An Ancient but effective mind shift to help you when life gets hard
If you have ever gone through difficult times in your life, and most of us do at some point, when it feels like you are pushing a huge boulder up a hill on your own and you seriously start to question the reason for your whole existence. Then you will know that the pain of suffering can be quite devastating.
I know from my own experience that you can feel overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness, despair, frustration and these can even lead to serious depression and physical illness.
What can you do when life hits you hard like that?
When you are going through difficult times whether it’s financial struggles, relationship problems, business disasters, health issues then it helps to step back and be able to take a different perspective on things to help you get through it…..sometimes that’s all it takes but I like to take things a bit further than that.
When life gets hard remember the Principle of Rhythm
This means understanding that nothing remains the same and things will get better”
Think of it like this…..most likely whatever struggles you are going through right now your life has not always been this way and you may actually be thinking about times gone by that were really good and you simply wish you could have them back again.
Which means your whole life has not been bad…..and before it was bad it was good.
This is because everything in the nature of life has a rhythm, an ebb and flow that means nothing remains the same. As soon as you are up you must come down and this is the first thing that I turn to when life gets hard and it has helped me get through those difficult times, even when I have been thinking the nightmare will never end!!
What is the Principle of Rhythm ?
The Principle of Rhythm is a natural law and forms one of the 7 core Hermetic principles but you will see it expressed in various religions and philosophies from all over the world, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity to name a few. It essentially means everything changes and nothing stays the same forever so whatever you are going through now will at some stage come to pass.
Natural law is an observable law relating to natural phenomena. The Natural Law of Rhythm can be observed in the cycles of nature like the ocean tides, the seasons, night and day, birth, death and rebirth!
Understanding this principle means knowing that we can accept the way things are right now with the knowledge that things will get better. It doesn’t mean do nothing to change things now and wallow in self-pity. It means stop fighting the nature of life because the nature of life is that life sometimes gets hard and sometimes it gets easy.
You will have good times and bad times because there is no such thing as a perfect discomfort free life.
The thing is that we often get trapped by our emotions with the way things are right now, but when you look at your life over time you can see these rhythms and cycles. We have up’s and we have downs because life is not one continuous plateau of happiness or sadness no matter who you are. It is a mixture and often just when we think we are winning life will throw out a curve ball and just when you are losing right around the corner something amazing can be waiting for you!!
How to make the hard times feel less uncomfortable
Hard times are never comfortable but there is a little hack you can apply to the principle of rhythm that can make going through the hard times a little easier but you need to understand it correctly in order to use it effectively and it can be very difficult to do. In ancient times these were known as Hermetic formulas.
The formula is to practice a form of detachment so that your feelings of suffering do not control your behavior. When things are down do not allow the situation to keep you down and control your emotions. Regulate your emotions enough so they do not cause a continuation of the negative state. Polarize your emotion with it’s opposite if possible.
However this does not mean deny reality or suppress your emotions!
With the Eastern Philosophy of Taoism the Taoist Masters recommend us to ‘go with the flow’ and to not resist the reality of our life. This is what the term going with the flow actually means because Taoist philosophy is based on the natural laws of nature. In some forms of Buddhist meditation you are encouraged to practice meditating through physical discomfort in order to practice becoming detached from it. This practice does not ask that you pretend the discomfort does not exist but rather, to acknowledge it and then transcend it.
This is the example of accepting things as they are but being detached from the effects.
The problem is we often need to express our negative feelings responsibly so we can clear them and remain detached. The situation may still be the same but if we can clear the energy of emotional negativity we can have a greater level of acceptance, detachment and clarity. There are many techniques to do this from meditation, cathartic release, EFT, energy clearing, all of which can be effective and will depend on the individual.
The point being we all need to find a way to manage negative emotions and feelings.
To Sum it all up
The Art of Life when Life gets hard is to go with the flow and accept reality as it is, by taking comfort from the knowledge that by virtue of the principle of rhythm things will change and get better again. Acknowledge but manage emotions effectively so they don’t control us and prolong the negative state any longer than is necessary.
One last thought…..
As I was writing this article I was reminded of the story about George Lucas when he was trying to make the first Star Wars movie. He had faced some ridiculous problems that almost stopped the film even being made, imagine if that had happened! Before Lucas made Star Wars he had become a success with a movie called “Amercian Graffiti“.
Lucas revealed that nobody at the time really believed in the Star Wars movie, the studios didn’t like it and he struggled to get financing to make it. When he did finally get financing he had a ridiculously low budget and had to cut his salary by 300% and use all sorts of other shortcuts to get the movie made how he wanted it. During the production the movie was beset by technical disasters and nobody liked what they were making including the actors who all thought it would be a massive failure. Lucas even had to resign from the Directors guild over the opening credits and was close to a nervous breakdown.
When the film finally premiered it was only shown in 35 theatres and on one of the worse days of the year to premiere a film. Of course we all know what happened after the film was released.
Do you think Lucas may have been experiencing the principle of rhythm in his life?
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