My mother and my girls have taught me the value of personal rhythm. My mother taught me how to listen to the rhythm of the music with my whole body when I danced. "You can't dance if you don't have rhythm," she used to say.
My girls taught me that there is contentment in rhythm. They were two of the happiest babies and children I have ever seen. My husband and I often attribute this to the rhythm we have always had as a family. Not that we had much of a choice as working parents of twin girls. It was either rhythm and consistency or chaos. I don't do well with chaos.
I often find myself talking about personal rhythm with clients. People tend to go, go, go. Too busy to stop and check in with themselves, to see how they are affected by their environment. People tend to dismiss the signs of uneasiness and come to accept feeling out of balance as normal. This is the 21st century after all.
Living in that "off balance" state for too long can cause irritability, feelings of resentment, and anxiety. Some people experience physical symptoms such as insomnia and headaches. We all get affected by the changes in our environment. The more aware we are of what throw us off balance, the more proactive we can be.
Most of us have our systems. What we forget to do is to review these systems periodically and make adjustments when needed. What worked well a year, a month, or a week ago may not work as well today or tomorrow. It's like dancing the same old dance, only the music has changed on us.
Do you catch yourself saying that you are feeling out of balance or off-center these days?
Are you experiencing discontent or anxiety?
Are you on edge more often than usual?
Do you find yourself feeling out of place or out of sync with whatever is going on?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, chances are that you are in the midst of a transition or you are being affected by somebody else's transition.
Discontent and the sense of being out of balance are alarm signs. They are there to safeguard us from acting in ways that may not be the healthiest for us. Discomfort and uneasiness serve as reminders that maybe we need to rethink our course of action.
Often, just by changing the way we think about something can shift the dynamics of an otherwise stressful situation. Go ahead and:
- Take an honest look at your mental attitude.
- Check in with your body and see if you need to rest more, change your diet, exercise, or meditate.
- Evaluate how you schedule your day and make sure you give yourself ten minutes of quiet time between activities. Ten minutes of quiet time can have a lasting effect on your mental clarity, focus, and energy.
- Pay attention to the people closest to you. Is there anything going on with their lives that is affecting you?