A Rhythmic Primer

A Rhythmic Primer

 

When we organise sounds with silence we have the beginnings of rhythm.

The nature of the spaces between the sounds will determine a regular rhythm or something we would describe as arrhythmic. Something that we describe as rhythmic would have a certain degree of predictability about it, it wouldn’t feel unexpected as it unfolded.

Sounds played with a recognisable periodicity create a cycle that feels balanced and a movement that engages us into a groove. Rhythm played in this way is infectious and satisfying.

Our connection to rhythm comes from our physiology. We move and function through a series of balanced actions that flow and cycle in regular rhythms. From our heartbeat and our breathing to the way we walk and move. Our arms and legs swing with balanced motion and we can create changes in pace through rhythmic shifts.

When we are healthy and well we are harmonically rhythmic beings.

Just imagine how unpredictable our existence would be if our organs and muscles worked in an uncoordinated almost random fashion as they functioned. Life would be a struggle to say the least.

The world around us is a rhythmic symphony. On a subatomic level everything vibrates at its own rate. This vibration is rhythm and the universe vibrates in rhythmic harmony.

On a wider level the tides, moons, seasons, and sunsets follows a balanced set of cycles. We may have labelled them with our own classes of measurement but by their nature they follow broad rhythmic patterns. The universe is polyrhythmic.

The rhythms around us and within us affect us in three important ways:

Physiologically – As the rhythms within your body change you experience the physiological effects of that change. An increase in heart rhythm will trigger a series of corresponding change to breathing rate and other organic cycles as they change with it.

Psychologically – The brain generates its own rhythmic patterns of activity as brain waves. Typically grouped into four classes: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta they correspond to different levels of brain activity from high to low. By immersing yourself in a particular rhythmic stimulus it is possible to change your brain state as the wave cycles shift to match the stimulus. This is how many relaxation audio programmes work.

Behaviourally – From the rhythmic lulling of a baby to the aggressive drums of war rhythm can cause us to alter our behaviour patterns. Equally powerful are the trance rhythms of the shaman which can shift our state of consciousness and awareness.

We can explain the power of rhythm through a phenomenon known as entrainment. If you take some time to observe couples walking through a park or city centre you will see its effect.  As people walk side by side you will notice that their steps fall into a synchronous rhythm.

It’s difficult to walk next to someone and pace with a different rhythmic cycle.

Entrainment happens when two rhythmic events are close to each other, there is a coming together and a matching of rhythms or vibrations. It is the nature of harmonic rhythm and explains how easy it is to get absorbed by rhythms and grooves. As an audience we can feel the pull of the time and entrain to it.

By creating specific rhythms to lower brain waves and physical rhythmic rates we can use rhythmic entrainment as a therapeutic tool to entrain a more relaxed state into the mind and body of the listening audience.

We can use rhythm to create harmony and to create relaxed and effective states of being in ourselves, in others and in the world.

Using Some Laws of Attraction To Stop The Madness?

Using Some Laws of Attraction To Stop The Madness?

Everyday the media is full of new stories that demonstrates even more the depths that people will sink to in their time on our planet.

I’m not going to list them. That will just reinforce my experience of them, the laws of attraction happen in both directions both positive and negative. I’m out to change my experience of them.

From violence to peace. From fear to love. From hatred to compassion.

I’ve decided that I will only allow in those things that I want. That means news, that means stories online and in print. I’m only open to the vibration of the things that I want.

Vibrating With The Laws of Attraction

This is how it works, it’s a rule… a law. An event happens. It’s reported across all the media channels across the globe. We consume it, it surrounds us.

We worry. ‘That’s terrible,’ we say. We huddle together in fear at the outside world and scary circumstances.

We send out vibrations of that experience and more of those kind of experiences resonate and begin to happen. On a global scale we can attract the vibrations of some serious shit thanks to all those lovely laws of attraction.

Good news is, we can also attract some vibrations of some awesome good.

Good is what we want. It’s not a judgement, it’s just what each of us wants.

I said you can attract it and I mean it.

Think about it. What consumes you each day? What are you surrounded by? Stories of things getting worse?

Self fulfilling prophecies for you to enjoy.

It’s just temporary. Don’t think that because you’ve had a lifetime of bringing what you don’t want that you have to stick with it. It’s just an indicator.

Change thanks to the laws of attraction

Now you can change it. You can take control by only allowing what you want into your thoughts and into your experience. Become a creator and not just a reactor.

You could even go one step further. I had an idea on this, one of those ideas that fills me with hope.

I want us to turn off the news. I want us to globally agree to take a day off from reporting and observing what is happening in the world of circumstances. When we catalogue what is, we get more what is. Information overload.

Instead we turn off the news. We can make it a global holiday, a day away from generating vibrations of what we don’t want. Because not everyone knows how to do this and get back the control of their life.

We turn off the news, let the journalists spend some time with their families or their hobbies.

We breath in the relief of no new atrocities. We don’t experience them, they are not there.

And then the next day we fill the newspapers of stories that nothing went wrong.

Rinse and repeat until we get better at it.

Is This The Enemy Of Happiness?

Is This The Enemy Of Happiness?

I was telling a story at a dinner party and someone interrupted.

They took a bit of a dig at me. And smiled.

What happened next lasted for days. Really.

‘How could they belittle me like that?’ . What am I supposed to say?

What is this raw emotion and where does it come from?

You want to control your emotions? Good luck with that. You can’t control emotions and if you think you can then they will end up controlling you.

Like a pack of wolves they will steal you away when the darkness falls.

You know this already.

You see emotions are an important part of our life. They are useful in signalling to us if something isn’t working for us or needs changing. Emotions are like our inbuilt warning systems.

Feeling emotions is a natural part of the awareness of living. They can set the thermostat of your day-to-day experience. If we are generally living in an attitude of fear and worry all of our decisions are impacted by that state.

If, instead, we take an outlook of joy and love we will find that the world opens up in front of us in an entirely different way.

This is the path to peace and joy.

But emotions can and will change, sometimes from moment to moment. The problems start when we forget to really feel the emotion and let it play out, instead of trying to suppress it.

This is futile.

We attempt to cover it over and stuff into a mental sack labelled ‘Emotional Baggage.’

You have a choice when you feel a strong emotion. You can either release and let it go or add it to your emotional baggage.

The trouble with emotional baggage is that keeping it suppressed and under control takes a lot of mental energy. Hiding our emotions leaves us with very little dynamic spirit to do anything else.

I recently read a terrific summary of how to release emotions. If you find that the same emotions are coming up for you time and time again then you are not releasing them, they build up and start to dominate your thoughts.

Here’s how to clear them:

  1. Ask yourself if it’s possible to let go of this emotion.
  2. If it is, then ask yourself if you would.
  3. If you would, then ask yourself when is the right time.

The way to release the emotions is to say Yes, Yes and Now!

Holding onto emotions like resentment or jealousy harms nobody but yourself.

Perhaps you think you’ll pay them back by staying annoyed with them for a bit longer. Well, the only person being affected here is you.

You need to release it.

Once you release an emotion you will feel lighter as you let go. As you practice you can release emotions as they happen.

Feel them and let them go.

19 Ways To Make More Time For Meditation

19 Ways To Make More Time For Meditation

If you are finding it difficult to find time for meditation then you are not alone, often it is a struggle to find space for any kind of meditation in your life. Like all things, it is only once you establish an action as a habit that it starts to feel vital to your day. These ideas can help you cut down the distractions that pull you way from your time to just sit and be.

1. Unplug

Turn off the computer, email, social sites, and funny cat videos. It is amazing how tempting this technology is and how much it distracts us. Please wait until you’ve read the whole of this article though :)

2. Turn off the television

Another of the great time killers. You can always catch up on that episode of ‘Elephants That Ski’ but if you miss your meditation session, it’s gone. This is a great way to begin to learn about becoming aware of what you do with your time, moment to moment.

3. Get a timer

Okay, I’m not saying we get so obsessed about time here, it’s just that when you raise your awareness of how you are spending time it opens up vastly in front of you. Using a timer is a great way to establish a committed meditation practice. Get a timer, set it. Sit. 5-10 minutes. It’s enough.

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How to Find Your Theme

How to Find Your Theme

I’m a masher and my work is a mash-up.

There are so many strands to include, sometimes I don’t even know what I do. In fact, there are definitely people at my work who don’t really get what I do.

So I try to work with the key themes that I find cropping up often.

You might be the same and want to ask yourself: ‘What are your themes?’

If you are anything like me then your multi-stranded themes can give you the edge in the workplace and in your business. Instead of a grey-scale worker, you are a kaleidoscope. Instead of pursuing a single discipline you’re a masher.

Here are some of the things that I’ve worked at:

Drummer, Recording Artist, Jazz Improvisor, Coach, Mentor, Education Consultant, Performer, Studio Owner, Producer, Blogger, Composer, Author, Publisher, Web Designer, Writer, Teacher Trainer, Educator, Workshop Leader, Group Facilitator

Now, whenever I’m in new networking situations, I’ve started revealing more and more about the range of things that I can do.

I used to move from one group to the next adjusting the persona that I projected out and trying to fit in by editing my history and accommodating who was around me.

It’s tricky to do, especially when each person asks you: ‘So what do you do?’

But there is a way of finding a number of themes that incorporate all of your skills and passions and allows others to connect with you.

It’s actually okay if no-one actually understands what you do.

I want to celebrate that I did web design for an international charity and worked as a band technician on the Jools Holland Show. The skills that I offer allowed me to spend six weeks writing songs at a local hospice and to also write and publish several books.

The days of the single job title and linear career path are over and the future belongs instead to those with a sense of their own themes.

My themes now are improvisation, play and creativity and how we can use them in our personal and work lives to find greater freedom, happiness and energy.