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Consistency: Boring or Inspiring?

When I hear this word, I simultaneously get feelings of peace, overwhelm and boredom.  How the heck am I going to be consistent with all that going on plus my crazy life? And why would I want a life of consistency? How boring! I like to create, try new things, adventures.

First of all, why do we even need consistency? And what does that mean? Do I have to give up my creative energy? Heck no! On the contrary I can create plus maintain a level of energy so I don’t fizzle out.

On the heart level, consistency of spiritual practice opens up emotional energy to enrich intimate relationships and work. Consistency also cultivates patience, faith and a balanced life. How often do you give up on a practice or project out of impatience or lost faith? There is a fine line between letting go of something that truly isn’t working vs. being patient enough to allow complete fruition. This doesn’t mean suffer yourself to the point of growing resentful but rather to cultivate an attitude of respect, compassion and detachment with no expectations. Then you can move freely into a decision or course of action from your heart rather than the impatient impulses of your head.

Do you have a regular spiritually sustaining fitness program? For example: yoga, tai chi or meditation? Do you consistently give yourself time to go inward and sink into your heart and body? How important is inner peace and happiness to you? If you’ve felt stymied by attempts to practice regularly, try this: Start being consistent from the inside out.

The following is an excerpt from my book The Four Alignments of Self Care. “Life seeks to evolve in a rhythmic environment. The rising and setting sun, seasonal variations in day length, temperature and rainfall are all factors influencing our physiology and behavior. The most obvious manifestation of human rhythmicity is the cycle of sleeping and waking. While the sleep-wake rhythm is obvious, virtually all the rest of our functions flow within their own, albeit less evident, yet equally important rhythms.

Recognizing and building upon our natural Liferhythms is a key way to bring harmony into the artificial schedules that are so familiar. Is there a time in your workday when you routinely experience a lull in energy? Say 2PM? Instead of guzzling that cola or coffee, why not stop and listen to your body? Give it what it really wants. Perhaps a 5-minute power nap. Or, try yogic breathing for 3 minutes, or a quick walk in fresh air. When the lifestyles we live override natural Liferhythms in order to achieve external results, our bodies suffer the consequences.

It is possible to create daily schedules geared toward fulfilling such responsibilities while at the same time nurturing the body, mind and spirit connection between ourselves and the larger mosaic of life. Finding this balance requires discipline as well as the capacity to communicate so we create supportive rather than limiting interactions with the world around to discover and maintain our natural Liferhythms.”

How can you do it? With the multitude of projects and tasks at home, work, family, etc. How can we do anything consistently? Get enough sleep, have a regular fitness program, keep romance alive, sparkle at work, clean the house and nurture the kids, let alone yourself. Ever feel as if you’d be thrilled to have a regular bowel movement without interruptions?

To develop a practice of inner consistency, first answer the following questions:

 

1.    What gives you inner peace?

2.   What fills you with energy, aside from that cup of coffee?

3.   Do you have an “inner fitness” program?

4.   How often do you practice any of the above?

Being consistent with what feeds your energy and inner peace grounds and centers so we can maintain consistently.

Next, let’s tap into your natural Liferhythms:

1. What time is best for you to arise in the morning?
2. What time is best for you to go to bed?
3. What hours do you work most effectively?
4. When do you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner?
5. Do you snack? At what time?
6. Do you feel a lull in energy during the day? When?
It’s important to remember that all cycles change due to both natural and other influences including seasons, planetary influences, hormones, illness, moving to a new location, time changes, diet, pregnancy, etc.
Once you discover what your natural rhythms are, you can plan your day accordingly to use your energy appropriately. For example if you know you have tons of energy in the morning, it’s be best to schedule activities requiring extra mental & physical energy early in the day. During the time when you have a lull in energy, respect the time with a catnap or fresh air, a walk, etc. You will feel revitalized and more relaxed. If you go for the cup of coffee or the sugar-load to push yourself, your body will end up with more stress.

Practice being consistent first with your natural Liferhythms. And over time consistency will become a springboard into the sort of creative life that all of us dream of living.  In addition, consistency cultivates patience and faith in oneself and attitudes toward others. So let’s flex our muscles of consistency to increase peace and balance in our lives.

For support in your Self-Care needs and to purchase The Four Alignments of Self Care, visit my website http://www.embodydream.com

 

Comments

Comment from Tom
Time June 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Consistency seems inherent in the boundaries that define us. As you say, life consists of natural rhythms. Consistency seems inherent in the boundries that define us. Typically the word "boundaries" quickly elicits the opposite reaction for "more freedom." However, without the boundaries of the body, the earth and even the intellect and emotions, the concept of freedom loses its relative meaning.

The fastest path to spiritual freedom seems to be through consistent practice within boundaries — boundaries that sustain our physical presence and boundaries that allow us to give something back to our environment. Paradoxically, consistent practice within boundaries seems the path to liberation!

Comment from aliagrace
Time July 18, 2011 at 8:23 am

Thank you for your comment Tom. Your point is well taken. Consistency and boundaries do fall into the same breath with regards to discipline…be it a physical, spiritual or mental practice. In order to "get in shape" on many levels it is important to live with a variety of "restricted" behaviors or moderation. On the other hand, maybe our mind just thinks we are restricting or creating boundaries when the way we define freedom is just distorted.

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