I want to talk about the edge today, being that I've put myself on a bit of one. I'm traveling and teaching in Europe with some distinct language disadvantages. I was just in Mallorca, Spain - not fluent in either Spanish or Catalan; the island and its people unknown to me, and with few English-speaking residents. Then I was in France, and with only one year of French lessons 35 y years ago, and only two short visits in my life, again in the unknown. I felt discomfort - yes, discomfort. The discomfort is both an excitement and an edge. I think sometimes we are mistaken that the edge is about having strict and forceful boundaries, or about taking oneself out of control, when perhaps it is simply to put ourselves in a little discomfort. You see, the line of discomfort is where growth is possible. I wonder about going to the edge as purposeful action - to take oneself into the unknown - specifically to stretch the edges of the being. This is the root of the rhythm of staccato, and perhaps the entire map within the 5Rhythms cosmology.
Blessings and love, Visudha
Skirting the Edge
Taking oneself to the edges of comfort into the unknown territory stretches our edges. I was reminded of childhood games earlier this week, when I played Truth or Dare with my Mallorca host family at a small dinner party. When I was young, Truth or Dare was fun, but with my adult comrades, it was more edgy, while still being playful. In this delightful evening, we stretched each other's emotional and authentic beings; we practiced clarity and boundaries in regards to what we were comfortable in expressing to each other. We were creative, and encouraged creativity as we dared each other to sing, share poetry, and even do interpretive goat dances. Going to the edge will always bring us to new edges, and by doing this, the edge keeps moving further away. Each time we stretch we become more whole human beings. When we take ourselves out of our element we expand our capacity for experience, expression and evolution. Going into the unknown can be uncomfortable and edgy and yet on the same continuum, quite exciting! In this we build our flexibility muscle and life becomes more exciting and open. There is much science around how humans expand their brain synapses by doing new things and having new experiences. As one tries new things, the neurological network grows. I believe these new neural pathways in the body create new neural pathways in the consciousness of life.
Try new things - for example - travel, go back to school, take on a new hobby, or drive a different way to work every day.
1) When you enter the 5Rhythms dance floor - even if the music is warmup or flow music, take your self into the rhythm of chaos (or any other rhythm other than flow, the normal starting position). Challenge your body memory, and your habits, to start from a different place. 2) Another practice from the 5Rhythms cosmology is to always position yourself and your belongings on the dance floor in a different location for every class. 3) When you find yourself stagnant, purposefully take yourself out of the comfort zone by doing something you wouldn't normally do - perhaps eat out by yourself, or attend an opera or concert of music you normally wouldn't attend. Strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. Instead of coffee, drink tea. 4) If you normally turn right when you enter a space, turn left - or vice-versa: turn right if you always turn left. 5) Expand your horizons: learn a new language, take up a musical instrument, learn partner dancing, write poetry, or start painting. 6) Even if it's not perfect, do it, and don't take anything personally! I don't see myself as a writer - and neither do many others, but I also receive feedback that my monthly newsletters are helpful. Both are true, and by stretching myself this way, and putting myself out there, I've developed relationships, and helped others. I've also learned as critique has been offered.