Spring has arrived over here and all around me, I see nature starting to bloom. In Europe the clock has been adjusted again, which means we can already enjoy daylight longer. It made me think about rhythm. That of nature, that of us humans and other rhythms. For this month’s collaborative article, I’ve asked the Skilled Helpers Collaborative to share their perspectives on the topic Rhythm.
The Skilled Helpers Collaborative
The Skilled Helpers Collaborative is an initiative aiming to bring meaningful content to you. Various skilled helpers from different backgrounds sharing their perspectives regarding a specific topic. They don’t get to read each other’s contribution before publication and thus don’t influence each other to make sure, you as a reader can enjoy a variety of insights.
Regardless where we live on this beautiful globe, it’s the time of the year seasons change due a natural rhythm. Even if our level of awareness is disturbed by daily distractions, nature’s change can’t be missed ; -)
Our ancestors started to become aware of not only the rhythm of the changing seasons, but also of the continuous shift between day and night accordingly to a steady rhythm of approximately twenty-four hours. The latter is important to be aware of, because without the right amount of sleep our biological rhythm will be disturbed in such way, it will affect our health.
As we all experiencing right now, the environment can influence our rhythm too. As also our health, individually, globally. It goes without saying, my heart (and I’m certain, also the hearts of the SHC group) goes out to everyone hurting from the effects of the current pandemic.
Music, which through evolution on its own and by the influence of us humans, has nowadays many various rhythms. Even our own heart, when listened to, a rhythm can be heard, fluctuating depending on activity and emotions. When you put your hand on the chest of a living organism, you can feel the rhythm of that creature.
Any rhythm can affect us humans. I personally believe we are all connected via the same energy, each and every one of us tap into this energy every day, and energy also flows accordingly to a certain rhythm; the circle of life dances on a variety of rhythms, driven by that universal energy.
Go with the flow has much more meaning as you might think.
Above some examples of what I think of regarding the topic Rhythm. However, when YOU think of rhythm, something totally different may come to mind.
Enjoy this month’s perspectives of the Skilled Helpers Collaborative and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below. As always, feel free to Connect with one of the Skilled Helpers.
Find a rhythm suitable to your unique personality and let’s dance together through life : -)
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —
Creating a Rhythm in Freelancing
by Kally Tay
Many people consider freelancing as the dream career for many reasons. You get to be the boss of your schedule, work whenever you want and earn as much as you want. While this indeed sounds perfect, there are times when freelancers, especially new ones, struggle to keep up with this schedule and stay productive.
How can you create a rhythm that will keep you going and improve your overall well being? Here are some tips to help you create a steady rhythm to manage your freelancing work:
- Know your time preference
Each person has their ideal chronotype or time when they feel productive. Some are morning people, while others prefer doing their tasks at night. Once you identify your time preference, you can make a schedule to work with your body clock. Ensure that your plan works well with your employer or clients because they will definitely have expectations even though you are working for them as a freelancer.
- Allot time to the major projects
As you work on your schedule, have a list of all your projects and look at their deadlines. Based on your plan, you will be most productive when it is the time when you can focus better, and your energy is at its peak. The best way to stay productive is by doing the urgent and most important projects before working on the less critical tasks. You can also look into the projects that have medium importance.
If you can’t tell which project to start off with, look at the deadline and start off with that.
- Have boundaries for your freelance work
Like other careers, you will need to have boundaries to separate your work from your personal life, even if you are a freelancer. Without these boundaries, you will find yourself looking at your work inbox and not give yourself a break. It will also affect your focus significantly because you could have used your time wisely and do something more substantial for that time.
Like, when checking your emails, do them at a set time which will not affect your work, such as in the mornings or at the end of your work schedule.
- Stick to your schedule
If you want to stay productive as a freelancer and not be late, you will need to focus on your schedule and stick with it. If you do not have a plan in mind for the day, you will only waste your time trying to come up with what to do rather than focus on the tasks at hand. It may also cause you to lose track of time and make you late.
With a schedule at hand, you can allot time for your projects and sort out communications with your clients. You should also sort outbreaks in between so you don’t have to cram. You will also learn how much work you can do in a day and use that knowledge to sort out your schedule. If you think you are getting too much work and you don’t have enough time in a day to finish it, you may want to consider adjusting your workload.
It is also important to remember that you need to consider how you are paid when you work on your schedule. If you are charging clients by the hour, you will need to ensure that your work hours are during the time you are productive rather than when you are mostly idle.
- Use technology to help you
While technology can be a distraction while you work, freelancers depend on technology for many things. In this case, you may want to consider using the apps and programs available to help you manage your schedule, invoices and communications. Do your research about the best apps you can use to improve your productivity and organization, and you will definitely see the difference once you put them into practice.
However, be reminded that some of these apps may require payment. Don’t be afraid to invest if you see one that looks promising.
- Don’t forget to take a break
To stay productive, you must always give yourself a break to help your mind and body to recharge before pushing on ahead to your next task. Of course, you need to make sure that you don’t take too many breaks to the point you forget that you have work. As a freelancer, you should plan your breaks accordingly so that you won’t get distracted in the middle of your work.
During your breaks, make sure not to think about your work and focus on yourself. Some of the things you can do for your breaks include going to the gym or having some food.
- Be accountable
Finally, it is essential to remember that all these tips won’t work if your mind isn’t fully following them. As a freelancer or regular employee, you must be accountable for your actions, especially if it has caused you to miss deadlines and get into disagreements with your clients.
Look at your current work status and see if you can improve on it. For example, if you cannot follow your schedule because you are constantly distracted, you may want to consider doing your work in a shared office space or making one at home. Do you lose focus in the middle of the workday? You can improve on it by changing your schedule.
Like other careers, you will need to have a rhythm to get into the groove of freelancing. Without one, you may find yourself having trouble navigating this industry which requires people to be flexible at all times. With the tips we shared above, you can look into your current routine and use the necessary steps to improve your productivity as a freelancer. It will take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will definitely see a significant improvement in your workflow.
Connect with Kally Tay, Freelance Expert @ www.middleme.net
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —
Aligning to the Rhythm of Life
by Sukeshi Pandit Malhotra
‘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
Rhythm is the ebb and flow of life, the dance of change, the cyclical patterns with which everything in existence moves. There is rhythm all around us – we just need to tune in to the frequency of creation and we can witness rhythm in everything; right from a blade of grass growing in the garden to the cosmic movement of stars & planets.
Rhythm is a very vast and complex concept and can mean many different things to different people. For this article I will focus on our role as sentient beings to help bring better harmony and flow to the world in its current state.
According to Hindu philosophy vibration or sound (also known as ‘Spanda’ in Sanskrit) is the origin/source of creation. Quantum physics has proven that everything in existence has its own vibration and frequency. According to Sera Cremonini, a physicist specializing in string theory, every particle in the universe is made up of tiny vibrating strings of energy moving to their own rhythm.
Our body is the most exquisite example of rhythmic patterns which function with clockwork precision. Each life-giving breath we inhale follows a rhythm, our heart beats constantly to a rhythm, our bodily functions and metabolism follow circadian rhythms; nature all around us follows its own rhythm, be it the seasons, the winds, the rainfall, the waves and tides of the ocean or the life cycles of trees and plants.
The elements required to keep this rhythm of creation functioning and thriving are harmony, awareness and flow. And the onus of maintaining this balance and harmony within nature, as well as within our own lives, lies with us humans.
This discussion is more relevant today, than ever before, because humanity is currently facing a crisis of unprecedented magnitude, fighting for our very survival against an unpredictable enemy, which is evolving to its own rhythm. The years of rampant misuse and misalignment to the music and movement of nature has brought us to this crises state. And instead of feeling helpless and lamenting the loss of ‘our old way of existence’ we could do well to recognize the shift in the rhythm of nature and adapt ourselves to the new tune to enable us to bring back some coherence and harmony to life once again.
How can we become facilitators rather than disruptors to the rhythm of life?
Dual role of Rhythm:
There are two levels at which rhythm plays a critical role in our lives –
a) At the internal or micro level (within the microcosm of our mind-body existence) – the inner rhythm that keeps us moving forward and growing in life; this plays out at a physiological level ensuring our bodily functions stay in balance; as well as at the psychological level keeping our values, passions, vision, goals, beliefs, habits, thoughts and actions in tune with our core identity.
The psychological rhythm is deeply intertwined with the physiological rhythm; any disturbance and imbalance in the mental realm can have an immediate effect on the physical rhythm of the body and its well-being. This is equally true for the reverse relationship… when we abuse the body by making erratic life style choices, following unbalanced routines and sleep patterns and unhealthy eating habits, there is an immediate impact on our emotional well-being. Understanding the synergy between these two aspects of our existence and trying to maintain a balance between them is very important. We can accomplish that by trying to live mindfully by educating ourself, creating awareness, and making conscious choices to the best of our ability and available resources.
b) At the external or macro level (in relation to all external elements of existence) – As balanced individuals living in harmony with self, we become capable of projecting the internal congruence into our relationship with the environment. When we operate from an identity of co-creation and collaboration our beliefs and actions are aligned towards maintaining a healthy symbiotic relationship with everything around us.
Inner discord is the root of all disharmony. If the internal elements of our microcosm are not aligned, the resultant dissonance transcends into our external environment, leading to a breakdown in synergy and resultant chaos. We need to view ourselves as a tiny but very critical part of the whole. Like a single bolt or screw, when out of place in a machine, can lead to breakdown and bring the whole system crashing down, each of us is responsible for the healthy functioning of the universe.
To create a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship with nature we need to tune in to our inner harmony and rhythm.
Tuning to Inner Harmony
While our biological systems function to their own rhythm, without having to engage our conscious mind, the disruption to the inner rhythm comes through our conscious thoughts – with its biases, perceptions, beliefs, expectations and our map of the world constantly interfering with the flow.
The first step towards creating flow within the self is to align with our true identity and vision. Bringing greater self-awareness to our larger purpose in life, to how interconnected and interdependent we are to all of creation. To live more authentically. To recognize that every action we undertake today has a ripple effect on generations to come. When we view our existence holistically, we stop being in constant competition with everyone and everything around us.
Rita Aleluia, an NLP trainer, and a specialist in Generative Parenting, has explained this phenomenon of aligning oneself and working together in harmony beautifully, through the principle of coherence – Physiological coherence and Social coherence.
Physiological coherence – Cooperative alignment between the heart, mind and emotions that can help create order, structure, harmony and connection within and among systems – atoms, organs, people, families and society at large.
Social Coherence – When couples, families, groups, communities and organizations achieve a stable, harmonious alignment of relationships which allows for the efficient flow and utilization of energy and communication required for optimal collective cohesion and purpose.
What qualities and habits do to we need to inculcate in order to be better aligned to our higher frequency?
- Self-awareness – Being tuned in my emotions, thoughts, beliefs, identity and purpose
- Non-violent Communication – non-violence in though, word and actions
- Authenticity – Being true to self
- Gratitude – Contentment; being appreciative of what I have been gifted
- Openness – Set aside preconceptions; ability to see other’s ‘map of the world’
- Empathy – For self and others; compassion
- Innovation – Thinking out of the box; focus on finding solutions
- Mindfulness – Being completely tuned in to who you are; don’t lose sight of the big picture
In my journey as a coach and facilitator I have been witness to this transformation in mindset within myself as well as for many other coaches, clients and trainers who work in the field of self-development. It is an ongoing process and just like muscles in the body need constant work out and exercise, building the mind muscle needs a lot of perseverance, practice and patience. The shift in consciousness is happening slowly but consistently, where people are coming together as collaborators and change makers to create a more harmonized world.
Connect with Sukeshi Pandit Malhotra, Personal Mastery & Transformation Coach, via sukeshipm @ gmail.com
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —
Rhythm – The Universal Law of Rhythm
by Claire Rajan
In this article, I will discuss rhythm from its perspective of being a universal law and explore how it influences us as human beings.
The Universal Law of Rhythm
The Kybalion explains the Law of Rhythm as: “Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.”
The Universal Law of Polarity
This Universal Law of Rhythm operates in tandem with another Universal law called the Law of Polarity. The Kybalion explains the Law of Polarity as: “Everything is dual; Everything has poles; Everything has its pair of opposites; Like and unlike are the same; Opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; Extremes meet; All truths, are but half-truths; All paradoxes may be reconciled.”
The Laws Operating in Daily Life
The two laws described above are continuously working together within our 3-Dimensional reality. Their manifestations are found practically everywhere and form an integral part of our human experience. The dual nature of reality is something all of us can relate to. Duality is expressed in pairs as in masculine-feminine, night-day, yin-yang, active-passive, high-low, fast-slow, hot-cold, fear-faith, inside-outside, individualistic-united, activity-stillness, etc. These dualities may be perceived as opposites or as interdependent pairs. For instance, we would not know night without day and vice versa.
Rhythm operates between the two opposites of duality. It constitutes the swing between the poles of duality.
An experience we can all relate to is how our moods swing. We can easily notice that a day when we feel high is followed by a day when we feel low.
It has been my experience that our life experience is sub-optimal when we are attached to either pole within the domain of duality (manifesting polarity)- or unable to regulate the swing between the poles (manifesting rhythm). The poles or the swing take control of our lives when we are unable to manage them effectively.
Our emotions control us if we do not recognize that we are swinging between highs and lows. In living unconsciously, we act out based on whatever emotion is present on a given day. We might be full of life and feel life is great one day only to feel miserable and low when the alternate swing is experienced. On a down day, we might hold the notion that life is miserable and difficult. This is what I mean when I say the swing (rhythm manifesting and compensating) is in control of us.
We are also quite capable of focusing and attaching to one side. We might decide to focus only on feeling good, positive, and high. This is a deliberate forcing of our focus and energy because we have come to believe that the low is bad, undesirable, and should be avoided. The reality is that neither of the states is inherently good or bad. Each side of a polarity serves a purpose. Let us consider the duality of fear/faith. Fear can be easily identified as a negative emotion. However, when we are facing danger, fear can keep us safe. When we don’t consider fear within a proper context, we can reject it as one to avoid and this can happen easily if we are hyper-focusing on faith and positivity. Sometimes we might even get attached to the lows and focus solely on emotions such as sadness. The feeling of sadness naturally arises when we feel sorry for ourselves and reveling in self-pity (which I have to admit has a sweetness of its own!). Holding onto sadness for longer than is useful has us attaching to the low side.
Instead of preferencing any one pole or being subject to the swing, let us focus on a better way.
Our ability to observe, sense, and engage the law of rhythm as a fact of our daily lives can help us find ways to manage the swing and observe our attachments to either pole of duality.
Holding the Tension of Opposites
We can learn a valuable life skill to handle the dynamics explained so far known as “holding the tension of opposites.” The pendulum swing created by the law of rhythm helps us recognize that we are subject to both ends of polarity. In mindlessly following the swing or attaching to one side, we lose the advantage of engaging the interdependence between the poles. We get stuck on one side and consequently lean into bias. A healthier way of operating within this dynamic is recognizing how we are influenced by the law of rhythm and find ways to hold ourselves steady. We must learn to self-manage and self-regulate.
One might wonder what is wrong with leaning to one side. The problem is that when we get stuck on one side, we are unable to harness the power of what the other side can offer. Even the so-called negatives serve a functional purpose. If we run away from our fears and keep all our focus on faith, we will lose our ability to access our fear when it is the appropriate emotion to use within a particular context. Using the paradox of fear/faith; to harness faith in the face of fear and harness fear in the face of faith is what this life skill guides us toward.
Life is full of paradoxes, and to effectively navigate the paradoxical nature of reality, we must learn to appreciate the notion of holding a steady center. With this as our focus, we can find ways to hold the tension of opposites. Without this, we will subject ourselves to bias and one-sided thinking, emotionalizing, and acting.
From personal experience, I can say that holding the tension of opposites feels like walking on a tightrope, constantly trying to maintain equilibrium. The benefits are noticeable. The more we can recognize the paradox we are dealing with and making it a priority to hold the tension, the more centered we become. Paradoxically and with a fair amount of certainty, I can say that holding the tension of the opposites also offers a level of freedom from the tension.
Connect with Claire Rajan, Life Coach & Enneagram Coach @ www.clairerajan.com
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —
by Rika Cossey
There are four boxes in our garden, which are home to some incredible little creatures: bees. My husband and I got our first beehive last year, and they have, since then, quadrupled their number. And they are amazing little beings to observe.
The seasons in bee-land
At the moment, I’m watching our bees coming out of their winter hiatus. On sunny days in April, they are out and about to find every little blossoming flower. On windy days, they stay inside, clean and take care of their offspring. Right now, all the hives have eggs, but only very few of those eggs have already entered the larva stage (there are four stages in total: egg, larva, pupa, and then adult). But soon enough, those eggs will be new bees in the colony.
In about two months, we will see the hives expanding and eventually swarming. When that happened last year, it was both fascinating and frightening. I can tell you that getting a swarm of bees into a new box is not an easy job. But it’s the bees’ way of responding to the season of plentifulness. The summer is the time of year when their honey production is at its peak while nature is full of pollen and nectar, and their queen will be laying up to 2000 eggs
When the temperatures drop again, the bees will be busy cleaning their hives to get ready for winter. The male bees will be escorted out of the hive to ensure that the queen and some hundred workers have enough food to get through the winter. Winter will be the time when the bees stay inside and reduce their movements. It is the time of year in bee-land when all I have is hope to see them again in the spring.
Why am I explaining the yearly cycle of a beehive? Because it follows very rhythmical patterns over the course of one year. And because bees are great to study when it comes to a response to the changes of seasons.
As human beings, we like to be busy year-round. We might acknowledge what season it is, but we don’t respond to it with our level of activities. Our calendars are full regardless of the month or the season. We have made it into a habit to be busy all day, every day.
When I put that in the context of a bee’s life, it becomes pretty clear that nature doesn’t intend for us to do that. We are not made to function the same every day of the year. Our internal clocks know that winter is a time for contemplation and quiet time, and summer is for action and expansion. But we tend to ignore that.
Here in Sweden, our winters are really dark and generally also cold. So, this past winter, I made the very conscious decision to have more quiet time. As a family, we watched a lot of movies, played board games, and read books. As the days are getting longer again now, we are outside more. We are reducing our indoor time, cancel subscriptions to streaming services and put away the board games. Spring is the time of year we feel the need to shake off some dust and get moving again. And soon, we will start gardening and spend all of our time outside.
Be okay with the difference
Just like the bees, I try to listen to what nature tells me to look out for. When it’s cold outside, I stay in and huddle. When it’s warm outside, I will be busy expanding my radius of action.
This act of listening within and living in sync with the seasons is not difficult unless we make it so. Our energy levels are allowed to fluctuate between the seasons (within a healthy range, of course), and our activities can match those levels. We just have to be okay with the difference.
I admit that it’s not always easy to explain (and accept) that kind of fluctuation, even to myself. In the winter, I write and produce more at the computer than I do in the summer. My calendar is full of meetings in the winter and less so in the summer. It’s a choice I make, and it’s a conscious one.
I’m fortunate to live in a country where the summer is a sacred time of year when most people leave their desks and go outside. I wish for everyone, regardless of the country and the climate, to do that as well. It’s okay to slow down as well as picking back up. The bees do it, so we can do it, too.
Connect with Rika Cossey, Transformational Coach @ www.rikacossey.com
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —
How to Synchronize, Increase the Frequency, and Sustain the Rhythm of the Dance of Life
by Mathias Sager
Humans like stability to feel safe, and they seek preservation of their identity, whether it be good or bad. In the short-term, though, people often also do not like repetition as it leads them to boredom. In a time paced rapidly by ever shorter business cycles, everything tends to become judged as boring by the declining attention span of the consumer mind. In contrast, as to the creating mind, education and professional practice training are considered successful if one has learned to tolerate the monotonous tasks of the streamlined information and production processes as input to the modern economic societies. That’s how many forgot the excitement of rhythm and surprising improvisations of a freely lived life.
Like evenly-timed rhythms such as four-quarter times are often interpreted through triple step dances (for example, two quick steps and one slow step), it is the shift from the balance of even patterns to the harmony of three that introduces a higher level of human experience. Having three entities combines both brevity and rhythm with having the smallest amount of information to create a pattern. To overcome the avoidance of change caused by the monotonous evenness of commercial mainstream and its resulting addiction to stability, we are well-advised to hear the rhythm of the dance of life in all three the past, the present, and the future.
Therefore, the three steps of the dance of life can be seen as follows:
- Step 1: SYNCHRONIZING THE RHYTHM – Guidance by the past of universal unity
- Step 2: INCREASING THE FREQUENCY OF THE RHYTHM – Attendance to the present without fear
- Step 3: SUSTAINING THE RHYTHM – Abundance through service to all
Step 1: SYNCHRONIZATION OF THE RHYTHM – Guided by the past of universal unity
Most people are not able to not have to belong, respectively are not able to belong to everybody, so they will belong to certain/specific groups. Group thinking often inhibits critical thinking. However, experiences of togetherness also reveal the motives for unity that involve rhythmic, synchronous movements like marching and dancing. To march or dance together to the same rhythm creates intense feelings of unity and fosters a willingness to sacrifice one’s life for one’s mates. Again, this bears risks and opportunities: Applied to an exclusive group, this is the essence of the birth of radical ideologies and religions; However, when extended to all of humanity, true spirituality opens up.
Step 2: INCREASING THE FREQUENCY OF THE RHYTHM – Attending to the present without fear
The ego always fears to lose, why others are seen as threats. This attention to the fear of loss eventually is missing for the attendance of inspiration and love. Because of the fear of losing one’s identity, change becomes the ultimate threat. However, on the dance floor of life, many people dance, and the music will change all the time. So, we should not get angry and fearful when the rhythm is changing again. However, we also shouldn’t necessarily let the music played by others let us dictate our pace. It’s best to choose the music that reflects our natural rhythm so that we can pace ourselves in our journeys of personal development. It’s exciting to meet new people. Meeting strangers creates high levels of synchronized rhythmic activities in the brain. Therefore, let’s enjoy social arousal from novel encounters; the more exciting and less frightening they are perceived, the higher is the frequency of the neuronal dance in your brain.
Step 3: SUSTAINING THE RHYTHM – Abundance through service to all
The commitment to live life in a sustainable rhythm, without greed, without unnecessary selfishness, helps to avoid depressive thoughts of loss, burnout, despair, and getting stiff in the ability to dance smoothly. If we change the rhythm from an attitude of “getting what’s in for us” to one which services the others, it’s possible to create a different cadence in life, a rhythm of an all-new quality. We think our life with birth and death is different than anything else as we consider it not to follow a recurring rhythm. That’s why we mistakenly don’t dance through life. On the other hand, we run as straight and fast as possible in one direction, completely denying the possibility that there is no other place than the here and now to go. Shouldn’t we joyfully embrace life as an endless and abundant dance of collective consciousness to which we can contribute as an equal part (not as less nor as more)?
In that sense, let’s overcome avoidance and become guided and attentive dancers for abundance. To live from unity, in love, and for service to all is the ability to synchronize the rhythm and dance the dance of life. This was, once again, another analogy for describing the socio-temporal rhythmic system of the universe on which Awareness Intelligence (see http://www.mathias-sager.com) is based.
Connect with Mathias Sager, psychologist @ www.mathias-sager.com
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —