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!

5Rhythms then, now and forever…

Rushing through old stuff, searching for some material to build a 5Rhythms art installation, I found bits and pieces of my graduate work from the Art Academy, from almost 20 years ago. This is long before I even heard of the 5 Rhythms.

As an artist I was  specialised in building environments, sceneries, filling spaces with objects, installations and video projections; turning them into spaces to experience, confronting our believes and deepening
our lives.

I was surprised to find my almost forgotten sketches and studies for “Collage des Bijoux”, the title of my graduate work, for which I found inspiration in
Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and Fibonacci’s Number Sequence and Spiral.

What struck me was that only now I realised the base for this art installation had been 5;
I built a pentagram space with 5 elements:
5 installations, each with a video projection, representing something about life and death; how dead life can be and how lively death…

Almost 20 years ago I made scripts, storyboards and models to be able to realise this project and now I was baffled to see that
I used the 5 Rhythms without even knowing them then.

I connected each of the five installations to a phase of life, an element, a sense, like the 5 Rhythms map does…

One installation was about the absolute beginning, a seed pulsing; the next about what we do in life with choices, boundaries, decisions, measurements; the third about control, control of life and control of death, not letting go of anything; the fourth about the lack of breath in our society, how difficult it is to fully live our life as a unique human being, the fifth about the end, the cycle of coming and going, the end as a promise for a new beginning…

And as a red thread through all 5 installations
I used elements of the ocean; its waves, its sound, its salt…

While going through this old material, it was like dancing through a Wave; I felt deeply connected with how much my life has changed over the last 20 years; I remember how I found the rhythms, how I embraced them as my home, and now through my art installations I discovered they have been in me much longer than I was aware of…

of course… the rhythms are my home… then and now and forever…

 

 

 

Government sets hope on ambitious government program…

Roth’s 5Rhythms and Tolle’s Teachings

Last week the Arubian newspaper proclaimed:
Roth’s 5Rhythms and Tolle’s Teachings – Government sets hope on ambitious government program…

That would be something… imagine… if these two news items next to each other, would be one… how would that change our daily world?

We are on Aruba for two weekend workshops and in between we taste some of the Arubian culture… Aruba is called One Happy Island; I see some of it, the beautiful colours of the ocean, the humming bird coming every morning to greet us, flying just 2 feet away from us, really in front of our face, every day… Yes, that makes me feel HAPPY!

We meet loving people showing us parts of the island, telling us background stories, making things possible for us, like letting me participate in their 60+ Zumba class. The teacher is 78 and still got his samba moves… even the eldest participant… 97… is still a real pro in the way he does a walking meditation… hips, knees, feet … all Arubian style how we imagine Arubian style to be… Yes, that makes me feel HAPPY TOO!

On the other hand I see neglect, waste, slighting and power play… A four-lane highway has been constructed, totally out of proportion in relation to this island, expanded with an even more expensive useless bridge (built by a team of Dutch experts), while elderly care, schools and healthcare system are cut short … I notice that people paint their entire house in the colour of the political party ‘of their choice’ and hear that the paint is paid by these parties…

I can’t find any bio-shops or bio-food and when I ask, the answer is that would be too expensive. Fast food chains are built literally next to each other, all over the island … MacDonalds, Subway, Tacobell, KFC, Burgerking, you name it, they’re here …

At the Westcoast Aruba receives massive cruise ships, huge luxurious hotels are rapidly built to host crowds of rich tourists who come to buy duty free expensive brand clothing and precious jewelry, unpayable for residents.

Residents struggle for their money. It’s amazing how many incomplete families there are here, an absent father or mother … one parent coping with tough daily life; combining hard work with little money, fullfilling the needs of the children.

There’s a lot of people here on drugs, alcohol and medication like antidepressants; we meet people with sleeping problems and anxiety attacks really leading to agression and even murder … we met this all in the few days that we’re here; drowned refugees from Venezuela drifting ashore… people here are worried and compassionate, but can’t offer any help as Aruba is full …

Roth’s 5Rhythms and Tolle’s Teachings – Government sets hope on ambitious government program…

That would be really something…
Let’s keep on dancing and see how it ripples…

So great that there will be people from this happy island coming to the dance workshop this weekend!
That really makes me feel SOOOOO HAPPY!

The Young Ones!

Last month, before travelling to Westerbeke Ranch for the first module of the Heartbeat Training, my steps on this 5Rhythms teacher’s path brought me into the city of the Golden Gate. I had wonderful company to spend a day with, a young colleague from Spain. With emphasis on young…

She has the same age as my eldest daughter and we always make fun about this age difference… I call her my extra daughter and I am a kind of extra mother to her… we share a friendship that is dear to me…

So, we spent the hottest day ever in San Francisco, together, biking… biking hill up, hill down… mostly hill up… yes, I felt old… her energy, her power, her velocity… her hills were definitely not as steep as mine… but she was kind, waited for me every now and then and after a few hours the heat got grip on her as well…

After some strenuous hours we reached the Golden Gate Bridge, tired and sweating, me longing for a break and she making contact with another young one, offering her I-phone and asking this teenager if he could make a Boomerang of the two of us and the bridge…

A Boomerang? Yes. A Boomerang. Followed by a Time Lapse while I was biking on the Golden Gate Bridge, a Boomerang hoovering the floors of our appartment,  and an endless series of Duo-Selfies… The next day I found myself on her Facebook page, exposed in several funny pictures and video’s… I liked them 🙂

How I love these young ones and their crazy new creativity…!!!

Last weekend I sat next to my same-age-as-me husband in a sunlit flower garden with a fountain, in the midst of the busy centre of Amsterdam, saying: “If Irene would be here, she would make a video of me dancing in that fountain…”

“Well,” said the man I love “For now, I will be your Irene…”

music: Michael Stearns ~ Villages and Freeways