Sunday, October 3, 2010

Feeling the Rhythm

When expressed in their most simplistic iterations, astrological and biorhythm forecasts just seem silly to me.  Can it be that everyone born on the same day will really experience more or less the same life, with ups and downs coinciding in a lifetime of synchronicity?  The idea is hard for me to digest.  So I don't.  I typically think of it as a bit of fun and leave it at that. 

Someone was recently explaining a more in-depth astrological approach to me, and I began to see how the fortune-cookie blurbs in the morning paper don't do the practice justice.  When a full blown astrological reading is done, there is a lot more specific information taken into consideration than I ever realized.  Shortly after this conversation, I was reading about biorhythms. Once again, I learned that some people get much more involved than drawing a few simple sine waves and matching them up with dates. I still don't know that I believe one can make accurate predictions about another person's life, even with an elaborate system of forecasting. But it did get me thinking.

I create plans days, sometimes weeks, in advance. I know what I expect to be working on way ahead of time, even though I don't know how I'm going to feel or what other things may crop up. It's a flexible plan, by necessity, but I am not always flexible with myself. If I have planned to work on a brass ensemble piece next Tuesday, and then I wake up feeling rather uninspired, my typical response is to work on the brass ensemble piece anyway and just trust that inspiration will eventually be there.

My fear is that if I take a day off, or if I postpone something on the schedule, I'll never go back to it. I'll become a lazy underachiever with nothing to show for my all my creativity and experience. A bit drastic, eh? But that fear creates a demand that I must keep to my schedule, I must keep on track with my projects at all costs. I don't always like what I create out of that fear, but at least I stick to the plan.

The strange thing is, sometimes I do wind up taking a little time off. Sometimes I do get off track with my preconceived schedule. There are days that I just can't concentrate on the creative work, or I don't like anything that I'm creating, and I have always gone back to it later with renewed interest and inspiration. It's often just a matter of giving myself a little time to take a break and recharge.

I don't know if it has anything to do with when I was born or where the stars were at the time, but my life does have a rhythm. It may be a bit more complex than simple sine waves, but there is value in tuning in to what I'm feeling at any given time. Not only is it alright to allow myself to feel uninspired, it's the most honest thing to do some days. Giving myself permission to take a day off and trusting that I will come back to my creative projects refreshed is simply a way of recognizing the rhythm of my life. Forcing creativity can get the work done, but allowing it to flow naturally helps me to enjoy what I create.

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