Monday, February 27, 2012

Breaking Out

Today is all about breaking your stride. Not slowing down or stopping but moving in an unexpected direction. I always chuckle to myself when I see those folk power walking through the mall or on a stroll through the neighbourhood. Those people on a mission – full bent for their destination and not letting anything get in their way. Those people go places and they are very likely to meet the destination they have set for themselves. Their bodies march to an internal forward, forward, forward, forward rhythm that propels them from A-B. I know the charge of following that rhythm, it has gotten me out of a lot of shopping malls!

It is the rhythm that moves you. It is rhythm that moves all of us. Rhythm is actuality is the universal common denominator. Music is built on rhythm. Our bodies respond to rhythm, in fact they don’t just respond to it they operate on it; your heartbeat, breathing, brainwaves, hormone cycles – all rhythmic. The same is true for the natural world; the tides, lunar phases, seasons, precipitation cycles – all dependable, constant, predictable, and rhythmic. What about how we live? Everyday a flow of traffic is running a constant stop and go pattern. Most of us have a pattern of work and rest both daily and within a weekly rotation. We follow rhythms we've establish or have had established for us at work, day in day out, sun up sun down, breath in breath out – life has a rhythm.

Rhythm is a very good thing...until it is not. I have missed some very great bargains following that rhythmic “get the heck out of here” mall march in my head. Getting on a bad rhythm is different than a bad habit. A bad habit is a single behaviour that you repeat regardless of the knowledge that it is doing you no good. Rhythm is how we have learned to flow through our days we don’t think about it, it just propels us along developing a bad rhythm is easier than you think. Good or bad that rhythm you've developed is a comfort to you. I learned that way back in design school. White pillow, blue pillow, white pillow, blue pillow, is the subconscious calmer. The 'thing' in the room that you can't quite put your finger on that gives you a sense of peace and comfort. It does not matter if the material is ugly and hard on the eyes; gross pillow, ugly pillow, gross pillow, ugly pillow has the same calming effect as pretty pillow, cute pillow, pretty pillow, cute pillow. It is the rhythm that makes you feel good.

That is why even people who are stuck in bad rhythms think they are navigating life just fine. They are comfortable even if their rhythm is; stay up late, sleep till noon, score some 'help', hang with friends, talk about a job, stay up late, sleep till noon, score some 'help', hang with friends.... It's their rhythm. It comforts them.

Now, maybe your rhythm is not that dire, maybe your rhythm is get up, make lunches, go to work, eat a salad, pay some bills, come home, catch up with friends, watch some TV go to bed. Nothing wrong with that.

There is nothing wrong with your Rhythm if you are happy with where you are and what you are achieving. There is nothing wrong with your rhythm if you don't want something different for your life. What if you do though, want something different for your life? You need to break your stride! You need to stop the left foot right foot chant in your head that is moving you toward the mall exit and turn left! You need to throw a orange pillow into the white pillow, blue pillow pattern. That monster house with the purple door stuck between to cookie cutter homes on any street in suburbia catches the attention of everyone – I promise!

If you want to move yourself to a different place, a different reality, a happier state, you need to break your rhythm. Do something out of the ordinary, Draw attention to the thing you want in your life. If you want to be happier – buy a stranger a coffee today. If you want to move ahead in your career pick up the phone and call someone you've never talked to before. If you want to improve a relationship go out for coffee tonight with that person instead of settling in for the usual sitcom and a cup of tea. If you want to expand and grow and your business and your rhythm is based on talking; try listening. If you always have to be in control let someone else tell you what they think today and really listen. Take a piece of it and incorporate it into your rhythm.

Step out of line, move to the right, do the unexpected. Break your stride.