Finding Our Rhythms

Contributor: Greg Richardson
Photographer: Saffron & Sage
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One of the things I like most about my life is believing every day is different. I appreciate and celebrate the promise and potential of each day. When I get tired or discouraged I take comfort in knowing everything can change tomorrow.

The creativity and variety of each day takes place within the rhythm of our lives. My rhythm allows for a good deal of flexibility. Other people have their days tightly wrapped in more intricate patterns. Some of us prefer life with a more open weave.

Some of us have chosen rhythms intentionally. Others were chosen by a rhythm of their own.

We follow daily rhythms which fit into each week and weekly rhythms which fit into each month. The patterns of our years fit together into the everyday rhythm of our lives.


Unrecognized Rhythms

We may not much pay attention to the rhythms of our everyday lives. For us, things just happen.

It can be easy for us to get the sense we are driven from one project to the next. It feels like we move through life reacting to one thing after another, without a rhythm. We may see ourselves as being at the beck and call of anyone who says they need us.

Life becomes a process of skimming along the surface. We may lose sight of the deep rhythms below the surface.

Our lives may be unpredictable and we need to be flexible. Losing touch with the rhythms of life, though, takes away our opportunities to rest. When we flit from one thing to another, one person to another, we miss out on what is important. We fail to recognize and appreciate the deep rhythms which make us who we are.

There may be times when we know something is missing but we cannot put our finger on it. Something is not right, something does not fit, but we just cannot see it. It is as if we are out of sync with ourselves.

We need to feel the rhythms of our lives, to know them and remember them. There may be a great deal we know about our rhythms, but we need to experience them. It is essential for us to know how they feel.

It can help for us to spend some time each day staying in touch with our rhythms.

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

We do not need to establish or enforce artificial rhythms for ourselves.

Most people are not living in malevolent or deleterious rhythms. It is not that we are rhythmically wrong each day and are trying to fix ourselves. For many of us, the discomfort we feel comes from a dissonance or not recognizing our rhythms.

We realize we have lost touch with the rhythm of our lives and try to impose a new one.

People look in lots of places to find the rhythm they no longer feel within themselves. Some of us put our heads down and try to push our way through what we feel. Others lose hope and surrender, assuming they just need to live without rhythm now. Some may look for a healthy rhythm in their relationships to other people. I know people who try to feel the rhythm of their lives through other artificial means.

The healthiest rhythms I have found come from within me. As I pause to listen and take deep breaths, I find myself resonating with deep rhythms around me. I do not need to force myself into someone else’s rhythm, but relax back into my own.

Restoring Everyday Rhythms

Through my experiences I have learned a few lessons about rhythms. 

First, it is important for me to find and restore my own rhythm before I help someone else. If I cannot feel the deep rhythms which give me life, how can I help strengthen anyone else?

Second, I need to restore my appreciation for the rhythms of life more than once a day. It is helpful for me to set specific times throughout the day to remember.

Third, it is not about finding the right or the perfect rhythm. It is about finding my rhythm. I am not trying to impose my rhythms on anyone else, but trying to remember.

Fourth, it is not surprising when we forget and lose touch with ourselves. We are surrounded with distractions and easy to lose contact. The key is remembering to reconnect.