Yesterday morning, Facebook brought word that Gabrielle Roth, founder of the 5Rhythms® movement-meditation practice, had died. The 5Rhythms takes you through Flowing, Staccato, Chaos and Lyrical into Stillness, each representing a different aspect of ourselves, as well as our journey from birth to death. This beautiful, cathartic dance has the power to connect us with who we truly are and has inspired thousands of people around the globe.
I was privileged to spend two whole Augusts studying with Gabrielle in California back in 2000 and 2001. Overshadowed by this news, I felt drawn to Recoleta Cemetery, as it’s the place I can most easily switch off and lose myself – and find myself at the same time. I’d already been there twice since returning to Buenos Aires a few weeks ago, but a blog-worthy photograph had as yet eluded me. On arrival, I whispered a request to the universe that I might focus on enjoying my few hours of exploring and taking photos there, rather than on trying to engineer a ‘perfect’ shot.
That is something I learnt from Gabrielle and her teachers: to be in the present and drop any expectations (easier said than done, but something I aspire to). As I went on my way, it began to dawn on me just how much the 5Rhythms has influenced me.
With the bells sounding to warn that the cemetery gates would soon shut, I slipped down a side street that I knew would give a good reflection of Sarmiento’s monument, with its mighty condor. This, Spirit soaring, was my last shot of the day. It is my tribute to Gabrielle Roth, aka urban shaman and mother raven. I have a vivid imagination, I know, but I see a bird taking flight from human form – and crossing the veil that divides our worlds the bird is free.