A Joyful Rhythm
I have been writing a weekly blog post for almost a year now. This experience has supported me and taught me many things. It's challenged my fears, forced me to look straight at them and deal with them. It's lightened my heart as I’ve shared funny stories and the beauties I’ve encountered. I hope you’ve gotten a few ideas, challenged a few of your assumptions, and gained a bit of encouragement from my posts as well. I’ve decided to change the rhythm of my posts as we move into summer and I begin to glimpse travel plans on the horizon. I will be posting on a monthly vs. weekly basis, unless of course I find my heart bursting to share something.
The rhythm of our life changes, more often than perhaps we pay attention to. Sometimes we are energized for hours, days or weeks over an idea, an upcoming event, a new routine, and we are buzzing about like bees. Sometimes we are retrospective, smiling at past joys and events, feeling loss for loved ones (friends and family), or dissatisfaction with how we handled a certain situation or challenge. Sometimes we are introspective, really feeling into our emotions and our attitudes both critical and supportive, sitting or walking in meditation looking inward, practicing self awareness. The rhythm of our lives is an important touchstone to evaluate our health.
If we are to maintain a joyful rhythm in our lives we must embrace an attitude of letting go and picking up -- letting go of ideas, actions, and habits that are no longer enjoyable or supportive, picking up of new ideas, and ways of doing or being. Sometimes we must release people and things from our lives making room for more joyful opportunities. How to know when our joyful rhythm has become a routine slog is sometimes very clear but often it’s not. Often the joy eases into slog and it takes us by surprise as we awake to realize that a joy has become a joyless routine. Time to change!
Of course, it’s easy to talk about a joyful rhythm when our agenda is clear only to be filled by things we want to do but a joyful rhythm can be achieved even in daily tasks. Tasks that cannot always be sloughed off because we’re changing the rhythm of our life and discovering a new us! Litter boxes still need to be emptied, dishes and laundry still need to be done, and let’s not talk about who’s turn it is to clean the toilet. I've done my fair sharing of butt dragging when I’m too tired to clean dishes or too bored for another round of chores. I can grumble and hope someone throws the red card at me so I can leave the field and do as I wish, and sometimes they do. A while back a friend of mine gave me a suggestion to help me through these grumbly times. She said that the tasks aren’t going away so try to perform them with an attitude of care; I care for my family and this [insert chore] is what I’m doing to help support them. This really does work, most of the time. I may not find joy in the rhythm of the task but I’m more lighthearted which makes the task easier. The rhythm of my life has changed because my outlook on the task has changed.
We may also change the rhythm of our life by deciding that changing our outlook is not enough, and something physical or external needs to change. We must release a job, opportunity or activity that may have once been enjoyable but now has become burdensome or feels heavy due to other life events. Sometimes we grab an opportunity, develop a new habit, or are re-energize by a shift in our work. Sometimes we must release someone who was once a friend but that relationship is no longer supportive, or enjoyable. The rhythm of our life is showing us new paths, making room to renew old relationships or invite new relationships in.
In awareness and support of our health we are tuning in to the changing rhythm of our life. Always letting go or picking up so we can be alive and open to live a joyful life. Our life rhythm is fluid and alive. Be awake to it and notice what brings you joy, what needs to change, what do you need to do more of.