Order And Rhythm: Being In Sync With Yourself And With The Outside
Nature is cyclical; it has order and rhythm with the weather, seasons, time, the calm after a storm, or disruption. With the way that nature grows, everything is in a never-ending circular motion, and you need things to happen for the circle of life to continue.
As already mentioned, we have various biological rhythms that need to occur in the way they do for our bodies to work in an orderly manner—e.g. cardiac rhythms, sleep-and-wake rhythms, menstrual cycles, cell regeneration, digestion, respiration.
We don’t tend to think of these rhythms that occur naturally every day. We just get on with our lives until a rhythm is out of sync and we are ill. We seek medical attention, and the rhythm is restored.
Matthew Kelly has a book called The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose. He deals with the issues we have of trying to make more time in a day to do the things we’d like to in order to make us happier, healthier, more fulfilled, a better person, more effective, etc.
Usually in life, there are obligations and priorities that we need to fulfill as part of running a family or having a career. Kelly points out that everything in life is a choice. We have the power to live the life we want to, so it’s up to us to make that happen.
For Kelly, the perfect rhythm of life is one that is full of rest, activity, and pace, which enable us to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. A lot for Kelly is about conditioning and control, imposing a rhythm and order on life.
Kelly promotes good eating, sleeping, exercise, and prayer habits built into a day, with time for weekly reflection. These Back- to-Basic Principles here in this book will help you realize what the six key principles to living your life are.
The famous Marxist sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre wrote a collection of essays called Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life. In his book, Lefebvre looked at urban environments, the rhythms within them, and the effect these had on people’s lives.
For Lefebvre, rhythm is something that is repeated and can be measured either in a cycle or a linear rhythm. A cyclical rhythm for Lefebvre would be one like we’ve already mentioned, such as night into day, then day into night. A linear rhythm could be the flow of information from a television set. There are rhythms on TV and radio, for example with the news being broadcast at certain times during the day and night.
There is a quote by Thomas Merton, an American Catholic writer and mystic (he was also a Trappist monk) from the ‘Being and Doing’ chapter, in the book, No Man Is an Island (1955):
We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.
Music is pleasing not only because of the sound but because of the silence that is in it: without the alternation of sound and silence there would be no rhythm.
This is an interesting quotation, beautifully written, explaining the nature of rhythm and order in creating a balanced life, a life which has natural pauses at times too, whether this is a pause to rest or a pause to sleep or a pause to reflect; these are just as important in life. Merton believed very much that all lives were interconnected.
People talk about ‘finding their own rhythm in life’, and this is definitely something we’ll touch on in the later chapters. With music, rhythm obviously refers to the beat or tempo; with regards to life, rhythms in life relate more to the flow of life. Some people will seem to have more energy than others while others are slow, steady, and methodical; you have to find what is right for you.
Finding a beat, something that spurs you on and motivates you, can be a useful technique. Use all the tools that you have available to you. Is what you’re attempting to do in tune and in harmony with what you’re attempting to do? Or are you doing anything that is discordant and not helping with the natural flow of music within you? Tapping into your internal rhythm is not easy, but the Back to Basics book will help you to do just that.
This post is an extract from the book, Back To Basics – Transforming Life by Murali Nandula & Anuja Surve, that brings together many excellent self-help elements, including analysis, introspection and superb conceptual connections to help you begin your personal journey of transformation.
The book is available online in multiple stores, including Amazon, Google Play and Flipkart.
Nandula Murali Krishna