I find rhythms and cycles fascinating. And I’m always curious about mine. I’m particularly interested in what I consider the in-breaths and the out-breaths – the periods when I’m inwardly turned and seemingly not outwardly productive but rather filling myself; and then those periods when I’m crazy creative.
I think it’s important to pay attention to ourselves, to know ourselves, to honor ourselves. But we don’t exist here just in isolation either. My individual rhythms and cycles lie within larger cycles and rhythms – the cycles of a day, a week, the lunar month. The seasons, the year. Circadian cycles, zodiacal cycles, the cycles of organizations and groups, the macro and micro, all moving in different rhythms of unfolding, beginning, ending, ebbing, flowing.
It can be exciting to think about. Throw a rock in the water and watch the ripples spread outward and see how widely they can go. Throw a couple rocks and see the waves touching and interacting, see the connection and integration, and all the beauty. Throw more and more rocks and it gets harder to see what’s happening and eventually it begins to look too chaotic to figure out.
One of the fun parts of paying attention to these things is understanding it’s entirely possible to use the rhythm of one cycle to boost the momentum of another. But looking at too many things can just be too confusing, and you lose the helpful potential. Like everything it comes down to balance. What’s helpful, what’s not? What’s giving me a boost, what’s rubbing against me? All good things to pay attention to.
I always enjoy reading what astrologer Rob Brezsny has to say. He is after all the author of Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring To Shower You with Blessings. So when his weekly newsletter arrived in my mailbox today and with this admonition, I smiled and knew it was something to pay attention to:
“There are thousands of things in the world that provide you with only mediocre nourishment; the influences that deeply enrich you with their blessings are much smaller in number.
To say it another way: You derive a bare amount of inspiration and teaching from the great majority of people, songs, images, words, stories, environments, and sights; whereas you draw life-sustaining illumination and spirit-ennobling motivation from just a precious few.
I invite you to identify that special minority, and take aggressive steps to be in ongoing communion with it.”
I have a friend who calls such specialized focus “cherry picking” and I delight in that. Choosing those things that are right-fit and delicious and deeply-satisfying and giving them the benefit of your full attention, not just superficial glances. Nor insisting that you have to KNOW EVERYTHING. As if such a thing were possible. But acting like it is a prescription to drive yourself crazy.
I would like us all to simply agree up front, we are enough. We don’t need to strive for anything other than what makes our hearts happy. Because when we’re in that zone of joy, whether it’s in that internal in-breath phase or that external out-breath phase, our vibrations are at their highest. We have the most pure energy to seed, the most light to radiate, the most magnificence to inspire others with on their own journeys of discovery.
Does it get any better than that?
But it IS something that requires our attention. Our noticing when things feel out of balance – whether that is in the direction of not enough lighting us up, or too much around us that it feels chaotic and distracting.
An image that keeps coming up for me (sparking that creative inspiration state!) is the wonderful nesting Matryoshka dolls. I like to think that the inner doll is pure me, my shining soul self, and the outer nesting dolls are things that delight me and I’m resonance with. But I can move my attention both inward and outward. When I’m honestly being myself, that inner doll, and call to me those things that delight me, those things are close to me, in resonance, fitting like beautiful gloves complimenting me (those outer dolls). They reflect who I am, and those on the other edges can get a sense of what might be inside if they dig a bit deeper.
Just as interesting is looking at the energy flow in the other direction. Working from the outer edges of the largest outside doll – (things that excite and inspire me outside myself) – when I pay attention to those things I can also use that awareness to more clearly know myself. It is through these understandings of what my preferences are that I come to know myself, to define myself with more clarity. Another example of the in-breath and the out-breath.
So what do you think? Does that make sense to you? What’s your inner doll self look like? What are you radiating? And how might we see that if we’re only seeing the outer dolls? What fits closely around you because you’re following your heart? Do tell – you know I love to hear.