rhythm vs. balance

In the busy season of newborn life, toddler life, or just mom life, a common theme thrown around social media has been “balance”. While I agree with this term and mindset, it also implies that there HAS to be a balance. If you eat pizza, you also have to be working out. If you don’t clean your house, you have to be doing something productive with your time. And the worst part is, when I think of the word balance, I also think of the word “act”, as in balancing act. I don’t want to be acting. I know I don’t have it all together and sometimes things are just not balanced.

My proposal is that we switch this “balance” mindset to “rhythm”. Think about a fast song you love and a slow song you love. Both songs are good, but you listen to them at different times. The upbeat, fast song you might listen to at a party or a wedding. The slow song you might listen to when you are at a dinner party or on a slow walk. One is not better than the other, but are important for different seasons or times of day even. Both songs follow a beat. One is slower, one is faster. The music rises and falls, but sticks to the beat.

Hang with me. When we work with the brain or patients with a neurologic diagnosis, sometimes they “freeze”. Their brain can’t override the pause they are given to take a step. It’s like an electrical shortage. They almost fall forward on their face because they can’t move their feet. BUT when we add just a simple metronome beat, all of the sudden, they can walk. It’s like magic, they start walking to the beat given and it’s a fluid motion like they never had any issues walking at all. Researchers have found that rhythm perception activates key motor networks in the brain. So, it is likely that automatic engagement of motor areas during rhythm perception may be the connecting link between music and motor improvements in people with neurologic diseases. Okay, now how do we connect that to us??

Do you ever feel stuck or frozen? I know I do, especially when I’m playing a balancing act. Here’s where we go back to the fast and slow beats. Maybe you’re stuck because your life isn’t moving fast and you feel weary. Listen to the beat of your life. Use the slowness to catch up with family, rest, sleep-in and dream. Maybe you’re stuck because your life is moving so fast you can’t keep up. Listen to the beat. Start walking with the beat of your life instead of fighting it. Let your house go, eat frozen pizza and make it to all your activities. Enjoy the fast pace, knowing that soon, it will slow down and you will be able to drop from a full on sprint to a slow walking pace.

Let me know how listening to the rhythm of your current life pace goes for you. I hope it gives you grace, hope and the ability to move forward.



Dr. B