Every mom I have ever worked with seems the magic of equilibrium.
To be able to meet the ups and downs in life, its stresses and strains, in a peaceful mood would be a dream come true. But sadly, we all run around in search of this state, and all this running itself drives it further and further away.
Reacting to our stress, we sit back and say to ourselves that it doesn’t matter anyway, life can go it’s sweet way and we will just tag along behind, picking up the pieces as we go. But that doesn’t work either because, sooner or later, we find ourselves lagging so far behind in our plans and aspirations that a feeling of hopelessness or depression can result.
Lucky for you, I have a solution…
Embrace your natural rhythms!
We breathe in and out from the moment of birth to the moment of death. It is the most natural, rhythmical activity I can think of and we do it without any effort on our part
Just as we breathe in and out, our attention also fluctuates. First, we are focusing on feeding our kids lunch then we are focusing on feeing ourselves. This is the rhythm of giving and receiving. But, like breathing, we are not usually conscious of every time our attention fluctuates. And often we are giving more than we are receiving.
In this modern age, many of us literally do not know how to relax and go into repair mode – a form of receiving. This is the same as only breathing OUT and never giving our bodies an opportunity to inhale- Can you imagine how exhausting that would be?!
So let’s talk about rhythm for a minute…
We have regular times of sleep, when our breathing slows down, and we feel a deep sense of relaxation. Real sleep makes it possible to fulfill our duties in the daytime. Waking and sleeping are a BREATHING RHYTHM, as necessary as air for our wellbeing.
When we are stressed out or anxious, we go to sleep and wake up feeling stale, still tense and anxious. If this persists we may even find it impossible to sleep. (Hello insomnia!) Without sleep, our thoughts and actions get muddled and we are no longer able to think clearly.
Can you relate?
If so, my invitation to you is to literally change the rhythm of your breathing as a vehicle to change your experience of life itself. (Do it now, take a deep breath.) You already do this quite naturally and without thought. When you get tired you start to yawn. This is your body’s way of taking in more oxygen, of telling you “I need to receive now, lady!”
Our senses perceive occurrences and tell our breathing to change its rhythm to suit the needs of the circumstances. So why not change our breathing intentionally to change our perception of our circumstances?!
Here’s the thing, we all know that we need to take care of ourselves especially when we are in a season that feels extra stressful. But how many of us actually shift our lives around so that we can take better care of ourselves?
So if you are in a season of extreme stress, first of all, my heart goes out to you (I’ve been there and it sucks!) And second of all let’s take a deep breath together. There, don’t you feel a little bit better? (I do!)
And second off all, let your stress be a sign that you need to restore a sense of rhythm in your life.
A few ways to restore a sense of rhythm:
- Taking note of what is real and true for you right now. You can start by making a resolution to note one moment in the day and asking yourself, “what is true right now?” It may be as small as noticing the first primrose in spring, or the smile from a stranger, or a sentence your partner said to you. Cherishing the moment and acknowledging that is it fleeting reminds our nervous system that whatever it is experiencing now, good or bad, will change.
- Beholding. Beholding means to see something without judgment, without feeling the need to change it in any way. To behold implies putting yourself at a distance from what you behold yet still ‘holding’ it in your heart, understanding and totally accepting its existence. Beholding brings a sense of rhythm because it lets you settle into what IS without trying to control anything. That kind of non-attachment to the outcome creates a sense of peace like you would not believe.
- Rhythmical breathing. Breathing in an intentional way is the foundation of equilibrium. Modern life does not naturally supply us with peace. We live in a fast-paced world. Our homes and children are affected by this pace of life. Slowing down our pace sometimes works and sometimes that just doesn’t feel possible. But slowing down our breathing is always available to us.
So the next time you witness a sunrise or a sunset, the next time you get your period, or the next time you see a full moon, use it as a reminder that you are made of nature, and nature lives rhythmically.