There is a vast difference between how I am “supposed” to be and how I actually am.
This can get lost, obliterated even, in the day to day expectations and demands of a world that no longer honors, never mind knows, what it takes to be a human being. Which is why I take to the natural world daily. And then on select occasions, why I take deeper forays into what is wild and untouched by the abuses of man.
Last weekend, one of these deeper experiences took the form of going into the mountains. Alone. Some people understand the solitude-seeking, and others are frightened by it. Yes, anytime we are alone, there will always be a mix of it feeling so right while simultaneously including fears of all sorts. But beyond either is the possibility of resetting my own internal clock. Of returning to what is most natural in me.
Like eating, moving, sleeping and relating on my own timetable. Something that can get ignored or distorted in modern life. Basic needs that call to be met according to their own internal clock, as opposed to the clocks that tell time and help us keep appointments, while being on someone else’s schedule.
While I was away, whether I was eating or hiking or sitting and staring into the wilderness, I kept asking the question, “What would it mean to live at the speed and need of my own natural rhythms?”
It went like this:
Since I have no where to be and am not on anyone else’s time frame, do I really need to be driving this fast?
Can I respond to the need to pee instead of gutting it out for the next hour?
I know I had one hike in mind, but can I change my mind mid-hike? Can I go longer? Or shorter?
And on a beautiful sunny afternoon in the mountains, can I crawl back into bed?
The mind has its own ideas about all of this. But I am not asking my mind. I am asking my body.
Despite how many of us have become separated from this way of being, the capacity to tune into our own natural rhythms are encoded right into us and wait only for us to give it space and recognition. To honor it for what it is and what it can teach us. Like how to live well in the world we were born into. This was something we knew all about when we were little. We lived at the speed of the body. We didn’t just follow the rhythms of the body, we were the very rhythms of the body itself.
Now to you. “What would it mean for you today to live according to the speed and the need of your own natural rhythms?”