clearing the future


I just finished reading a book called Evolutionaries by Carter Phipps. It's an interesting read and brings together all the different ways evolution has been happening since, well, the big bang. The evolution of the cosmos, of biological life, of consciousness and culture . . . It's had a subtle but definite effect on my psyche. One that I like! He talks about "breaking the spell of solidity" and seeing the world with "evolutionary eyes".

How it feels is: the future is wide open, unshaped. Here I am, a transitional being in a transitional world in a transitional universe that is constantly changing, evolving and moving forwards . . . and at this point in evolution I am aware that I am part of this forward movement and know that I have the power and choice to take part in determining what is becoming. And while the past is always here and coming with me, moment by moment, the future is where I am going. 

How does it look? How does it feel? 

I'm finding the project of clearing the future a great motivator to do my practice:

Even with all of my personal and ancestral history, and with all of our collective history, I can say YES to the whole thing and dance on into the wide open space of the unshaped FUTURE!




Am I a bit slow? did everyone already realize this?!




August Rhythms

I was inspired by the group of women dancing together at the moondance in Bristol last night. I saw yet again how simple it can be to wake up in the dance and to experience the self in a completely new way. More and more of these waves, these dances, and we don't have time for the old fixed ways of the mind.
I found myself saying again, that the dance is about consciousness. It is a way to liberate ourselves inside our own minds.

Evolution is in the air. It always has been, but I haven't ever been so aware of it as I am now. Having an awareness of the context of evolution is exciting.

Life has been evolving for billions of years.
Now is the culmination of that evolution.
Life will continue to evolve into the future, culmination upon culmination!
My life is just a teeny tiny blink. A breath, a sigh, and then I am gone!

And all the while there is movement, turning, evolving, refining, growing, becoming, shattering, growing more complex more distinct more full more empty more light more awareness more colours more dance more cooperation more richness more contrast more stillness . . . more consciousness

where are we going?
what are we choosing?
how are we being?


let's dance together to know the truth
shrug off the cloak of lies
awaken to our beauty
and seize our freedom.

It's happening now and we need to be here to experience it.
Embodying movement and change

I look forward to meeting you on the dance floor this month.

Classes continue throughout August (6,13,20) in Glastonbury

Bank Holiday August 27 class will be at Court House in Long Sutton TA10 9NE and not in Glastonbury

Welcombe Wave: Saturday August 18

Tuesday 7th August covering for Bernadette at Hamilton House in Bristol

Tuesday 28th August covering for Sue at St George's Church, Tufnell Park, London

In Love

Jean x

The power of repetition

We had an interesting and stimulating discussion at the end of class on Monday, which has given me lots of food for thought. The subject was: repetitive movements, and copying/sharing these movements with others.

The question was: What is the point?

That is a very good question, and some elements of answers did emerge in our brief conversation, and then afterwards I thought of a few more things that I'd like to share here, for those who are interested in 5 Rhythms as a practice.

First and most basic point: clear repetitive movement is essentially a staccato practice. It is useful for bringing "something" out from inside us and giving it a shape. The repetition helps us to feel and explore the energy of that "something" and allow it to become more and more clear. When it has done so, it will dissolve/evolve into something else. This is the way of it.

Doing a repetitive movement is a useful fall back for any of us at any point in the wave. If we become aware that we are disconnected from our dance, we can choose to give a shape to the sensation (or lack of sensation) of that moment and keep repeating it until it changes, and then repeat that until it changes, and so on, and it wont be long before we are back once more in connection with our self and our dance, especially if we can give ourselves 100% to this and be generous with our breath.

Simple repetition is also helpful if we are feeling something difficult, maybe something intense or unpleasant. A simple repetitive movement gives us a safe holding structure as we allow the intense or difficult feelings to move through us and be digested and released by our system.

And there is much more to be said about the value of solo repetitive movement. You might tell your story in a comment below. Please share your reflections.

Partner repetition shares this experience with one other. We see the shape/movement of the other dancer and mirror the movement. We will never copy exactly what the other dancer is doing! We can't! Because each dancer is totally unique. What we can do is be the dance of  "I see you and this movement you are offering me. With curiosity and openness I will join you in it. I will bring my whole self into it, giving my feelings and sensations to this structure you have offered me". Then see what emerges out of that.

Tribal repetition is what we call the practice of one person offering a repeating movement and a group of others following. As in partner repetition, it is an acknowledgement and honouring of anothers movement by the group. It is a surrendering of individual "will" to the greater field. Everybody in the group gets the chance to lead and to follow/support. It is an opportunity for all of us to learn how we dance with the roles of leader and follower/supporter. 

Tribal repetition can take us into the unified field, where we can experience ourselves as one unique and irreplaceable cell in a moving breathing body of beauty, where we are accepted, acknowledged and supported in our individuality. For me, this is a true and alive experience of empowered community.

I want to make it really clear that this is NOT about being the "same" as everyone else (how would that be possible??!) This is NOT about encouraging us to be "Sheople", blindly following the strongest and most compelling energy in a given space. This is about how we can evolve as a community, celebrating our individuality and diversity and moving together in greater and greater cooperation. It is a revolutionary practice.

I hope this helps a little towards clarifying "the point" of repetitions. There is so much to say about it, I have just scratched the surface. It wold be great if you would share your point of view too. 

I am looking forward to exploring this and other practices with a group of committed dancers in a closed group in Glastonbury, starting in the Autumn. More news of that to come . . .

JULY/AUGUST SCHEDULE:

Welcombe Wave in Devon this Saturday July 14th, and then I go to  Sweden for SunDance for the rest of the month. 
Glastonbury class: July 16th with Andrew Holmes 
July 23rd with Bernadette Ryder
July 30th NO CLASS in Glastonbury
I'm back in August for 
MoonDance in Bristol Sunday August 5th 
Glastonbury on August 6th, 13th, 20th (NO CLASS AUG 27)
Covering for Bernadette in Bristol on August 7th.
Covering for Sue Rickards in London August 28th.

Click here for times etc.

5 Rhythms with Jean in June

Hello Everyone!

Greetings and love to all. This post contains info about 5 Rhythms events with me in June. Scroll down to the group/class/workshop you are interested in.

GLASTONBURY

First: a big Thank You to my great team of helpers: Nick, Terry, Justine, Melanie, James, Bruce.
Having missed just one Monday at the Town Hall, it feels like ages, and I am already really excited to be back with you tomorrow night.
After that, I will be missing three mondays in a row! One for the bank holiday (NO CLASS ON JUNE 4!) and then two because I am going away to work at my "day job".
I generally avoid having to miss Mondays for any reason, but there has been less of my day job work for me this year so I have made myself more available for what there is of it, with the result that I will be away on 11 and 18 June. You will be well cared for, as ever, always with qualified 5 Rhythms teachers giving the class. I will also be gone for three Mondays in July while I'm at SunDance. So you have Bernadette, Leigh, Andrew and Neil to look forward to over the next couple of months.
If you ever want to know who is teaching on any given Monday, do check my website

DANCE AWAKE

dance floor

workshop venue
But I don't want to!!!
For so many of us, while we think we are 100% committed to our spiritual awakening and 100% engaging with the path and desire totally to dance our dream awake and know the freedom we sense that will bring . . . we may not be as aware that there is a part of us that really wants nothing of the sort! This can show up as "reasons" not to practice.

Gabrielle Roth made me laugh when she said "There are many reasons not to dance. They have one thing in common: they all suck!"

One thing I love about 5 Rhythms practice is that there is a lot of permission in the space. It is totally fine to show up feeling tired, moody, stiff, in pain, upset, overjoyed, heartbroken, tense, irritable, anxious, smug, self conscious, superior, inferior . . . the list of descriptions of the human condition is endless  . . . What is important is to Show Up. That's all. That's it. Show Up and Let It Move.

On SATURDAY JUNE 9th I am offering the last in my current series of day workshops here at the Court House in Long Sutton TA10 9NE.  This time it's called "DISAPPEAR INTO THE DANCE". It will be an opportunity to "show up and let it move" until "it" has all gone and there is nothing left but the dance; life moving perfectly in, around and all the way through us. 11am-5pm with a break for food rest and quiet in the garden.
Book by sending me an email. £10 deposit/entrance fee then a donation at the end of the day.

BRISTOL MOONDANCE

moondance altar
Women! The third Bristol MoonDance will take place on SUNDAY JUNE 10 in a NEW VENUE at a NEW TIME!
Room number 12 at St Werburgh's was really sweet, but way too small for where we are heading. Last time it was already overcrowded.
So . . . we are moving to the QUAKER MEETING HOUSE in HORFIELD (300 Gloucester Rd) at the later time of 7.45-10pm. £10. Yes, how weird is that, to be out, late, dancing on a Sunday night? Not weird at all I hope, more like really fantastic and I hope to see many many more of you women there. What we are discovering with the moondance is that we women find a different and precious freedom and release in our dance when it is "just us". Being empowered to be our natural, wonderful and amazing selves is good news for you guys too (trust me on that one) so men: send your sisters, girlfriends, mothers and daughters along!

WELCOMBE WAVES


welcombe mouth 13/5/12
 It's just wrong to put you at the bottom of the list: you dance so strongly in my heart!
I ADORE dancing in Welcombe, North Devon, and I love the group that is forming and consolidating so beautifully. Thank you so much to Kirstie and Pete for the support I feel personally from you and the welcome you offer to everyone. Thank you also to Martine for offering to bring along something yummy for us to eat with our cuppa after our next wave on SATURDAY JUNE 16. Kirstie has been baking her delicious brownies and flapjacks for us each month for a year now and we felt it was time for others to get a chance to extend their baking skills! So thanks Martine. And if you would like to be the one at a future wave, just let me know!
PLEASE EMAIL ME TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING TO DANCE ON 16 JUNE. 7-9.30 pm £12/£10 concs

LOTS OF LOVE TO ALL!!!

Jean x x x

Getting On With It

Last week I did a creative writing course with the Arvon Foundation.
Me and fifteen other wannabes (actually that's not fair, I might have been the only wannabe!) and two brilliant published authors sat together in a cosy barn for 5 days doing fun and mind-stretching exercises and writing stories! On the last night we each read a 5 minute piece to the whole group.
I think my proudest moment EVER (we're talking ever in my whole life!) was sitting reading my piece and seeing a Very Famous Prize Winning Novelist who shall, ahem, remain nameless, sitting bolt upright and rapt with attention, hanging on every word of my story!! That, and another Literary God whose work I adore, pointing out what was "brilliant" about my work.
I know I sound effusive and uncool, but I don't care! I want to use the F word it was so F***in' brilliant.
The group was really good fun, we had great laughs together and the tutors were unconditionally supportive of each of us.
I learned so much about the craft of writing and came to glimpse a little of the heartbreaking difficulties facing anyone seeking to create a work of literature.
I guess I thought writing a story/novel was something that some people just magically "knew" how to do. Now I've seen that I could learn to do it too. So much of it is about getting beyond writing as a form of self expression and into the more challenging place of creating something people would want to read. That, and just sitting down and Getting On With It.





Spring Beauty


Yesterday afternoon I headed out for Welcombe in North Devon, where I give a monthly 5 Rhythms class.

It takes nearly two hours to get there by car, and I love the drive, and the dreamspace that opens up as I coast along the open road. Westwards to the M5, then south to the North Devon Link road. The hills begin to roll as I skirt the northern edge of the moor. Deep grey clouds pour brief bursts of torrential rain and I'm dancing with the windscreen wipers: fast, slow, medium, slow, fast.

After Barnstaple, the romantically named Atlantic Highway carries me towards the very wild West. Beyond Bideford the straight highway continues until Fairy Cross after which more care is needed to navigate tight curves and bends. At Welcombe Cross I leave the highway and drive on towards the village. This is the first time in months I have been down here in daylight so I carry on past the village hall and wind my way down the narrow ancient track down a steep hill, beside a forest stream, and along a bumpy lane until I reach the coast.

Walking out towards the beach it is as if I have never been here before. Never seen this outrageously dramatic bay with its stony fingers reaching out into the surf. Never seen these tall cliffs. Never seen the wild white waves of the Atlantic pounding in. Never seen a clean blue sky with a dazzling yellow sun going down. And never felt this cool fresh wind. As I step down the trail I feel myself alone in this vastness.

It turns out I am not alone and I can make out two solitary figures on the beach, each with a tripod, capturing the glory. The light is so bright I can hardly see them, they are camouflaged against the glistening black rock fingers.

I stay for a short while, breathing in the ocean and the space, and bursting with love. Maybe next month I will swim in the waves.

Time to drive back up to the village hall to set up for tonight's dance. I meet Kirstie with her basket of teas and chocolate brownies she brings to share after class. She opens up the hall and we get busy, carrying, lifting, shifting, connecting cables, plugging things in, removing lightbulbs, lighting candles, closing curtains and are just about ready as the dancers begin to arrive. Several new faces tonight, and many familiar ones.

This group that converges on a little village hall in the middle of nowhere on a Saturday night will move and breathe and sweat and connect and laugh and cry and dance dance dance and these bodies will be grateful and we will sit together in a circle and hold each others hands and know we just made magic together, a never-before-seen and never-to-be-repeated act of beauty.

I don't know how it is that I can then get back in my car and drive an hour and three quarters  back home in the dark, but I can, and I'm smiling, and there's something good on radio four:

There's a Japanese poet who says "As I write, I am looking down at the page. When I finish, I look up at the sky"

I'm having a baby! ...oh goddess, I'm having twins!!


Just over one month to go until the birth of my new baby, the new monthly 5 Rhythms® dance for women only in Bristol ......the moondance!! ta dah!!



Inspired as I was by Chloe de Souza's wonderful full moon dances in London, and already well tuned into the moon's cycle by running monthly full moon sweat lodges for women here at home, I decided to start his new venture in Bristol.

I'm nervous about the birth, of course, who wouldn't be? But I have a lovely crew of helpers/midwives and lots of hope and inspiration for the most fabulous, full on dance of celebration for women of all ages and stages... and it's so exciting that our first dance will be on EASTER SUNDAY. I've called this one WILD RESURRECTION, because that is what is this dance practice means to me: it is a way to go for my own "virgin birth" and resurrect my body and my life in my own sacred image, which is truly a RESURRECTION!
Who else will be there that night?

and if that's not enough ... actually .... I'm having TWINS !!!

because full moon is a very special time for me, I am also starting a new journey group for women here at home called MOON SISTERS . This will be a journey in the Sweet Medicine SunDance way, with medicine wheel teachings, ceremony, nature walks, drumming and singing, sharing, caring and reflection. It will be cosy and intimate and a lot of fun. Each meeting will culminate in a deep purification in the sweat lodge. There will be seven of these meetings on Saturdays in 2012, here in the lovely setting of the Somerset Levels.

Moon Sisters on Saturday, Moondance on Sunday

Life is taking on a whole new rhythm . . .

dis-illusion


Hello 2012. got off to a great start. we had a party! well, kind of. it was better than a party. a bunch of great people came round to ours and we hung out, danced a wave, went into the sweat lodge to pray, let go of 2011 and dream forward into 2012, (we were in there at midnight! yay!) then broke out the bubbly and the food. i think fortune is definitely smiling on me this year cos we had an actual bona fide maid in the group who took care of various kitchen chores. thank you yasmyn!

At breakfast on new year's day, one of my friends told me i was her "practice guru". she had read my "practice practice practice" post in here, marveled at my discipline and wondered if she, too, might ever reach my lofty heights. I had to put her straight. That was then, and this is now. I haven't done that practice regime for, like, 3 or 4 weeks now. This is entirely typical of the jeanious and I'm writing today really to put this straight to anyone who might think like my friend did. yes, I do have times where I am really "good" and do my practice regular as clockwork. then, for some reason, usually an interruption in my routine caused by travel, and/or being on a really intense workshop with long hours or something, I stop doing it for a while. Inertia sets in and it will take a while for me to get back into the flow of it. And then it will usually be something different.

I am now officially beyond giving myself a hard time for this! doing practice is its own reward. not doing it is its own punishment. no need to add insult to injury by feeling bad about it! and if I'm in a phase of regular practice, no need to spoil it by feeling self important.

Funny the things that stick in my mind. I remember many years ago, being deeply impacted by something a teacher said. This was (and remains) a person I had masses of respect for. In a circle of students, this teacher said: "I am the most fucked up person that I know". That was a moment of wonderful dis-illusion for me and my world turned upside down ... in a good way! Since then, I find I don't trust anybody who would not be able to say the same thing about him or herself. And, I hope, say it with a smile and a twinkle in the eye!




Dance to digest





Digesting the miasma of misery

Reflecting more on what I wrote earlier today, I see that the state I described of doom, despair and paranoia is like a creature, a shadow, that attached itself to me.

Memories:

One day as a child I walked down the road and saw my mother approaching from the distance, carrying shopping. To my clear child’s eyes, she looked  unhappy. I could see the thoughts like a cloud around her head. I could see the conversation of internal dialogue moving across her face, even at a great distance. When I finally reached her, I asked her what was wrong. “Nothing’s wrong” she said. “Why do you ask?” “Well, you just looked so unhappy just now” “Oh, that’s just my face” she said. “I’ve got the kind of face, that if I’m not actually smiling, I look unhappy”

That confused me and caused me to lose trust in my intuition and ability to see. Because naturally, I believed my mum. But what she said did not tally with what I had seen.

Another day, many years later. I have recently returned from a month in Guatemala. I am in London, shopping in a supermarket. The people seem to move around like ghosts, lost in their heads.  After the bright clear colours of central America, and the barefoot people who would look you directly in the face, where everyone seemed to be in focus, here were people lost in some floating, disembodied dream, absently searching the shelves for something to eat. In Guatemala I ate the same simple, delicious food every day, never tiring of it. Back in London, what I saw was shocking.

Another day, today. I’m on the tube in London and it’s rush hour. I’m looking closely at people’s faces. On some of the people around my age, I’m seeing the shapes and textures of worried, anxious, bitter faces. I know that I am one of them and I, too can look like this. I also know that if they were to smile or laugh, these features and textures would disappear and their light and beauty would shine through. I decide that I will make a point of catching the occasional person’s eyes and smiling, to see what happens. I know from my own experience of misery the power of a simple smile.

What I think:

There is a miasma of misery in our culture. There is a shadowy cloud of undigested disappointment in the air. There is anxiety, resignation, resentment,  hurt, and a whole lot more, and it’s visible on our faces and the way we hold our bodies. I think some of it is personal to us and  also think some of it is not personal; it’s there, like an option in the space. It might be left from our ancestors. I know when I feel it, it takes a lot of presence, sobriety or desperation (! see what I said about 6 o’clock this morning!) to realize what is going on and determine to do something about it.

In 5 Rhythms practice, we say yes to whatever is in the moment and put it into motion. The 5 Rhythms are an alchemical formula that can digest this shadowy gunk.  They are healing medicine for the individual and the collective. These miasmas are real. They form the shadow mind and will eat us up if we give in to them. Our power lies in our courage and determination to include their energy in our dance, to eat instead of being eaten. As we dance with the discomfort, making it our discipline to keep moving, stay with the physical experience and out of the stories, we can breathe life into the whole thing and find ourselves invigorated and enlivened. Part of the Solution!

Let’s do it, let’s dance! In celebration of the people! In celebration of life!

Jeanious got her Mojo back

Wastwater, from my recent visit to Cumbria

Jeanious is back! I've missed her. It's been a good couple of weeks since I/she last posted. There was one week when I was up in Cumbria looking after my Mum as she had an operation, (now recovering famously, by the way; that woman is a Force of Nature!)
... and then another week when I was away on an epic interpreting marathon, traveling a lot, spending all my time in the interpreting booth, on trains (Luxembourg, Brussels, Luxembourg, back to Brussels, Eurostar ...) and in hotel rooms of varying levels of comfort and beauty. What kept me more or less together through this whole time has been my practice: writing, dancing, sitting (see a previous post). But I had no inspiration or energy left for blogging. So it feels really good today to be at home and feeling more or less human, with some love to share.

Had a great night (again!) in Glastonbury Town Hall with the 5 Rhythms yesterday. I was feeling as flat as the proverbial pancake. I'd done my preparation and somehow, feeling tired and lethargic, had managed to get changed, load up the car with all my gear and drive off into the wet and dark November evening. I noticed that being on the road was helping lift my mood just a tiny bit, and decided to see if giving myself a little smile would help. I so did not feel like smiling! But I turned up the corners of my mouth, just the same. Thinking of the wonderful teachings of Abraham, I kept asking myself, "what is the better feeling thought that will lift my mood?" For a long while there was nothing there, only my sense of doom and despair, which frankly, bordered on the paranoid. But I kept asking the question "what is the better feeling thought?" Finally it came, in the form of George Clooney! No, ladies, I was not fantasizing about his royal Georgeness taking me out to dinner then treating me to luscious passionate lovemaking... it was the memory of him in the movie "O brother, where art thou" that I had watched on my macbook on one of those train journeys last week. Have you seen it? It's well worth another view. George and co are so silly and goofy, and the thought of his daft face in that movie brought a Real Grin to my miserable mug. Eureka! This stuff works.

The wonderful James, my trusty "roadie" was there to meet me at the Town Hall and we got set up for the night and dancers started to arrive. It was So Good to see everyone, to get the music going and to start to warm up. I will not divulge the details of our journey together, but suffice to say that by the end of the night I was very, very heart-warmed.

One thing: Lately I have not been sleeping so well. Waking up every couple of hours to an internal mechanism that switches on then starts to heat me up. They call them hot flushes, but that doesn't describe the experience for me. More like a power surge. It's not just heat. It's an awakening energy that snaps me right out of sleep and then I slowly get hotter til I have to throw off the covers. I feel the energy through my whole body, and the eyes of my hands and feet opening to let it through and out. This can be accompanied by lots of unwelcome thinking (read:worrying) until I remember to snap into witnessing my thoughts ("Oh, look at what I'm thinking!") ... and all of this at bloody half past two in the morning, when I 'd much rather be softly dreaming, all nice and cozy.

It was only at about 6 o'clock this morning, when I was having yet another of these surges, and another lot of unwelcome thoughts, that something in me realized: "I DON"T HAVE TO HAVE THESE THOUGHTS!" ... yes, I remembered White Chestnut flower remedy (helps with unwanted thoughts) and Scleranthus flower remedy (helps with mood swings) ... so first thing I did when I got up was to take a few drops of each in a glass of water. As I drank the water, I thanked the plant world for providing the healing that I need, for their medicine of unconditional giving.

Sometimes it takes me a while to realize I need help. But when I do, I find help is always at hand. I get so used to "less than pleasant" (ahem...) states of mind, I forget that it's not natural to be that way, and that there is medicine, lovely, strong, no-side-effects plant medicine that will work with me to help me feel better.

So my practice this morning was beautiful. Yes, I suspect I am the only person in Long Sutton dancing to a mixture of the new Kate Bush (Listen to it! It's AMAZING) and some good old rocking techno ... before 8 o'clock on a Tuesday morning.

And I got my mojo back. Thank you plants! Thank you Glasto Dancers! Thank you George Clooney and the Coen brothers! Thank you Kate Bush!

The Bobulation Wave

“Discombobulated” is one of my favourite words. It manages to accurately describe that state of chaos, where I feel unsure, out of sorts,  disconnected with myself. It is a state I go into regularly these days as an essential ingredient of the menopause.  I reckon most teenagers are very familiar with it. And it looks like this is what the world is going through right now as structures rupture and dissolve, there is a mass disillusionment where things we thought would be here forever prove themselves to be fallible, vulnerable and impermanent. On a personal level, it’s as if anything that was a fabrication of the ego can no longer survive and is dissolving and melting away. The more we try to cling on, the harder it gets, until there is no option but to give way to the tide of truth arising within and all around us.

There was a funny post on facebook recently. It said “The truth will set you free. But it will piss you off first.” LOL. I thought that was a great way of putting it.  I think you could equally say “it will frighten the life out of you” or,  “it will make you really, really sad”.

Thank heaven for the dance. Our 5 Rhythms practice gives us the tools we need to ride these waves of discombobulation. Whatever is going on for us inside or around us we can grab a hold of ourselves and take time out to put the body into motion and do our practice.

In flowing, we can gather together our body parts and the sensations we are feeling, accept and say yes to it all and encourage it to move in a seamless flow of energy.

In staccato, we can explore the shapes of our current state, find definition, clarity and outward expression of what is true right now.  If we don’t judge or think about it and just do it, we’ll be on the right track.

In chaos, we go for the Discombobulation! We let go of the clarity of shape and let the body go into a deep and wild releasing, dissolving and “not knowing” state. We might move really really fast so that the body can outrun the dualistic thinking mind. Offering up the body to the breath and the thumping pumping heart can bring a release from mental conflict and a blessed catharsis.  At other times we might just allow the body to shake and tremble, harnessing our mind to encourage us by saying gently inside “let go, let go, just let go now, it’s OK, just let go ...”

In lyrical we are ready to “Recombobulate” ! What is left now that we have let go of what was discombobulating us? How does the body want to move now that it is much more open, released and free? What is the dance of recombobulation? What has our body now realized? What is this never-before-seen dance?

In stillness we are left in the “Bobulation” of  What Is. Stillness IS. There is nowhere to go, nothing to change or fix, only the essence of life itself to experience. Body slowed down, moved by the breath, present, awake, alert, at one with everything. Still point. The wave has travelled all the way up the shore. Soon it will be sucked back to the ocean for another cycle and the whole thing will start again.


you are the answer, but what is the question?

P1050796.JPG

How can you know, if you don’t inquire?

Writing. Write every day. Get out of bed, pick up a pen and paper and just write.  Anything and everything that comes to mind. If nothing comes to mind, write that too (I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write, I can’t think what to write, I’ve nothing to say ...) until it changes and you do know what to write. Be honest and don’t censor yourself. Keep writing for at least three pages or at least 20 minutes. See what is going on in this mind of yours! Keep it, burn it, throw it away, frame it or publish it. It doesn’t matter. Think of your writing practice as cleaning the scum of your mind. Keep writing and watch how you get clearer.

Get physical. Get embodied. This body is you, is your life, is everything. Practice 5 Rhythms® Dance alone or in a class, or any other method that puts you in touch with your physical existence. There is so much that we all share, like “positive” and “negative” thoughts; they’re not unique and not personal to you. But this body, your body IS unique and totally personal to you. By knowing your body intimately, by making friends with it, feeling what it feels and letting it dance you come alive to the uniqueness of you. Being uniquely you is the only thing you really have to give. It is the answer, every time.

Practice meditation daily.  Any kind of meditation will do. The Awakening Network have great guided meditations you can get easily from their website. Or you may already have a method. Practice meditation and stop the world so you can know yourself. Know what is true, for you. Meditation is free. It costs nothing to stop, sit down, and examine the content of your own mind. Liberation is free. It costs nothing to stop, sit down, and find the part of you that is aware. Behind, underneath or around the thoughts. Liberation comes from understanding you are not your thoughts. You are the one who is aware of them.

Write, dance and sit. Give yourself time to do these things, even if it means setting your alarm clock early.

This world needs you now.


practice, practice, practice ...


It's all about practice. 

One of the wisest things I ever heard from a teacher is "don't do as I do, do as I say". 

It's taken me years to understand this statement. I've always been one to get seriously impressed, if not awed, by teachers. not my school teachers, I hasten to add, but the teachers who shared "spiritual"/life lesson teachings with me. Why would I not want to "do as they do", when what they do is so inspiring? 

But then what happens when they do something I don't like, or doesn't impress me, or just shows really clearly that they are not the god/dess I set them up to be; they are human, with feet of clay? Will I throw out what they taught me? Will I say "this method is not for me any more, because this teacher, who told me about it, and who practices it, is not perfect and does not measure up to my expectations?"

And besides ... what right has anyone to tell me to "do as they say" ? especially someone who has shown themselves to be imperfect, fallible, not having all the answers ... why should I do what they say?!

Why indeed? Here's why: because it was never about the teacher him or herself, it was about the method they shared with me, and they shared it with me for me to practice it, make it my own and come alive inside it so I can "do as I do", to the max!

So it is with 5Rhythms dance. It is a practice and it is not about any teacher. Not even about Gabrielle Roth, who created it, as she would be the first to point out. Gabrielle has extraordinary gifts and articulated an ancient system of wisdom and practice in a way that is beautifully suited to our modern chaotic age.

Even if you can't get to a 5 Rhythms class, you can take on this practice and test its value for yourself in the comfort of your own home, simply by getting hold of one of her recorded guidance CDs, Endless Wave Volumes 1 and 2. Gabrielle guides you through the wave. You can do it again and again and again. It is a wonderfully pure introduction to the Rhythms, to return to over and over again. Borrow it, download, get it out of the library, do it!

And if you dance regularly at a class, home practice is essential, too, as it will keep you grounded in your own practice/process, and you won't be overly influenced by your teacher, because you will be discovering that it's the rhythms themselves are the teachers, as they guide you closer and closer to meeting your inner teacher, the one you are really looking for in all of this.

Practice, practice, practice!

And if you feel the need for some help and support, or simply realize there is no better way for you to spend your time these days than dancing, come and join me to practise in a small group in my "Dance Awake" workshops/practice days.

love,

Jean



ancestors dance

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Last night was a very special night at our 5 Rhythms class in Glastonbury Town Hall. Justine had said she wanted to make a special samhain/hallowe'en altar and invite people to bring along pictures of their loved ones who had passed away. I loved the idea but wasn't sure at first. This is an open event, with new people dropping in most weeks and not everybody would know what we were going to be doing. I like to keep the space open and clear for anyone to turn up and get into their natural dance, whether they have ever danced 5R before or not. I know that I can feel excluded in any situation where there seems to be an "in crowd".

Anyway, I thought about it and realized there was no harm in planning a special night, and anybody new would be invited to light a candle for their ancestors if they wanted to. I posted on the glastonbury notice board and emailed my mailing list.

The opportunity to honour the ancestors resonated strongly with some people. It's funny how some people feel very strongly that we should remember where we came from. Some of us don't really know much about our personal ancestors, but even if we know nothing about them, we know we have them, or we wouldn't be here! I like to think of the ancestors as the ordinary and extraordinary people who came before us and left behind so much useful and beautiful stuff that we benefit from. We inherit all our skills and talents from them, we stand on their shoulders, so to speak and we dance in their footsteps.
It's a really life affirming thing to do to honour our ancestors. It's like saying, I know I won't live forever, just like you didn't. You had your life in your time. You did your thing, made your mistakes, felt more or less connected, were happy or not, fulfilled or not ... but whatever, we have so much in common! We all basically spend our lives standing, sitting or lying down. We come and we go.
I think our lifestyles nowadays don't help us remember ourselves too much. There is so much going on, so much speed and hurry and desperation. So many billions of people here, so many of us seemingly separate yet so fully interconnected beings. Can we take a bit of time in our hurry to fulfill ourselves, make our lives a "success", get noticed, change the world, heal the planet, to just say "THANK YOU!" to all who came before us. To say YES, we know you lived and you died, you had joy and sorrow and family and loneliness and pleasure and pain and we're sorry if we give the impression that we are the only ones of value around here now and sorry if we forgot you. Maybe you can help us get beyond everything being "all about me" ?!! "All about me" - syndrome is so depressing!!

I love my practice of 5 Rhythms dance: it helps me get out of my "all about me" brain and feel connected connected connected ... with this body and how it feels to move and breathe freely, with you and your dance ... when I dance with you I feel you and see you directly, and with US ... all of us and what we all have in common and what we all share in this magnificent dance of life.

Remembering my ancestors means: time to live my life to the full while I can! Time to DANCE AWAKE!
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