Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Natural Rhythms


thanks to scienceblogs for the pic

There's a conversation thread meandering around at the moment about 'natural rhythms.'

My friends and I seem to be talking about rest, seasonal patterns, the rise and fall of energy.

Last week all I wanted to do was sleep and eat. I wasn't the only one. Did you feel that way?

This week the low ebb of energy persists and I'm juggling good intentions with the lure of coffee and sugar to prop me up. Struggle.

This morning I thought of my friend Alastair who worked for a year as a gardener and facilitator at Embercombe, a stay-in-yurts-and-sit-by-fires-and-find-your-purpose kind of place in Devon. Away from the stuff of modern life, he noticed strong differences in his available energy at different times, although his sleep, diet and activities were consistent. After a while he began to notice cycles in his energy, and a correlation with the cycles of the moon: that his energy would rise as the moon waxed towards fullness, and wane when it waned.

That might sound like something from the wacky bucket but perhaps that feeling is a symptom of the masculine slant in the ideosphere. I bleed each month on the full moon. For women it is obvious that at least one of the natural cycles of our bodies is pitched to the rhythm of the moon.

So I had a google at breakfast and found this from the very helpful teachers at Woodlands Junior School in Kent.


So last week, sleep-and-eat-and-drown-in-coffee in an unsuccessful attempt to prop up waning energy week, the moon was waning to a close.

This week it's beginning to wax so energy should be picking up! I don't see that yet. But I'm starting to feel it writing this :)

So my question now is, if this is one of the natural rhythms we may experience, what do we do with that?

An obvious answer would be to just do less when our energy wanes and do more when it waxes. Which is tricky in practice because professional deadlines and social calendars are not pitched to the lunar cycle and sometimes you just have to push on.

But just maybe they increasingly could be. No-one notices, for example, what time I arrive and leave work; the emphasis is on me meeting my targets not which hours I meet them in, and my irregularity is expected and predictable. So I do have some flexibility to do more when I 'wax' and less when I 'wane.'

Hummm..

I'm going to keep an eye on this one....

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