We go about our days, often in the same routine, day in and day out. You wake up. You have your morning routine. You begin your daily job. You end your work day. You have your evening routine. You go to sleep.
Many of us tend to get restless in this routine. You start feeling that there’s got to be something more, something different, something unique. You long to mix things up, break out of your box, and venture beyond your comfort zone. You might even begin to resent the life you have and the people and circumstances in it. Perhaps you can’t find the spark you used to feel, or the skip in your step you used to experience.
Pretty soon, we start looking for ways to abandon ship. You want to move, get a new job, buy a new car, end or begin a relationship, start a new class, etc. Then you might start finding excuses as to why you can’t do these things. You blame others for your stuckness. You escape when you can through momentary pleasures like intoxication, sex, sugar, extreme sports, gossip, meditation, yoga, shopping, etc.
This is not unlike the journey from childhood to adulthood. As we step deeper and deeper into adulthood, the child in us wanes. She gets lost in the shuffle of life. Other things take over like responsibilities, commitments and obligations. We begin to wonder what happened to that person we know is tucked away inside of us. We long for the joy and bliss of innocence. We struggle to find the time for such play because it doesn’t fit into the “routine” we’ve created for ourselves.
The trouble is, we’re stuck in the deadness of routine, rather than living in the dynamics of rhythm. We must have rhythm in our life. Life itself is rhythm. Nature has Her rhythms in the days, weeks, months, seasons, and years. Every creature has its rhythms. There is a rhythm to human development. The movement of the planets has rhythm. Life in the material world needs rhythm.
True rhythm is dynamic and not static. Consider the seasons, or even the day. There is heat in some seasons, and cold in others. There is light in parts of the day and darkness in others. Then there is the day’s rhythm in connection to the season’s rhythm, with light and dark shifting to meet the season, just as animals and their behavior shifts to meet the greater rhythm of life. The Great Mystery itself has a rhythm, and all life forms have their own rhythms that fall within that greater rhythm, even while being as unique and varied as each life form.
I would like to make an argument that there is a rhythm we are not listening to or paying attention to that is critical for us to experience the joy and empowerment we are all seeking. This unique rhythm is the rhythm of the song in our heart.
We each have a song in our heart that is longing to be played. This song has a rhythm, just as all songs do. The rhythm is likely different in various periods of our life. Sometimes it might blend with the routine and rhythm we are living, and sometimes it might create what seems like total chaos. Yet it is the rhythm of our own unique heart song that is crying to be played.
What is the rhythm of your heart song? Have you heard it? Could you dance to it if I asked you to?
I believe we often fall into the deadness of routine because we have lost connection to the aliveness of our heart song’s rhythm. We go through the motions, hoping something outside of us will bring us the joy we are seeking, when all along, it is the song in our heart that is waiting to be heard.
So how do we hear this inner, unique heart song?
That may seem rather simplistic, but consider life these days. When are we actually listening? We text at the bus stop, stop light, checkout line, etc., rather than allowing ourselves to be in silence in those moments. Consider how many moments in a day human beings used to be in silence, rather than distracted by the noise of screens and media. We don’t even wait for our food in a restaurant, for a haircut, or even for our gasoline to finish pumping without the entertainment of screens in many places.
Then there is the routine. We get caught in the hum drum of the lifeless routine. We get so immersed in the day to day, that we forget to open ourselves to the dynamic whispers of our heart song and the song of Life.
You don’t have to begin by shaking everything up all at once. But what could you do today that gives you a moment to listen? How can you begin to honor rhythm, while stepping out of the routine?
Perhaps there is one radical step you can take today that will give you a chance to hear something new pulsing from within. What if you committed to no screens during those waiting times? What if you took five minutes upon waking to sit in silence, or 5 minutes before going to sleep?
There is nothing to do but be with the silence. The messages come when they are ready, and not necessarily in the moment of silence. Yet the silence is needed in order to invite the song of your heart to play and be heard. Then, in time, that song begins to share its lyrics with you, offering inspiration, intuition, and imagination.
Once the song and its rhythm are given space to be heard, we begin to open up to more of who we are, our true spiritual essence. If that song seems to have a rhythm that keeps time with the rhythm we’ve established for our day, we feel inwardly peaceful. If our heart song is beating to a different rhythm that that of our day, we must call upon our capacity to be devoted to our heart song. Devotion doesn’t mean we have to do anything about it just yet. That may come later as we cultivate more courage, patience and faith. Devotion is a starting point that requires that we commit to allowing our heart song to simply be. We allow space and time for the song of our heart to play and be heard. We honor and respect it. We let it work upon our soul until we feel called to action in some way, until we feel called to dance to the song.
Can you hear it? Are you willing to allow the song of your heart to grow and express in its authentic rhythm and voice?
May your heart song guide you. May you have the strength to listen to it.