• Elisa Juarez

Rhythm & Ritual

October 24, 2022

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm & harmony.

-Thomas Merton


Lately I’ve been feeling out of balance. I started writing this blog reflection two weeks ago. As my calendar filled up with tasks and activities, my writing time got crowded out. Considering how writing grounds me, it’s no wonder I feel a little untethered these days. It used to be part of my daily routine, a sacred ritual that helped me find my center. Now when I sit down with my journal, it’s like putting on an oxygen mask.


The pace of the world is fast and furious, and I feel it every time I drive to and from work. I breathe, listen to music or podcasts, and work on my mindset. It takes effort and intention to stay calm on a four-lane freeway of heavy traffic. It’s also a challenge as we approach the holiday season and navigate the many activities and expectations. I realize the importance of creating my own rhythm and following it.


Rhythm and ritual can give us a sense of stability when we’re feeling shaky and overwhelmed. They provide some certainty and comfort as we move through the changes and challenges of each season. Rituals can also connect us to our roots, grounding us when we need an anchor. Rhythm comes from our heartbeat, breath, and soul. It is movement, music, energy, and vibration. Our daily and weekly rituals create the rhythm of our lives. They are usually a weaving of practices we have inherited and those we have created for ourselves.


My morning and evening routines provide nourishment and nurture for body and soul. They carry me through the hard seasons, giving a rhythm to my days. I’ve learned that I need a balance of music and silence, engagement and solitude, work and play. I need birds and trees and falling leaves.


Stressed souls need the reassuring rhythm of self-nurturing rituals. -Sarah Ban Breathnach

We need to find and create self-nurturing rituals and soul-soothing soundtracks. One of my seasonal rituals is listening to George Winston’s “Autumn” album on the first day of autumn, and “December” at the beginning of that month. The familiar piano music awakens feelings and memories connected to those seasons as I cross a symbolic threshold. I experience a renewal of hope, comfort, and joy.


There are all kinds of rituals, including those around family, faith, friendship, and self-care. It is easy to get on auto-pilot as we move through the seasons, year after year, following the rhythm and rituals we have learned or inherited, even if they lose meaning for us. Habits and expectations can hold us hostage until we break out of old patterns and create new ones. This takes courage and creativity. Begin to notice which rituals bring you comfort and joy and which ones deplete you.


Your authenticity is your own rhythm. It connects you to the flow of life and love, the Spirit which is continually renewing and creating. In this flow, you become part of a deeper rhythm that draws you into balance, harmony, and joy. Tap into this energy as you move through the season, and you will raise the vibration all around you.


Stay Calm & Dance On,

ej

Elisa J. Juarez

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