“Our biological rhythms are the symphony of the cosmos, music embedded deep within us to which we dance, even when we can’t name the tune.” Deepak Chopra
I can feel the rhythm of the cycle. I can feel the pulse of spring. Its familiarity warms me amidst memories of a year of extreme change, like never before. The earth, seemingly oblivious to our plight, sends its hidden messages to all in nature – it’s time for change – again.
It’s around a year ago that life changed for all of us. Who would ever have imagined that a pandemic would sweep the world, changing our social behaviour, causing extreme suffering and loneliness and challenge our very way of being.
It coincided with a decision to move my life and home in a totally different direction. On reflection, in some respects, it feels like I left one life behind and started a new one. I went from travelling all over the place on ‘planes, trains and automobiles’, to being in one place, not yet familiar, and going nowhere. I shifted from urban to rural life. The whole year feels like mindfulness practice in its own right.
I have spent a year immersed in nature. For the first time in my life I am acutely aware of the phases of the moon and the tides. I knew they were interconnected, but I never really noticed the nuances for myself. How the tides are extremely low and high during a new moon phase, especially near the equinox or solstice. For the first time ever I now know the time it is in the morning and evening by where the sun is in the sky. I am fascinated as I become more aware of the sun’s path and its relationship with the earth and an inkling of that sense of our planet moving through space in a dance with the sun and the moon.
When I landed in my new home last year, I became aware of the changing landscape as Spring arrived and was gently courted by the Summer. The stunning colours of the Autumn filled my heart with delight and then came the stark contrast of the bareness and lack of colour of the Winter while everything rested.
Here we are back at the start of the cycle. We have come full circle. Just as there is now the hint of freedom for humanity through vaccinations and medicine, buds on trees and flowers are beginning to open and the increased sound of bird song in the air comes with the gentle arrival of Spring. I can see the landscape gradually change once more as brown turns to green with smatterings of the yellow of daffodils.
Birds I haven’t seen or heard for months as they completed their cycle of renewal last year, have started to appear and sing. It is a joy to welcome them back. A skylark filled the sky with its song – barely detectable as it hovered way up above but its presence was felt.
The earth has sent out its pulse and whisperings and life is responding.
Last year I watched with awe, the arrival of kittiwakes at a colony near my home. The air was filled with the calling of hundreds of birds, gathering together for only one reason – to nest and breed. The clumsy, gangly, scruffy, awkward looking chicks arrived and before long had transformed into beautiful, flawlessly white, elegant birds taking flight and then they were all gone. Silence and starkness again.
Yesterday I was overjoyed to see just one nesting pair sitting on the cliff waiting. They had surrendered to the call and were responding. They sat snuggled into their nest in anticipation. Not forcing, allowing themselves to be carried along by the rhythm of the cycle of life, even though they normally spend most of their lives out at sea.
Waiting for inspiration this morning I tuned into the daily sit. There we have another cycle. This week we celebrate the first anniversary of the Mindfulness Association’s free daily guided practice and I wonder what deep calling within we surrendered to as we are inspired to join this community of practice.
Vin is guiding the practice – I hear him saying “Accept ourselves and the situation just as they are”.
I notice that fighting against this acceptance causes stress, tightness and frustration. How would it be if nature fought against the rhythm and the cycle?
In my mindfulness practice I ask myself how would it be to surrender to the rhythm? What does surrender feel like? I sit and allow myself to feel surrender for a few moments.
I become aware of a relaxedness, allowing and softness spreading across my whole being.
Yielding to the rhythm creates a sense of calm and allowing within me.
This quote I once read pops into my mind.
“We trust nature to know what it is doing, but we are not nearly so kind, understanding and trusting of our own rhythms and cycles. It’s ridiculous that we are so hard on ourselves. Can we not trust that the very same forces that created the rhythms and cycles of nature created our own? Of course we can. We often don’t, but we can, if we remember.” Jeffrey R. Anderson
Can I trust the rhythm of my own life and surrender? Or more can I remember to surrender?
My mindfulness practice reminds me to accept and allow whatever is. I notice that I remember then I forget. Recently I’ve been feeling a bit more stressed than usual, and I recognise that it is because I have forgotten what I know. I have forgotten how to trust and surrender to what is. I realise that you can’t force the cycle and rhythm of life and nature. So why do I want to force anything to be different than how it is if it can’t be changed with ease?
I feel my motivation flooding back into my heart as I rest in my practice and yield to the call of the rhythms in my own being. I allow myself to just rest and to be present, with whatever is happening. Coming full circle into the definition of mindfulness itself. “Knowing what is happening, while it is happening, whatever it is”.
I invite you to spend a while in nature, noticing the patterns and rhythms as Spring is arriving.
How does it feel to be still for a while and tune into your own rhythm and cycle? Is it possible to let go and just be with whatever is? How does that feel deep inside your being?
I’d love to hear from you with your thoughts and insights. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacky has contributed a chapter to the Mindful Heroes Book entitled “Turning Empathic Distress into Compassion – A Hero’s Journey for Family Carers”. You can hear an extract from the chapter where she talks about the results of her MSc Studies in Mindfulness on Compassion & Family Carers. You can download a free sample of Jacky’s chapter here.