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Get Your Flu Shot in a Drum Circle?

Circles Of Rhythm - The Integrated Community Drum Circle - Calgary, AB - The #1 Community Drum Circle in Canada!

By:  Judy Atkinson

Living Well Between the Beats

Last Friday night I attended the first Circles of Rhythm drum circle in 2019 and the following quote, which was written after my very first drum circle in 1997, came to mind and became a reality once again:

“I walked into the drum circle sad and weary, I walked out on fire!”

The drums were beating, the lights were dimmed, hearts were opening and joy was in the air.  I closed my eyes and felt the skin of my drum; it was pulsating, physically moving to the heart beat of the circle, connected to every person there, to every hand, every heart. Everyone was engaging and involved whether listening, drumming, dancing or sitting quietly, everyone was giving and receiving in harmony, connected, ONE. 

Then it happened! Joy rushed through me like lightening.  It was electric; goosebumps raised every hair on my body and I was taken back to the feeling I had at my first drum circle so many years ago.  That feeling was one of hope, fearlessness, connection and pure unadulterated JOY!

This experience was a reminder that the drum circle is a place where I can go when I am sad, lonely or world-weary.  It is a place where I can go to have an actual in-the-body experience of hope for our seemingly falling down world; a place where I can let go of my own fear, worry and doubt for a while and just let the rhythm of those gathered hold me.  

Image taken @WUB_Gathering 2018 in Banff, AB

Circles of Rhythm drum circles are like flu shots providing an immune boost for hopeful thinking while counterbalancing the negativity in the news and media.  Over time the drum circle has helped me come to know deep down that the purpose of life is to live fully, to embrace it all, the good and the not so good, getting help and support when I need it, offering it when needed by others and truly enjoying the beauty of this earth and good times as they present themselves as well. 

“Years of attending drum circles has helped me to know that heaven on earth is not something to seek or to look for, it is something that comes through me when I allow it, notice it, and set myself up for it by putting myself in those places and with those people who know this too!”   –Judy Atkinson, Messenger of Joy

 So, let heaven come through you in 2019.  Stop trying so hard to feel good. It’s easy in a drum circle, you just have to show up as often as possible and get dose after dose of good medicine.  You will begin to know that goodness and harmony are not only possible but right here in front of you, pulsating through you wanting to be heard and acknowledged.   Joy is awaiting you in the drum circle, come get your flu shot, of joy regularly. 

See you in the circle!

Judy Atkinson, Founder: Circles of Rhythm

Author: The Drum Code, Living Well Between the Beats,403-862-5654

Judy Atkinson continues to support the growth and development of Circles of Rhythm from afar while she travels – and – as a board member of the Circles of Rhythm Foundation. Thank you Judy for your ongoing support, wisdom, and strength over the years.
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Culture and Drumming

I had the honor of drumming with some Japanese students on their visit to Canada. Twelve drum circles over the course of three days. Intense! Each group was a class of 25 students all learning the English language. They were visiting Canada and came out to Canmore area to spend time in the Canadian Rockies. They spent one of their days out at Boundary Ranch and were able to participate in four amazing experiences. Dream catcher making, dog sledding, snow shoeing and a drum circle!

The drum circle was a highlight of their time, for both myself and them. Each group had their own gifts to bring to the circle, but as the workshops went on I began to notice and appreciate the culture of the Japanese people. Some of the things I noticed were, a deep respectful nature, a real focus on attention to detail, and getting the rhythms just right, and how the girls played so softly, and the boys played as loud as they could! By the end of the circles they were having so much fun and really getting into the synergy of drumming together.

On the last day the youth were clearly all needing some space to just relax, they had been having such a full week already. The first group to come through was practically falling asleep on their drums! I was thinking that the rest of the groups would be the same. But you can never really know what to expect, so I stayed open for the next group. To my surprise they were FULL of zest! This group absolutely loved the drum circle. They loved it so much that they asked to come back on their lunch break to have a spontaneous drum circle. I let them get into it on their own, without facilitation. This spontaneous drumming was so joyful and free, and it was exactly what any facilitator hopes to see. They were using all the skills I had shown them in their facilitated drum circle, and it drew a crowd of the other students to share in the joy.

Our drum circles are not specific to one culture, and it really shows that everyone in the human race can come together with the drum, it is a language all on its own. We overcame the boundary of language, and created true communication without words.  We created such a memorable experience for these teens, that they will bring back and remember for the rest of their lives.

I am so excited to work with them again next year already!!

Written by
Jamie Gore

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Planting Seeds

Story from a Drum Circle

On Saturday September 26th, the Springbank Hill Community Association had its first annual Cultural day. The clouds over the open field began to clear as we unloaded the drums and set up the chairs. By the time the circle was scheduled to begin the sky was blue!

One grandmother was standing proudly behind her two teen grandchildren. After two rounds of drumming she sat in a chair next to them. I noticed that her grand daughter did have a disability, and I kept on encouraging this girl and praising her engagement. After the third round of drumming, the grandmother was fully engaging as well!

WE had a great hour of drumming together and it was then time to pack up to leave. As I was about to get in the van to drive away, the grandmother and her two teen grandchildren approached me. ‘I want to say thank-you’ said the grandma, ‘If you can know one thing from today, it is that you have done something wonderful. My grand-daughter here believed that she can’t do anything. You showed her today, that she can indeed do something, so I thank-you.’

You never know what kind of impact you have in a person’s life. Sometimes you may interact with someone and have no idea how you have made their life a little better. This grandmother let me know how by simply encouraging and allowing, her grand daughter was able to feel successful.

If we all keep on planting seeds of kindness, care, support and joy wherever we go, some may actually grow to bear beautiful fruit in another person’s life.

Written by Jamie Gore

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Parkland Music Festival!

2013-06-22 11.57.51We had a lovely morning warming up the people from the Parkland community for their annual music festival.  Kids and their parents showed up to play drums, connect and enjoy the creation of recreational music together.  We were happy to have a break in the weather to play.  The sun shone on us this morning!

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Three Festive Season Drum Circles!

Join us in Airdrie, Calgary and Cochrane for three Festive Season Drum Circles before Christmas!

We will serve Hot Apple Cider, Ginger Cookies and light lots of candles to celebrate the coming of light, longer days, and gratitude for all the abindance in our lives.  Mostly lets all celebrate unconditional love, tis the season of love and light, so lets celebrate.  Check our calendar for details!