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Personal Rhythm

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Rhythm & Blues

   Demonstrating Dog Rhythm

Demonstrating Dog Rhythm

Everyone and everything has a different rhythm. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Time Travels, July, 2010)

No, I’m not changing my focus to commentary on music. Whew! I was musing about a title for the topic as it emerged this morning, realizing that being out of my rhythm in my daily life makes me blue (at best, but honestly it makes me cranky and downright disagreeable to which others can attest). 

I wonder if the simple answer for many of life’s conundrums isn’t for each of us to get into our unique rhythm, not the one that the world and its systems have imposed, but the one that is unique to us. What if angst and conflict in relationships is rooted in nothing more than that our individual rhythms clash?  What if the anger and fear that we witness daily in the world is growing from those same roots?

This musing comes from self-observation through several recent experiences. I’ve experienced the cellular constriction (I personally feel it in my shoulders, neck and stomach) of stress and the internal chaos that ensued as I attempted to meet what I perceived as a demand from someone I’m working on a project with.  I realized that the stress was my body’s reaction to being taken out of its natural rhythm and flow.  As I looked deeper, I also found that there was no demand imposed by another at all, rather what I believed to be an expectation that I didn’t take time to check out.

I’ve also experienced the joy and ease of flow spending several days with a friend with no plan, no schedule and no expectation.  We each honored our unique individual needs, desires, and rhythms coming together with minimal planning for meals, conversations, and an entire afternoon and evening watching movies and loving on our pups.

The later represents what an easy flow life holds the potential to be.  We find that ease reflected all around in nature. Each tree grows in its rhythm. Baby birds hatch. They are fed by parents. They grow and fledge in their unique rhythm. The rhythm changes in response to weather, food, and surrounding conditions. The rhythm of the flowing creek changes from season to season: slowing in the winter cold, moving with more velocity the temperature warms and ice and snow melt.

   Growing Up ... When Will They Fledge?

Growing Up ... When Will They Fledge?

Perhaps as we navigate the complexities we’ve created in our relationships and the systems of the world, one of the basics that we might return to is discovering and honoring the individual rhythm that is uniquely ours. Perhaps some of the ‘blues’ (and worse) that we experience can be remedied by letting go of that which is not compatible with our rhythm, including beliefs, habits, other people, projects, jobs, and the list and the beat go on.

What’s your experience?  What do you think?

   The Sun Has Her Rhythm Too!

The Sun Has Her Rhythm Too!

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Back to School/Back to Joy

   Early Morning Orbs at the Ziggurat

Early Morning Orbs at the Ziggurat

If we are to live in joy and in accomplishment, we must release our cells from self-imposed restrictions so they can sense, interpret and move us with the changing times. We need to be ready to respond and to use our experiences to our advantage.  Gregge Tiffen (What You Should Get From Education - 2007

It’s ‘back to school’ week here in the Sangres. This morning’s quote provided me with the ‘back to school’ jolt I needed to recognize that I’d fallen into a pattern of rote response to daily events. No joy. No awareness of using those events to my advantage.

Fortunately ‘back to school’ didn’t require pre-school shopping and scurrying around (plenty of the later just tending to life). I simply needed to STOP, breathe, recognize and reset.  I stopped early yesterday, putting my head on the pillow before darkness fell.  I wasn’t aware just what that stopping would bring, and after a few deep breaths of gratitude, I was fast asleep.

It was only when I hit the books this morning for the spark of inspiration to kick off this week’s post that I took the time to recognize (and acknowledge) that I was slogging through events each day.  I was ‘getting things done’ and in the doing I was more focused on what needed to be done next than on the activity at hand.

I wasn’t miserable, but I definitely felt stressed. And, where there is stress, there is no joy and little, if any true accomplishment. Yes, tasks get done, but without the awareness needed for the experience to bring forth any wisdom. Unknowingly, I’d stepped back into some old ways, rotely responding to Luke’s needs, my garden’s call to ‘come harvest’, preparing meals, running my B&B, attending a county commissioner’s meeting, and a host of other ‘to dos’.  The quote above woke me up to that awareness with the recognition that I was moving through life with a sense of dread.

So this day (and probably several that follow) is dedicated to resetting and getting me back in tune.  I started on our morning walk, putting my attention on feeling the cool air, smelling the freshness, and hearing the quiet of early morning in this beautiful place.  I set aside the ‘to do’ list and stayed present, allowing the beauty of the day to envelope me. I returned home, interacted with a departing guest, cared for Luke and then took myself out on the deck with a nourishing bowl of fruit and cup of tea. 

I took some time to reflect on this process of ‘resetting’ and outlined what I wanted to commit to in this reset:

·        Take time as each task is complete to recognize the accomplishment.

·        Step into each task with joy and gratitude.

·        Keep my attention on the task at hand, not ‘what’s next’.

·        Take care of me – rest and nourishment when I need them (not when I have time for them).

I’m clear that the return to my old ways of moving through each day put me out of sync with the current patterns of the Universe and of me. Perhaps that’s true on such a broad scale that the world is in ever increasing chaos.  What if we each checked our settings regularly to ensure that we are in tune? What kind of world would we create if we simply took time to stop, breathe, recognize, and reset?

   The Tree of Joy and Wisdom!

The Tree of Joy and Wisdom!

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Staying In Tune With Our Unique Rhythm

   Sometimes we play ...

Sometimes we play ...

Everyone and everything has a different rhythm.   Conditions become chaotic when you are not in a position to manage the harmonics of your core energy to create.  Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Time Travels – July, 2010)

As I look back on a fun, whirlwind week with visiting friends and ahead to the many guests scheduled to stay here at the Dragonfly House over the next several weeks, I have a keen awareness of just how different our individual rhythms are. Each of us marches to the beat of our own drummer.  Or, we give our power to others (partners, employers, children, etc.) to set our pace.  We might even use goals or set deadlines that are contrary to our natural rhythm in an effort to be ‘productive’.

Learning my rhythm continues to be a big part of my life experiment and experience. Although the learning never stops, I’d say that I do a pretty good job of honoring my natural rhythm as I understand it. I think that my greatest learning is doing so with grace (or at least a modicum thereof).

None of us live in isolation. Our lives require coordination with others and with their unique rhythms and commitments.  Perhaps it’s no wonder that there is so much chaos and discordance in our world. It makes me wonder:

What if one of the keys to personal (and, therefore, planetary) peace is to learn to maintain our rhythm while allowing others with whom we live, work, and play to do the same?

The simplicity of this idea draws me inward. Looking back for just a moment, I notice how testy and demanding I become when I’m feel that staying in my rhythm is threatened. I have little room for grace.

A deep breath and a spark of curiosity open the door for wondering how I might engage with others by putting rhythm on the table as a part of the conversation. It seems to me that doing so would create an environment that is much friendlier, one where grace might show up naturally with ease.  I think it will take some experimentation and lots of practice to master maintaining my rhythm with grace.

And, the resulting personal peace will be well worth the effort. 

After thousands of years of war, perhaps learning to step into our own rhythm with grace may contribute one small step toward creating not just a peaceful personal life, but peace on the planet as well.

   Other times we rest.

Other times we rest.

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