Have you ever wondered how to find your own rhythm when you have so many competing demands and it feels like you are moving to a pace set by everyone else?
Of course, you have!
It is the question of our modern age: how do we fit it all in?
Right now your goals might include:
- Being a great partner
- Having a successful, engaging career
- Being respected for your work
- Being a reliable friend
- Learning something new each day
- Having a positive outlook
- Nurturing yourself with meditation or other mindfulness practices
In reality, you probably spend more time beating yourself up for the slow or non-existent progress you are making on these goals.
You probably find yourself feeling hopeless and like it’s all too hard.
If that sounds familiar, I invite you to try looking at things a little differently.
First, let’s look at the definition of the word ‘Rhythm’. My online dictionary defines rhythm as a strong, regular repeated pattern of movement or sound
Notice that nowhere in that definition does it mention perfection? That’s important to note.
Because lady, I know you. You have ultra-high expectations of yourself, you tend towards perfectionism, you are hard on yourself, you want to do it all and you want to do it all perfectly.
Your current strong, regular repeated pattern probably goes something like:
Step 1 Do what I think others expect or what I think I should do
Step 2 Feel pressured and stressed
Step 3 Beat myself up for not being good enough, not meeting my own expectations
Step 4 Try to do more and do it faster
Step 5 Feel exhausted and resentful, and wonder when I’ll ever get time for me
What if you created a new rhythm for yourself?
Step 1. Make a choice about what to do (and what not to do) and how to show up
Step 2. Choose how to respond to what arises
Step 3. Practice self-compassion when things don’t go exactly as I’d hoped
Step 4. Acknowledge my achievements
Remember, you won’t nail this new rhythm overnight. You know the old one so well and moving to it comes automatically to you.
So please, be patient, take pride in the small steps you take each day and practice self-compassion when things don’t go according to plan and you slip back into the old rhythm.
Tips for successfully creating your new rhythm
- Check your expectations. Are they reasonable? For example, being a good friend can look like checking in via text message or a quick call, it does not always require a one hour phone call or catch up over coffee.
- Take small steps. You may feel like a complete overhaul is required, but when you are already time poor and stressed, taking on a complete overhaul is just too much. When you break that overhaul down into one step at a time however, some powerful things happen:
- Things become easier. For example: Meditating for 30 minutes seems too much, but making time for 5 minutes meditation each day is do-able
- Your motivation increases. For example: because 5 minutes meditation was easy yesterday, you are motivated to do it again today.
- Your self-confidence increases. For example: because you’ve been meditating for 5 minutes each day you can now see yourself as a meditator. You believe in yourself and your ability to reach your goals. You can begin to increase up to 10 minutes and so on.
I did say that it won’t be easy, making a change that is important to us is never easy. But, there is good news: you already have a rhythm that will suit you and help you be the person you want to be each day. You knew that rhythm long before you learned to dance to other people’s rhythm. Finding regular quite time to tune in to yourself and to reflect on your practice each day will help you re-discover that rhythm and before you know it you will be dancing along as if you’d never forgotten!