gimme shelter…3-18-2020

I’m home.  Maybe you are, too.  Feeling life spread out in a volatility that seems different than my own history with chaos.  Any childhood innocence about predictability was shattered at age eleven by the death of my sister.  Which coincided with the erratic uncertainty of omni-present nuclear annihilation: drop drills, backyard bomb shelters, food hoarding. The theme of unforeseeable continued: assassinations, civil rights riots, Viet Nam war.  In California several years-long droughts. The death of my mother, my brother.  My son’s cancer.  9/11.  Deadly fires.  My cancer.  The death of my papa. 

But this upheaval?  I have no context for this.  We ride together in uncharted territory. And my heart goes out to those of you in essential services, on the medical frontlines.  This sacrifice of sheltering in place pales in comparison.  And so we wait.  And in the stillness much is arising for me.  I know it is for you as well.  Like the cream that it truly is, two priorities bubble to my top: love and work. 

We all share in this first one.  Being in connection with folks we love is paramount.  As much as I’ve been dismayed by the telecommunication alteration in our relationships, railed about the way it actually distances us, bemoaned ad nauseum…I am so grateful for it in this moment.  It is allowing some of us to maintain our bonds sans the necessary balm of human touch.  We are all suffering from this lack of touch.  It is unreal to me that I cannot hug my children and grandchildren.

And then there is work.  Through its absence we can touch it’s significance in our lives.  For some of us—retired or “work is a necessary evil”—this moment is no different or perhaps a relief.  Speaking only for myself here: this moment has underscored, once again, my utter passion for work.  And here is the double whammy: my work is about healing and about fostering community.  So for me to NOT work in this critical moment of need…this is indeed painful.  For my own health and well-being—with full on respect for my own needs—and for the community’s health and well-being I am exploring possible ways to continue to work.  Yoga?  Essentials?  Physical Therapy?  Brewing on this. Today I’ll fill you in about 5Rhythms Dance.

Yesterday: a two hour Zoom call with 50 global teachers exploring how  technology will allow us to continue practicing together.  Highly technical learning curve with this result: me alone in a room with my computer, playing music, voicing over for you in a room with your computer, dancing by yourself.  Both of us looking at a screen with a bunch of tiny images dancing around.  I’m sorry.  At least in this moment, this has zero juice for me.  It has always been about the magic co-created between facilitator and participants, whether I’m in front of the room or in it.  I am not sure this practice translates in this fashion.  Reserving the right for change of heart.   Right now, what feels healthy for me is to ramp down screen and technology time.  The Zoom option would take a personal toll for dubious benefit.  At least for now.

Tonight is Virtual Wednesday Waves  at 6:30. Click the link for details.  I love Majica’s plan for this week.  Let’s dance at our appointed time with a 30 minute playlist accessible to most anyone on Spotify or Soundcloud.  Then we’ll dial in for a Zoom closing circle.  I’ll be there.  Why thirty minutes?  It’s a good place to start; long enough to do the internal practice, the interior dance.  This is only one third of 5Rhythms practice; we’ll miss partnering and being in the collective. Majica will most likely offer similar format Sunday morning this week. In this accelerating environment we’ll move forward one day at a time. I love our partnership.

And here’s what I’m currently offering: low tech, old-school support for you to move at home.  Look at the picture up top.  This LINK takes you to the current 5 SONG WAVE page.  On the left, a few words to guide you in practice.  Ignore if you want.  Click PLAY ALL under the picture top left and move for thirty minutes. There are random commercial breaks.  Click Skip Ad.  Know that I am right with you.  Every track was chosen as I moved to evoke the personal exploration of what it means to shelter in place, the theme of this particular wave.  Your body knows and wants to be in motion.  Trust in the movement and listen.

I’ll periodically publish 5 SONG WAVES on Facebook Dance Sacramento 5Rhythms.  My YouTube channel is full of 5 SONG WAVES I have curated in the past.  Providing in this way, in this moment, allows me to continue the work I love and be in service as an offering from my heart.  It allows you to shelter in place and keep moving.  It allows us to remain connected in the ethers.

And I am feeling very quiet.  The grief upon grief is doing its work on me.  I am staying very still.  And I intersperse that with walks outside, calling/texting family and friends, dancing and compiling 5 song waves, writing/reading, gardening, cooking, essentials and yoga on the mat, being with/loving sweet hubby. And I can truly feel how….

“There is only one of us here.”  Gabrielle Roth

We have been practicing for years.  We have what it takes to move through this.  Together.  Believing in myself, in you, in us.

Love, Bella