Two methods deeply affected and changed my life: 5Rhythms dance meditation and Core Energetics body psychotherapy. In 1998 I found myself at the 5Rhythms workshop and while dancing I experienced an ecstatic feeling of my own body, mixed with terrifying pain I stored in it – the pain from which I was usually running away into daydreaming and spirituality.
Determined to find the cause of unpleasant sensations that overwhelmed me during the dance, I was lucky to discover Core Energetics body psychotherapy. That’s where I heard for the first time in my life clear and simple explanations for my emotional and physical states, I learned how to face difficult intense emotions that I used to avoid even during the dance and how to root myself deeper, feeling increasingly safer with my own body and feelings. Inspired by the change I was going through, together with my partner I organised the first Croatian training in body psychotherapy whose participants (and our students) continued to spread this beautiful work.
My passion for this type of work is a result of my personal experience – in my own body and heart I felt that this really works, that taking risks is worthwhile, that deep change is possible. I live in accordance with the principles I wish to convey to everyone who is working with me: never accepting a limited expression of yourself, searching for everything you could be, but at the same time, not taking this expression of yourself too seriously.
I love this work. I love losing and finding myself in the dance. I love to feel life’s intensity in myself and others. I love the silence of mountains and wild islands. I love to see the beauty in the food I eat and the clothes I wear. I love being a mother to my son. But most of all, I love knowing that any person could teach me something new as long as I keep an open mind and open heart.
5Rhythms are a moving meditation, a dance method that gives you no steps to follow, offering instead a path to discovering a dancer in you. Fantastic things happen during that awakening process. In order to dance the 5Rhythms you don't need to wait to become slimmer, stronger, fitter or happier (and yes, you're not going to get any younger either) – you dance in the body you have right now, with the feelings you have right now. All that's required is a decision to show up and move.
The ebb and flow of the rhythms are innate to all human beings. Fluidity is our natural state but at some point in our early life we recieve a message that certain parts of us, certain energies and rhythms, are not welcome and we gradually supress them and lose contact with them. Each of the 5Rhythms embodies a certain energy, a certain type of movements, emotions and life experiences and we use the Wave (the sequence of all the 5 rhythms) to explore always anew which of those energies we live, and which ones we resist. One of the goals of this practice is to befriend every rhythm inside of us, to be equally OK with chaotic states and the states of deep stillness, with flexibility and with determination. We learn not to label any rhythm we discover in ourselves as positive or negative.
Sometimes the 5Rhythms are purely a physical practice, a way to explore the limits of our bodies, to practice physical surrendering, strength, stamina, creativity of the body, without a coreography or learned steps. Sometimes body movements evoke feelings and dance helps us to go through them, to express what hasn't been expressed and open new possibilities to ourselves. Sometimes the dance and contact with ourselves and others brings us to a state of wider consciousness and the dance becomes a spiritual merging with something larger than us; at that point we don't dance, we're being danced. Whatever your longing or curiosity is, 5Rhythms can support it.
I don't believe I can teach people the Rhythms. I feel that my task is to merely remind them that none of the rhythms ever left their amazing bodies. Every person holds all the possible rhythms inside of themselves and befriending each and every one of them means accepting ourselves (and the others) deeper, more fully and honestly.
THE 5RHYTHMS WAVE
Flowing – following needs and instincts of your body, asking yourself over and over again «How does it feel to be in the body here and now?» dancing and receiving the ever changing answers that the body gives.
Staccato – teaches us boundaries (our own and the others'), heart, focus, discipline, contact and clarity.
Chaos – surrendering to the rhythm without the ego-control; dissolving old beliefs; readiness to meet the unknown fully open and with grounded feet
Lyrical – letting go into your unique, authentic dance, creatively, lightly, playfully or ecstatically
Stillness – finding inner peace, the moving centre of your being that's always available to you
GOOD TO KNOW:
There are many reasons why people decide to come for an individual therapy sessions: some are driven by states of anxiety and depression from which they can find no way out; some come to resolve relationships issues; some have psychosomatic problems (migraines, insomnia, indigestion, aches and pains...) and some of them simply have a desire to learn more about themselves and improve the quality of their lives.
With the help of a therapist, clients reveal their own distortions and talents, visible on all personality levels – body, emotions, mind, will and spirit. On physical level we learn how to connect with the needs of our body; on emotional level we learn to decipher our feelings, their bodily manifestations, and ways of verbal and physical expression of these feelings; on mental level we search for answers as to why unpleasant situations repeat and what false beliefs and childhood situations have caused our current problems; on the voluntary level we learn how to use everything we learned and apply it step-by-step towards a change; on spiritual level we learn how to deeply connect with a feeling of inner peace and a sense of purpose.
For a therapist, as well as for the client, every bodily expression during therapy has its meaning. Many of these expressions are chronic, usual, and became part of our personality, e.g. the way of walking, facial expression, tone of voice, constant smile – these are all forms of chronic attitudes which have structured the body and put limits on the rhythmic and natural body movement.
Behind these unnatural ways of expression, there is an unconscious negative attitude –hate, fear, envy, despair or anger. If we are unable to maintain the adequate flow of these feelings, they will be forced to move in the only direction possible: back into the body, where they create energetic and physical blocks or illnesses.
Therapy is a place offering safety, therapeutic guidance and support, enabling you to enter deeply into your own “dark side”, explore and express everything that is blocking the way to your strength, wisdom and joy of life.
People often believe their pleasure is limited by lack of favourable situations in their life, but this is not true. Opportunities are always there and quite a few of them too, but our own negative intention prevents us from seeing them. In therapy, we gradually learn to let go of the victim role and to take responsibility for creation of our own life and joy.
“Core energy is available on all levels of therapy work and it is helping the client to go through difficult and painful stages of personal development. Clients learn that other people cannot move their energy – they do it. Other people cannot force them to feel something – the feelings arise because of their own subjective perceptions. Other people, including their therapist, cannot integrate them – that’s their own task.
The uniqueness of every person is shown by their core and not by their outer personality; the core contains not only positive emotions, but also the talents of mind, will and body, innate gifts of nature.” Dr. John Pierrakos