Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Secret Power of Rhythm, Part 2

How do we experience the secret power of rhythm in our lives? Look at how we do our work. When someone has found a rhythm that masters the work, we become highly efficient. We get in the groove and achieve at a high level. Finding the rhythm is most important. Once we have it we become one with the task to be done, and we feel our strength, our certainty and the spirit of doing what needs to be done.

When athletes do this, they refer to it as getting into the zone. Achieving a smooth operating rhythm sharpens the focus, and the continuation of that rhythm enables the performer to repeatedly move in that efficient flow that leads to outstanding performance.

In relationships we are at our peak of connection when our rhythms are matched. When we are in sync with another person there is an ebb and flow to our actions. There is clear, nonverbal communication underlying whatever we say. We know instinctively what needs to be done and we are satisfied in our feelings and creatively enmeshed. Our joined rhythms can take us to places that our minds and words alone could not.

When things are going well for us, when we are efficient and happy with what we have done, we are in rhythm with our surroundings. When we pay attention to our gut instinct and use it for guidance, we are in rhythm with our life force.

When we are doing any activity, whether it is walking, swimming or anything else, when we feel our rhythm we are making smooth progress with that activity.

Being aware of what rhythm we are acting in we become aware of ourselves in relation to others and that helps us find the most effective ways to connect and communicate with others. If another person is acting very chaotic, we might be able to draw them into a more harmonious and productive interaction by coming from a very lyrical state where we embody joy and imagination, we can smooth down the rough edges and facilitate a smooth flow between us.

And that is not to state or imply that there is anything wrong with a chaotic rhythm in our lives at times. What is a party if not joyful chaos? Different people connecting in different ways, some eating, some drinking, some dancing, some laughing, and definitely not all in unison. We are also inviting people into chaos when we invite them to brainstorm with us. All ideas, no matter how silly or off the mark, are put on the table to consider so that we have a huge number of choices to sort out to serve our purposes, and it may be a combination of a silly, irreverent idea combined with a serious idea that finally does the trick.

When we are being in the rhythm of flowing together we might be singing or dancing with someone and we feel warmly connected. So there is no right or wrong rhythm just a greater awareness of how we are and what we are doing and all of this increases our joy about who we are because we are using one more tool in a very conscious way to facilitate our connections to others.

There are times when we are in a staccato state of movement, like when we have made a list of things to do and we are working our way down that list, getting those things done and checking them off. I think of it as imposed order. Certainly in being efficient sometimes we need that as an organizing principle.

The rhythm of stillness is what we experience when we take time to rest, to center ourselves, to let our mind quiet and peace to permeate our senses. And we all need some of that each day as well.

Rhythm is an ever present factor in our life, part of who we are and everything we do. Being aware of how it works and using it to our advantage is one of the secrets to getting more out of life.

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