The power of rhythm: At what pace do you run your life?

You naturally dance to the rhythm of music. You automatically sense the right movement or you directly feel when you are off. And for the less rhythmic among us, you immediately see when it is right or not.

 

You dance by using your feelings, not so much your thinking. Of course you need the brain to be able to perform the gross and fine motor movements or to learn complicated steps. But to move to the rhythm of the beat you have to rely on and surrender to your gut feeling. Anyone who tries to think his or her way through dancing will immediately be off. By using your feelings is the only way you dance.

Whether there has been a lot of dancing lately? I doubt it. There is literally and figuratively no room for parties, and for exuberant expressions of our feelings. And in contrast to nature, which is directing it’s attention and energy outwards on growth and expression, we humans are forced to return indoors and inwards.

 

What does that mean? I don’t know, but one of the insights it offers me is to rediscover my own inner rhythm.

 

In life you walk to the rhythm of your own music. And by that I mean that only you can sense how fast or how slow that is. And suddenly I realize that I had lost my rhythm, hidden in a big collective beat.

 

 

In our Western civilization, we have masterly converted the rhythm of our lives into a machine-managed, standard production process. There is nothing autonomous about our daily rhythm.

 

All individual flavors have been removed and the remaining juice has been blended into one taste. Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and then weekend. At school, in the office, in the store, at the gym or at home, no matter where we are or what we do or what season we are in, we all “dance” to the same imposed rhythm. And can you even still call it a dance? I would rather label it as a race. A race against time. Time that keeps ticking and never just for a moment, waits for us.

And now that everything has stopped for a while, and our inner clock seems to have slowed down, this unnatural rhythm becomes even more clear. Man have I been running to stuff everything in a day, a week, a month, a year. The work, the children, the dog, the groceries, the mandatory sport hours, cozy or obligatory dinners, my ongoing education, traveling,  planning, booking and taking holidays . It all had to be done and preferably today!

And as the fast paced is gone, I realize that I was running on a rhythm that wasn’t mine. Because although I love sprinting and in my youth on the athletics track I was even a sprinter, I now see that sprinting has to do with short powerful explosive moments of effort followed by absolute rest. And that also feels more like my rhythmic power. I hear you think, nice but vague symbolism, what does that look like?

Well, for example, exert an enormous effort during certain hours of the day in which an explosion of energy is released, followed by moments of rest. It’s that simple. And those moments of rest may be a bigger part of the day than my sprint moments. But what will  my sprints be PRODUCTIVE .

 

So the rhythm of endless sprinting is not for me. It flattens my potential strength to a far cry from what it really can be. I thought I was productive and effective, but I was just exhausted without even knowing it.

 

Endless sprinting is unnatural anyways. Marathon runners know how to manage their strength in such a way in order to endure their rhythm for a longer period of time. But they too cannot go on endlessly. And besides, not everyone is a natural marathon runner.

 

So what is your rhythm of life? Do you know it? Have you been taking the opportunity during this Corona time to free yourself from the collective race? Are you a sprinter, a long distance runner, or do you naturally run marathons? Each distance has its own way of training, its own focus on the right rhythm, to be able to use your maximum potential.

 

What is the rhythm at which you run your life?

 

To return to the comparison with dancing, the answer of your pace lies in feeling into that. Use this time to feel the rhythm that suits you best and is therefore the most added value for you and your environment.

 

How do you do that?

 

  1. Start by asking yourself the question at which rhythm you prefer to run. Think back for example to how you were as a child. 

  2. Short but fierce (sprinting). Divide your day into short intervals of productivity followed by relative rest. For example, 1 hour of work, whatever that means to you, followed by 30 minutes of relaxation.

  3. Relatively long and steady (longer distance). Make sure you don’t start too fast. You will last a long while, as long as you distribute your energy well. Start with something that doesn’t take too much effort and then build it up gradually. The bottom line is that you should avoid giving too much of yourself in too short a period of time.

  4. Marathon runner (extremely concentrated where the energy does not seem to end). The marathon runner focuses on one thing, endurance. Be aware that this rhythm can only be run  if your attention is really focused on absolute and only 1 thing. In addition, provide periods of extreme rest to prepare and relax. So, for example, more consecutive holiday periods. As an example, 3 months of relaxation followed by 3 months of high intense activity.

  5. Feel through the experience which rhythm suits you best. Just like dancing, you are most of the time off when you start thinking about it. Your ratio will bring you straight back to the collective race. A missed opportunity for you and for your environment!

    Finally, see this period as a time of preparation and training. First determine which program suits you best and then adjust your rhythm to the right speed little by little every day. Escaping from the rat race really starts with you!

 

Peer

PS. Keep following me! Soon I will launch a new name and website. For coaching  go to www.translucentlife.com

 

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