I am still processing the lessons I learnt from attending a 5rhythms dance event with Adam Barley from the UK this week-end in Sydney. This rich experience was such a great metaphor for life, business, society and the bigger world we belong to. For me, this was also about understanding the shift in consciousness that is taking place in us and around us, and that Adam described as "profound, far reaching, beyond any one of us, and involving all of us".
Adam says that in these times of chaos, it is more important than ever to find stillness in movement, and to become our own authority. That's a message that highly resonates with me as I'm taking responsibility for my own life and encouraging my coaching clients and workshop participants to bring forth their own leadership, develop agency, and build capacity for systemic change.
"The fastest way to still the mind is to move the body" - Gabrielle Roth
Chaos, according to Adam, is a symbol for the time of adolescence: we can't listen to patriarchy anymore, we have to find our own reference points, and to do that we need to listen to ourselves. He got us to dance some parts of the session in silence, so that we are not slaves to the music, but that we can also connect more deeply to ourselves and our own inner voice, the inner music that guides our path.
He also encouraged us to be aware of the outer space and our inner space, and to notice how breath can always makes us more conscious of what we take in and let go. Over and over and over again, finding that eternal bridge between the inner and the outer, letting it teach us the lessons we need to learn, if we allow it to show us what is true.
Whenever he spotted some of us dancing in the same spot, he would nudge us gently to explore the whole space and not stay stuck where we are. As our busy dance floor is a metaphor for the world we live in that is getting more and more crowded, he considers that the way to live in community requires us to be agile and to keep moving, to keep exploring new territory, new ways of being, doing, and seeing, and to make space for each other. And in that movement, to stay connected to our stillness.
In 5Rhythms dance, there are no steps to follow, the invitation is to simply let your own authentic movement lead you, allowing whatever is moving through you to flow, shift and transform. Deep insights and awakening can emerge from this.
"We are being called, cajoled and catapulted into new ways of being that require us to let go of our fixed ideas and patterns, to expand beyond what we thought possible and allow more energy through us than we ever dreamt of." -Adam Barley
When a participant asked Adam to turn the volume of the music up, he asked instead that that person turn their own volume up, internally, as the outside world may not bend to our will and desires, and we metaphorically need to create the change we want to see in the world from the inside. He said that if we can't tune in to adjust that inner volume, to accept to be shattered and to surrender, to allow ourselves to collapse and be brought to our knees, to feel our feelings and be humbled, and from that place to rise again, having found the way to get through.
"The grapes of my body can only become wine
After the winemaker tramples me.
I surrender my spirit like grapes to his trampling
So my inmost heart can blaze and dance with joy." - Rumi
Throughout the session, Adam invited us to be in ONE BIG DREAM all together, by letting go of our little selves, diving in the mystery, making contact with ourselves, finding unity, slipping together in a landscape beyond time, and truly acknowledging and celebrating each other. He urged us to see each other, beyond what there is to see, to look even longer than it is appropriate and establish profound connection, and to dance from that place.
He invited deliberate movement, shaking and screaming to "open up to our potential both individually and collectively; to allow growth to happen, find healing where it's needed, and move on".
This whole experience felt like deep medicine to me, I've felt like I met myself and my true nature at the Drill Hall and I left the session feeling cleaner and clearer, fully empowered, and deeply grateful to Gabrielle Roth for giving us access to this meditation in movement, to Michelle Mahrer for bringing this precious work to Sydney and cultivating a community around it, to Adam Barley for travelling to the other side of the world and sharing his profound teachings with us and to everyone on the dance floor I call life for sharing this extraordinary journey with me.
Adam is still in Australia for a while, if you're lucky, you can still attend his next workshop in Mullumbiby 22-24 September on the Power of Intention. You can register here.
I'd love to hear more from you if you want to carry on the conversation, it's one of my favourite topics, so please leave comments on my blogpost, sign up to my mailing list and be in touch!