The Importance of Rhythm
When I think of schedules I begin to feel the tension building in my body. My thoughts anxiously skip from task to task as I question whether or not I will actually be able to do it all as planned.
My heart beats faster and I feel like I can’t breathe.
I feel like I am running full speed into a dark alley without an escape route and, not surprisingly, I don’t want to go.
When I think of rhythm the tension begins to melt and both my mind and body begin to feel in harmony as a sense of ease washes over me.
Why? Because rhythm mirrors our natural state of being while schedules attempt to manipulate it. Allow me to explain…
Patterson & Bradley tell us, We are all born into the world of rhythms; the rise and fall of the breath, the beating of your heart, the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, the seven days of the week, and the changing of the tides and seasons. The rhythms in both our internal and external worlds support and maintain us as we move from task to task, day by day, week by week.
In the days of our ancestors, people depended directly on nature for the way they chose to live their daily lives. Their lives were more rhythmical and in sync with natural rhythms. They instinctively knew that these rhythms both fortified their work and were good for them.
With the advent of modern conveniences such as dishwashers and washing machines, we are no longer required to abide by these natural rhythms of daily life. I doubt any of us want to give up these modern conveniences for rhythm, myself included, but we must add rhythm back into our lives if we want our children [especially infants and toddlers] to have a sense of security within their ever-changing world.
When we provide supporting rhythms at home we help our children connect in a stronger way to the rhythms of nature. When children have regular external rhythms, their internal rhythms can begin to develop in harmony with their external world.
Today, when we look at our own lives, more and more of us are out of sync. Out of sync with the natural world, out of sync with each other, and out of sync with ourselves.
Patterson & Bradley write, “We all know that bodily rhythm is an indicator of health or illness. A doctor checks the patient’s internal rhythms of heart, blood pressure, and pulse during an examination. When the patient has irregularities in these rhythms, this may indicate illness.” (p. 32)
Dancy explains rhythm as follows, “Creating a rhythmical home life will nourish both you and your child… Because the young child is so centered in the body and in imitation, rhythm is one of the most important keys to discipline. It both guides the child’s life by creating good habits and helps avoid arguments and problems.” (Kindle Loc 2071)
A predictable rhythm has psychological benefits as well–it gives us a sense of security if we know what is going to happen. Imagine if we had to wonder every morning whether the sun was going to rise? Now imagine how your newborn child must feel without rhythm.
Creating a rhythm for our lives has helped me immeasurably with my spirited, strong-willed daughter because she has had a very difficult time with transitions. Having a daily rhythm has helped us get through our day without her breaking down–and me melting right along with her–every time we change from one activity to the next.
Creating a daily and weekly rhythm will help you get organized for good! Following a rhythm increases your ability to stay focused, get things done, and will allow you to find freedom within the structure of your every day.
The links below are amazon affiliate links to some of my favorite parenting books. I earn a very small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for choosing to support this blog!
- Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children from Birth to Seven by Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley.
- You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development from Birth to Age Six by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
- Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children by Sharifa Oppenheimer
Other articles in this series:
- Get Organized for Good Using the Power of Rhythm
- Establishing Household Rhythms
- 10 Reasons to Make Rhythm a Habit
- Creating Positive Habits
- 7 Reasons to Add the Waldorf Color of the Day to Your Daily Rhythm