How to Perfect Your Rhythm

My 2017 word is "rhythm." 

Rhythm is also circling seeds for the garden and reading about women

Rhythm is also circling seeds for the garden and reading about women

The last few months have been chaotic. I haven't been eating breakfast. I haven't been cooking or cleaning my house. I wake up in the middle of the night and drink leftover sweet tea because I'm thirsty, and then the sugar jumpstarts my heartbeat and I trip over my shoes and curse the universe.

I'm bad at routine, except for the parts that aren't healthy. I get angry when someone interrupts my sitting on the couch checking Instagram and half paying attention to Netflix time.  But you want to go out for a drink during the hour I'm supposed to go to meditation? I'm down. 

I don't know how to be in rhythm.

It is messing with my mind now. I'm angry for no reason and I have a hard time figuring out what are important tasks and what aren't.

There are so many notifications going off and the dog is asking me to fix his fence so he can play outside without the leash and I'm staring at unfinished books, both my own books and reading others. 

I have too many ideas and not enough focus.


Today, my rhythm is a cup of coffee. 


Here is my formula for rhythm:

1. Make Arabic Coffee and let the smell remind you of far away places.

2. Water your plants and clip a few leaves for tea.

3. Run your fingers over the ears of a sleeping dog beside you.


Later, when you take the dog out on the leash, let him linger over the scent in a weedy patch of grass, turn your face to the night sky and breathe.





Creating Rhythm and Mindfulness in Everyday Things

I've been thinking a lot about the idea of ritual. Children thrive on routine, but that word never conveys what a routine actually accomplishes. Routine suggests control, no real reason or known purpose.

Instead I've focused on the idea of rhythm. Rhythm means that my children and I can mark the passage of time in ways that help us to appreciate how the little pieces of our lives add up to the big mystery. 

Rhythm is a better word for us. We have natural rhythms that help my girls find their way in a confusing life. Since they are new to this, I want to give them something that helps them find meaning in the whys of every day.

In the stillness of winter, we are dreaming of spring.

In the stillness of winter, we are dreaming of spring.

Honestly, I'm not great at this.  I've been trained to watch the clock and to measure my own accomplishments by what it says. I have a hard time being patient enough to let rhythm in.

Last night my 4 year old snuck into the living room where I was working. The concept of work is strange to her. She can't read yet, so she stares at my documents until her eyes lose focus. For her, my real work is the business of explanation and the business of comfort.

We'd been playing the Big Bad Wolf game earlier and for anyone with experience with children, games are never just games. In the stillness of bedtime, she'd spooked herself thinking about wolves.

So I did what eases my own fear. I talked about big things. I talked about the new moon,  and what gives the moon its light. We walked outside and watched our frosty breath as we tried to find the moon. It wasn't in a good place to see from our back yard, so we watched the stars instead. She loves the three stars in Ursa Major's tail, and so we talked about them. She calls them the three bears. 

Stars are above our heads and below our feet and we can sleep dreaming of them.