Cultivating peace in daily life.

Today's Theme: Rhythms of Life

Restore the rhythms of healthy living.

Theme for the 7th day of the month:

We live in a universe of rhythms. The hectic pace of modern lifestyles tends to disrupt them. Cycles of expansion and contraction, increase and decrease, light and darkness are at work in every aspect of daily life. These are facts of human nature, and acceptance of these rhythms brings us a little closer to peace.

Many of us feel the pressure to accomplish more in less time. It’s so easy to overeat, overdo, overthink, overreact, and lose touch with the rhythms of healthy living. When the pace of life accelerates, so does chaos. Some thoughtful attention to balancing personal rhythms helps to restore order and well-being.

Throughout a typical day, periods of high activity, energy, and concentration cycle with periods of lower energy and performance. It’s easy to observe the highs and lows; we all have them. A mid-morning and a mid-afternoon lull are familiar to most people. These periods of lower energy often signal the need for a short break. We can easily override these signals, and often do. If we do so regularly, however, rhythms break down.

The effects of chronically overriding daily rhythms include the whole range of physical and emotional stress symptoms—muscle tension, anxiety, confusion, fatigue, poor concentration, and insomnia, to name a few. In the midst of these symptoms, peace is distant and elusive—perhaps forgotten—as the tensions of the moment seem to demand our full attention.

Being aware of the natural rising and falling of energy levels throughout the day helps keep our rhythms intact. If we take a few minutes to relax and stretch when our energy drops, our mind-body system releases stress and fatigue, and prepares for the next period of concentration and activity. To pause in response to the natural movement of a rhythm is not a failure of performance. On the contrary, a few minutes devoted to maintaining healthy rhythms throughout the day often results in being more focused physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Today’s theme emphasizes the importance of restoring rhythm in our daily activities. In doing so, we support our health as well as cultivate fertile ground for peace. Today you might identify a personal rhythm that is out of balance and make an effort to restore it throughout the month. Is there one that immediately comes to mind? Some common responses include: not enough sleep, too much food, too little exercise, not enough time to reflect, too many commitments or too much noise.

Rhythm renews and rhythm heals. The restoration of one rhythm influences all the others in a complementary way. As we each strive for some harmony in daily life, our collective efforts contribute a healthy vitality and resilience to the rhythm of peace.

A suggestion for today: Notice your cycles of energy and concentration throughout the day. Instead of pushing past the low points, take a short break, and see if it makes a difference to the quality of your day.

Rhythm of Peace:  Cultivating Peace in Daily Life
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Check back tomorrow for a new theme!

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. ~Mother Teresa