Our heartbeat has a rhythm, there is a rhythm to our breathing and a healthy body has several internal processes that all unfold with rhythm and in sync with each other. There is a rhythm to our speech and to our movement. There is a rhythm to relationship, to kissing, and to love making.
All of these rhythms we experience in our physical body mirror and are often affected by the rhythms of nature. There is a rhythm to the rising and setting of the sun, the cycles of the moon, the tides of the ocean and the changing seasons. When the wind blows, the trees dance to its pulse.
There is rhythm everywhere. But are we really listening?
Have you ever seen someone or had the experience of dancing out of rhythm with the music?
It’s always awkward and creates a feeling of tension for the observer or the one dancing. Like something’s not quite right. Often times, the simple cause of this disconnect is that the person isn’t really listening.
So often, we live life with the expectation that our internal states of being will be constant. We think that we are meant to be fully joyful, inspired, loving, and expanding all the time. And it is this belief that often causes us to experience the suffering and tension of being out of rhythm with life.
It’s in those moments when it’s time to rest and we’re pushing our own outward agenda, when our creative well needs filling and we’re drawing on its last drops, when our heart is aching and asking for healing and we ignore its requests, that we lose our connection to the flow and rhythm of life. Similarly, in relationships, when we are not attuned to the various rhythms of the other, we can easily end up out of sync and in disharmony.
Once again, in all of these examples, the disconnect can be traced back to the fact that in those moments, we’re not really listening to our bodies, to our inner wisdom, to our soul’s whispers and to our counterparts.
As a student of music, I’m no stranger to the rhythms of folk music, reggae, blues, and soul. And yet in life, at times I find myself out of rhythm with the ebb and flow of my creative energy, always wanting or expecting myself to be producing and expressing constantly. I often find myself surprised when a period of intense activity, expansion and joy is followed by a time of stillness, contraction and even sadness. I often resist the natural tendency in relationships to balance passion with patience, and persistence with poise.
When we truly tune in and listen to the rhythms of life, we align ourselves with the natural ebb and flow of its unfolding. This is the origin of so many common expressions such as “being in sync”, “going with the flow”, “being in harmony”, and “perfect timing” which all describe a life lived in attunement with the inherent rhythmic and cyclical nature of our existence. This allows us to move through the seasons of life with ease and grace.
What does this look like in practice?
It means honoring our body’s request for rest. Allowing space for rejuvenation in our pursuit of professional and creative goals. It means being sensitive to others’ needs even when they are not the same as our own. It means trusting that life is unfolding in perfect timing and letting go of the things we can’t control. It means having faith that a delayed answer to our prayers is not a denial. It means taking time to be in stillness, to go within and to listen to what our heart and soul are telling us.
When we live to the rhythm of life, we gain access to an underlying sense of peace that passes all understanding. When we are in sync with the rhythms of ourselves, our environments and those around us, we gain access to the experience and inner knowing that we are part of the whole and that life is happening for us. As we learn to tune in more habitually and trust in what we’re hearing, from moment to moment, we will find ourselves more aptly flowing and moving to the rhythm of life.
Chris Assaad is a singer/songwriter and inspirational artist from Toronto who left a promising career in law several years ago to pursue his dream of a career in music. Since then, Chris has been actively using his voice to enCOURAGE others to follow their dreams, express their creativity and live life to the fullest.
Chris is also a member of the TDL Mentoring team. To learn more about the TDL Mentoring Program click here.