Back to School
This time of year we reconnect with the rhythm of our daily routine. We find our way back to our usual waking and bedtimes. We make adjustments in our schedules and synchronise our personal rhythms with those imposed on us by schools and workplaces.
The yoga practitioner who practices their sun salutations in the morning with reverence for the rise of the sun, this overarching rhythm of our lives, has a practice that connects them directly with many of the natural rhythms in existence. There is the rhythm of the breath moving in and out of the body, the circadian rhythm that awakens us each morning, the sun that provides us with the pace of each day resetting each of our body clocks each morning. And more.
Each of these rhythms are at work within and around us. While they mostly take place outside of our direct consciousness, they are there at every moment. When we are working with these rhythms there is often a feel of ease. When notice our breath and we assist in making each one full and open within us. If we go to bed not too long after dark and wake again with the sunrise and the birds. We take notice to eat when we are hungry and pay attention to when we are full. If we notice our most energetic periods and use these times well.
Paying thoughtful attention to the rhythms around us help in creating space and ease in our lives.
As a parent entering the "Back To School" period there is a real sense of both relief (all of you with school aged kids know what I mean) and trepidation. The lunch boxes, drop offs, lessons, homework and deadlines that await me in the not too distant future do not necessarily fill me with the sense of space nor ease.
This is where I believe most of the suffering comes about for us parents. We have our natural rhythms and then we have not only the rhythms of the small people in our lives (night time wake ups and early mornings, anybody?), we also deal with a myriad of constructed and contrived schedules that are enforced on us. Meshing our natural rhythms with the clashing routines, rhythms and schedules around us is like putting a spoke in the wheel of everyday life. When that wheel stops turning we find ourselves feeling frustrated, lethargic and low.
To get back to that feeling of space and ease in our lives we need to find a way through all the competing needs and wants. We need to protect our own rhythms and be mindful of our greatest asset, our attention. We want to turn those distractions into merely small speed bumps along the way.
So today, look closely at your own natural rhythms. Get comfortable with how your energy flows through the day. Then begin to notice how the needs of your children, your work, your partner and everyone's routines impact on your rhythm. Protecting our energy and our attention begins with this awareness.