This week’s Dance First Spotlight is on Adam barley & ZeroOne!

Movement, Honesty, and Psychedelics

What a wild ride we’re on. I’m so grateful that I learnt how to let go of everything on a thousand dance floors with Gabrielle Roth in the 1990s. I remember her saying back then, “If you’re not scared, your feet aren’t listening to the earth.” I’ve always had a high level of fear-response going on in my nervous system, so learning how to let that adrenaline-fueled energy move through my body was crucial back then and remains so now.

Fear has a bad rap, but it’s not the problem it’s made out to be. The dysfunction is in the way we turn our fear in on itself, on the run from our feelings and avoiding the truth of our vulnerability.

Movement remains my number one go-to resource when I’m out of balance or triggered, but I have learnt the hard way that dance alone is not enough. We have to find the courage and creativity to speak as we dance: honest, spontaneous, embodied and emotionally fluent, listening at the same time as expressive. I realised during the Covid times that I needed more skills in this area, so I took a year-long training with Gabor Maté in his Compassionate Inquiry approach. (If you haven’t seen the film about his work, I can highly recommend it: The Wisdom of Trauma.)

Also, through that course I met some extraordinary individuals creating pathways in very different fields to my own, which has been super-interesting. Among other things, I’ve come to understand the current surge of interest in psychedelic-assisted therapies. Plant medicines can be uniquely powerful teachers when used carefully and consciously, with a healthy set-up and context.

In November, I’ll co-lead a retreat in Bolivia — Re-Creation — that will blend movement and family constellations with plant medicines (San Pedro and psilocybin). All four of us leading the retreat are Compassionate Inquiry facilitators.

We have two blind spots. Movement helps us beyond one of them — the blah-blah we get into with our thinking — giving us access to our gut instincts and wild natural creativity like nothing else. But honest heartfelt communication is needed to reveal what lies beyond our other blind spot. Without that, we can get lost in a sea of intense experience, rushes of energy and altered states of consciousness that never really land in the ordinary day-to-day world. We need both: movement and words.

ZeroOne practice is aimed in this direction, to cover both. To let go and lead with the body, and then to complete the circle with understanding and presence.

Come to Re-Creation if you want that kind of deep dive and multi-dimensional approach, or explore simple movement practices that you can undertake at home with any of the other ZeroOne events listed here:

Wishing you well in these troubled times…