What is the 5Rhythms?

Mmm, a good question. One asked of me frequently. And one that still, after 14 years, catches me at a bit of a pause every time. The pause of “How can I really convey the enormity of what this practice is, does and means to my, and your, possibility of freedom”. Really how can I convey this? Still stumps me.

I’ve called it dance, which doesn’t, for me, really convey IT. Yes it is dance, and, it is generally music you move to and moves you…but…it’s more.

I’ve labeled it movement; however, that too misses the full essence of what it is. At the end of a class or workshop you’re altered because you’ve been moving.  When you move, things are released, things that are in the way (emotionally, physically, spiritually). Still, the word movement, by itself, seems to fall a bit short of the ‘bigness of this practice’ mark.

Then there’s the moving meditation description, which is close but may not prepare people for the music aspect. I’m not sitting on a cushion observing my mind, I’m moving my body and in the process my mind gets, for lack of a better term, reconfigured. By the end of the session I’m here in the present moment, my head connected to my body versus my thoughts running my show.

It’s also healing and it’s exercise, did I mention that? Whew, so what do I say?

You’d think I would have my one-minute elevator speech dialed tight and ready to go…but no, not so much. I feel that I can do the practice, and those that ask me, so much more justice in the explanation of the 5Rhythms than I generally come up with.

What if I was at a party (or in a longer elevator ride) and someone says, after a few minutes of ‘what do you do’ small talk, “Ok, so, what is the 5Rhythms?

What I don’t ever say (and let me tell you, it would feel somewhat intense to dump out, with crazy monologue evangelistic conviction, all the things I’m really sitting on), and frankly, maybe I should say is:

“Truthfully? My life depends on it. It helps me stay on the fast path, no, really, it’s a freeway, to freedom. If the 5Rhythms weren’t in my life I know I would be sitting in a pit, or a sinkhole, or on a mental suffering-filled, messy-ugly boulevard waiting for the mind cops. Without the 5Rhythms I would be trapped in my mind: stuck, wedged, caught, jammed. Real good.”

“Do you want some freedom? Of course you do, why wouldn’t you? You can have it too. There’s so much more potential in all of us for letting go, for being real, and for being more and more brilliant as we are, in our own uniqueness. This practice is powerful, transformational, profound, yet so unassuming. Dude, come on, get yourself some of this medicine. What are you waiting for? Freedom is calling. Get moving with the 5Rhythms…get on the freedom train. Amen”

…Ahhh, that would freak people out.

Or, perhaps, it really would be so passionate, authentic (and slightly disarming) that they would say, “Sure I’d like me a side of some of that, how can I get some?” Maybe it’s not so bad to take a bigger risk in revealing what this practice really is to me…

The 5Rhythms: It is dance, movement, meditation, exercise, healing and a freeway to freedom. It’s for anyone. Try it. It works.

Why I do the 5Rhythms?

Why I do the 5Rhythms?

I do this practice because it works.
It has profoundly transformed me over the years. Really. It has. It’s like I’ve got these layers and layers of stifling bandages wrapped around my mind, heart and body and bit by bit the 5Rhythms unravels me.
It reveals me.
In the process I gain more and more confidence to show those parts that have been hidden. I get more emboldened. More willing to take a risk being just me.
As I am.
Which makes me want to do this practice more.

Underneath these constrictive strips is this fresh, unique, colourful, dynamic – me at my core – self.
I long to be seen.
And it also scares the complete shit out of me.
Then I want to hide: Because what if I showed you all of the inner stuff and it, I, wasn’t good enough? Then what?
So I play this back and forth game, I’m good enough, no I’m not, I’m good enough, no I’m not.
Yah. Whew. Frankly, it’s exhausting.
So, me doing the 5Rhythms means that I have less and less of these mental reindeer games.

I am way more comfortable showing you who I am, what I feel, what I think and stand for and what I really want to wear.
Seriously, what I want to wear has been a huge transformation for me over the years; directly correlated to me doing the 5Rhythms practice.
Before the 5Rhythms, I used to wear some crazy, baggy, non-revealing, black and dark blue shirts and pants, and short sleeved black ribbed knit turtlenecks and was scared to wear any make-up.
My first in-my-20s lipstick was called buff naked- namely because you couldn’t see it on the lips- and I would put it on and then immediately blot it out, because I was terrified of being judged for wearing make-up.
These were the things that were my self-limiting patterns at the time, the keep me in my tight box bound up in strips, patterns that certainly didn’t serve me at all.
You have yours. I have mine.
We all have the boxes that don’t fit and keep us caged, we each have our own cages that we chose, and chose us.
My main flavor has to do with you judging me as not being good enough, and, before 5Rhythms, a buff naked lipstick would lock my cage down and there would be no revealing.

Thank god I found 5Rhythms.

I walked onto my first 5Rhythms dance floor in August of 1999.
So scared. So limited. So NOT feeling special or unique.
Anxious that I would never break free of myself; of the prison I had created in my mind that kept me trapped and small.
When I left this class I was confused. I felt different.
I got a waft of the cool, fresh breeze from THE OTHER SIDE: The yard outside the prison, the free side.
This caught my caught my attention.
And kept me coming back. And back. And back.

5Rhythms has bolstered my courage. I take bigger risks, emotional and otherwise, to be seen, to show my uniqueness.
14 years later, I am freer than I’ve ever been in my life.
It has taken discipline to show up each and every time to this highly unpredictable 5Rhythms territory and keep moving.
I’m not looking back. I’m under the fence and running for freedom.

That’s why I do the 5Rhythms.