This is part of my series about the Seven Hermetic Principles and the 12 Universal Laws. Visit my post Diving into the Universal Laws and Hermetic Principles to find the links to all of the Laws and Principles.
“The human body is 60% water. You’re more water than anything else. Even your bones contain it. Which means: you contain oceans. You contain low tide, high tide, great depths and peculiar shallows. You also contain one hidden octopus and two vengeful sharks so that’s nice.” -@chuckwendig
This quote popped up on my feed this week and I really felt it was a sign from the Universe that it was time to focus on the Law of Rhythm.
The Law of Rhythm states that everything has a natural rhythm. Everything has ups and downs, low tides and high tides, ins and outs, etc. The Universe flows this way, humans flow this way. The tricky part is figuring out if you are in the flow, or not.
The easiest way to get into the flow of things, is to recognize the cycles around you. Nature has several that you are no doubt familiar with: lunar cycles, seasonal cycles, plant cycles, the list goes on and on. Once you recognize these cycles, you can think about whether or not you sync up with them. Does your sleep cycle coincide with the sun? Does your physical energy peak in the middle of the day when the sun is at it’s highest point in the sky, or is it a few hours before or after?
Figuring out these cycles is not an easy task, at least it isn’t for me! Everyday I’m trying to figure out the intricacies of my rhythm and discovering new ways to ride my emotions. Just like everything in life, it’s a process. I sometimes wonder if the best way to get into the flow is to detach myself from trying to figure it out.
We live in a world where answers are at the tip of our fingers at any time of day. Apps are available to track any and everything. It’s great, but it’s also a serious distraction and potential hindrance to our growth and syncing up with our natural rhythms.
Personally, I’ve found a repeating pattern that has kept me from riding my rhythm properly. I’m guilty of cramming information into my head about a subject, hoping to absorb everything and then getting frustrated when answers or comprehension don’t come soon enough. It’s a constant building of a pressure, like the force of a tsunami, without letting it release or integrate properly. That’s going against nature and the natural flow of energy, which may be what many of us our doing.
That’s just the mental aspect, what about the emotional flow of things? Not long ago I had a meltdown that resulted in a breakthrough for me. Although it’s embarrassing to admit, we’re all friends by now, so please feel free to learn from my mistakes!
For days before this meltdown (which to be fair was mild compared to some in my past) I could feel that pressure building. I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences. It’s that sneaking suspicion that just a few more pushes from a co-worker, spouse or child will push you over the edge to the point of explosion. Deep down you can feel it coming, but you’re sure that you can hold it together for just a bit longer until there’s a chance to escape and cool off. Then it happens, the volcano erupts.
I was trying to get my house cleaned up before an upcoming appointment. I was frustrated because I was getting little help from anyone despite asking, my husband’s Billy Joel song was just a bit too loud (grating on my nerves) and my boys were fighting with me about having to clean their rooms-again. I could feel the anger rising, it had been slowly collecting in my core since the night before, when the nightly throw down with my children before bedtime mixed with a bad night’s sleep.
I wish my natural reaction to such emotional build ups was crying or laughing hysterically, but it is not. My reaction is almost always anger, though it used to be blinding rage so perhaps I’m getting better? Anyway, everything erupted when a small glass object fell in my bathroom and shattered on the tile. I jumped off the proverbial cliff and lost my cool for about 10 minutes before I realized that that stupid glass candle breaking was the lesson I was meant to learn.
You see, when we go against our flow and keep pushing or holding back our emotions, our reactions are much worse. If I would have had a good cry, meditation or pillow punching session before I found myself in this situation, I probably would have been able to react much, much better than I had. Instead, I thought I could go against the flow and just push through until I had time to be alone.
Have you ever had a piece of glass break on ceramic tile? If so, then you know that just breaking would be a miracle. No, that crap shatters in every direction and trying to find every shard is a bit of a nightmare. When we don’t respect to our natural flow and push back, we build up an energetic tsunami, and when that tsunami hits land, our energy explodes in every direction and it is tough to pick up the pieces and regain our stability.
That little episode I had sat with me and had me shaking for over 24 hours, because I just couldn’t reign myself back in. I felt guilty, residual anger and shame, all because I didn’t just let my emotions flow a little sooner. It was a learning experience that I needed to have, am I’m hoping it will stick with me this time.
How can we get more into a flow with ourselves and therefore the Universe?
1. Accept yourself for where you are right now. I have a really hard time with the term “self love,” which means I have a long ways to go in that area! However, accepting myself and my faults right now at this very moment is a start. Love is the next step, but acceptance is the first mini step in the right direction.
It’s hard being human and these emotions we have can be intense! I’ve dealt with what I’ll fondly call my “rage demons” for years. I’ve had a lot of shame around them, but now I see the value in their lessons. They are part of me and they get fed a lot since anger is my default emotion. If I can recognize when they are about to show their ugly little heads and feed them love and peace instead of more anger, then I think that is my version of getting more into my natural flow. At least it’s a first step!
2. Don’t force it! Yes, we all see what can happen if we force something that shouldn’t be forced, but there is another side to this. Don’t force the flow in you, don’t force the flow in others, don’t force having to know the flow.
As a parent, I’m so guilty of forcing my rhythm on my boys. I want something done on my timeline so that I can relax, and they don’t always comply, which disrupts both of our flows. I also try to force my rhythm on my husband as well, he’s just not having any of it, which is frustrating, but is another lesson for me to let go.
We need to, as often as possible, respect our rhythm and that of others. Obviously, a lot of us are obligated to flow with that of our jobs, school and in some cases society, but not always. When possible, we need to observe our rhythms and the rhythms of those closest to us so that we can all sync to our natural state. It will take some time, but it’s absolutely possible to achieve.
3. Rest. I love that naps are making a comeback. When I was younger, I loved naps. Who am I kidding- I still love naps! When I was a teenager, it was the common theme among adults that surrounded me that naps were for lazy people. It was better to push through the exhaustion and go to bed early, only to wake up the next day and do the whole thing again. What baloney hockey!
Resting, no matter if it looks like a nap or not, is vital for mental health and energetic replenishment. That’s what I tell my boys and I’m sticking to it! There’s too much mental stimulation around us, all of the time. Remove yourself, sit down and stare at the wall if you can’t sleep. Let your brain unwind and your body integrate whatever it needs to. This is a form of meditation, but perhaps not the productive meditation some of us seek. I like to ask questions before my meditations, however when I rest I let my mind wander free. Whatever your method may be, just try it. Some part of your body or being will appreciate the break.