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Going with the Flow
Your life and body functions operate in rhythms & cycles which are aligned with nature's own rhythms.True harmony can be found when you align your life to flow with these natural cycles.
Our Earth turns on its axis daily, orbits the sun annually, and is orbited by the moon monthly. These cyclic movements create a range of rhythmic dynamics which influence all things on the planet. Plants sprout in the warm vibrant energy of spring, animals hibernate through the cold dark of winter, and ocean tides move with the pull of the moon.
Human experience, behavior & physiology, are also influenced by, and reliant on, the Earth’s cycles. Living in harmony with the flow of our planet’s natural rhythms can provide a deep foundation for both physical health and inner satisfaction.
While the technological advances of our age have given us the freedom to live outside the natural order, our genetics have not. We can choose to sleep during the day, work at night, do a gym workout at 8pm or have a snack at 3am, but our physical and mental health will suffer for it.
Like plants & animals, our evolutionary development has been intricately entwined with the natural environment for millennia. By comparison, our industrial history is so short as to be negligible in evolutionary terms. In a few hundred thousand years, our genetics may well evolve to suit this modern way of living, but today’s human body is still a creature of nature, and depends on natural rhythms for its optimum function.
We all have a central biochemical ‘body clock’ (in the brain’s hypothalamus) which runs on a 24hr cycle. We also have many organ & cellular clocks throughout the body which attune to the central clock but can also be individually ‘set’ by other environmental triggers. These clocks synchronise to vary biochemical activities over a 24hr period, with different types of activities being given priority at different times of day. These rhythmic patterns are adjusted further by light & temperature changes that come with moon cycles and seasonal shifts throughout the year.
Our systems experience cyclic shifts in many areas (energy metabolism, brain activity, hormone production, immune functions, circulation, muscle strength, digestive processes, mood & perception, etc), as day turns to night, as the moon waxes & wanes, and as the seasons change. When we observe the timing of these functional shifts we see a body that is designed to perform complex brain work in the morning, manual body-focused activities in the afternoon, and restful creative activities in the evening. It is a body that expects to be asleep during the hours of darkness, that has more action-energy in the spring, and a need to withdraw during winter.
If you arrange your own lifestyle to align with these body rhythms, not only do you create optimum conditions for getting the most from your efforts, but you also provide your body with the conditions it needs to do its own work most efficiently. This means a smoother life experience and healthier body with little effort on your part!
When your daily activities are out-of-sync with these optimum dynamics, your tasks become more challenging and require greater effort. Your body also needs more energy & resources to manage its own daily tasks and, depending on the kind of disruption in routine you’ve created, it may simply fail to do certain important jobs altogether, because the conditions it needed weren’t met.
Many life challenges and health issues can be prevented or improved by simply going with the flow of your body and the planet which sustains it. In future posts, I’ll explore some of these body cycles and planetary dynamics in more detail and look at ways to improve your health, mood and personal success by aligning with natural rhythms.