5Rhythms Friday: Changing the way we view the world

You know, if you look at it the right way, everything in your life is a dance.

For example:

Yesterday morning began with Flowing. Xander and I got up, did some dancing and yoga (well, I did anyway), read some books, and painted some pictures.

The whole atmosphere was calm and peaceful…or as peaceful as you get with a 2.5 year old.

One activity melted into another. When I got annoyed, I paid attention to my breath and moved through it. I felt my body loosen up and move smoothly. I actually noticed my feet connecting with the ground (this has only happened since I went to the Wizard Osteopath…my body really enjoys standing with relaxed legs, I have to say). And as the morning wore on, I understood why I love this rhythm so much.

And then, after lunch, everything changed. It was time to clean the apartment. And I was cranky. I locked Matthew and Xander into the office gently suggested that Matty play computer games with Xander, then I put on some VNV Nation and set the timer for an hour (I can get all of the main areas of the apartment almost-entirely clean in one hour…but only when fueled by VNV and PURE UNADULTERATED RAGE).

(This is an example of what the entire living room/kitchen/hallway looked like. Just to give you an idea. Yeah…)

In my mind, the whole hour was an example of staccato and chaos combined. First there was the putting-away whirlwind, which is basically a constant speedwalk around the apartment. I pick things up, I put them away, I whirl around, I pick more things up, I put them away. My feet stomp out a staccato CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP, and my body bends and twists and reaches and slams things back into place. The whirlwind lasted for 20 minutes, and when I was done, everything was up off the floor and on the shelf where it belonged. And then there was vacuuming and sweeping and mopping and moving furniture and wiping counters in time to the pulsing techno beats. And all of it full of RAGE.

You can tell when I do a 1-hour clean, because I finish the process sweaty and full of a combination of self-satisfaction, martyrdom, and crankiness. Honestly, it takes a while to come down off of a 1-hour clean rage-rush. Does that sound weird? Oh well, you do what you have to.

Once I had calmed down a little and taken a shower, we headed to the car and set off for the playground, by way of Starbucks. And it was at Starbucks that I finally felt the shift from chaos-aftermath to lyrical. The baristas moved behind the counter in patterns that could have been chaotic, but…weren’t somehow. The murmur of the customers at their tables was just a hushed babble in the background. As I waited for our drinks, I looked over and saw a young girl in a wheelchair waving her hands in the air and looking at the ceiling. And she looked so happy and light as she danced in place, I just had to smile.

(I didn’t take the girl’s picture, but this photo reminds me of her dance. She looked so incredibly happy)

I felt lighter. Still moving, but settling down. “I could learn to love this rhythm,” I thought to myself. This was the point at which I realized I would have something to write about this weekend after all.

We picked up our friend Krista and drove to the playground at the Dingle, which is a park overlooking the Northwest Arm (which is a body of water, not a body part, just for the record), and as we drove up we saw a couple sitting together on a park bench. Their heads were bent down and they were staring adoringly at the baby the woman held cradled in her arms. The wind ruffled their hair and cards drove by and seagulls called overhead, but the little family was wrapped in their own special Stillness. It seemed to spread out around them like a peaceful bubble.

And as I looked at them I felt my own rhythm slow to match theirs. I observed the park around me from a place of stillness. And I thought, “You know, this whole ‘5Rhythms’ thing is a great way to see the world.”

Just a little shift in the way you see the world can make the difference between absentmindedly going through the motions and consciously dancing through your day.

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4 thoughts on “5Rhythms Friday: Changing the way we view the world

  1. What a great way of observing the world. I felt like I was riding along through your waves with each vivid description!

    Two other things: Starbucks is a sure-fire way to transition from Chaos to Lyrical. Even my husband simply saying, “Let’s get you a latte” gets my heart rate to slow down.

    And I’m totally addicted to VNV Nation now. I listen to it every morning after meditating and dance around the living room!

    • Hehe! Thanks! I was inspired by YOU!
      It’s so funny about Starbucks…I would expect it to stress me out, especially on a busy day, but it just…doesn’t. Unless I’m feeling REALLY anti-social. And I feel the same way you do, except about their Awake tea with milk. SO GOOD.

      I LOVE that you’re loving the VNV! Aren’t they amazing?! I adore them! Do you have any favourite songs?

      • I’m digging VNV because there’s such a range of music–some to accompany rage, some to slowly start my mornings, some to just feel goooood about! I’m still getting acquainted with the track titles…I don’t really follow the song names, I just pick a few tracks and dance. But I do love “Carbon,” which you appropriately chose as a warm-up/flowing song (I feel it helps me get really in tune with my breath), and there’s one I just listened to tonight as I cooked dinner, “Legion (Anachron)” that really stirred me up.

      • Yes! I love starting with Carbon for that exact reason. I breathe in time with the music and I ALWAYS start moving along with it…expanding on the inhale and contracting on the exhale. And my friend Anne Marie introduced me to Legion (Anachron) when she performed an improvisation to it…it was GORGEOUS. 😀

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