Like many high-achieving professionals, you may have days when you speed through your agenda smoothly and effortlessly, and still have plenty of energy to spare.
You may also find sometimes that you have a surprising ability to persevere through long periods of activity, with very little that can possibly get in the way.
On those days, life has a certain ease and flow to it.
On the other hand, most of us can relate to times when we’ve felt completely out of step with our lives. You may even feel like that now.
On those days, work can seem like a struggle; blockages emerge in our relationships; obstacles seem to lurk around every corner; and we feel tense, pressurised and exhausted.
We are out of balance. We might try to wrestle with the situation, in order to win back control, or simply give in to it, and render ourselves powerless.
Either way, our attention is placed on factors that are external to us.
And there is a strong likelihood that we have disconnected from our own, natural rhythm and beat.
So what do we mean by ‘rhythm’?
And is it realistic to trust it, let alone align with it?
When you think about it, the concept of rhythm permeates all of our lives. It has featured across cultures for as long as man has existed, from rap singers to military marches, to tribal dancing and church choirs. And in even in our language, we often use expressions like 'getting into our groove'; 'beating our own drum'; 'stepping up'; and 'being in or out of sync'.
More than a metaphor, rhythm is the energetic heartbeat of life.
It is movement.
We see it in the tides, in the moon cycles, in the seasons - everywhere.
And it exists within all of us.
Just think back to a time when you were in your most rhythmic flow.
The experience can differ from person to person, but for many, it feels like we’re unstoppable. We notice that we perform our daily tasks more quickly and with seemingly less effort, than when we’re forcing ourselves or pushing against the tide.
We become more creative. Our thinking is clearer – of a higher quality, you might say. We are more present or mindful to what’s happening around us, while staying calmer and relatively detached. We’re also less inclined to be triggered emotionally.
This is often a great time too, to tackle any challenging or complex tasks that we’ve been putting off. What’s more, we’re often much better able to withstand external distractions, or those familiar worries and concerns that normally threaten to hijack our efforts.
It’s a happier place to be, all round; a lot more fulfilling, satisfying and really quite joyful. We are more effective, innovative and productive in our endeavours and our relationships seem to flourish.
The rest of the world gets to benefit too. Because when we show up consistently as our best Selves, when we are more aligned to who we really are, we bring our true qualities, gifts and talents to everything and everybody that we touch.
This state of ‘being’ and its resultant impact, usually comes as a consequence of finding a natural rhythm and pace that suits our needs.
How You Can Feel Your Natural Rhythm
We all move to our own vibration, and finding that vibration is possible by tuning in to our bodies and becoming more aware, more connected with the rhythm of life.
Here are three of my favourite practices for connecting with your rhythm and finding your natural state of being.
The heartbeat rhythm is primal—the mother of all rhythms and the rhythm we first heard inside our mother’s womb. Its cadence ranges from a resting heart rate of seventy-two beats a minute, or adagio, which literally means “at ease,” to andante, or moderate, like a walking pace.
Simply placing your hand on your heart connects you to your own rhythm, and is a steadying reminder that this inner beat is pulsing within you always.
If you’re alive, you have rhythm.
The rhythm of breathing is a natural, balanced pattern of inhale and exhale, giving our bodies the chance to receive and release. How we breathe has a significant impact on our health and wellness, and our breath is a barometer of our state of being.
Relax, and we breathe more deeply. Under stress, our breath becomes shallow. Become aware of this breathing rhythm, and you will be more present and connected to your body.
Walking is a two-beat pattern, a double beat, which in music is known as “duple meter.” In the walking beat, we learn the subtle contrast between downbeat and upbeat. In the downbeat, we feel a sense of grounding, like steps walking on the earth. In the upbeat, we feel lifted powerfully in the space between each pulse.
Walking in solitude allows you the chance to find your own pace, as opposed to keeping in step with others, causing you to take on their momentum and energy.
Allow your walking to synchronise with your breathing …. Breathe in (step 1-2-3); breathe out (step 1-2-3). Extend it out if you wish….. Breathe in (step 1-2-3-4); breathe out (step 1-2-3-4). Slow it down, speed it up, vary it, and soon you'll settle into your own pace.
The Power to Regulate our Being
With these practices, and many others too (you may have a favourite way to access your own rhythm), we give ourselves the power to regulate our 'being' and return to balance whenever we choose. We can also more easily detect the rhythm, or energy, that exists within other people and in situations that we meet.
Once we learn to tune in to life’s groove and start to trust our own, natural way of being in the world, we are greeted with a stronger sense of inner knowing and strength.
Not only are we better able to create ease and flow whenever we want; we feel better equipped to start taking risks, trying out new projects, and putting ourselves ‘out there’ in more ways than ever before.
A completely new adventure awaits us, once we find our own rhythm and groove.