Since effectively 'quitting' my part time work, I have felt like my old self again. I have missed this - feeling calm, feeling healthy, feeling inspired.
I have been able to sense the rhythm in our day more. I no longer need to worry about what time it is. Or, whether Munchkin has slept early enough soso that she'll be in a good mood for her Dadda while I work. I'm not always stressed about whether I'll be able to meet the 'deadlines' that seems to perforate my day into little sections.
Our playgroup leader, a wonderful woman who was herself a Steiner child, says that you have to 'feel rhythm'. She won't have the group do things at set times - instead she senses when the children as a group are ready. So we breath out - run around, and then we breath in - come together for a set activity. Sometimes that means we eat morning tea at 10.45, sometimes as late as 11.30.
This used to frustrate me. I didn't have 'time' for all this rhythm stuff, I wanted a schedule. I was itching to check the time, hurry things along. I don't even know what I was hurrying for most of the time.
Off schedule, life seems so much more peaceful.
Our rhythm involves an order that we do things in - meals, morning outings, free play, a bath in the late afternoon, dinner, bedtime. Our days have always followed this order - since she was tiny. What has changed is the clock watching. I'm trying to watch 'us' - our family, and what seems to be the right thing. If she's playing happily, bathtime can wait. If she seems out of sorts, an early bath might be just the right thing.
The concept of rhythm is a critical one in Steiner Waldorf circles, but its so hard to understand. It definately isn't about a schedule - it isn't about set times, 15 minutes for morning tea, 45 minutes for free play. And it isn't 'make it up as you go along'. It is about routine, but there is more to it.
There is, as with all things Steiner, a spiritual element to it. When I first heard this - that there is a spiritual dimension to rhythm - I rolled my eyes. Spiritual shmirtual ... its just routine without the benefit of a watch. But sensing what children need, and responding to those needs, within the framework of a consistent order that ensures the right things get done ... is about being tuned in to these little souls. There is a kind of magic in the air when it works - and without it there is inevitably stress.
Raw Cauliflower Salad
7 years ago