The man I love…

Sunlight, warmth, vast blue sky dotted with stunning white summer clouds… I am sitting next to my beloved… watching birds and flowers… taking in soft strokes of a gentle breeze… enjoying the magnificence of a pomegranate, the taste of elderly flower lemonade… being together like this… sharing this all with the man I love… it’s sheer bliss…

After quarrelling for months, rubbing and scouring, finally we are at peace. Finally? We are at peace now and we deeply enjoy. Enjoy each other’s warmth, skin, presence, love… For his willingness to grow, to keep on going for better and for worse, for this trust in our love I deeply love him.

Now we are relaxed, we spend joyful time together, shared time, doing nothing, being still, at ease with a deep joy from inside… the man I love…

We laugh, we dance on ELO-hits, we tell stories and read to each other, we share food and live outside most of the time, now that weather allows us… we love this soft and mild summer…

He has plans for the near future, my beautiful man; from now on up to next summer. He wants to travel through Europe, meet people, bake and share bread, sit around a fire, dance, sing and tell stories… let people listen to their hearts, let them live from their hearts… he’s going out there to build communities, from his heart; his YES to Life…

What a beautiful offer he has to give, to share with everybody… what a simple and profound way of building and healing… so powerful… our daily bread and all that comes from that.

I hope you will meet him somewhere on his Power Flour Tour… the man I love…

Crazy, jazzy, saxy, juicy!

The last time I danced, I deeply enjoyed the music flowing through my body…

My body following… following the crazy jazzy, saxy, juicy sax… each note… each turn… each surprise just around the corner…  each second so differently… each moment was one of love…

The last time I danced I couldn’t think of anything else being more mighty delightful, than this crazy jazzy, saxy, juicy music leading and me, just letting my body follow… crazy jazzy, saxy, juicy body… crazy jazzy, saxy, juicy life…

Jazzy, saxy, juicy… jazzy, saxy, juicy… Surprise, marvel, wonder… How much I love my body… how much I love the way my body moves… follows… moves… breathes… just me and my body, what a bliss, what a celebration…

The last time I danced I was true to myself… in that dance I gave up my shadows and went for the light… I broke my heart open and sensed in every cell how much I love my feet… how powerful I am in following my feet… moving my head… going along with my shoulders moving through air…

Foreward, backwards… all around… all around my head… not holding back… just being… not caging myself, not fencing myself in, but jumping instead… over the treshold… into the light… this is me… this is for me and for me only and I celebrate fully enjoying myself…

My life is mine… my life is mine… my dance is mine… I own my body, my life, my dance, my power and my medicine… I can heal the world through dancing my dance… no other way to go than dancing my medicine!

Light, light, light… turning, curving, curling… up and down… back and forward… round and round… inner and outer… I move through air… dancing my medine…

 

 

(photo by Bob Willoughby; Concert of Big Jay McNeely at Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, 1953)

 

Help Jonny! Tell me my home rhythm …

This morning waking up, I had a thought of asking Jonathan Horan, Gabrielle’s son and my most important 5Rhythms teacher, if he could tell me something more about my home rhythm as I am still not sure about my home rhythm myself. Always this question … how do I know?

Then, while showering (the shower is my place to have brainwaves, insights, revelations) I had a deep deep experience of coming home. During our Teacher Refreshworkshop in Zagreb this month, we were asked in groups to come to the middle of the dance floor and dance our home rhythm, later the same for the shadow of our home rhythm…

I am so used to my decision that this is staccato, while I also hear people find me flowing… I have never been sure about my home rhythm… anyway I danced staccato as my home rhythm. To my surprise I saw a colleague dancing flow as her home rhythm, while I expected staccato because of her always being so clear. This observation shook me already up a bit: a rhythm one uses as an instrument in life is different from a home rhythm…

This morning, under the shower there started a movie playing in me, showing all pictures of me during my life, all in one rhythm… in one or two seconds hundreds of pictures in this one rhythm… a deep experience … in the rhythm of lyrical …

Tears came up, in me a deep sensation of landing, of coming home… release, relief, seeing…

Lyrical, the rhythm of which I thought would be the last option to be my home rhythm. Now this sounds already silly to me, but two hours ago this was still the case…

In the picture I saw myself growing up with a flowing mum and an shadowy staccato dad, no space, no other possibiliy than holding my breath and taking all possible shapes to fit in on one hand and staying true to  myself on the other… I was (am) creative, I create since I was born, but could never find it in one discipline, I shifted, shifted, shifted… classical ballet, beat ballet, jazz ballet, making cheese, candles, clothes, drawings, paintings, food (cooking, baking); finding my way with paper cuttings, knitting, frivolité, macrame, pitrites, papier-maché, clay modelling, etc. …

I had five professions, followed countless courses, studies, well… I could write a book about it, but I think you got it by now… shapeshifting is so close to me that I never recognised it… I do it all the time, in how I do my day, meet others, do my planning, built my life … though I actually never got it what was exactly meant with a shapeshifter…

I always thought I was good at moving with, adapting, flowing. I am able to, but what I am really good at is taking another shape… I have a shape to survive when I am with my family, I take a shape when I am in big groups, I take a shape when I am in uncomfortable situations … and when I do this too long I get ill, because I loose my true self in this… I don’t want a steady form, I don’t want to conform… My tendency to ‘behave’ is looking for the ‘right’ form to stay out of trouble … one of my shadows …

I totally dislike the shadow of lyrical, more than any other shadow. I thought because there’s so much going on in the world these days with all marketed ‘spiritual’ developments, guru’s, fake ecstatic, addictions … as if this were not the case with shadows of other rhythms…

Until now lyrical has been the most difficult rhythm for me to understand … too light (strict religious education)… this rhythm simply was not in my scope…I do embody flow, I do embody staccato… my home rhythm is lyrical… I can’t tell you what a deep shift this is in me…. finally seeing myself…it moves me to tears… coming home… this is a soul experience, a break through… I see myself from another perspective now.

As a child I had bronchitis, always, could not breathe, no air… air, space, endless space has always been a theme in my life. The best place in the world is that endless beach on Terschelling, that’s where I feel fully at home… what I do with my paintings is creating as much space as possible in 2D. My installation work in Zagreb… 5 papercuts as the basic and then I start shape shifting… I don’t think about it, it just happens… I can go on forever giving examples… also from what people gave me as feedback over the years… I just wasn’t able to listen, to let it in …

From this place I understand so much more from the workshop we did in Zagreb…which feels great, beyond my skin and fingers… feel a bit ashamed at the same time… how could I have been so blind? … the familiar voices in my head… I let them go for now…

Now the penny has dropped… not only the penny… I got the whole jackpot … I have to laugh at myself. That I didn’t see … now I do… it’s a huge permission, a liberation, a celebration …

Seeing, meeting myself from the perspective of lyrical is such a shift… and such a gift… so true… from pop into butterfly…
So here I am, in my true colors, with a lot of dots in my writing…

Soul Rebel 🙂

We gotta move!

Yesterday I had the honour of teaching a 5Rhythms workshop in Aachen, Germany:

‘My body, my dance, my life’.

In the morning we took time to land in our breath and in our body;  we explored our flow-energy, searched and discovered this in our body, experienced how this energy moves fluidly, bringing us into a dance from earth to rooted feet and up, teaching us about daily life. From flowing into the empty space to moving fluidly with obstacles; small ones, big ones; seemingly impossible to pass…

From here we found our focus in our heart and hips, the drive to express our heart, opening up to dance our own truth, moving lines and edges, setting our goals, defining our yesses, no’s and boundaries – clear boundaries, no limits-, letting out a loving, powerful staccato dance, teaching us about how to express ourselves one to another.
What a beautiful morning! And more to come in the afternoon…

After lunch break there was a heavyweight, clear collective ‘NO’ tangible, ‘NO’ to get moving again… sleepy heaviness, bodies weightful on the floor, wrapped up in blankets… moving?
No way!

I let go of plans and made space to let dancers fully experience this dance of not willing to move again, softly playing earthy flowing music, not going anywhere, just being with what is…

After a while this low key, soft earthy music evolved into an invitation to feel the ground, to stay on the ground, like staying on the ground forever; a huge permission to let go of routine and expectations…

This subtle dosed music turned into medicine… earthy flowing music, over time adding a small tinkle; breathful pauses and a soft flute, calling as a tickling invitation bringing us into the next song, soft and patiently knocking on heaven’s door, then slow oriental music with a sultry voice seducing, rippling into a sip of rhythm…

irresistible…

no other way to go than to stay true to the body, following the body… following the body into its breathing… into movement… into rhythm… into getting on our feet again…

Such a privilege to witness this out of time transformation from immovable wrapped up cocoons on the floor into these unfolded brightly coloured bodies, spreading their wings, putting their feet back into the beat, sucking in the rhythms of life…

What an amazingly powerful home base for releasing, sharing and celebrating who we really are, embodying our deepest essence, aware that we are all one…

I feel deeply grateful to have been part of this touching, powerful experience of healing…

A smile is not a disease, but it’s infectious…

Every Tuesday I travel some hours to teach 5Rhythms in the South of the Netherlands. Two weeks ago when I arrived at the venue the concierge was not there, another man sat in for him; an attentive, helpful man and yet … something was different.

Last week when I arrived, the concierge was back again and when I received his smile I immediately felt what I had been missing the week before… his smile … something so trivial … something so simple … His smile always says: nice to see you, make yourself at home…

Just a kind smile, that’s all what it takes to make one feel at home and welcome, one simple act that makes one realise that life is worthwhile. Isn’t it funny that giving or receiving a smile just takes one moment, while the memory of it lingers much longer…?

A smile is totally inexpensive, costs nothing, is always for free, for everyone… if you can’t find a smile in yourself today, it’s likely that there’s someone in the neighbourhood who will give you one…

And then you might meet someone who is really too tired to give you a smile and you can simply give him yours; you know by now that no one needs a smile so much as he who has no one to give anymore.

How beautiful this works, the miracle of a smile; a smile is not a disease, it’s infectious. Most smiles are started by another smile; often you wear a smile somebody else gave you.

If you didn’t start the day with a smile, it’s never too late to start practicing for tomorrow. Smile with your lips, smile with your eyes, smile with your heart and your soul and your life.

Every time you smile at someone, it is a gift to that person, a beautiful thing, an act of love…
Here’s a video for you to practice and enjoy your smile!

These words make me go go!

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

I love the staccato rhythm of this speech; in this rhythm we open our hearts and speak our truth, we practice clarity and take creative action; we learn how to connect with others from our hearts. These words  from José Micard Teixeira made famous by Meryl Streep in 2014,  hit me in the face, burn my heart open, open my eyes wide awake and fill my aging heart, body and soul with bubbly boiling life energy … they make me go go and keep me going to live my life like everyday is a beautiful to die…

What is truth? What is yours?

There’s a lot going on about truth nowadays and in all ages. For now I think of Trump’s inauguration… the president speaking his truth,  his press officer speaking an alternative truth…

On the internet I searched for some truth quotes; there’s loads of them, it seems every important person who ever lived, had something to say about truth:
Marcus Aurelius: ‘Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.’
Albert Einstein: ‘Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.’
Charles Spurgeon: ‘A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.’
This one was later rephrased and made famous by Winston Churchill: ‘A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.’

Truth doesn’t seem to be easy, most of the time going along with lies and distrust… It seems we long for truth, a collective truth, while truth also seems to be so personally…

What does truth mean to me …?

Last week I watched the documentary film Miss Sharon Jones!, which had huge impact on me. You know Sharon Jones? We lost loads of musical geniality in David Bowie, Prince and George Michael last year; we also lost Sharon Jones, singer with the Dap Kings. She was a female James Brown, a hundred percent soul power, overflowing with life energy, coming from a poor family, never giving up her honesty in whatever situation.

She was told to be ‘too fat, too black, too short and too old’ to be accepted in the music business. She decided to live her own truth till she passed away last November. This documentary film is about how she lived her love and truth during her last few years, from the moment she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For me this woman is an example of living her truth and an a huge inspiration for me to live my own…
Please, click here to meet Miss Sharon Jones!

 

 

 

 

Would you like to swing on a star?

Spooky & Sue 1974… Sue was one of my first idols… the way she moved, she smiled, her eyes, her fillet, her pants… she totally got it…. I wanted to look like Sue.
In her song Swinging on a star she warned us not to grow up to be a mule or a pig, but to swing on a star instead. The original song is from Bing Crosby 1944, a traditional white guy, 30 years later same song, sung by two beautiful black flower power people, overflowing with a bubbly life energy…

Last week somewhere on FB I read  ‘it’s racism to compare a human being with an animal’…
I was shaken by the intensity of this post and shocked by the thread of friends that followed, blaming and execrating the one who innocently shared seeing similarities between this human being and an animal. Since then I’m so aware of people looking like animals and I noticed people are compared with animals all the time and everywhere… how often I do this myself! My youngest daughter looks like an otter, my middle one balances between a swan and a piglet, my husband is a silver back, I was once told I looked like a hedgehog, last week I told a friend she looked like one of those amazing cows I saw in the polder….

It becomes edgy when a white human being is impressed by a beautiful black human being, seeing similarities with a gorilla…  wow… how tender are our painful spots, how painful our histories, how huge our collective painbodies… how fragile we are… how clumpsy we can be… how easily we unintentionally hit on those awfully painful spots… with the ones we know and don’t know, with the ones we love and are dear to us… I wish we would be able to simply say we got hurt in stead of blaming and giving food for hatred and separation… we would have different conversations if we could be open about our feeling hurt and our hurt feelings …
we could meet…

We could just be there for each other in those painful moments… we could listen, learn from each other’s intentions, apologize, say sorry, give and receive forgiveness… how healing would it be to share our hurts and hearts, to give all our loving attention and hold each other safely right there in our painful spots; with compassion and loving care; we can heal ourselves and others … wounded healers …

Why would we grow up to be a mule or a pig, when we could also be swinging on a star… together… let’s not pass on the light these days… let’s be the light…

Stuck in the middle … ?

needle-on-the-recordHow do you feel when you wake up in the morning and you look outside the window and it’s raining again…

I can’t get out of bed today… it’s raining again, the falling leaves drift by the window…  wild is the wind… it’s cold outside…  today I don’t feel like doing anything… all I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air… I want to hide in my shell… just sitting, waiting, wishing… all I need is the air that I breathe… all I need is love…

A change is gonna come… only change can happen when you change yourself… don’t you know you’re life itself… get ready… now, now is the moment, now is the time… it’s time for everybody to listen to the sound…

All we need is music, sweet music…  it’s time to dance… dance me through the panic ‘til I’m gathered safely in… don’t stop me now…
I feel a song in my heart again… I want to break free… I wonna dance with somebody…  let’s come together… let’s dance…  all night long… let’s go dancing in the street, dancing on the ceiling, dancing in the dark! That’s the way I like it! Let’s twist and shout; let’s get loud!

Dance me to the end of love …

To pee or not to pee…

Last week I was in Bpee5erlin to participate in a Mirrors workshop with Jonathan Horan. Where Waves is about embodiment, Heartbeat about expressing the feelings of our heart, Cycles about how we entered this life, grew up, became adults and practice how to close our life cycle, Mirrors is about the theatre of our ego characters. For the ego itself it’s quite an embarrassing workshop, for who we truly are it’s a perfect time to shine…

Those of you who regularly attend 5Rhythms workshops might recognize that before the actual workshop happens the workshop already started…. No exception to the rule this time…

I took the train to Berlin. I love these smooth running ICE trains, long distances of time moving in this soft rhythm of the railway … there I was, just sitting, waiting, reading, following this rhythm… my suitcase with me, full of dancing clothes, healthy food, vitamins and minerals to support my body energy and props to support the theatre of my ego characters….

At one moment I needed to go to the toilet. The bathroom was a spacy one, especially adapted for wheel chair users so that they would be able to easily move in and out. The bathroom had a door, not a flat one, but round; describing a part of a circle while opening and closing. The bathroom was an enormous space and the door was as huge: when I opened it by touching a green button saying OPEN it was like curtains opening, showing the stage. I went in, pushed the red button saying CLOSE, sat down and peed.

In the midst of my peeing the door opened…. That immense round door, like curtains sliding, showing the stage. I saw a small startled woman, totally embarrassed by seeing me peeing… She panicked, tried to do something, not knowing what to do, then trying to close the door again, but on the outside there was only the OPEN button, one could only CLOSE from the inside. In the next moment she turned her back towards me, making an attempt to be the whole door … It was so funny to see that small body trying to be that huge door, her chaotic dance, hands up in the air, trying to make herself high and wide at the same time, trying to prevent others from looking past her. I was on stage, she was on stage, both naked and vulnerable in our own way. It was so funny she was totally embarrassed, in stead of me. That was very kind of her….

In German she explained there was a third button to push; after closing I should also have pushed the button LOCK to really shut the door… I took a break, stood up, locked the door and ended my peeing having so much fun … I really tried to feel some embarrassement in my body, but it was not there… it was so amusing, I couldn’t stop laughing … letting go of ego… what a special preparation for this Mirrors workshop… ready to go….