EVERYTHING has its own rhythm: the ocean, earth, moon, and planets all have ebbs and flows of direction, contraction, and growth. And, just like these larger things around us, we have natural rhythms — some corresponding to the physical rhythms of the earth and sky, and some that are unique to each of us as individuals.
We each have sleep and creative energy cycles. My oldest son, for example, has always been an early riser, wide awake and ready to roll by 6:30 a.m., no matter what time he goes to bed. He’s most productive in the early morning. My youngest son, a night owl, naturally stays up until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and sleeps in late. I tend to the night owl side of things myself and am most productive between two and six hours after I have gotten out of bed in the morning (it takes me about two hours to truly feel awake).
As writers, creatives, and just plain people who want to make meaning of our lives and contribute to the world in positive ways, it’s important to find and honor our own natural rhythms. Because when we do — when we stop trying to fit into anyone else’s ideal, whether it’s what time of day we should be most productive, or how we should go about it — we begin to build on our own gifts and strengths. And when we honor our down times (low energy or emotion), by taking care of ourselves and resting when we need it, we will experience more balance in our lives, as well as have the inner resources to create, to give, and to grow.
Things to think and write about:
- What is your natural rhythm of rest and activity?
- When do you feel most productive, and when do you just need to tune out the rest of the world?
- Are you honoring your rhythms?
- Do you need to change something in your life so that you can live according to your rhythms (work or childcare schedule)?