Circles, rhythms and welcome back to school
Cycles, eh? Rhythms? In CYC we talk all the time about paying attention to rhythms and cycles. Cycles of the seasons, cycles of families’ lives, cycles of interactions — rhythms of connectedness . . .
Some of you are in the time of Ramadan.
Some of you are coming to the end of winter — ‘at last’ you might be saying.
Some of you are just beginning school again — especially if you live in the northern hemisphere.
Cycles and rhythms of our lives. Your life, their life, our lives.
Because I live in the northern hemisphere I am, perhaps, most sensitive to the cycle which has some of you returning to school, saying goodbye to summer employment — and the lost childhood freedom of theoretically lazy days.
As the cycles continue they remind us of previous experiences of the cycle. Summer reminds me of childhood. Winter reminds me of family — as the rhythms roll round, they evoke lived memories. For us, and for others.
For us, and for the children and families we work with — day to day, month to month, season to season, year to year — always the repetitive cycle of the rhythms of our lives.
When we are effective, we join with these rhythms; we engage ourselves with the rhythms of others, we engage in their rhythms to enter, briefly, into their world so that from within that position we might make our efforts to be helpful. When we are in their rhythm, we are in the connected experience, in a place to be helpful. Ah, the rhythms of families lives.
While we ‘mention’ rhythm a lot in our field, I suspect we do not pay much attention, really, to the rhythms and cycles of those with whom we work. We, instead, roll with our own rhythm, lacking the awareness or skill, perhaps, to detach from our own and enter into theirs. Not noticing that we are ‘out of sync’, missing this essential connectedness.
And without this connectedness, we cannot be as effective as we might be.
So, if you are just coming back to school in the
Northern hemisphere, please notice your own rhythm. If you are in
Ramadan, please notice your cultural rhythm. And if you are in the
middle of any other cycle or rhythm, do notice that — for in noticing
our own, we become more sensitive to the rhythms of others.