We all have our personal version of time consumption. The way we habitually utilize energy, how hours of any day fill and empty, how we spend the coinage of our life. Sometimes these patterns are unconscious until something shifts. I wasn’t prepared for an evolution that snuck up on me in January. I just woke up one day and realized it had arrived. There’s always a back-story, right?
2005, watershed year, year I totally signed on to create a viable Sacramento dance community. Actually started making mini-moves toward that reality. Same year I sold Dreizler Physical Therapy…at last. The luxury of perspective connects these two events. Fifteen years later the roots of this recent shift seem clear as day. Funny how the obvious can be not obvious.
Within a year of the clinic sale, the creative spirit fueling that business’s success poured into my own growth around dance and this slow build of community. I continued to see patients if they found me and kept feeling into ways physical therapy informed yoga. But these endeavors simmered on a quiet back burner. Way back burner.
I was pretty clueless about the depth of the new business dive I’d taken until it became unmanageable. Administrative help was desperately required: organizational development, bookkeeping, crew. Even with help, the sheer amount of nitty-gritty detail became uber-time consumptive. I never wavered. What happens out there on Wednesday night, Sunday morning, the occasional workshop looks pretty straightforward, simple, smooth. I like that it looks that way. Looks are a bit deceiving.
Two years ago I could feel the writing quietly inscribing itself on the wall. The 15 year anniversary of this dance endeavor (same length of time I owned the PT clinic) loomed side-by side with my impending 70th birthday. Interesting. The depth of my illness last year cinched it for me. It was time to let go. And dancing right by my side is an amazing being, increasingly ready to competently pick up the reins. Majica Alba completes her 5Rhythms teacher training two weeks after my birthday. Witnessing her shining development as a teacher has been one of the great joys of my working life.
Year Two in our three year transition of the business began in January, meaning most of the administration stuff is now off my plate. Now hear this: I love teaching. Lord willing I’ll be at it a long, long time. But the business side that keeps it all afloat, well that chapter is coming to a close. So after 15 years of holding it together, I am just now beginning to feel what letting go actually means. Spaciousness, some freedom…not surprisingly, a burst of creativity. I’m not the type to go quietly into that dark night.
Intriguing how that creativity is showing up. There’s a juicy pull to invest a different quality of time in the dance: tending the personal as well as the teaching. To that end, opportunity has arisen for me to spend quite a bit of time at Esalen this year with Lucia Horan. I totally resonate with her fusion of 5Rhythms with Buddhist dharma. People come to the dance floor for a variety of reasons. There’s room for it all out there. I love that. For me, it’s practice as vehicle for presence, a moving meditation. So akin to yoga. All the incredible medicine available in the rhythms flow from that sacred place of here and now. Without presence the medicine does not go down. Being in Lucia’s teaching field, assisting as well, feels super-healthy. And now I have time. And it lands me at one of my favorite planet places. No brainer.
And the way back burner is fired up and delights me no end. Nearly fifty years in physical therapy has been fundamentally affected by what I’ve been up to for twenty years. Totally in love with the ever-expanding way I treat patients. And this offering of The Essentials—a distillation of all I’ve gathered over time—has been softened and integrated and amplified by the years of dance and yoga. It is so my time to grow and develop this work in the world. There are a few spots left for tomorrow’s session.
Here’s what I know for sure. An intrepid self-starting few can immerse in a workshop or one-on-one treatment and take off running down the self-care road. But most of us need encouragement. Even patients I’ve seen individually need support to show up on their own mat at home. Practicing in community, embodied remembering and creatively feeling are part of what is essential. From April through October 2020 you can receive that support one Saturday morning a month. Essential Recharge will serve as introduction and/or support for your home practice.
Let’s take a breath together here. What are you actually doing today? How are you spending the cherished coinage of your life? Everything changes. So often what is calling out speaks to us in whispers. Sometimes we need space to be still and silent in order to feel what’s truly arising. It utterly stokes my life force to hold us as we retreat from the pull of the daily and enter the soft space in which our souls reside. Let’s meet on a floor somewhere soon.