Something you learn early on when you observe women in labor is that they find some kind of coping technique to help them deal with contractions. We’ve all seen the cliche breathing with the partner to get through it. Anyway, women will find all sorts of things. They’ll moan, they’ll roll their hips, they’ll sway, they’ll breathe, they’ll pat something with their hand, they’ll bounce on a ball… anyway, rhythm seems to be at the core of these coping techniques, and we’re taught to help them roll with that and to encourage their rhythm- their instinctive way of coping with the process. Now you know that I’m always comparing elements of my life to labor, but lately I’ve been really thinking about the whole concept of having a rhythm. I’ve started to see it in everything. From little Asa’s desire to be comforted through rocking or bouncing, to the slow rhythm of the seasons… rhythm has infused itself into our lives in an undeniable way. Our hearts beating, our breath, the daily cycles of waking and sleeping- it all has a rhythm if you look. Now I’m starting to see that when my life is out of sync, I can feel it. Like the other day, when Asa was crying and I was frustrated and trying to do something else, it was when I matched my rhythm to his that we both found peace. The noise was too great and too confusing when we weren’t working together. I think much of life must be like this- a symphony of cycles and rhythms that keep everything flowing.
Rhythm, rhythm, rhythm. In everything.
And so I’m thinking more and more about how to be conscious and encourage these things in our lives- to create a more cohesive rhythm. Both to benefit myself and keep things moving smoothly, but also so these kids can wake each day with a sense of security and purpose and enough of a footing to be able to leap forward if they want. Anyway, I hope I’m making sense. Personally, I’ve never felt like I required much in the way of structure- I’ve never needed to live in a spotless house, I can drop or make plans without feeling too bothered, I feel pretty easy going most of the time. But now, with the addition of these two littles in my life, I’m finding that I require it in a new way. Now it’s not just me navigating around other people, I’m trying to help these kids find their way around, too. And I need a little more structure than I used to to keep us going.
For me, these are things that are helping: I’m finding a chore chart really useful (unheard of for me! I used to groan at my mother for trying to implement such things!), sleeping and waking at the same time, outside time, scheduled and planned exercise, menu planning, meals together, and then there’s the obvious seasonal kinds of work that I’m doing now with the garden, etc, that I’m still getting the hang of. Things I would love to do but am not yet include: daily yoga, regular bread making, a weekly crafty night with friends, a weekly walk with one of my other friends (we used to do it religiously and loved it, but it’s been a busy summer!), and I dream of a nightly bath, but I won’t hold my breath. For the kids, I’m still working that one out. With Asa, whatever he needs he just lets me know right now- but it’s all pretty rhythmic. Rocking, sucking, the sound of my heartbeat… But for Vera, I’m hoping to do some more guided stuff. My sister got a hold of this homeschooling curriculum for young kids (like Vera and Tuula, under 4) that’s all about rituals and seasons and cool stuff. I hear it involves a ritual candle lighting and blessing each morning and night. I think she’ll love it.
I’m loving this right now- it’s name is so appropriate. I’m gleaning lots of inspiration from it.
Anyway, what’s your rhythm? Is there anything that you do that helps you feel more grounded? Do you have any ideas for kids?
Quote of the day:
"Everything has rhythm. Everything dances." (Maya Angelou)