The way out…

Saturday I was on the dance floor, not as a teacher, not as an assistent, not as a crew member, not even for creating a visual… I was on the dance floor as a dancer…

The last time was three months ago… such a long time…

Though the floor was cold, it felt warm to me, the ground welcomed my body, my muscles and my bones, my blood and my breath, received all that I brought, my ins and outs, my thoughts, my worries, my tender heart and my tiredness… all of it…

Being received by this floor was like being received by Mother Earth…

I rolled and wallowed myself through the space, praying, wishing, longing; my body being a begging bowl for spirit… fully ready to surrender, deeply longing for some 5Rhythms medicine…

I danced my anger when someone bluntly stepped on my foot, in the midst of a shy-feet dance… I celebrated my body dancing across the floor through all the rhythms, from flow into staccato, chaos and lyrical; in stillness I slowed down and followed the teacher’s invitation of going slower… still slower… even slower… even more slower… slowly gliding into emptiness…

Emptiness…

Wow, that is really a place I don’t want to be… there is nothing…

I felt my fear of going there, felt all the tricks I have to avoid this place, like empty=full, nothing=all, dark=light… very spiritual… yeah…

Empty is black, raven black… blacker than black… it stirrs loss, mourning, letting go, letting go endlessly, nothing to hold on to… there is nothing to do anymore in this darkness… nothing I can do… travelling into emptiness merciless shook up my fear of being powerless…

The invitation kept on going… even slower… go there… into emptiness…

I felt a twitch, a change… a tickle of courage dropping in my moving being, a sparkle from the depth of my belly, the onset of a meltdown, a profound surrender to slowing down, my body found the way in… seduced me to explore emptiness, to face endlessness, nothingness, to really be in that deep deep black universe…

Empty… empty…

It’s beyond words… I am not able to convey in words what happened… there was a shift… a shift in me of coinciding puzzle pieces… disappearing stories… a sense of dissolving… a deep sensation of awareness and insight… my mind having no clue what this all was about… my body fully taking in this new perspective… other sensitivity, new possibilities… a life changing experience…

5Rhythms medicine…

The way in, is the way out…

 

 

 

 

 

Throwing a party…

Today is a very special day… my partner just arrived home from his half years journey through Europe and it’s also exactly 25 years ago that we got married…

Reasons enough to throw a party…

We sent out our invitations for a Flower Power swing party, a swing party like 25 years ago; we even managed to track down the DJ from back then, the one who started of that dance party with September by Earth, Wind and Fire… and yes, though he’s a CEO nowadays, he’s also still in business as a DJ once in a while, only playing vinyl. He will join our party again; a party without 5Rhythms, without ET Bodywork and with soul, funk and disco dancing, swinging and celebrating!!!

Amongst all the invitees there’s one woman, who already for some time would like to dance the 5Rhythms with me, but up to now couldn’t find the courage… She has a fear of being ridiculed, when she shows her way of dancing. Once she was laughed at and since then she gets easily frozen, already from the thought of dancing…

She had been struggling with this for quite a while, not daring to participate in a 5Rhythms class and now she received this invitation for our Flower Power swing party…

Her partner was thrilled! He is totally into the sixties and the music of this hippie era. The dress code Flower Power and the prospect of dancing on hippie music all night long brought him over the moon… I teased her, saying she was his ticket to come to the party… she was the one we invited… she of course could bring her partner, but he could not come without her…

A couple of days ago she approached me, with a radiant smile: “I come to your class Sunday”.  At first I thought I misunderstood. “I come to your class. I told my partner about my fear and he invited me to dance with him in the living room. We danced and he showed me some moves and it was so safe and cosy… I come to your class and next week I come to your party”.

I was touched by her words… love and connection were so tangible and there was a huge release in her… this was a different woman standing in front of me…

And yes, Sunday she was in my class… a bit shy at the beginning, drawn into the wave bit by bit; more and more enjoying her dance …

A beautiful prelude for our Flower Power swing party!

 

What comes from listening and following your impulses…

This is one of my favourite pics from this last summer. It was taken in Paris (yeah, really? no clairvoyance needed here) and it’s me sitting on the back of Marc’s motorcycle.

In this seemingly endless summer I visited Paris to do the kick off for The Festival, which 5Rhythms teacher Marc Silvestre produced.

Marc is a dear colleague; rough, bold and beautiful, he has a vison and a mission; he listens and follows the spiritual impulses that pop up, and turns these impulses into creative actions.

The Festival is one of those creative actions: a 5Rhythms workshop on 5 consecutive evenings, 5 waves featuring 5 women who are 5 accredited 5Rhythms teachers from 5 different countries: Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Italy, all meeting in France…

Marc opened the doors for far more than 5 dancers; 70-80 each evening!

I was impressed by Marc’s way of producing… amazing flyers, awesome fridge magnets saying ‘Dance who your are!’ and fancy tickets; a different one each day, with a picture of the teacher of that evening on it. Some dancers came at least an hour early to pick up a ticket to secure a place, and with 70-80 dancers the place was full every night; Marc was simply clear with dancers coming late… no entry…

We had a wonderful week; we danced with an impressively embodied tribe, willing to lead and to follow, inquisite, ready to explore and play. Dancers were so grateful for this opportunity to meet and experience five different teachers in one week, without any travelling… what comes from listening and following your impulses…

It was great to share time with colleague teachers who I don’t meet that often, time to share lunch, time to share what was going on in our lives within and besides from the Rhythms. This heartconnection in itself was already powerful healing… what comes from listening and following your impulses…

And on top of this all, one morning I visited Musée d’Orsay to satisfy my need for art and afterwards Marc picked me up with his motorcycle! Born and raised in Paris he drove me around through his beautiful city… just watch my face to see how much I enjoyed… what comes from listening and following your impulses…

 

 

 

 

I’ll go where the Rhythms take me…

It’s already a month ago that I completed the 5Rhythms Heartbeat Training in Zagreb, Croatia. I feel blessed and honoured hat this dancing path is given to me and that I can deepen this beautiful practice day by day.

At the beginning of my dancing path I said: I’ll go where the Rhythms take me… not having a clue about what I was saying…

It’s amazing where they take me, I make journeys into the world; to the States, to Aruba, to Croatia, Spain, Germany and Greece, to Paris, to Kekerdom and Beek of all places…, meeting dancers from everywhere, of every age, gender, nationality, colour…yes… the Rhythms are everywhere and I let them take me…

Where the journeys into the world are cool, the dances of the Rhythms between my partner and me are extraordinary; these Rhythms changed us deeply, let us grow… We know each other for 37 years now, this year we celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary… At the moment my partner is travelling through Europe for half a year; he’s on his Power Flour Journey, offering Eckhart Tolle teachings and I am ‘home alone’… That is an amazing experience …

I enjoy being on my own feet; having space, time and making decisions without having to tune in, is a new and liberating experience for me. Distance also brings clarity in patterns in our relationship that don’t serve us anymore, it dusts off our mirrors, brings essence, connects us deeply with why we love each other so much… beautiful journeys for my partner and me…

And of course the Rhythms also take me deep down into myself… who am I? What is true for me? What are my true colours? How does all what I lived, move in my body, my heart, my mind, my soul, my spirit? How does it breathe? Deeper and deeper I go while dancing… learning… exploring… teaching… deeper and deeper I go into my own unexplored wilderness… to find ground, center, truth, authenticity, being soft and open to the next step where the Rhythms will take me… there’s always a next step …

 

 

 

 

Deep Connection…

On my way to the 5 Rhythms weekend workshop DEEP with Andrew Holmes in Amsterdam I took the ferry behind the Central Station to Buiksloterweg. Those five minutes softly swaying on this ferry connecting Amsterdam Centre with Amsterdam North, offered me the tickling sensation of holidays; water, sunshine, gentle breeze in my hair… I was ferried into another world… on my way to follow a workshop; no teaching, no crewing, no assisting, no nothing extras… just  moving and dancing for me; my body, my dance, my life, my depth…

I looked forward to this one; never danced with Andrew Holmes before, he promised us dancing DEEP; most of all I was thrilled that Rimke, my dear colleague and precious friend would be there too… a weekend of dancing together… what a gift!

Walking through the streets of Amsterdam North, deeply absorbed in these happy thoughts, a guy on a bike asked for my attention with a question: “Are you familiar here?”

“No, clearly no, I am carrying a backpack and dragging a suitcase… no…”, I thought.

“I would like to know the way to Heggerankweg… “, he continued.

“I can look that up, I have an I-phone, what number?” I replied.

“Why do I ask for the number?”, said a voice in my head, “You’re really too helpful, Caroline… always giving more than asked… too eager… too, too, too … ”

During this head conversation the man gave me the number and Google maps found the spot. I started explaining, it was still pretty far and quite complicated. At one moment he said, “It has to be close to Mosplein. I know how to get to Mosplein.”

I looked on the map and responded: “Yes, then it’s easy, from Mosplein it’s first street at your right, and then the first street left…” He thanked me and he was off…

This was peculiar… why ask for directions, when he was not even close and he knew how to get to Mosplein, which was close… strange… I concluded he just wanted to have a chat… no problem, nice guy, nice chat… still a bit pondering about this strange meeting I continued my walk to the venue.

We had a beautiful start of the workshop, moving our bodyparts with full attention, deeply listening, following our thread of movement, bringing us deeper and deeper…

During the break I shared lunch with Rimke; it was great to do some catching up with my soulmate…

She knows that people regularly ask me for directions in places where I am not familiar and I told her some of  my strange meeting that morning…

Rimke replied, “For me it’s fairly special to dance here, while I am very familiar here…
I spent the first ten days of my life here in this neighbourhood; while my mother had to stay in hospital after giving birth, I lived at my grandmother’s on the Heggerankweg… “

“Serious? Heggerankweg? That was the street that guy asked for!”

“Really…? That’s amazing! Yeah, she lived there, at number 120…”

“I almost choked in my tasty bite of delicious food… 120? That was the number that guy was going to…”

I showed Rimke my I-phone as Google maps keeps the most recent searches for addresses… there it was: Heggerankweg 120…  where Rimke spent her first ten days of her life…

Crazy coincidence…? No!

Deep connection… YES!

 

Living in Chaos

Since my father died last month I breathe chaos, move chaos, feel chaos, live in chaos. I am fascinated by what this rhythm teaches me about letting go, grief, confusion, control, surrender, softening, change and creation…

It’s not a subtle rhythm, it comes like a tsunami… better not fight it… just keep on finding breath, ground, centre… move with, not against… be the eye of the storm…

I observe myself, witnessing all energies that run through my body… how they come and go like big waves… emotions… actions… exhaustion… tears…

Click on the photo to experience chaos…

 

Big waves rolling, rolling one over the other…

Can you imagine me in this tsunami and holding space for classes? That’s not always a smooth blend… It would be great if I could always be gentle with myself and make it myself a bit easier… but no… did not happen yesterday… in this distress I decided to offer a wave half with and half without music, to let dancers deeply experience their rhythms from within…

My plan about ‘without music’ was somewhere picked up in this universe; connecting cables and plugging in laptop, soundcard, mixer and speakers didn’t work out this time… horrible cracking sounds were the best I could get… technical failure… Two hours without music was not in my plan… no distress… there’s always plan B… there was still time to go back home, fetch my own music system and come back…

Proud that I stayed calm and efficient…

Strange… also in this new set up only horrible cracking sounds… a loose contact, but where…? For the third time I switched everything off, unplugged, recabled and restarted to finally discover that one silly plug I missed  and was not fully connected…

Relief… bit late, but still in time… go!

Group of 25 dancers picking up the invitation of starting each rhythm with music, then music fading away halfway, continuing the dance without music, meeting the rhythms from within… that was a profound teaching and amazingly beautiful!

In the silent half of Chaos my laptop was ready for a spontaneous action, it fell off its standard, from the table onto the ground… only one or two dancers noticed, all dancers were deep in their letting-go-without-music-dance…

With headphones on I checked the damage… and as you’d guessed already… not a single sound came out of my laptop anymore… no music… again…

Looooong releasing dance in Chaotic silence… I realised I had to guide the dancers further through the Wave… I started to invite dancers to ease feet and other bodyparts… explore how easiness would move…

In the meanwhile I found my I-phone, connected it to the soundcard, looked up my I-tunes playlists, chose a lyrical song and brought this one into the silence… music came back into the room again… smooth, airy, effortless… dancers lightened and brightened, danced lyrical and stillness with and without music… ending in the silence of Stillness… a vivid sacred dance,  full of breath and pause and lively movement…  movement rippling… rippling out… rippling out…

What a washing, cleansing, healing journey this wave had been… for the dancers… and for me living my chaos…

 

 

 

A last dance with my father…

Almost three weeks ago my father died. I am in turmoil; I dance, walk, meditate and write… I keep on moving, to stay in touch with my flow, my breath, my trust, my ground…

One of the things I am sad about is that I never succeeded in talking with my father about the 5Rhythms. I tried many times…

My mum was interested and curious, when she was 82 I danced a wave for her, together with eight friends, to show her what the rhythms are about and what they mean to me, to my friends, to the world.

That happened in 2012, almost three years before she died. I still feel so blessed to have shared this dance with her. She totally got it, she tapped with her foot on ‘Don’t push me, ‘cause I’m close to the edge…’ and was in tears by the time we moved into Stillness…

With my father… well, that was less easy… always when I just started to share something about ‘my work’, he would instantly change the subject or say: “I have no idea what you are doing…”  with the crystal clear intention to keep it that way.

Now, with both parents gone to the other side, me and my siblings are busy emptying and cleaning our parental home. Yesterday I found the last newsletter my father received from the Prostestant congregation he belonged to. I could not believe my eyes… the front page was about movement, about ‘why wouldn’t we dance in church?’

It said: ‘… not so long ago, we believed dance was from the devil, eliciting lust and vanity… we grew up in this Calvanistic way, which restricts us…’ The vicar who wrote this added he once was in church somewhere in Ghana, Africa, where people danced their path through the church towards the front to bring their offerings. He was deeply impressed by the spiritual power of this dance.

The vicar continued quoting Nietzsche: “I would only believe in a god who could dance.” And he ended with: “Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future. Religion is the courage to dance it today.”

I know my father must have read this, though I will never know…

LOVE… a dance of space and beauty

Yesterday it was freeeeeeezing cold; a perfect evening to stay at home, to stick to the fire place and not move at all except for organising a blanket and rubbing oneself warm…
Still, 16 dancers showed up in my class; really ready to step, roll, jump and dive into the 5 Rhythms. Such a precious gift…

We moved space yesterday; we moved space into our breath, into our body, we moved space within us, around us and between us, we moved space in my space, your space, our space, no one’s space, into just being space…

It was heart touchingly beautiful to see the dances unfold, to witness this evolvement of awareness that space within us is like space around us… that we can take space, offer space, become space, be space…

Being space …

Being space is love …

Being space for someone is an ultimate act of love …

I remember reading Gabrielle Roth’s Maps to Ecstasy in which she tells about Fritz Perls; how she met him in Esalen, how he believed in her and offered Gabrielle space… space to do what Fritz Perls saw what she was meant to do, space offered from his heart… this offered space being the very beginning of the 5 Rhythms.

Space is the place, in which we can be, in which we can unfold, in which we can love, in which we can dance our beauty. Space being love … love being space … be space and we make everything possible, be space for others and witness them unfolding and growing…

Space is our dance, our ultimate dance; a dance of love, a dance of beauty…

And it’s so easy as space is everywhere…

Yes, also where you hardly notice it, or might not expect it; for instance in crowded places like the city centre of Amsterdam…  if you look well, there’s always space for beauty to unfold… watch this dance and fall in love with the miracle of space…

 

Turning suffering into art…

In a 5 Rhythms HeartBeat workshop I danced, we had a writing session, putting our emotions of fear into words, our words into a poem – turning our suffering into art:

Fear was born to live cold, alone, not knowing how to live

Fear enters a room cautiously, opening the door just a bit, peeking in whether it’s safe

Fear is afraid of taking risks, afraid of going out on adventures, of living

Fear never leaves home without having checked whether the door is closed, the gas is off and checking again

Fear has a ‘don’t forget’ list: take care of assurances, pay the taxes, make shopping lists, remember everybody’s birthdays

Fear likes to whisper; don’t do this, don’t go for life, keep still, hide, pipe down, don’t be so alive

Fear relaxes while looking a feel good movie, eating ice cream and chocolate

Fear was once in love with jealousy, red hot jealousy

Fear lingers in the dark notes of black, soul music

Fear is most afraid of living, on trusting life

And fear doesn’t stop showing me, that I am alive!

Fear warns me in time always, so I could go into action

Fear protects me

Fear kept me away from living

Fear keeps me alive

 

click here for more fear art and inspiration…

Live your light, be the light!

I’ve been dancing in patience, just looking forward to this yearly opportunity to post this video again… 🙂

Two sisters in a choir, both dressed as angels, the elder with a beautiful golden halo around her head, singing her song with full commitment like she has been taught; the younger with two far too big silver wings singing out her heart and soul…

There’s so much in this video, it’s such a bright metaphor for how most of us move through life and what also could be possible…

For Christmas and the New Year I wish you all, that you pick up some of the little girl’s energy; your own heart and soul energy;  may you find the courage and the guts to fully commit to your one and only you, may you go for who you really are, for what you sincerely want to do with your life, may you grap your chances when they’re there, may you live inspired, be authentic and fully dance your life!

May you open up, not hold back; may you stand up and stand out; may you not just pass on the light, but BE the light!

Click here and enjoy!