“Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”
― John Lennon
Having a discussion about holding space for people to experience the 5Rhythms the other day. The thing people call teaching but in reality feels like another kind of dancing. We talked about the ego, and how vital it is to get some perspective on that if you’re going to stand up and offer that space to others.
There’s a myth about the ego that still circulates amongst groups that see themselves as into ‘spiritual growth’ (pompously pious) and new age (so 1980’s), that somehow we’re supposed to get rid of it. I don’t think so. We can’t get rid of our ego. We can’t transform it either. It is what it is: somewhere between monstrous enemy, cardboard cut-out chimera, and multi-functional tool, depending on what day it is.
I have a good friend who’s been lucky enough to get to know many of the world’s spiritual heavy-weights, all those ‘enlightened’ ones, the big names of that world. She said that all of them, without exception, are dealing with their own ego just as much as anyone else. My ego was glad to hear that.
Our relationship to it is where we have some choice, and it’s a constant —constant! — work in progress. No exceptions, no excuses, my ego is always one step behind, like a tin can tied on to my ankle. There’s just one thing my ego can’t do, and that’s create. It can’t dance, can’t sing, can’t write. It can copy the last move I did, or someone else’s, but that’s all. It’s a brilliant imitation machine.
Standing up in front of you to ‘teach’ some class or workshop, like anyone else, I’m a strange and wonderful and terrible mixture of inspired and twisted. Constant work in progress to stay on the inspired program, and an endlessly repeating cycle of falling asleep and waking up, failing and recovering. Guess it’s just that I have learnt over the years to wake up more quickly and more gracefully than I used to. To recover my balance more quickly than I used to when I fall off-centre.
I’m noticing that I’ve written a whole thing about the ego without being funny. Oh dear….I can imagine Gabrielle tickling me. Well, it’s the best I can do right now. A psychic in Bali told me almost a year ago that I was up for a whole year of crying. At the time I couldn’t see what that would be about, but within days I had some news from my far distant past that set me off, and she’s been right: I’ve cried more this past year than any other in my whole life. Looking at the calendar, it’s about time for things to lighten up, but for now, please forgive me if I’m not very funny. Maybe I’ll get some lessons from Eliezer.
If you’re serious about this 5Rhythms path, and want to see the awfully-funny side, go do Mirrors. Get some degree of physical freedom first through practicing and studying the rhythms pure and simple, then open up your emotional world studying the Heartbeat map. Then do a Cycles workshop once or twice to get to grips with your personal story enough to let it fall into the endless empty space of the dance. Then go do Mirrors. My life was never the same again. In a good way 🙂