So much has changed in my work and world that I’d like to give you a catch-up, particularly for if you’re interested in training with ZeroOne, but also just if you’ve been following my work.
Let’s go back a bit.
Deep in a ceremony, midsummer 2014, I was given an insight into the nature of truth. I made a film about it, as some of you might remember.
Well, careful what you . . .
At the time, I was globetrotting around, one of the more experienced 5Rhythms teachers on the planet. I was lapping up the kudos and often felt pretty good about myself. However, my home-self was significantly less glossy than my teacher-self, and shadowy patterns lurked around in the basement. Something wasn’t quite right. Still, the mantle of success felt good. I rode that magic carpet far and wide, keeping my head above the waters of deeply buried fear/guilt/shame knots. For the most part.
By the end of that year though, my personal life was completely unravelling. I landed right inside the ways I was being dishonest with myself, the ways I was hiding and denying. When I first started falling into my own abyss, it was terrifying. All the resources I have learned through decades of movement practice helped me not to freeze, but it was still incredibly difficult.
I began to feel increasingly at odds with that mantle of success as a teacher. ‘Mantle’ is an interesting word, in that it means cloak-like authority or reputation, from which we talk about ‘dismantling’. This is what I have been doing—dismantling the persona of ‘teacher’. It had become a trap.
We are living in remarkable times. One overarching headline could be the dismantling of patriarchal perspectives and practices across the board. Part of that is the nature of leadership, and I passionately believe that the guru/dictator/superman model is over. There’s something else emerging everywhere, a style of leadership that is transparent about personal issues and stays on the same level as everyone else whilst still being willing to steer the ship.
That’s a stretch, perhaps especially while it’s relatively new for us collectively. We do need to learn from each other, and that involves some degree of putting ourselves in someone else’s hands. There’s a power imbalance that necessarily comes into the dynamic — that’s how it functions. To relate as mentor/mentee involves an element of hierarchy, but it can be in terms of competence in the chosen field rather than of one’s humanity per se.
I want to learn from people who have gone further than I have in their field. In the role of ‘teacher’ I am willing to stand for having some worthwhile experience under my belt. However, to be healthy, the teacher needs a deep commitment to honesty and humility. Also, on both sides there has to be a recognition that we’re all dealing with our next step into the unknown, along with ego’s endless attempts at sabotage. And that is a case of being back at square one, over and over again.
When I first decided to let go of the 5Rhythms, I had no idea what I was taking on. The vision of what ZeroOne might become was already there. I imagined that I would simply sort out some practical things and set about bringing that vision to earth. I didn’t even begin to realise what that would require of me on a personal level.
On the one hand there has been the dismantling of my teacher’s persona (still working on that!). Also though, I had no idea how scary it would be to stand up and say “Hey, I’ve got a vision!”. I was completely taken aback by how triggered I was. It didn’t quite make sense to me at first. I couldn’t understand it. I took these fears into my practice over and over again, finding the courage to keep going, but it was the love of those close to me that held the key. Their support helped me to relax into the places where I’m vulnerable and in need of loving. I’ve come to realise that rather than using movement practice to find strength and courage, I could use it to slow down and feel. To stop, even. Just stop: very very gently.
There’s a place for wild dance and catharsis, no question, but I’ve discovered something easy to miss through my Leonine love of dramatic experience. This slowing down is proving utterly transformative for me personally, but it’s also transforming my work. It’s very sobering to see that the early wounding I took, with the distortion of my relationship to mothering, women, and the archetypal feminine, has taken so long to heal. I mean — you have no idea! — the depth of journeys I’ve done on dance floors, the bodywork, the therapy, the plant-medicine journeys…
I’m learning a lot about how movement work can help us recover from trauma; how to truly heal rather than just overriding our hurt with yet another way of being in action mode. It’s easy to practice in a way that feels good while we’re dancing wildly, but leaves us crashing soon afterwards. This is crucial now, with the surge in awareness of how traumatised most of us are. Collectively, we’re carrying a cry of agony and fear as a group-body, all of us humans together. Maybe our pain will be the thing that will finally bring us together. Could be.
Even more specifically, I am learning how difficult it can be to heal trauma from pregnancy, birth, and preverbal years. I knew that intellectually, but it’s another thing to walk the path for real, looking back and seeing my footprints staggering all over the place. It’s another thing to find compassion for my haltingly slow progress despite knowing what the problem was. Then another whole level to see the limitations of the way I used to practice and teach movement, and learn new ways.
Bringing the still, silent, spacious presence of Zero into a central position has been pivotal. It changed everything, enabling me to connect with subtleties within my movement that I had skated over for years. The feedback is that you are finding it transformative too. I’m grateful for all the support and encouragement I’ve had from so many of you.
All this is work in progress. I’ll continue learning how to teach in a new way that fits what I’m discovering. Without rushing. Which is great, but it means I’m nowhere near offering a training. Some of you are asking, but it’s not time yet.
Thank you for reading.
May we walk in beauty.