“A child’s natural rhythm is much closer to a soul rhythm than that of most adults.”-Shefali Tsabary
Lately my son has been trying to talk. He curls up his tongue and spits out whatever noises, grunts, or howls he can muster.
Unlike when he was learning to walk, he’s not cautious about it. He just keeps hammering away at sounds until, word by word, he’ll slowly begin to talk.
It’s made me wonder, When did I stop trying that hard?
Because if he tried to talk like I sometimes attempt new things, well, he’d never talk. He’d get frustrated with slow progress or self-conscious at how he appears and stop trying so whole-heartedly.
I love observing his nature and seeing how limitless, curious, and in sync with our natural rhythms we all start out. Somewhere along the line we forget that moving in time with our nature, trusting our five senses and listening to our intuition is how we accomplished amazing feats like crawling, walking, and learning to speak. No one tells babies this is what they should do. They are just naturally propelled forward by an innate drive to grow because it is how they survive and thrive.
I often observe myself reaching out for answers instead of diving in. I know people have been where I am or stuck where I’m stuck or going where I want to go, and so I want them to give me the shortcut so I can skip the hard stuff and get right to the gold.
The self-help empire is booming ($10 billion/year in the U.S. alone) because people are obsessed with getting happy, fixing themselves, self-improvement, and with “getting there.” On the surface this seems like a good thing, but what is being sacrificed in exchange?
Are we letting other people tell us what happy looks like, feels like, tastes like? Are we subscribing to other people’s definition of success, failure, and growth? Have we lost touch with our own version of happy? Have we stopped following our dreams, our instincts and listening to our soul speak?
We are here to support each other as we grow, often in deeply personal and intimate ways, but there is some work we must do alone. If we try to cheat and get the answer from someone else it may get us by for a while, but at the end of our lives we may realize we were walking someone else’s path the whole time and not our own.
Trusting my heart sometimes feels awkward because I spend so much time in my head. Speaking my truth sometimes feels vulnerable because I spend so much time listening to other people’s truth. Then I do the things I do to reconnect, recenter, self-regulate, and suddenly it doesn’t feel so awkward, so vulnerable. It just feels so right.
In those moments I know how my son feels: at home in his body, full of trust for his process and in sync with his soul rhythm.