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The Natural Rhythm of Nature


The Earth is dominated by natural rhythms - the tides, the seasons, day and night. Adhering to these rhythms can be the difference between life and death. Natural rhythms guide all that we do, it’s our very existence. Our breath and heartbeat are constant reminders of life’s pulsing rhythm that moves within and around us.

Nature is a mirror, inspiring and teaching us, deepening our sense of belonging in the world. Wherever you look, you can see that our patterns and the patterns of the natural world are the same. You can find this resonance in every form, from molecules to plants and animals and to planets. We live our lives according to the same principles as the trees, the mountains, the clouds and the birds.

Our lives are orchestrated or guided by the rising and setting of the sun and the moon, the changes in temperature from day to night and from season to season, the tidal ebb and flow and by our own internal rhythm. These rhythms guide our daily activity.

Not only are there external rhythms and cycles, there are also rhythms and cycles in our own lives. Women, more than men are affected by the daily and monthly cycles that guide our energy, moods and sleep. When our rhythms are in sync, life flows easily – we have more energy and tend to view things more positively and we are more socially connected and find life more satisfying.

We begin our lives in the womb, folded in on ourselves like the bud of a flower. We can see our whole lives in the mirror of this natural form. When we emerge from the womb, we slowly begin our unfolding, just as the flower begins to open its petals. At its prime, the flower draws many insects to it and also the eyes of appreciative humans. When the flower's petals begin to fade and its life cycle comes to an end, it ceases to hold itself upright and returns to the earth. Traditionally, we return to the earth, just as all plants and animals do. Like flowers, we leave behind seeds in the forms of children and other gifts only we could have given. They continue to unfold even after we are gone. Rebirth is encoded into our lives and death is just one part of the cycle.

Many people live their lives cut off from the natural rhythms and cycles of nature and of their own bodies. They no longer get up with the sun, and they may stay up till the wee hours of the morning. Their pace of life is such that it is inconsequential whether it is night or day or winter or summer. The phases of the moon go unnoticed. Even the stages of their own life go unnoticed. This plays havoc with their body-clocks. Their erratic stressful lives are in a state of arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is a term used to refer to the disorders of the regular beating of the heart, for example wild erratic beating, or slow uneven beating.

Look around you, and you will find connection and insight. Notice how your moods shift from one to another like the sky shifts from bright blue to turbulent greys. Your thoughts are like clouds, appearing, changing shape, passing through and then disappearing without a trace. The rain cleanses the sky, just as an emotional release cleanses your mind. The sky itself is your eternal awareness, unchanging underneath all these permutations. Let it reflect back to you, your own abiding perfection.

Traditionally all cultures have lived in harmony with the natural rhythms and cycles and have included celebrations, festivals and outdoor events to reinforce their occurrence. Most of these are now lost to our current consumeristic, success oriented lives.

We can bring these traditions back by marking them with some activity. For example, we could hold an organic dinner party for friends to mark the solstices and equinoxes. A way to notice and be in tune with the seasons and diurnal rhythms is to start a vegetable garden. Not only will you connect to your food source, you will connect more easily with these life rhythms.

More than ever before our children and ourselves, need to be part of the slow movement and live in tune with the natural rhythms and cycles that have guided our evolution for the past 2 billion years. We must connect to life.

As you walk through the world, find your own metaphors for connectedness in nature. Flesh them out fully and follow them as they lead you through the mystery and intelligence of life.

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