Personal reflection – Living in a Rhythm

Personal reflection – Living in a Rhythm

One of the greatest hurdles I’ve overcome in life is giving myself a hard time for not being perfect. I have been a master of self loathing, sharpening every self-bashing tool, thought and behaviour in the shed. For a long time I operated under the ethos that if I were to do something then it would have to be perfect, meaning that I would often go to extraordinary lengths to achieve what I had set out to achieve, even if it was at the expense of myself. On the inverse though, when facing things where I knew I couldn’t be perfect, I would either withdraw, do nothing or simply give up; becoming a shadow of myself, creating the perfect breeding ground for self loathing.

For a long time I thought this was simply just a part of who I was, I even used to joke about it as being ‘my way of working’ and although at times I would shine as to what I considered to be the brightest, there were many times when I felt that shine could barely be seen. So around and around the merry-go-round I went, simply accepting that life was full of ups and downs and that this was something out of my control; this was of course until I came across the work of Natalie Benhayon and was introduced to the concept of working with one’s rhythm.

Learning to work with my rhythm was like discovering that I had my own personal training ground in which I could start to respond to the areas of my life that I felt needed development. It was like I had discovered a secret to living. The beauty of working with my rhythm was that it empowered me to start to address the many things in my life that were giving me trouble. It provided me with a platform from which I could not only see the impact of my choices but could also start to see where I could make different choices that allowed me to build and embody the many jewels and gems which life had on offer. So when it came to self-loathing and perfectionism, instead of getting caught up in all of the thoughts and emotional drama, I simply stopped myself and asked ...

  • Where was I bringing this into my rhythm? 
  • What exactly was I choosing?
  • Is it possible that there was a different way?

One of the biggest revelations that I discovered when working with my rhythm was that I had, what I came to call, an addiction to struggle. I was unconsciously/consciously doing things throughout my day that would make my life difficult. I would not complete simple tasks, telling myself they were too hard, too big or too tiresome and that I would get around to doing them some other time. I realised I had developed a rhythm of delay and a rhythm of struggle. Simple things like putting my clothes away or tidying my bathroom, I would let build up throughout the week making every excuse under the sun why I couldn’t do it. I would watch as this disregard grew, overriding the moments I felt that something could be done, and allowing things to build to the point where they became arduous and overwhelming.  

Through bringing attention to my rhythm, I was able to stop and see how this cycle was playing out, this provided me with an opportunity to choose a different rhythm, one that was more supportive and less self destructive. In this case, I decided to introduce the energy of completion. I made the decision to keep things simple if something needed to be done, instead of drawing on excuses or seeking distractions, I simply did it. Clothes were put away at the end of the day, the bathroom was always kept tidy, nothing was left to build; if I noticed something needed to be done I simply did it. This seems like a small and simple solution, and it was, but the simplicity exposed the complication that I was creating and hence, my addiction to struggle. 

What was amazing though, was that these small daily decisions had quite a significant impact on other areas of my life. I became more productive at work, I had more time on my hands, I was more present in my relationships and I started to appreciate the efforts I put into things, but more importantly, I stopped beating up on myself and found a new respect, care, love and understanding for myself, which in many ways one could say, is the perfect antidote to self-loathing. 

The beauty I’ve found in bringing awareness to my rhythm is that it provides me with a way of looking at life where I’m no longer at the mercy of the things that are happening around me, placing my life firmly back in my hands. We can choose the qualities of the movements which we put into our rhythm and either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences, the choice is ours.

Through developing an intimate and personal relationship with my rhythm, I have been able to build a way of living that has allowed me to remain joyful through times that most would find horrific.  It is because of this rhythm that I have been able to do the many things that I have done in life and it is this that will support me to do the many the things that are yet to come. I’ve built a way of living that is tremendously joyful, and this has come from embracing a life whereby I have developed a positive relationship with learning and by choosing to make a strong commitment to being loving; this I owe to me and my rhythm. 

There was a time when I used to feel disempowered in life, but now, thanks to Natalie Benhayon’s discoveries and presentations on working with rhythm, I now work with my life very differently and invite all elements of it in full, embracing what it brings with an almost ridiculous amount of joy and not a skerrick of self-loathing. Such is the power of working with our rhythm.

  • By Martin Gladman