They call it “la pura vida” in Costa Rica, a place with one of the highest per capita happiness ratios on the planet and also a “blue region”, those pockets where many live past 100 years. I feel like I’ve been here for years or maybe in some other lifetime. Is there a world out there with news and cars and people flying around doing their day, a place where a simple shallow conversational exchange is possible, where howler monkeys do not make themselves known at ungodly hours, where the sun’s intensity does not blind you with its beauty and the air is not so humid that hair frizzes in the most unbecoming ways, where every direction you turn is not screaming with unadulterated tropical beauty painted in fierce shades of blue and green and pink and purple? I feel like I have forgotten what home is like.
Maybe this is what is engaging me so deeply, especially when you add it to being in 5 Rhythms practice in the most incredibly demanding way. A teacher who unapologetically slaps you upside the head with the purity of the discipline: no artfully contrived exercises, no carefully crafted progressive lesson plans, no conscious musical waves that play like easily transitioned suites. Nope, the music has no possible thought of pleasing you or not. Much of the time I am challenged to create my own wave with whatever is offered. The instruction is an honest and unrelenting demand to stay present, get real, wake up, sometimes delivered in a humor-laced harangue and sometimes in a desperate plea as if our lives depended on it…which they do.
He has a merciless commitment to the rhythm of chaos with lots of stillness, untold number of tracks in support of this rhythm of surrender. The music makes no pretense of cajoling you or seducing you, just keeps making its demanding challenge and this has created for me a space of shamanic delivery to deep story-less zones, places words cannot describe because this quality of surrender is way out beyond language. Insight this morning came after a long dance(see above…) after which we sat with a partner, verbally explored what is most challenging in our lives and then offered a 10 minute dance prayer to support our partner in this trial.
It is only Tuesday and I am grateful to the yoga that supports 2 ½ more days of this intensity. And so are many other dancers. It is pure joy to get up early and do my own practice on this little wooden platform in the jungle. At 7:15 we gather in our big space surrounded on three sides by open air, long ocean and mountain views, big sky, wafting breezes. We sink together into the quiet beauty of the yin…it is the absolute perfect compliment to Medicine Dance. There are plans forming for me to lead a shorter practice down on the beach to salute the setting sun…today for the first time. We’ll see. Tomorrow a day off…horseback riding on the beach, dinner at an open-air restaurant that sports a dance floor on the sand. This is truly a dream come true.
I heard that Sunday’s Sweat Your Prayers with Betty was great. This Thursday Juliette is calling up spirit through the rhythm of stillness and on Sunday Jennifer Burner comes back to lead. Monday and Thursday yoga have wonderful subs as well. Flying home in a week…seems like years from now. Bringing home a big fat dollop of this medicine.