The rhythm of life

Ac­cel­er­a­tion is hap­pen­ing in every­thing. It is a char­ac­ter­is­tic of a univer­sal shift in the evo­lu­tion. Within this process new con­scious­ness/aware­ness is in the air.

Living Now - - Editorial - by Howard Martin

Ac­cel­er­a­tion is hap­pen­ing in every­thing. It is a char­ac­ter­is­tic of a univer­sal shift in the evo­lu­tion. Within this process new con­scious­ness/aware­ness is in the air.

Zoom! Most of us have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a speed­ing up in our lives. We feel it on the in­side. We ex­pe­ri­ence it in the busy­ness of our daily ac­tiv­i­ties. There al­ways seem to be more things go­ing on than ever be­fore – more to do in less time, more in­for­ma­tion to process, things pulling us in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions. It of­ten feels like a re­lent­less, ac­cel­er­at­ing mo­men­tum that is hard to keep up with. Our minds are full and ev­ery minute of our days is packed with things to do and think about.

This is noth­ing new. It’s been go­ing on for a while and in fact things have been get­ting pro­gres­sively faster in the ex­pe­ri­ence of life. There is just more of it now, and the speed at which we live con­tin­ues to ac­cel­er­ate.

In many ways the last 150 or so years have been about in­creas­ing the speed of things. Con­sider trans­porta­tion, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, television and com­put­ers.

What changed every­thing even more was the in­ter­net. We all know the rest of the story. The changes af­fect lives, busi­ness, so­cial con­nec­tion, pol­i­tics, medicine, ed­u­ca­tion, ba­si­cally every­thing on a global level. It con­nected the world in a whole new way.

Then other in­ven­tions brought com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the next level. Wire­less con­nec­tiv­ity led us to the smart phone and then the tablets. These in­no­va­tions put com­put­ing power and con­nec­tion to in­for­ma­tion world­wide, 24/7, right in the palm of our hands from al­most any­where. We now have apps, tweets, blogs, photo and video shar­ing, ac­cess to web­sites, etc., giv­ing us in­for­ma­tion about al­most any­thing in min­utes if not sec­onds.

Tech­nol­ogy is just an out­ward look­ing view of the speed of change. The changes we are see­ing in tech­nol­ogy are tak­ing place be­cause some­thing much big­ger is hap­pen­ing. The speed of evo­lu­tion within us, the world and through­out the uni­verse is in an ac­cel­er­ated mode. Un­seen forces of a dif­fer­ent kind are push­ing us to grow.

Life, in­clud­ing us, is al­ways evolv­ing. It is just hap­pen­ing at a very fast pace now dur­ing an im­por­tant and unique time in the his­tory of ex­is­tence. It is hap­pen­ing whether we like it or not. It is the evo­lu­tion­ary im­per­a­tive of our time.

The vi­bra­tory rate of our brain’s pro­cess­ing ca­pac­ity and heart’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the rest of our body is get­ting faster. Our ner­vous sys­tem and body chem­istry are adapt­ing. I be­lieve even our DNA is chang­ing in ways yet to be de­tected by tra­di­tional science and medicine. All of these phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes are af­fect­ing our emo­tions, per­cep­tions and thoughts. I see this jump up the evo­lu­tion­ary spi­ral as a very good thing but recog­nise it can also be dif­fi­cult to man­age with so much change tak­ing place in so many ways in such a short amount of time.

When I talk to peo­ple from all over the world about what they are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and what chal­lenges they have, their an­swers could gen­er­ally be summed up in one word. Over­whelm. Many peo­ple are feel­ing like they are about to be pushed over a psy­cho­log­i­cal (men­tal/ emo­tional) edge. The changes, the un­pre­dictable events, the sched­ules, the news, the un­cer­tain­ties, the con­fu­sion, all add up to one big chal­lenge. How to find the bal­ance needed to flow with this evo­lu­tion­ary speed-up and thrive in­stead of sur­vive?

Ev­ery mo­ment, ev­ery day, month, year, and so on has a rhythm. It is an ap­pro­pri­ate rhythm, flow­ing and chang­ing all the time, mov­ing us for­ward through life. It is al­ways there.

When we are in sync with it life goes smoothly and feels ful­fill­ing. When we are not, things of­ten get con­fus­ing, hec­tic, emo­tion­ally un­sat­is­fy­ing, bland and chal­leng­ing. No-one should ex­pect to al­ways be in sync with the rhythm of life. Events and emo­tions move too fast and life is too com­plex for that ex­pec­ta­tion to have cre­dence. The goal is about in­creas­ing the amount of time we are danc­ing well with the pre­vail­ing rhythm and about how quickly we can get back when we find we are out of sync.

There are many things that can take us out of the rhythm of life. Im­pa­tience would be a good ex­am­ple. When we are feel­ing im­pa­tient it means we want the rhythm to be go­ing faster than it is. Want­ing a long meet­ing to fi­nally get over, stand­ing in the se­cu­rity line at the air­port that seems to be go­ing so slowly, wish­ing a busi­ness deal would close sooner, etc., cre­ate im­pa­tience. We burn a lot of en­ergy through the ex­pe­ri­ence of im­pa­tience.

The ob­vi­ous an­ti­dote to get­ting back into rhythm would be to be­come more pa­tient when the feel­ing of im­pa­tience starts to own us. Pa­tience is the art of in­tel­li­gent wait­ing. It is about ac­cept­ing a rhythm in­stead of re­sist­ing it. It is about mak­ing peace in the mo­ment and let­ting things un­fold as they will. Of course this is not easy to do. It re­quires prac­tice at be­ing able to find a more peace­ful place that ex­ists within our hearts. Just like

the rhythm of life is al­ways there so is pa­tience. It is some­thing we can learn to find more eas­ily if we re­ally want it. It is a fre­quency in our con­scious­ness we can at­tune to.

Another rhythm breaker would be com­plain­ing. Com­plain­ing is mak­ing a judg­ment that some­thing is not like we think it should be. Life is say­ing one thing and our per­cep­tions are say­ing some­thing else.

There is a dis­con­nec­tion be­tween the cur­rent re­al­ity and the pro­jec­tion of what we want or think should be. Com­plain­ing is nor­mal and it’s nat­u­ral at times to want things to be dif­fer­ent and bet­ter. The com­plain­ing pro­gram, so to speak, is built into our stan­dard psy­cho­log­i­cal soft­ware.

Com­plaints are cer­tainly nat­u­ral but they of­ten take us out of rhythm. How much dis­rup­tion they cre­ate re­ally de­pends on what kind of feel­ing is as­so­ci­ated with the com­plaint. Is it a feel­ing that is edgy and harsh? Is it one that is down­trod­den and re­signed? Per­haps it is a dif­fer­ent emo­tional shade; one that hopes for some­thing bet­ter while still in­cor­po­rat­ing ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the way things are.

There are many things like in­ter­rup­tions, in­con­ve­niences, un­met ex­pec­ta­tions, sad­den­ing news, in­for­ma­tion over­load and a host of other ex­pe­ri­ences, thoughts and emo­tions that can dis­rupt our rhythm. They are all part of life. In ad­di­tion the rhythm changes all the time and is there­fore elu­sive. Some­times the pace/rhythm needs to be fast. Some­times the rhythm is slower and there are many shades in be­tween dur­ing the course of a day. As stated ear­lier, there is no per­fect syn­chro­ni­sa­tion with the mas­ter rhythm in our lives. The goal is to be in sync more of the time and to shorten the time it takes to get back into a flow once we know we are out.

Life is mov­ing fast, has been mov­ing fast and will con­tinue to move faster and faster. The con­stant speed­ing up is cre­at­ing prob­lems, but per­haps there is another side to it. The same en­er­getic mo­men­tum that is mak­ing life move faster is also speed­ing up our con­scious­ness, our evo­lu­tion. We have the abil­ity to grow, to learn to change in pos­i­tive ways un­like ever be­fore. It is a time in the his­tory of hu­mankind, the world and uni­verse for ac­cel­er­ated growth. The same ir­ri­tat­ing, fast pace that is cre­at­ing over­whelm is also of­fer­ing a ma­jor op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate a new you. When we merge with the rhythm of life, surf on it as it flows and changes mo­ment to mo­ment, day to day, we ac­cess a co-cre­ative power to trans­form our lives and our world.

Within this ac­cel­er­a­tion a new con­scious­ness/aware­ness is in the air. One of the as­pects of new con­scious­ness is a state avail­able to us that cre­ates more flow with the rhythm of life. It’s called the state of ease (in­ner ease). Ac­cess­ing the state of ease al­lows us to move at the speed of bal­ance by slow­ing down our in­ner body lan­guage.

In­ner ease helps us slow down the vi­bra­tory rate of the mind and emo­tions so our heart’s in­tu­ition can weigh in on de­ci­sions, choices and ac­tions. It gives us a way to find a flow with the rhythm of life in non-flow­ing sit­u­a­tions.

Another way to de­scribe it would be that the state of ease is like a quiet door­way into our pres­ence, our core au­then­tic self. As we learn to at­tune to the state of ease, it in­creases our con­scious mem­ory to in­clude our heart’s in­tel­li­gence as we nav­i­gate through daily choices that de­cide the qual­ity and di­rec­tion of our life.

The state of ease is not a sleepy-time state nor is it sim­ply ‘tak­ing it easy’. It is a re­fined state of con­scious­ness that al­lows us to flow more with change and the speed of it. It takes the cor­ners and rough edges off life and of­fers a con­nec­tion to our best, most in­tel­li­gent as­pects.

In­ner ease is a fre­quency, a vi­bra­tion in con­scious­ness so to speak. It is some­thing we learn to at­tune to.

For me, lin­ing up with the state of ease, cul­ti­vat­ing it and try­ing to main­tain it as much as pos­si­ble is not just the lat­est cool prac­tice or some­thing to do ev­ery now and then. Ac­cess­ing it is es­sen­tial for me to han­dle the speed of change in my life.

The rhythm of life flows along – al­ways has and al­ways will. Some­times it’s fast, some­times even faster like in these cur­rent times, and then at times it can seem too slow.

In a larger sense it is noth­ing we can com­pletely con­trol. We can con­trol how we re­late to it and we can cre­ate our own rhythm, danc­ing in con­sort with the over­ar­ch­ing rhythm of life. We do it by be­ing con­scious, us­ing what we know, and ex­er­cis­ing our in­tel­li­gence and ma­tu­rity. As we do we can learn how to re­duce re­sis­tances, make peace with the ex­pe­ri­ences we have in life and find an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the pre­vail­ing rhythm of the mo­ment. The re­ward is a life that al­lows for ups and downs but in the end sim­ply feels eas­ier and more ful­fill­ing.

The rhythm is al­ways there. We just have to find it. So, let’s dance. ■

Howard Martin is co-au­thor, The Heart­math So­lu­tion; Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Heart­math; Steer­ing Com­mit­tee Mem­ber, Global Co­her­ence Ini­tia­tive. For the past 22 years he’s had the priv­i­lege of speak­ing about Heart­math, a sys­tem/or­gan­i­sa­tion cre­ated by Doc Chil­dre, con­sist­ing of in­no­va­tive ideas, lead­ing-edge science, tech­niques and tech­nol­ogy de­signed to help bring about a more heart-con­nected world.

He is speak­ing in Mel­bourne, Syd­ney and Auck­land in Septem­ber, 2016.

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