citronella bug repellent, and sprayed my sneakers again for good measure.

I told Simon I would be back shortly and set out for the woods. Today, I once again found my favorite spot available. Again, I drew a circle in the sand of the riverbank and asked for support. The mosquitos were still thick but they didn’t seem to be swarming my head as much. 

Since I’ve been training to become a 5Rhythms teacher, my practice takes one of two frames. Either I work with what’s inside and around me, allowing whatever needs to arise. Or I practice teaching, talking out loud and providing prompting to an imaginary class. Today, I taught to a class. 

In practice, I never know what will arise. Today, I led my class into Flowing from the ground up, encouraging them to patiently enter the space, to connect with the floor, to consider helping me to move around the perimeter of the room, recognizing that space is sacred because we choose to define it as sacred. 

In nature, with no music, on an angled river bank, I could feel the pull of gravity and of the earth’s center, so I initiated a theme of feeling the immense density, the magnetic pull of the earth’s center, and allowing it to pull us into weighted circling. 

A pickup truck drove by, rushing the road gravel not far from my sandy riverbank. I looked out the side of my eye, wishing for solitude and hoping they would leave quickly. I continued to move anyway, regardless of self consciousness and a slight flavor of fear. Thankfully, they pulled out again long before Staccato sparked. 

Occasionally I said too much, diluting the power of my prompts, so I backed up and offered the same prompt again, aiming to be economical with words, to say just what was needed.

I led myself – I mean my imaginary class – through a gravitational version of the body parts meditation, moving with strong engagement. When Flowing was well established, and my feet felt soft and awake, I invited the class to breathe in and allow the elbows to feel the pull of the earth’s magnetic center, and to allow it to pull them into circles.

I invited them to meet a partner with their elbows as my breath grew sharp and I began to snap and cut the hips. Each partner took a turn to dance their heart, while the other partner witnessed. I kept bringing my gaze to a nearby tree stump – a sort of surrogate partner. “What if none of these gestures are arbitrary?” I offered. “What if this moment is your destiny? What would it mean to meet your destiny in this moment? What are you holding back right now? What more can you give right now?” This series of prompts hitched a sob in my throat, and I lowed slowly, feeling tears rise as I continued to move.

After meeting every partner in the space, we started to notice that holding all of those stories was too much. “You are not responsible for all of these stories,” I said. “You don’t have to hold them in your body. You can let them in completely and then let them all go.”

Chaos was vivid, emphatic. I found new patterns and new ways to disorganize my patterns. “Nothing to grasp toward, nothing to push away,” I intoned. “What are you holding back?” I said evenly as I hung my baseball hat on a cut off branch and released my head completely. “This moment is your destiny. There is nothing but this.”

Lyrical found me looping and extending, energetically porous, circling in an entirely different way. I led myself and the imaginary class through the portal of the body and into infinite space, sharing an ancient practice that was given to me by a sky goddess.

When the final gestures of Stillness concluded, it occurred to me that I’d been in the woods for a long time, and that I needed to get back and make sure Simon was ok. I again noticed the pesky mosquitos and the grueling heat, marveling that I hadn’t paid attention to either for at least an hour – and perhaps quite a lot more – as I had been absorbed in this beautiful practice. 

I wondered what else in my life I can decide not to be irritated by, and what ways I can give more, what ways I can step up for the life that is right in front of me, the destiny that calls me to it and is only available right now – the rest is just holding back.

Meghan LeBorious is an artist, writer, and meditation teacher who lives in Brooklyn, New York. This blog consists of her own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher. Photos are courtesy of the author.

Inner Currents

After several beautiful beach days in a row, this one was stormy. I spent last week at Cape Cod with family, a tradition that has continued since my mother was 13, in 1963. This year had an excellent turnout with 20 family members scattered through various cottages, including my 11-year old son, Simon, and three other kids. Maybe the drain from this long year of isolation and uncertainty made us crave time with family more than usual, though I found that I still needed a lot of time alone.

Each morning I packed a small bag with drinking water, a towel, goggles, and swim cap, then hiked around jetties and down several beaches to the two-mile-long West Dennis beach. Then I would put my bag under a lifeguard chair and walk until it felt far enough and swim back to where I started. On the way I might be rocked by choppy waves, find beachgoers’ lost treasures, or observe golden sand ripples and busy crabs under calm water.

A storm at sea made the water so turbulent and green-grey opaque that I was afraid sharks would be near the shore. I put on my bathing suit and packed my bag anyway, this time putting loose legged pajamas back on over my suit and tying my towel and bag inside a plastic shopping bag so they wouldn’t get soaked. 

I planned to dance a 5Rhythms wave on the sand, then decide later if I would still swim along the shore. The tide was nearly high and there was not much packed sand to move on, but I started to circle in Flowing, giving full attention to my feet as they churned half moons and indentations in the sand. The rain faded from the center of my attention and I got wetter as my body warmed up from moving. After some time, I realized I hadn’t given any attention at all to the sea, and shifted to feeling the pull of its depths and moving with the broken, asymmetrical waves as they were dragged back into the sea’s body.

At the beginning of the week, I had noticed a rare arising. My inner talk was gently confident and self-compassionate. In contrast, on this day, I could feel the drag of inner currents; and self hatred kept flaring. I dropped lower and returned attention to my circling feet every time I noticed my mind turn against me, or turn away from the feet, the wind, the sea, the feeling of rain and mist on my skin, the sounds of crashing waves and crying birds, or the smell of seaweed and salt.

I expanded my radius briefly but a heavy cache of sharp slipper shells was too much for me and I returned to a smaller area. The tide was climbing higher, leaving me just a thin margin of packed sand for my dance floor. A longing I don’t have language for swelled in my throat. I moved in this small space, and kept my wide pajama legs clear of the landing waves to avoid getting totally drenched. These factors became part of my dance, too.

As the sand darkened with wet, I moved into a short phase of Staccato. A lone beach walker with her rain jacket tied tightly around her face approached. I moved toward the water, making space for her as I sank into the hips, exhaling strongly and moving emphatically as the waves rose and crashed.

Chaos came and went quickly on this day. My spine coiled, curved, and twisted – gestures originating in the hips and tailbone, then whipping along the length of the vertebrae and out the top of the head. 

I threw a piece of drift-plastic close to my towel so I would remember to put it in the trash can on the way out and a black-faced tern hovered just above it, thinking it might be a snack. More terns and several seagulls came rushing in. The wind caused them to jerk and wobble, ready to fight over it.

I rose up onto my toes and followed the birds, moving in light, extended loops as they expanded into wider and wider orbits, cutting the wind with the flats of my hands as they changed direction and arced back around. The wind passed right through me as much as it whipped my hair and clothing.

Stillness was several breaths of gazing at the wide horizon and balancing different parts of me against other parts.

This led into a yoga practice which seemed to last a long time. I moved around my small dance floor to find better packed sand for my hands and feet so I could balance more easily, frequently changing the direction of my front from east to west so a different hip would be tipping downhill. Sand caked my wet skin and pajama pants as I stretched on the ground.

Eventually I settled into a sitting pose just past the tongues of waves and wrapped a big towel around my shoulders against the rain, resting my hands on my knees. I usually spend time tucking myself into a custom-made sand cushion so I can meditate comfortably, but on this day, I moved effortlessly into a comfortable seat. I rocked side to side with the wind, wet and covered with sand, still subject to an indescribable longing, still grateful for time with family, and feeling absorbed by the elements, blissfully connected.

My brother walked onto the beach just as I was about to leave so I joined him for a swim before heading back to re-join the rest of the family.

This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher. Photos are courtesy of the author. Meghan LeBorious is an artist, writer, and meditation teacher who lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What Just Happened?

“What just happened?” my entire nervous system seems to be asking. My son, Simon, just completed elementary school, I just finished up the school teaching year, and we just moved homes. 

Moving day was in the high 90’s and extremely humid, and by early afternoon I had heat exhaustion. My eyes were strained to the point that it hurt to look sideways. I pushed on regardless, telling myself that somehow it simply had to happen. By evening I felt like I was spinning off the surface of the earth. 

I managed to get a small air conditioner from the old apartment to the new one and up the stairs to the third floor, then shut the door to one of the bedrooms and cranked it up. I stripped down and stretched out on a bare mattress, hoping a rest would re-set my system. My skin felt hot to the touch; and I was trembling and throwing up. Logically, it seemed likely to be a combination of de-hydration, heat exhaustion, and anxiety, but I felt like I was dying. I wondered if I might have a brain tumor, a stroke, or some other terminal malady; and went on long thought trains trying to decide if I should go to the emergency room. 

I woke up the next day feeling better but still shaky. I walked into Home Depot in Bed Sty and realized that it was hard to see anything at a distance. This is most likely because my eyes are going downhill, but I got scared again. I could feel adrenaline spiking and flooding my body’s systems. I managed to calm down and get what I needed, but I still felt vulnerable. I spent the day building closets out in the new apartment and drinking liter after liter of water. Despite my precautions, I started to feel extremely weird again by late afternoon.

My sister, a marathoner and iron man athlete, has been heat exhausted countless times, and has also suffered from at-times crippling anxiety. “I’m really sure you’re ok. This is what anxiety does. You think you’re dying. Even if you logically know you aren’t. It’s fight or flight.” I found this reassurance immensely helpful. I also spent some time slowly breathing out for longer than I was breathing in, which helped to calm my overstimulated nervous system. 

Simon was with my parents so he could be shielded from the chaos of the move and I could be freed up to work efficiently. We moved into the apartment we are just leaving as he was taking his first steps; and now, ten years later, we are leaving as he gets ready for middle school. My priority was to arrange his room so it would be inviting for him when he first walked in and this kept me going even as stress hormones continued to flood me.

On the fourth day, I decided to do one more trip to the old apartment to rescue a box of drawings I had decided against; and I found that I had also forgotten my checkbooks and the hardware for Simon’s bed frame. 

I had the odd feeling that we were a receding tide in this place. In the front of the building, I said good bye to my favorite tree. As tears heaved up, I circled its trunk with my arms, thanking it for watching over us all these years (and very much hoping no one was noticing this display of emotion).

I did not practice the 5Rhythms for these four active days, or the two days previous – an unusually long break in practice.

On the afternoon of the fourth day I left to travel to my parents’ house in northern Connecticut and re-unite with Simon. 

Last year during the first stretch of the pandemic, Simon and I stayed with my parents for 6 months. During that time, I made it to the woods and to the Scantic River most days, and often danced in nature, in solitude, and in relative silence. In winter, the river flowed along with only the bare trees as witnesses. In early spring, the water level was high and the water flowed rapidly. By late summer, the banks had widened and the river had shrunk down to a small stream.

Last summer was the first of many years that Simon and I didn’t travel; and it turned out that this opened an unexpected door. 

To my immense surprise given many years of poor credit, I was able to buy a place in Brooklyn – something that had never seemed like even a remote possibility. This was because of a brief buyer’s market when many flocked away from New York City, the fact that I didn’t spend thousands of dollars on summer travel, and the support of many friends and family members.

Today, following a torrential rainfall, the river was swollen, fast, and muddy. I ran on a loop trail, then decided to do a 5Rhythms wave – that is, I decided to dance through each stage of the 5Rhythms practice: Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, and Stillness. The ongoing light rain intensified, but I found a spot on the trail that was sheltered by tree cover. 

I thought I would just dance a two minute wave, but it opened up once I started moving. There was a slight incline, and I used the feeling of gravity pulling my body downhill to find my way in. I noted the sensations of the moving feet, and took deep breath after deep breath. The rush of thoughts settled much more readily than I had anticipated that it would. 

My experiences from the previous year when I had danced by this same river almost every day came back to support me. 

Today Staccato arrived with ease and precision. I had no problem moving with decisive, clear gestures. The sound of the rain on the tree canopy increased; but I was still shielded and the ground stayed soft rather than muddy. 

Chaos disorganized me. “Faster than you can think,” ran through my head, something Gabrielle Roth, the creator of the 5Rhythms, would say. It occurred to me that moving faster than the brain can process proprioception might indeed allow us the opportunity to short circuit our habitual patterns – the things we do again and again to escape discomfort, avoid pain, and reassure ourselves that we exist, that we are separate, and that we will never die.

I thought about how territorial I had been during the weeks leading up the move – no doubt an attempt by my mind to reassert what it knows and relies on. 

The rain got lighter again as Lyrical arrived, and I rose, extending as I stretched my arms upward, casting and arcing around my small dance circle.

Stillness always calls me strongly in this place, and I moved with quiet absorption.

I left the woods and ran back home in steady rain, barely noticing the steep uphill climb, just taking it one single footfall at a time.

July 2, 2021, Broad Brook, Connecticut

This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher. 

Afternoon Inertia

Little has outwardly changed about my practice in the last many months. After a long day of remote work and before picking up my 11-year-old son, Simon, at his pod learning group, I roll up the rug and dance in my apartment living room. 

Some days, like today, I was slow to start. I moved from the living room to my favorite bookcase – the one directly across from my bed that houses the books that have inspired my life, including three books by Gabrielle Roth, the creator of the 5Rhythms dance and movement meditation practice. I opened Gabrielle’s book Connections to a random passage and patiently drank it in.

Returning to the living room and my pandemic dance floor, I turned on the music. Today I started with a TV on the Radio song that makes me shake. An email I had received right before the end of the work day was on my mind. It was hard to shake it loose, but the more I moved the easier it was to remember that petty posturings and the impulse to guard my territory are not useful. In fact, it occurred to me that if I do choose to protect my territory, though perhaps good for my career, it will destroy my own practice and everything I stand for. 

I sank to the floor for a tonal song and stretched the parts of me that rolled into reach and into my attention as I curved and arched. In Flowing, I gave myself to circling to the extent that I could, noting still the impact of the earlier email. A mild inertia influence held me ever so slightly heavy. I could feel myself on the verge of accelerated transition – about to move homes, Simon about to end elementary school – and stories radiated off of me. A million ideas of where to focus, where to steer myself, what calls me, arose. I let myself off the hook on trying to figure out the big vision, and just settled into the knowledge that new territory is opening up.

Staccato came too fast. I was still feeling a tint of inertia. It continued to cling to me as I swung my hips wide, watching myself in the reflection of a turned-off TV. Not breaking a sweat, I explored the big gestures, micro-cuts, scoops, and sways of the hips as the music brought on more and more beat. I sank low, almost langorous for these first two staccato songs.

It never even crossed my mind that it was just me, no partners, no witnesses, no one to witness, but I’m thinking of it now as I write.

The next songs increased in tempo and intensity. Inertia kept the slightest hold, but I moved with inspiration, ranging throughout the space of the living room.

Time was running short, so I cut the wildest chaos song to its last couple of minutes, closed my eyes, and took it on – hopping side to side, and letting my breath get erratic. The next chaos song was lighter, and I cast myself wide and diagonally, spinning and shaking.

Between Lyrical and Chaos, I played a fast, sarcastic song that I love, and I twisted and coiled the spine, letting my hips throw the rest of me into motion.

I couldn’t remember what I had next on the playlist but was delighted when I heard Mumford & Sons I Will Wait. It hit me like Irish music, like bluegrass, like rollicking summer. I I leapt and soared, barely noticing the slight inertia, almost evading it, and totally forgetting the email that had made me feel territorial and small.

I was almost out of time so thought to put on a stillness song to settle for at least a few breaths before picking Simon up. But to my surprise the Jamaican classic Murder She Wrote by Chaka Demus made its way into the air. I moved with delight and speed, finally losing the inertia – the weight and distraction – that had somehow carried me through today.



Set Free What is No Longer Now

Today is my birthday, so I wanted to do all of my favorite things. After breakfast, my 11-year-old son, Simon, meditated with me for a little while, then I continued to meditate on my own. After that, I joined a zoom yoga class with a beloved master instructor who I’ve been practicing with for more than a decade. 

Next, I drove to Riis Park, a wide open beach that’s just 30 minutes away on a light-traffic-day. For much of the drive, I had to keep the windshield wipers on maximum, and I was curious about what dancing in such heavy rain would be like.

On the way, I spoke with my mom, who told me the story of my birth, as she does every single year on my birthday. The details of the story change, but the main theme is always the same. “You are loved. You have always been loved. We loved you before you were even here.” I always feel my heart rise up with a tide of tears. Some years I’ve suffered in the face of this love considering my own self hatred, but this year I said, “Tell me about how tiny I was again and what it was like when you first saw me.” 

Arriving at the beach, I sat in the parking lot, writing a list of intentions for the year, and also for the new moon, which happens to fall on my birthday. The one that I liked the best this time was, “Set free what is no longer now.” 

Simon had loaned me his waterproof spring coat; and I pulled up the hood and tied the strings around my neck. Droplets hitting the hood kept up a constant pattering sound. I could feel the raw air on the inches of ankle left bare by low socks.

The horizon was obscured by white mist as I made my way across the wide, wet beach. The waves were powerful but the tide was low, leaving a wide section of packed sand for a dance floor. Rain seemed to be coming in hard from the side, and the wind pushed against me almost parallel to the water.

A lone pair of people and a dog were visible in the distance when I first arrived, but before long I was totally alone. Still with the hood tied under my chin, I began to move in big arcing loops, enjoying the pull of gravity as I ascended and descended the steep slope by the water’s edge. A whole rush of words, bits of conversations, and fragments of experiences from the week and month came streaming along. Since I was alone, I sang loudly, moving from song to song as they popped up in my head, continuing to move in big circles. I also repeated the intentions from the list I had written in the car, offering them to the dance and trusting its power, repeatedly saying, “Set free what is no longer now.”

Following this flowing chapter, this opening act of my personal dance, Staccato began to catch in my throat and hips. I let out several cries as I sank low, grateful I could let my voice fly to the wind without fear of being a spectacle. 

Before long Chaos moved me into energetic space; and I was coiling and spinning, moving closer to the ended waves, giving attention to the heaving sea as it rose as form then broke apart again.

Lyrical backed me away from the wind, rising onto my toes, arms raising up, and turning my face toward the sky. Wisdom poured through, reminders from the universe about my place in things, about letting go of the small stories that keep me afraid and separate. And gratitude came pouring out. Gratitude for this life, for my work, for my son and family, and for the many blessings I’ve experienced. 

There was a lot of crying today. Even from just the past week, there is so much that needs to be processed, integrated, and healed. In a way, the path of a life is a million wounds and a million healings. But I guess that’s only if we’re lucky. I guess that’s only if we are here for it, if we can set free what is no longer now, keep moving with what life brings us, and keep finding new ways to dance.

April 11, 2021, Brooklyn, NY

This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher.

The Saturation Line

I had to pull over to take pictures. The entire hillside outside the rear fence of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden was covered with tiny purple crocuses, almost blurring completely together. 

Spring is actually happening. It’s like how I feel about singing. For so long, I couldn’t sing at all. It was clipped, awkward, soundless. But now this miracle happens. I open my mouth and sound comes out and it’s a song. It might not be perfect, but it’s alive. In much the same way, spring trots out, inevitable and miraculous at once.

I feel like the entire past year has been winter.

The pandemic isn’t over, and in fact the more virulent new strains of coronavirus are extremely concerning, and may even be impacting people who have already been vaccinated. People who are close to me have recently tested positive, and I’m praying hard for their swift and complete recovery.

And yet, the earth is coming back to life, irrepressible ebullience in every corner and urban hillside.

Yesterday I went running and paused not far from home. Drums. I danced on the sidewalk, then decided to follow the sound. It was a latin collective, with a drummer and standup bass, throwing down on the sidewalk. Scores of people were smiling, eating, and dancing. I sidled close to the band and danced too, stepping back hard and sinking into the hips. Their set ended and I continued on my run, feeling grateful to be alive, grateful for spring, and grateful for my home, Brooklyn, New York, where you can go for a run and find drumming and dancing, and be right at home, dancing amongst total strangers.

Today I danced with the sea. For months, I’ve bundled up in parka coat, snow pants, ski gloves, balaclava, boots, and thermal underwear to dance with the sea at Jacob Riis Park. Today, I needed only a few layers.

Given the lovely March day, the beach was crowded. 

Instead of crossing the wide beach directly to water, I made my way down the wide paved boardwalk, hoping to find a little more solitude. Instead, there were people as far as I could see, so being alone, like I was during the the frigid temperatures of deep winter when the parking lot was in deep snow and snow even covered the beach, was simply not available.

The tide was maximum high, leaving me a relatively small dance floor of packed sand. I put my bag and coat down where it was safe from the waves, took off my shoes, and moved into Flowing. I started by rocking side to side, syncing breath and movement, letting the divine smell of the ocean in, letting more and more breath in, and finding weight and momentum. Before long, my rocking found a curve and I began to move in circles. At times, the soles of my feet were cold. I let the swaying pull of the ocean lead me, and found myself pushed and pulled, casting downhill, dropping and turning, attentive to the sea’s magnetic forces.

This went on for so long, this attentiveness to pushing and pulling, to curving and dropping, to forces shifting direction. I used to think I would maybe stay in Flowing all day and never move into Staccato, but now I know the wave just unfolds in its own time.

As anyone who dances the 5Rhythms well knows, once Flowing is well founded, Staccato is likely to naturally arise. And soon, I was breathless, dropping and cutting, finding direction and expression. The packed sand I could move easily on was relatively narrow, so I was closer to the waves than usual, sometimes dancing at the very edge, moving along it diagonally, dancing back into my hips, then dropping, changing direction and moving forward. 

I noticed a new detail – the saturation line. There was the edge of the ended wave being pulled back into the sea, and right behind it this saturation line, where the sun still reflects on the wet sand before the water is fully absorbed. When I stepped below the saturation line, it felt cold. Above it was totally bearable. In Staccato, I paid careful attention to this jagged saturation line, sometimes below it and sometime above it, noticing the vast difference in temperature on the soles of my bare feet.

When Staccato emerged the energy of movement grew more lively. A staccato song I love replayed in my mind, and before long I was leaping and pausing, leading with my knees and elbows, and finding new ways to express spring’s enlivened vigor, still very engaged with the sea’s edges, sometimes casting down and backward, uphill, stepping across, then moving up and into open gestures with legs extended and hands outstretched.

When Chaos finally started to emerge, it felt like relief. I had long given up on the baseball hat and now released my head further, tossing it at the end of a big gesture starting in the hips and curving, folding front and back and side to side, coiling and twisting through the spine and throughout my entire body.

I didn’t growl or scream-cry as much as I did in the dead of winter when I was often a lone dancer on a frozen beach, but the mild weather and bare feet made up for the lack of privacy.

In Lyrical, the section of packed sand that made up my dance floor opened into endless space, the sky, the horizon, the seabirds soaring over with great racing shadows, and the wide open beach. I moved with all of it, slowly transitioning into the whispering feeling of Stillness, where all sound meets and drops out together as no sound, one great booming tone from deep in the belly of the sea.

It feels like it’s been winter for over a year – a time of turning in, introspection, reflection, adversity, and challenge. And although COVID is still wreaking havoc, the emergence of spring this year brings me some sense of optimism and motivation.  

This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher.