healing circle

If it weren’t for geography’s random play, I wouldn’t be teaching 5Rhythms. Somehow I landed in the perfect storm, surrounded in northern California by movers and shakers.   Classes were here, workshops were abundant, I was completely swept up. Even after I began teaching, yearly support was generous: a Marin intensive in August, a January teacher refresh in Manhattan.   I didn’t realize how fortunate I was in this geography until it disappeared, dissolved with the death of Gabrielle nearly five years ago. The shift is an incredible story, the reverberations continue.

Even as I settled into loss and worked with grief and heartache, I wondered about the sustenance I knew I needed to continue to show up for my local community. A couple years ago I began to dream about gathering the scattered teacher band still offering 5Rhythms on this west coast. I wanted to know who was still with me. I needed to dance with these people. I longed to know what was moving through them.

I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve placed myself in a start up position. Many. Enough times to know that creative richness often parallels risk-generated anxiety. I keep doing it anyway and I did it again. One year ago I took the leap, rented Clara for three days in August and began to spread the word. I spent many June and July hours in Skype conversation with teachers. The pure nourishment of these connections helped me feel and acknowledge what I was missing. The void began to fill.

Not surprisingly, a great deal was moving through these people. It was like taking a group pulse. I simply kept listening. And taking notes. There were general teaching topics of concern and specific bodies of work folks were excited to offer. At the onset, I had no idea how this undertaking would take shape. I paid attention, I trusted, I waited…and it came together all on its own. As it often does. These conversations, so obviously fueled by intense love of this practice, distilled into a richly viable thread.   We ended up with awe-inspiring facilitation, a flow between the individual offerings forged by collaboration. There was an organic progression from body patterning to body wisdom; shadow to transition; grief to spirit.

Twelve of these beautiful people blessed my home for three or four nights. We cooked and ate together, slept close by each other, shared three bathrooms, soaked in the hot tub, laughed, sang, cried…connected.   And then returned to Clara for dance after dance after dance.

But what moved me the most was the healing power of our tight circle. Here’s the metaphor: there are hometown bands that show up regularly and offer up the music moving through them. Night after night, small crowds or large, great and not so great venues, rain or shine. It is just what they do. Because they love being in service this way. And then there are rock stars. Which is a whole different thing. We were an egalitarian circle of hometown teachers. No rock stars, no gurus, no leaders. No one we looked to for approval or affirmation or guidance. We fell on our own, we shined on our own, we kept dancing no matter what. There was nobody, only blessed emptiness, in the middle of that circle.

There are times we have to feel in to what we need, dream big and apply creative juice. Suck up the risk and deal with anxiety. Because I was willing and because this incredible circle of compatriots also took a risk, answered the call and showed up big time, I am full up nourished and incredibly grateful. And there are a bunch of people out there today who feel the same. Life is good.

Totally in love, bella