Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Rhythm of Life

The "rhythm of life," writes Matthew Kelly, is that state of "natural flow" in life when you are attentive to your own legitimate needs--physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. "In that state of flow, all the major elements of your being are working together in harmony and moving toward a common goal."

In other words, your day-to-day lifestyle is in alignment with your needs and highest values. Your life has integrity and consistency of choice. Your lifestyle has a unified quality to it. You are not divided. Everything you do--that is, everything you give your energy to--revolves around and gives life to those things you value most.

What sort of lifestyle are you choosing for yourself these days? What adjectives would you use to describe your current lifestyle? (Name three, for starters.)

Now, take it deeper. Does your current lifestyle bring out the best in you--physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually?

If you could redesign your lifestyle so that it really did bring out the best in you (in all four areas mentioned above) what would it look like? What would you start doing that you aren't doing now? What would you stop doing? What sort of people would you surround yourself with? What's the outlandishly radical action you would need to take to get the lifestyle your soul craves?

Before you get all snippy about how impractical these question are, let me gently remind you of this simple fact: Throughout history, no one who has adopted the attitude of "I can't" or "It can't be done" has ever made any significant positive change in their own life or the lives of others.

Give yourself permission to be impractical for a while. Dream without restrictions. You may be surprised at how possible the possibilities really are.

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with much of this. It takes work to live out our hopes in the present - make them happen - be who it is you want to be.

There are some things, though, that are harder to figure out. For instance, I live across the country from my extended family. I've often thought we should move back to be close to them as we were eight years ago. I have visions of all we are missing as a family. I picture all of us together around the tv watching a football game, laughing, eating. The children are growing up without such experiences with Grandma & Grandpa and all the cousins. Then my husband gave me a reality check. He pointed out that when we did live there they would never make the trip to our home and the invitations to theirs were non-existent. He said that if we lived near them it wouldn't happen and that my dream is of a fantasy family. That is very true. I really can't make other people into what I dream they would be!

It's funny but I had a dream about this same thing while I slept. In my dream God seemed to say "you do that when you are the grandparent - make it happen then!"

Well that was a new viewpoint. Some serious thoughts to save up for when I'm the grandparent. It will be a long wait, but I guess that may just be the purpose of some of our dreams - the right dream, the wrong time.