“Dear Caitríona, from all the participants of your Shadow & Light ongoing group, please accept this book of our words and experiences, a reflection of the deep gratitude and appreciation that we all feel in the aftermath of a wonderful year dancing with you, with much love and thanks.”
Shadow & Light 2011/12 – Our Stories
Shadow & Light Stories
“ISN’T SHE LOVELY. MADE FOR ?….”
This little beauty brings me in touch with the frozen part of myself that turned up to a 5 R sweat nearly 18 years ago. I thought the dancers around me were MAD… Did they not know how to behave? What about learning the steps and dancing together ‘nicely’…. and the blah blah goes on.
Thank the gods my curiosity got the better of the ‘presentable ‘me and I kept turning up in whatever state or shape was me at the time. And there were always surprises. To this day there are surprises. None more so than that I now love this little Beauty who really did her best. I recognize her conditioning and it can serve me to go out in the world just like her.
Through the ongoing practice of the 5R I also know the other parts of my own jigsaw and can see her for the piece in the jigsaw that she is. What a relief to discover she was not my whole story. Dancing and in particular 5R changed my life… for better, for worse but always for MORE. I now am part of a world-wide tribe of dancing folk. No matter what place or shape I am in, Caitriona has encouraged me to DANCE IT. And it all changes, moves and ultimately frees me to BE with myself/others and to support myself in the here and now. The ongoing groups are a key for me to deepen my personal experiences.
And so I will dance ‘til I died and beyond. I have lived and died on the dance floor so many times not that to be my own Beauty, Crone, Murderer, <other, Father, Child, Dancer, Lover, Bully, Cutie, Peace Filled, Happy Self is just a matter of turning up, checking in and finding out who is in today. And I am learning to find something interesting in the shadows and light of all of me and others. Enough Talk, I will go away and dance my dance of thanks. I wonder who will turn up?
“DANCE OF HOPE”
Having the opportunity and taking it to engage in the 5 Rhythms under your alert, even beady yet compassionate eye, Caitríona, has reconnected me with not only my dancing feet and dancing body but more especially with my dancing heart and spirit. There are other opportunities to dance even as my 50th closes in, but very few in which the body, head, heart and spirit are supported to come together and dance in unison.
On my sometimes delightful, sometimes confusing and sometimes very difficult 5 rhythms journey, I have learnt many things under your calm yet challenging guidance Caitríona. I have learnt that it pays to be a dancing detective and to explore the nuances of my movement. I have learnt that I can be true to my own dance yet connect with others in the dance, as I came to the dance very focused on my own dance and hesitant in m interaction. This has been a very special learning so thank you so much for this. I have been so lucky in those I have met in the dance who, in their warmth and openness, have eased the way to making such connections. I have much to build on in this area but I feel I’m on the way.
I have learnt that the dance takes me places some of which exhilarate me and others to which I may want to avoid but to which I need to journey and that the views from such spaces aid me to see thing afresh and more clearly. I have learnt that is is safe to bring my whole self to the dance; my awkward self, my shy self, my disagreeable self and that dancing with my shadows lightens them and makes them easier to live with. I have learnt that the dance ignites my wider creativity, that my collages can depict my varied dance. I have felt honoured by your trust in me to help in creating the altars. This has been very special for me and something which I have really enjoyed.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you, Caitriona, for how you have seamlessly created a contained and supportive group space and provided guidance, challenge and a canny eye to enable myself and others participating in your workshops and groups to relish our rhythm and embark on an ongoing awakening dancing journey.
With all my bestest wishes, Avryll.
“THE MUSIC PLAYS ME LIKE A CELLO”
deora dé glistening
a soft, sandy gravity
under my feet
a new voice
under a deep rising
lifting my heart
like a leaf
on a breeze
in a breath
is a new friend
“DANCING ALMOST ALWAYS TURNS OUT TO BE A GOOD IDEA” Anne Lamott
‘Every object, every being, is a jar of delight’. Rumi
In Autumn 2006 I danced the 5 rhythms for the first time. Why do I go back for more again and again and hope this journey won’t end? Even though there were many situations of ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway?’
*Because it helps me to get connected with my body. As I was mainly a ‘head’ person most of my life, it feels great when at some point of the dancing the music and my body just take over and the head can take a rest. I’m also glad to be reminded what a precious gift this body is.
*Because it helps me to awaken and meet this being ‘full of delight’ who has been inside of me all the tiem but hardly ever had a chance to be recognized. Sometimes the awakening is painful. It reminds me of thawing. Just as I can wiggle and move my fingers and toes again after the pain of thawing, I feel that my whole being gets more and more alive and aware.
*Because even though I don’t really know what’s going on when I dance the 5 rhythms, I know a lot is going on and it does a lot of good form me.
*Because I experience moments of joy and lightness when I dance the 5 rhythms. I’m sure that one of the purposes of our life is to feel joy.
*Because I meet lovely people who are daring, compassionate and supportive and who mirror me with all my emotions.
*Because Caitríona is a wonderful teacher who share her wisdom and compassion with us. With her I feel in very good hands and safe. She’s been growing all the years I know her and so we can grow as well.
“Moving to be Moved”
In. Out. In. Out. Breathing.
The gates to my heart were locked….the soldiers stood in line. i was ready. To be attacked. i was defended AT ALL TIMES. A special few had the key… a special few i’d chosen… i’d tested them till i trusted them… then tested them some more. i tested them . all the time. Just to be SURE.
i had been attacked before. My heart had shattered loudly. a thousand little splinters. i had gathered them togethe . and more. More than once… and NOW
i was ready.
… a little tired around the shoulders – a little rigid in my spine. …but i was ready.
And then…. i moved…i swayed. …i stumbled and then … i danced?
The music caught me unawares . my soldiers and shoulders could march to the beat and i could breath . hang on , was i ready?
The piper played and the drum roll , rolled me …. hang on , where was i?
The soldiers relaxed , the shoulders released …. the threat ? where was it ? i couldn’t see?
The music caught me , the breath it moved me , i was lost , but i could see , hang on , was this really
i danced till i was disorientated . i rocked and i rolled.
i danced the anger and the grief and the heartache of old.
i danced the worry adn the misshaped that had me in their hold.
i danced till i was them , i danced till it was old.
And then the rhythm changed . in a swirl in a beat … i found myself catching up … i never missed a beat and then i danced some more.
The music maker moulded … SHE called me to my core…. the soldiers and shoulders ached … but i was rigid no more.
i was all and i was nothing and i was everything at once and then i took the bravest step, a risk, it seemed, and i slowly opened up the doors.
My lungs were full,my fear flew high and SHE called me to my breath and then what come out form my self but the oldest of regret i witnessed this . i felt it deep . i knew that it was time . this dance had caught me unawares and now it was my time . the music danced me to my SELF…my spirit wild and free …. the chaos called me deeper..freer…allowing ME to be.
i paused . i breathed . and in the pause, the silence scared me, the fullness of my power and then the light it shone,
My heart responded ,quick as a beat
And suddenly i was ONE . i was light and i was dark
iwas rigid ..i was flow …i was spacious… i was tight and i was everything and more… i was weak and i was power … i was all these things . and more.
The threats retreated , my light shone bright , my energy it flowed.
i was fluid , i was liquid , i was all these things.
i took a breath , i looked around , i saw what i could feel ..the faces staring back at me were mirrors of my soul
The light shone in and i shone out and then i came to rest ..the soldiers left , the shoulders rest ..if feel i’ve won this war.
i have a choice , i see it now , i know it deep inside ..the music draws me to myself , the beat keeps me alive . .
When i feel my shoulders tighten and my breath draw short and sharp ..i know that if perceive a threat … i am ready to retreat .
And then i pause. i breath. i make my choice…
There’s beauty in the shadow..there’s beauty in the light
i feel my feet, i feel the earth , i feel the sky above. And then i breath a glorious breath .
i choose to dance.
Thank you for being a guiding light & true inspiration.
“Moving Towards Wellness”
When I turned up at my first 5 Rhythms workshop, I was hung-over and full of the social anxiety that had been a part of my life for a long time. I nearly didn’t come back after the break on the first morning. I am so grateful that I did come back and that may years later, the 5 Rhythms has been on of the most important practices I have found. My journey through the 5 Rhythms has unleashed a process of opening my heart to me, to others and to my history.
I can’t ever put into words my gratitude and gratefulness for the 5 Rhythms and Caitríona’s honest, clear and humorous teaching. I am also continuously grateful to Caitríona for the support and encouragement that she has given to me. There is softness in me now that wouldn’t be here without Caitríona and her gentle reminders to breathe and move and reminders of the possibility of doing things different.
Since finding this dance, my physical and mental health has been up and down. It’s been a challenging and ongoing journey learning to listen to my body rather than my head. Physical pain has been a very good teacher in this respect. I’ve found ways of moving that I never would have imagined me doing. I am so grateful to be part of this moving journey thorough life. And grateful that on the bad days at home when depression and downward spiralling thinking and inaction take over that it is different than it used to be and that through this dance I have learned to remember others who have thought, felt and acted the dame as me.
This practice has saved and changed my life and I’m so grateful the ‘when the time was right, the teacher appeared’ even though at them time I had no awareness that this was the case. I am glad to be part of the community of 5 Rhythms’ dancers both in Ireland and beyond and to have met and moved with so many different people and to have also been touched greatly by some of these beautiful dancers.
“DEVELOPING MY CURIOSITY MUSCLE THROUGH MOVEMENT”
“Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances. “ (Maya Angelou)
I used to fantasize that ’in another life’ maybe I could have been a dancer, I loved how flexible and free dancers looked … including the early Pan’s People!!! My first experiences of the 5 Rhythms were in the late 90s, a surprise taster at a yoga week-end and then another at the Frog Fair in Ballydehob… and once sampled never forgotten in my experience!!!Life went on but it was always at the back of my mind somewhere and around 2007 I had a strong urge and ‘put it out there’ that I wised to experience more 5 Rhythms, but I didn’t know how… and then Caitríona’s weekend workshop in Chrysalis ‘appeared’ in the summer of 2008. Since then I have been gradually deepening my practice, challenging as that can be a times.
Why do I dance 5 Rhythms? I do it to experience the joy and celebration of movement and music as well as to learn about myself: to free myself from the constraints of my upbringing and other negative life experiences as well as to help with my self-consciousness. Initially it was almost solely a physical experience but gradually I have felt an awakening on all levels of my being. At times it is challenging and I long for just the joy of the dance but I accept that it takes me where I need to go. I used to long for the looseness and fluidity of movement that I saw around me, upright and horizontal. By sticking with it , I now connect with my much younger self, including dancing horizontally on the floor, this also stirs what needs to be stirred, at times tears and at others contentment. In my experience each of the rhythms brings its own challenges and pleasures, both on the dance floor and in the other areas of my life.
“We dance because it’s the fastest, most direct route to the truth – not some big truth that belongs to everybody, but the get down and personal kind, the what’s happening –in –me – right – now kind of truth.” (Gabrielle Roth)
As I continue with the practice I’m gradually getting more balance and loosening out both sides of my body – I am developing my ‘curiosity muscle’ ! 5 Rhythms showed me the stiffness and awkwardness between the two sides, and in the different direction of my movement, that I hadn’t been aware of. I also notice that I am more compassionate, accepting and kind towards myself now and less in my head… I have another tool in my tool-box!
So thank you, Gabrielle and Caitríona, Carol
“I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.” (Hillel)
I am so grateful to have discovered you Caitríona and the 5 Rhythms practice. Through your kindness, lack of judgement, wisdom, common sense and great humour, you have created a safe space wherein I have been able to explore my vulnerability and look at myself and my behaviour with compassion. I have noticed behaviour within me that is no longer useful to me nor is tit useful in my relationship with others. Dancing with you has given me the insight to see that I am in Charge- I have the power to choose how I want to live my life and be in this world – I have the power to choose how I want to live my life and be in this world. It has given me the courage to change. Since moving with you life looks brighter. I feel far more positive about my future. I am sleeping better and I am more relaxed in myself and in my relationships with others. I feel that I have benefitted so much over the last year and I look forward to continuing this self exploration with you.
Thank you for offering such a rich and in-depth study of the 5 Rhythms in the Shadow and Light ongoing group. The steady, grounded and open space you hold allowed me to explore what was uncomfortable and ultimately liberation and helped me to just enjoy the simplicity of the dance and trust the process. Your wonderful sense of humour and kept me in a curious and adventurous space as we travelled along the way!
It was a deeply healing experience for me and I am grateful and delighted to have you in my live.
Love Carol Mc
Walking into The Little Flower hall in the late ‘90s I had no idea what a life-enriching practice I was about to encounter. A friend had suggested I come along so that I could experience the “headshaking rock and roll” dancing of my teens – a distant memory in my mid – 30s. I was here to dance!
That was the day I come home to my own rhythm, to my dance, to my body, to the instinctive knowledge of my teens –that it is always a good practice to shake up my body to get in touch with my feelings. As I dance away those intervening years to the beat of Afro-Celt in a chaos that called out “welcome home”, a quiet unseen hand placed a box of hankies beside me and the tears flowed, tears of release, tears of sadness for the losses, tears of joy for the potential the dance (and that hand) nudged me towards.
Over the years I have sat in the circle of welcome at workshops from Killester to Buttenhardt, from Norfolk to Connemara and each time I share “I’m here to dance”. For I have come home to the dance, to the movement, to the power of change that does not happen in my head, it happens when I trust my body.
I have Sweat my Prayers, I have shed to fear of others to discover my own fear; I have found the ground under my own feet when a colleague choose to loss their’s off The Towers; I have shed the anger of teenagers to recall my own teenage self with gentleness. I sweated, I danced and I practiced, I practiced how to Flow when my head was up in the air; I practiced the shapes of Staccato in a structure less world; I came home to chaos in it’s wild abandon with a steady centre; I could almost fly in lyrical as my arms and toes lifted and brought my dance into the wonderful stillness of release, of freedom to love myself. So often my practice has been facilitated by that unseen hand that nudged me over the edge of fear to find my true self, the hand that played the music with wisdom and understanding.
The 5 Rhythms, its founder, its teachers, my teacher, has offered me the opportunity to change my patterns of movement, my patterns of responses, to find new ways of living my life, to continue to practice, knowing that this practice, for me, will continue to the final stillness and that until then I just keep practicing, keep coming home to my dance.
Thank you Caitríona for the invitation to dance…..
“Dance A magical Journey”
Attending Caitríona’s on-going course spread over the past year was like embarking on a magical and mystical journey of exploration. Together, in a wonderful group, we explored the Shadow & Light of each of the 5 Rhythms: flowing: am I dragging or flowing? Staccato: am i rigid or structured? Chaos: am I chaotic or creative? Lyrical: am I dreamy or inspired? Stillness: am I still like the grave or still like a calm sea, full of hidden potential? These are deep questions that stir you innermost being. Observing myself and others as we moved through he Rhythms was both revealing and rewarding. Caitríona created a wonderfully supportive environment where doing this work was engaging and natural. I so loved the music: Caitríona’s knowledge and range of music is just amazing. Listening to her different music choices was deeply moving and emotive, healing in itself. I’m very glad I attended this course and look forward to dancing with Caitríona again in the future.
I did not know how frozen I was or even such a place existed! I had been chipping away at a life with a sledge hammer imagining I could sculpt myself into someone more acceptable.
My body was frozen with trauma and I had tried many avenues i.e. yoga, therapy and homeopathy, these had all helped to a degree, allowing me to see deeper into myself and I believed most of what I saw needed changing, that was very much head stuff. It was through the dance I stepped out of my head and into my body. Painfully at first, then gradually becoming curious and trusting of myself, believing myself capable of being my own person. I have found the dance to be deeply healing, supportive and natural. It is solely a personal experience, there are no rules, plenty of guidelines to assist in interpreting what’s really going on for you, and enabling decisions to be made from the whole person, lead by the heart.
I remember my first workshop and the first yelp which scared the life out of me and I unthinkingly hid under my coat and behind curtains.
Caitríona caught my feet and encouraged me to stay, I did and the world did not cease and I was not ostracized. Such a new experience for me!
My first experience in Connemara was grey bleak and terrifying and again, I remember your wordless compassionate hug, Caitríona which enabled me to keep in contact. Through the dance and your support I have been able to grieve past heartaches and keep moving, and creating new possibilities and ways of being, knowing the shadows are always present. The most precious gift of all is the possibility of so much light and colour in my life and its rippling effect on my relationships with myself, family and beyond. I know the gift is in the dance, the practice and most important for me is your presentation Caitríona which stimulates such curiosity in this mind and its workings, your honest compassionate presence encouraging me to stay trusting I am enough.
Love and Gratitude, Collette
“Still sorting myself out”
Dancing 5 Rhythms with Caitriona helps me express aspects of my personality that I previously hid or ignored.
And I’m definitely the better for it!
“Dancing Back to me”
I just wanted to let you know that dancing with you has helped my life in many ways. A few years back I decided I wanted to feel my life, I’d done the words and the pictures yet I didn’t know the feelings to my life. When I talked I would talk myself out of my life yet when I danced I found I danced myself into my life and in making the choice to feel my life it means feeling it all. Dancing has allowed me to do this safely with curiosity and without being overwhelmed.
I’ve found that you are safe and so I have learned what safe is like, and the safe space you hold allows me to go safely into me to meet me and feel my life. The more I dance the more I realize I need compassion and acceptance not judgement and it’s from the dance floor I learned to give myself just that. Dancing in the space you hold has brought me to places I never felt possible, I’ve learned to connect with others at a deeper level, a place beyond words. The old stories that held my back from connection are losing their grip and I no longer feel like it’s just me against the world.
You’ve taught me that there is nothing so strong as gentleness and to accept my vulnerability as a strength. So as I dance and choose this as my practice I am learning to open the heart I closed and to allow the kindness of other hearts in. When I dance I feel alive and I can honestly say that dancing has given me back my life as I am finding the ways to begin to love the ‘stranger who was myself’
Thank you ….. REALLY, from my heart to yours,
“FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN”
Its another On-going group; I’m having a familiar dance between resistance and knowing that I really want to do this. The year has gone by every weekend a heightened experience uncovering what lies beneath and releasing what yearns to breathe.
The closing day of the on-going helped me to identify key postures and attitudes that I have held for a long time and that now I feel that I can start to slowly release. I don’t know whether I can put into words what happened for me in this group, that I loved being a part of the love and support and acceptance that I received was kind of a game changer for me the ebb and flow of giving support and receiving support becoming a more balanced exchange and that I was able to allow myself to lean in to support offered easy a huge shift for me.
All of this change and expansion happened for me because I know I am in the safest hands that I know in Caitríona., I can allow myself to be how I need to be because I have experienced again and again her support, her hand on my back her tenderness and toughness.
Through Caitríona I have the gift of the 5 rhythms’ and through her I have learned and felt and experienced myself in ways that go deeper than any other work I have done. Her growth and change becomes an offering to all of her students and I am profoundly grateful for all that she is and all that she has given me and countless others over the years, the acceptance, the love, the support, and the knowledge and wisdom.
Thanks and love, and blessing to Caitríona.
“5 Rhythms Dance & Grateful Feet”
Before I dance the 5 Rhythms Movement Meditation Practice. I had no idea what dance was about. I attended what I now know was a ‘Sweat Your Prayers’ dance in the UK. I managed to move and liked the music, that was it. Over 5 years later I found myself at Caitríona’s Meath St. Dublin workshop. I arrive by myself, still with no idea what nay of it was about, what would happen or what could happen. I listened to Caitríona wisdom and just moved my feet as best I could within each rhythm as it was explained. When I finished my first workshop, my feet led me back to dance again and again. Little by little, the dance practice has deepened for me. This is what I now know to be true for me…
When I dance the 5 Rhythms it helps move, shift and changes uncomfortable sensations within my body. Each dance is never the same even if some parts are familiar. It also helps shift unsupportive or unwelcome thoughts in my head; I notice a calmer, quieter mind emerging with a body that feels more relaxed, with softer movements and a sense of stronger feet carrying me. I discovered the experience of moving my feet, engaging my body in the rhythms has given me a practical awareness of how my body and I respond and react to life.
I love dancing the 5 Rhythms because the dance and my dance give me complete permission to be who I am, exactly the way I am at that moment. I dance because it renews my physical energy and vitality. It grounds me and makes me feel more at ease with myself.
For me the dance is many many things, such as freeing, unpredictable, compassionate, accepting, curious, funny and full of life. Embodying these aspects provides me with a deeper sense of connection to my self and I like this. In discovering this I also notice my connections with others are more authentic, observing this makes me smile and laugh more.
I dance because the environment is encouraging, supportive and a respectful space and I continue to meet amazing people on the dance floor.
I am grateful and privileged that the dance continues to give me so much and all I got to do is turn up and move my feet!
I dance the 5 Rhythms because I am so lucky I can and will keep dancing until my feet can’t move anymore!
For your encouragement, your truth, your wisdom and your sense of play that encompasses your teaching and practice of the 5 Rhythms, Thank you, Thank you.
I turned up and found that I did not need to work on anything extra, emotional or spiritual. I just had to turn up and let the dance flow, Just begin and see what happens and let what ever is going on in my life express itself in the dance. I met wonderful people who challenged and cared for me and gave me freedom to share in their lives and their dance and they in mine. Very beautiful people indeed. Caitríona as a teacher is honest, funny, firm and inspirational but who has the courage to dance her life right there in from of you and leads by example and is honest warts and all. A real Celtic heart warrior.
I learned how to see myself a little more clearly, laugh and cry a little more, and I learned that it can be sometimes hard work I can honestly say that I am more loving and clear as a result of this “work” than I have ever been. I found new ways to gently bring parts of myself into the light for a while and found the wisdom to let some parts stay in the shadow because they needed a little more time to shelter from the light.
“AND IN THAT MOMENT, A DOOR FINALLY OPENED….”
I sat at the top of Macchu Picchu in Peru, heaven on earth and thought to myself: “My body’s here, but I’m not”. I had been living my life that way for a long time _ a numb witness half-existing three feet away from my physical body. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I knew it wasn’t right: there MUST be more to life than constant yearning for something else. I knew something had to change, but in all the books I read, courses I completed, trips I made, I simply couldn’t find the switch.
In ‘recovery’, they tell you to find someone who has what you want and then ask them to be your sponsor. I went to many meetings and listened to many people talk, I remained uninspired and unsponsored. Within seconds of walking into my first 5 rhythms class in the Rutland centre, I remember looking at your face Caitríona and thinking ‘She’s got what I want’. I didn’t know what that was at the time! But now I know: you gave me a look that emanated a presence that few people have. It was as though somebody saw right through me for the first time ever. And in that moment, a door finally opened.
At first, moving was such a chore. It was too long, too challenging, too tedious; it was so BORING. I found it impossible to remain focused and my head would scream and SCREAM internally from the sheer discomfort of being in my body. Every part of me felt like it was on fire: “GET ME the Hell out OF me”. Caitríona, you were like an anchor – despite the intense discomfort, I came back. As I slowly started to inhabit my body, a touch from you in the dance would bring both the greatest joy and deepest pain; you stirred everything in me! I wasn’t used to having someone turn-up to me, it was unnerving! In my upside down world, where my understanding of myself and life was limited, this crazy dance gave me a way to finally meet myself and even mould myself, amidst the slowly abating chaos in my head.
And I became stronger and softer. I danced out the layers, and slowly coaxed my spirit back into my body, maybe for the first time. And I felt a belonging like none before, and learned what it was like to be in the present, to be confused, joyful and petrified and furious all at the same time, and to simply trust that I would be okay; now I’ve got the dance, after all. And over the years I danced and danced, laughed and laughed, cried and cried. Friends through the dance have come and gone, teachers have come and gone, the music has changed, the direction constantly evolving. You, however, remain beautiful, consistent Caitríona. Always something worthwhile to say, always an honesty, always a real and loving connection with your group.
When I have been laid raw by the dance, your arms have been like that warm blanket around me, so full of kindness and knowing. Few people I can put my hand on heart and shout out loud that I love, you are one of them.
I trust you totally; you have made my life richer.
Lessons from 5R
My body communicates more clearly than my words.
Change cannot be forced.
Skills learned through 5R
To trust my body, to listen and learn from my body.
To be ‘in the present’.
To connect with the heart.
To accept myself as I am.
Heartfelt thanks Caitríona!
“FROM CHASM TO GENTLENESS”
At the end of this on-going I entered a period of physical and emotional sludge. When Liz first mooted the idea of this book, I thought “oh no. I want this on-going group to be over and now there is another task ahead.” In the milieu was not wanting to be missing from it … reluctance to write… reluctance to engage. I couldn’t face writing anything down or engaging with technology, even with the wonderful flow of energy emanation from this project and Liz’s big heartedness in taking this on and carrying it through. So that to you all, I’m finally putting pen to paper.
When I first came to a 5 Rhythms workshop with Caitríona, I was thrilled to work in this way. We could move and dance, which I love and no words were necessary. It felt liberating and allowed me to be more than I could have thought possible. It was like learning a new language which was more expressive and expansive than any language I’d previously known. I still remember my sense of delight that first time. Since then I feel blessed to have had so many opportunities to practice with Caitríona and other 5 Rhythm teachers in Ireland and abroad, and also to practice with others in Dublin and close to home.
It is one practice that has helped me connect more with my emotions than I used to. I’ve learned to trust much more how my body moves. When I’ve being going through tough times I connected into this practice, I feel less defined by negative emotions and more open to possibilities. It is so lovely to witness and be witnessed. To be seen just as I am and for that to be okay. To let the undercurrents emerge. To let life unfold more and to push less. To cry and to laugh. To be supported and sometimes to support. To stop and rest. To see the children I teach in their shadow and light and honour that.
Caitríona, it is no accident that I’ve done so many workshops facilitated by you. I love your earthiness, sense of humour, passion and clarity. But most of all I trust you. You create a safe place for us to dig deep and yet not to be overwhelmed by it all. I’ve been touched by your warmth and support. When things were falling apart, you sat down and listened and helped me anchor myself. You have a wonderful presence that tunes into us all. And I look forward to more from the evolving neuroscientist
Lots of love,
“I LOVE DISCOVERING MYSELF”
I discovered 5 Rhythms as part of my many faceted journey in life. This journey has become ever richer in recent years and I truly believe that what I need most at a particular time will simply present itself to me as 5 Rhythms more or less did. I love music rhythm and dance and I love discovering myself so imagine my delight to find such a lovely opportunity for the 2 combined. I’ve taken part in the practice without too much attention to the theory so far. What I’m getting from it is a sense of community first and foremost. Secondly I think the chance to see choices, to make connections from one way of being to anther, embodying this, and expanding my repertoire for how I can be in this world. And experiencing the deep regret I sometimes feel about how I’ve limited myself to date without even knowing it.
“I can see clearly now the pain has gone…”
For me the 5 Rhythms has been a long and slow coming home to my self. Feeling my feelings… It has been a barometer that tells me when things are out of kilter, helping me to tap into where am I at? Whether that’s feeling ungrounded, confused, all over the place, spaced out, stuck or going with the flow, focused, finding my centre in the midst of chaos, feeling light heartedness and reflective. Just knowing or having a sense of what rhythm I am in, whether its comfortable being there or not, lets me know that this too shall pass… I don’t need to feel stuck, I can breathe, move, and soak up the feeling if I want it to pass, instead of being freaked out with trying to figure it out with my head… Or I can celebrate those times when things are going well with me, embracing my successes as this too shall pass… The 5 Rhythms have given me the keys to my own freedom. Here I can be myself. This is where I am free to play….
“JOY OF FREEDOM-FREEDOM OF JOY”
Sheer utter total ECSTATIC blissful JOY – That’s what Caitríona’s teaching of 5 Rhythms have brought to me.
The FREEDOM to be, absolutely, completely and WHOLEHEARTEDLY whatever I am at that moment. No judgements, no expectations.
That’s what I learn to experience on the dance floor. SAFELY. And then float it outside to life.
What a gift! MINDFULNESS becomes a welcome buddy.
Limited movements with a RESTRICTED body unfurl to SWIRLING TWIRLING EXPANSION with new-found FULLNESS of being.
TRANSFORMATION comes in moments, or longer. The tough bits, the lighter bits, the depth of being opens to EXPRESSION. Every little itsy bitsy of it.
Learning how tweaking a muscle here, lifting a shoulder there, light movement of a hip, can transform an inner state.
The deliciousness of my body’s FLUID and RHYTHMIC movement bring me out of wherever and into the depths of my soul.
CONNECTION with others- they’re at it too! Much FUN as the lightness of our beings peeps out for some mischief.
All of us tasting life with our bodies’ movements; grounded, centered, free, light and peaceful.
Through the glorious medium of DANCE. With gorgeous RHTHMIC music and teaching sometimes firm, sometimes gentle, great humour and ALWAYS SAFE, I get to experience LOVE. Of myself ….others….life..my body….existence.
My gratitude Caitríona
“MY ONGOING JOURNEY THROUGH SHADOW & LIGHT “
Why do I keep going back for more, when I often come away feeling low? And in distress!
It’s like life, calling over and over, to live, to live more fully, more joyfully!
A place to query how I live my life, A safe space to move
Stir up whatever bubbles beneath the surface, beneath the smiling facade!
I have seen and experienced more On the floor, with Caitríona.
Felt the fear, even befriended it, and the anger and the sadness.
Emotions that I had tried to avoid at all costs, Kept pulling me in, like a magnet.
To experience over and over again, the life in those emotions, And the life after them too.
The joy, the calm, the stillness!
So whatever it is Caitríona, On your dance floor, It continues to draw me back.
Like the moon pulling the tides, To go for more of what you offer.
More opportunities to dip into reality, Into my own core, To the treasure within!
And you Caitríona provide the framework, The chrysalis from which we can grow
And develop and soften and emerge, Into new creations!
What more can I say? What more need I say?
Thank you from my heart!
5 Rhythms® Video Testimonials