I woke up at some point during the night. Things I hadn’t gotten around to yet that had been nagging at the edges of my mind moved to the foreground. Even so, I kept bringing attention to any muscle that tightened and encouraging it to relax – forehead, stomach, jaw, the arches of the feet. Eventually I fell back to sleep.
After meditating and several hours on the computer, I decided to run to one of my favorite places, a small system of trails near the Scantic River in Northern Connecticut, where my twelve-year-old son, Simon, and I are staying with family this week.
I was surprised to find several utility vehicles near the modest river, and picked up the pace to investigate. My attention shifted suddenly when I felt a pinch in my right inner thigh. I paused and gently stretched it, hoping it wasn’t a pulled muscle. A couple of weeks before I’d had a similar sensation while running, but it had disappeared overnight.
I moved out of sight of the utility vehicles, looking for an inspiring spot where I could dance a 5Rhythms wave, part of my daily personal practice. The light rain picked up; and I wondered if it would rain hard enough to damage my phone. I climbed down onto a small, muddy beach but quickly realized that the mud and the slight incline would be too much of a strain on the vulnerable muscle, so climbed back up onto the main trail.
I moved cautiously, taking care not to cut into the muscle in question, and began to circle in the rhythm of Flowing. Some writing I had been working on drifted in and out of my mind, bringing new ideas and perspectives. I continued to move, not holding tightly, knowing that whatever is important would still be there when I sat down to write later.
Needing to move cautiously made it harder to feel engaged. I decided to make a video to show a viewer what Flowing might look like from my perspective. This idea drew me in, and soon I put the phone away and started imagining what the palms of my hands were seeing as they moved all around me, above, below, around, behind. I moved in a looping matrix, seeing with new eyes, including things that are normally invisible. Soon, I also started to “see” with the soles of my feet.
Moving into Staccato, I played with slicing the air with the edges of my hands, sinking low, though continuing to be careful of taxing my legs or twisting too suddenly – more ideas for writing and life came and tested themselves out. A very slight pop in the side of my right knee seemed to relax the tight thigh muscle in a tiny increment, but I continued to move gently.
Chaos was subtle today, too. I started with jiggling my right leg, then the left, and let myself bob and coil until a quiet Lyrical emerged through the tops of the bare trees. Stillness brought me back to the sound texture of the river and the cold rain on my face. I also remembered the feeder stream to this river, the river this river feeds, and all the bodies of water they connect to.
Then I ran back home. In fact, if I look at it a certain way, everything I experience can be seen as part of this process of coming home.
Meghan LeBorious is a writer, teacher, and meditation facilitator who has been dancing the 5Rhythms since 2008 and recently became a 5Rhythms teacher. She was inspired to begin chronicling her experiences following her very first class; and she sees the writing process as an extension of practice—yet another way to be moved and transformed. This blog is not produced or sanctioned by the 5Rhythms organization. Photos and videos courtesy of the writer.