Natural Rhythms: Your Personal Timing

All through our lives we have been expected to function according to other people’s timing. You have to show up at work at a scheduled times, are expected to attend college, have children, get married and eat dinner all at given times in one’s life. There seems to be a “right” time for everything-when you should start dating, to when you should retire. Although there is a natural timing for everything in nature, human beings have lost touch with this natural timing. Our culture really interferes with our own natural and personal rhythms – advertisements, popular television shows and movies, music, social and religious organizations, and businesses all dictate what you should be doing and when.

We lose touch with the natural timing that is within our bodies and psyches.

Traditional cultures realized that each of us has his or her own natural rhythms, his or her own pace. Like fingerprints, each person’s timing is unique, even sacred. Not surprisingly, many people suffer because they are caught between what feels like the correct time to do something and when others expect them to do it. Some people live their entire lives according to timetables imposed by others and a belief they hold about what is right timing. If you know someone who is unhappy, you will probably discover that they have been denying their own sense of sacred timing. An example might be: “My grandfather wanted my dad to put off school and stay and help him on the farm, so he never did make it to college.” Or, often times feeling “lazy” or “rushed,” or “overwhelmed” are all signs that you are on someone else’s timing and not your own. 

Feeling out of sync with what society sees as the “ideal” timetable and pace for life can distort your self-image. Back in 1991 I was feeling upset with myself. All my life I had felt I was lazy. I liked those times I gave myself to just hang out at home and do nothing. But I always had some unfinished project hanging over my head. I often felt overwhelmed by the feeling that I was a lazy person. At the time, it was so much on my mind that I shared it with my spiritual advisor. 

She smiled at me and asked, “How many books have you written so far? Isn’t it true you have a successful business and own your own home, and you find time to play and relax?”  I laughed at myself. I realized that I was carrying my father’s timing (he was a workaholic). I discovered that I was beating myself over the head with other people’s notions of timing. For my father, there were no weekends off. I had thought my life should “look” a certain way but it wasn’t my way. I was carrying the BELIEF of laziness, work addiction, beliefs passed down from my father’s lineage.

What beliefs and assumptions around timing do you carry with you?

To manifest your own personal intentions and dreams, you need to honor your own timing. Tuning in to your own timing will help alleviated frustration at not doing things when other people are doing them, (or even in the way they do them), and will empower you to make choices based on when the time is correct for you. Nothing cramps a creative spirit like feeling pressured to do something when you aren’t ready or being held back from doing something when you do feel ready. 

We all must claim our timing, take back our timing, our internal rhythms from those who possess them (bosses, parents, friends, colleagues, institutions, beliefs). We don’t have to go through our lives plugged into the rhythms and intentions of others. We don’t have to agree to a belief that is not true for us.

Here are a few methods to claim back your timing:

                        1. Become aware of your own unique timing (which changes throughout                                                                                     our lives);                        

                        2. Become aware of whose timing you are fulfilling.

                        3. Practice not rushing yourselves or others. Rushing is a form of                                                                                                 violence.

                        4. Begin or reestablish a meditation and journaling practice;

                        5. Do something out of sync with the general publics, or work’s timing;

                        6. Take regular time in Nature, to help you reconnect with that natural                                                                                     timing;

                        7. Break a simple habit this week, and then another next week.

                        9. Read A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer

                        8. Read Spiritual Journaling by Julie Tallard Johnson

                        9. Include in your holiday celebrations acknowledgment of the seasonal                                                             holiday (Winter Solstice, Embalc, Spring Equinox).


Across the wall of the world,

A River sings a beautiful song. It says,

Come, rest here by my side.


Lift up your eyes

Upon this day breaking for you.

Give birth again

To the dream.  – Maya Angelou, poet

Spiritual Journaling Exercises —

Write about “being in sync’ using the following words:  fool, wind, native, earth, green, arrow.

Rise up with the sun and journal about what needs regeneration in your life.

Start writing your life story in your journal.

Write about the impossible being possible.

 Write about the color blue.


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