Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finding My Rhythm

It's been a while since I posted about my new school (okay, since I've posted about anything). It is keeping me busy in a wonderful way. I am able to use a lot of creativity at work and in preparing for work at home. How refreshing! I don't feel such a need for a creative outlet these days, because I am living it in my work life. Wow. I should share with you some of the things I am creating for work, and I will try to do that another day when I have more time (I need to finish my tea and get to sleep now). But, in the meantime...

Another waldorf thing, is rhythm. You might refer to it as "routine", and you probably know how much it helps to have one. This is especially true for children (those of you who have some or work with some know exactly what I'm talking about), and I'm finding that I am a happier camper these days now that I am knee deep in developing my own new rhythm. I'm feeling pretty fantastic, actually. It's nice.

In the kindergarten, we try to balance the day with "in" breaths and "out" breaths. An in breath is an activity that is more inward, thinking and reflection, calm, focused, requires a bit of concentration. An out breath is a more physical activity, releasing, outward. The in-out rhythm has a nice feel to it. In my classroom, it generally goes like this: circle, activity (nature walk, painting, beeswax modeling, craft, coloring, bread-making), inside play, snack, rest, outside play, story.

I am experimenting with rhythm in my personal life and remembering that I am quite a creature of habit. So, having a rhythm is very helpful to me! Not to say that the rhythm and I can't be flexible when we need to be, but that it provides me with a clear path of where I'm going and what is ahead of me each day, which sets my mind at ease. In trying to simplify, I am able to better follow my own rhythm and not get so distracted by the chaos that I see/feel around me, because the chaos (read: clutter) is slowly (but surely!) disappearing altogether or finding a home that is not in plain view of my procrastinating eyes.

So, I am trying to borrow some of my work rhythms and morph them into rhythms that will work for home life, too. In kindergarten, we have a snack schedule. Kids refer to the day of the week by what snack is being served--i.e. Monday is "rice day". Some of my colleagues have already utilized this technique at home for dinner preparation by instituting "taco Tuesday" or "Mexican Monday" or "soup Saturday"... that's not to say that is all they can eat on that day of the week, but I imagine it sure helps when Tuesday rolls around and you begin to ask yourself at 4:00 in the afternoon oh, shoot, what am I going to make for dinner?... You always have something in mind to quickly help you make the decision oh, yeah, tacos! I was thinking of instituting a similar rhythm for cleaning, but haven't been successful with a plan that I will stick to... yet.

I am curious, how do you use rhythm in your life? What rhythms have you found work really well for you?...your kids?...your family? I would love to hear from you, and then honor your success at maintaining a rhythm by borrowing your idea and trying it out for myself! ;-)

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