It’s Saturday morning at 8:30 am. You’re reading the newspaper on your front porch.
BOOM. Clack. BANG. Zip.
Where’s that awful noise coming from? You wonder.
As you take a sip of your second cup of coffee, you hear it again. The clamor is erratic.
Crack! Blam. Eeek! POW.
The neighbors are away. No cars are in the street. Your spouse is playing golf.
What’s going on? You scratch your head.
You realize all that racket isn’t happening outside. The appalling noise is happening inside. Your head throbs. Uh oh!
You recall your typical Friday. You stayed up past 11:00 pm watching a random mystery movie. You had 2 glasses of wine, chocolate and popcorn for dinner. You skipped lunch so that you could run errands. You were too sore for your morning workout because you pulled weeds for 3 hours on Thursday.
You call your friend Sarah to complain. She says “Yep, I feel the same. I’m still in bed.”
Now. Imagine how you want to feel every day.
You wake up refreshed.
You move your body with ease.
You enjoy your “to dos” worry free.
You sleep soundly.
No loud noises. Sweet harmony.
Do you want to enjoy a sweet harmonious rhythm every day?
What is Rhythm?
First, let’s consult the dictionary. According to the Oxford dictionary “rhythm” was derived from the French word rhythme, which means “to rhyme” or from the Greek word rhuthmos, which means “to flow.” You can choose your preferred definition:
“A regularly recurring sequence of events or processes.”
“A harmonious sequence or correlation of colours or elements.”
I want that!
Now, put away the dictionary and step outside. Awaken your senses. What do you see, feel, hear, smell? Adventure into your neighbor’s garden and sneak a taste of what’s growing.
Connect with nature.
Nature has Rhythm
The sun rises and sets.
The tide ebbs and flows.
Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
Nature’s rhythm is quite simple.
You can consult a variety of philosophies for insights about nature’s rhythm. My preference is to look to ancient traditions. Ayurveda is a 5,000+ year old Indian philosophy of life and a science of preventative health and healing. According to Ayurveda, nature has a daily rhythm that cycles every 4 hours.
In the morning (6:00 am - 10:00 am), the dew is heavy, her pulse is slow and stable:
Midday (10:00 am - 2:00 pm), the sun is blazing, her beat is sharp and fast:
Late afternoon (2:00 pm - 6:00 pm), the wind is swirling, her movement is erratic and mobile:
And her rhythm repeats as the sun sets.
Western Science’s Viewpoint
Western science discovered daily rhythm in the 18th century. Astronomer Jean Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan’s work on mimosa plants initiated the revelation that:
Plants, animals and humans have a biological clock that helps to prepare our physiology for the fluctuations of the day. This regular adaptation is referred to as the circadian rhythm, originating from the Latin words circa meaning "around" and diem meaning "day." (nobelprize.org)
In 2017, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.
The Nobel Laureates found:
“With exquisite precision, our inner clock adapts our physiology to the dramatically different phases of the day. The clock regulates critical functions such as behavior, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism.” (nobelprize.org)
Ah ha! Daily rhythm is exquisite. But is it possible that there are times our inner clock doesn’t adapt? What happens then?
How Do You Know if Your Rhythm is Off?
Ayurveda tells us:
“Transgressions against nature’s laws, against our own inner wisdom, are the cause of all disease.”- Maya Tiwari
Western science tells us:
Our wellbeing is affected when there is a temporary mismatch between our external environment and this internal biological clock, for example when we travel across several time zones and experience "jet lag.” There are also indications that chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner timekeeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases.” (nobelprize.org)
What does disease look and feel like to you?
fatigue, migraines, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, allergies, autoimmune disorders, excess belly fat, brain fog, anxiety, depression, anger....
Have you ever felt any of those symptoms?
You’re not alone.
To break free from disease, you must use your inner wisdom to choose follow nature’s wisdom. You have the freedom to fight or flow with nature.
Yet, flowing with nature’s rhythm isn’t so simple as we all try to out pace nature.
3 Practices for Living in Rhythm with Nature
I was living in a dis-ease cycle for years. I use dis-ease (instead of disease) because I didn’t really have any “diagnosed” condition. But my daily rhythm was chaotic and painful. I felt dis-ease from the moment I launched out of bed until I hit the pillow.
Day after day, I would wake up with a restless mind, stiff body, and dull spirit. After lunch, my focus was fuzzy. Late afternoon, my energy was zapped. Every night, my sleep was tumultuous.
My daily cycle was the antithesis of rhythm. I didn’t know how to break free from my dis-ease cycle until I found Ayurveda. Nature tried get my attention. I chose not to listen. Finally, I was ready to receive her message.
Slowly . . . very slowly, I made changes in my daily routine to sync up with nature’s rhythm. And now I wake up with a calm mind, supple body and bright spirit. Sound too good to be true? Nah.
You too can enjoy vibrant wellbeing! Try one of these practices to flow with nature’s rhythm.
Morning Move Around
After you get out of bed and take care of your morning business (more on that in a future post), you need to move your body. Nature’s beat is slow and steady between 6:00 and 10:00 am, and if you don’t get moving you’ll carry a dull and disconnected feeling throughout the rest of your day.
- Choose movement you enjoy - walk, dance, yoga, jump rope, whatever. Be free and playful as you move.
- Move for 5-20 minutes - start small and progress. Try one of my short flow practices on YouTube.
- Connect to your breath - deep and expansive is the way. Deep breathing calms your nervous system and balances your energy.
Midday Fuel Up
After your morning move around and some focus time, you need to re-fuel. Take advantage of nature’s rhythm at lunch time. She moves fast and burns bright midday. The fire of the sun aids your digestion. And good digestion is the foundation of vibrant wellbeing.
- Eat your biggest meal between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.
- Include adequate animal or vegetable-based protein and healthy fats.
- Eat raw foods (if you do) now. If you have sensitive digestion, opt for warm, cooked, one-pot meals.
Evening Wind Down
After an early dinner (6:00 pm), honor nature’s slow evening pace. She is inviting you to wind down but not by plopping in front of the TV for 3 hours or surfing the web. Instead of tuning out with mind-numbing media, allow your fatigue to settle in.
- Take an easeful stroll towards sunset.
- Read a book (non-electronic) that warms your heart.
- Journal your daily moments of gratitude or awe.
Choose to tune in to one (or all) of these practices. Be curious. Be creative. And most important, be compassionate with yourself as you begin to flow with nature’s rhythm.
You are Free to Enjoy Vibrant Wellbeing
Do you feel dis-ease in your mind, body or spirit?
Stop struggling. Start connecting.
You can choose to march to an offbeat rhythm and suffer or you can follow nature’s rhythm and enjoy vibrant wellbeing.
You must embrace your freedom to follow nature’s wisdom.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” - Lao Tzu
You don’t have to rush. You don’t have to march alone. Connect with me. Allow me to support you. Start by following my FREE 7-day Vibrant Adventure. Then, we can explore your new daily rhythm together.