finding the rhythm

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the rhythm of life (yes, here comes one of those rambling posts in which I bare my heart). Not the all-encompassing stages of life we all go through but the day-to-day pace of our hours, days and weeks.

Going travelling for three weeks has thrown me off my daily and weekly schedules and that’s a good thing. Being thrown out of the treadmill has enabled me to take a step back and look at my life more objectively than I could while I was in the middle of it, running. I usually see things more clearly after I’ve been away for a while.
When I look at my life from a distance I see myself running like a hamster in a wheel, rushing, trying to catch up, barely meeting my own expectations and constantly falling behind on the grand goals I set myself.

It’s not a picture I cherish.
I don’t want to be that person. I look at her and see someone trying to do too much and stumbling.
rhythm. little home by hand blogI strive to change that and it’s SO HARD. I fall back into it almost the minute I get back from travelling.

I look at other small business owners and all they make, the new lines of work they launch, the marketing they do, the picture they paint of a life submerged in creativity and I want it, all of it. I look at photographers doing beautiful, styled photoshoots that look more like works of art than just a pretty photo and I want to be like that. I look at people sewing and knitting and gardening and crafting a life and I want that too. Too many wants. Too many lives to live at once.

I feel this burning desire to succeed creatively, personally and professionally. And I start racing after it and life rushes by in a blur and I realize I have been too busy looking at my to do lists to actually enjoy the moments as they pass.
taking a breath. fotografie kristina koehler(photo from a recent photoshoot)

And it’s not how I imagine my life. I want to find joy in the little things, to live simply, to enjoy a sunshiny day, a cup of tea on the balcony, an hour spent knitting, to cherish the here and now and the beauty of it. A slower, more thoughtful rhythm of life.

In the last two weeks I’ve been trying to preserve a bit of slow, to not get sucked back into the crazy whirlwind of commitments, self-imposed deadlines and chasing the clock. I make myself do one thing at a time and accept that it means other things don’t get done or get done much later. I lapse into busyness lots of times during the day but I try to pull myself back, to take a deep breath and let it go. It feels good and I am happier and less stretched thin at the end of the day, more whole and less shattered (isn’t it funny how we use words like ‘shattered’ without giving it a second thought? I realized now that I can literally feel ‘shattered’, split into a million pieces all stretching in different directions when I have too much going on at once).

I’m stumbling to find the right words to express myself here but I guess what I mean is:
Find your pace. Cut yourself some slack today.

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11 thoughts on “finding the rhythm

  1. Lindsay

    I totally relate to this. Especially right now, today being my first day back home after spending a week in solitude. I’ve been trying to focus on living in the moment lately. Not so much that I forget I have work on Monday or projects that need to get done, but enough that I pay more attention to myself and how in-tune I feel with my surroundings. I’m trying to slow down and live moment by moment rather than disregarding little sensations and emotions that come and go. It’s hard to flow with the daily grind sometimes when you seek simplicity and creativity, and even harder to change deeply rooted habits to find a healthier, more fulfilling way of being. Good luck to you, and to both of us, in keeping perspective.

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  2. Zoe May

    Such a meaningful post 🙂
    “Too many lives to live at once” is a perfect description. There are so many random goals that I fail to achieve each month, week and day, that I end up feeling guilty for the little moments, like that cup of tea in the sun.

    I have been trying to remind myself that this is how almost every creative person must feel. Especially when it comes to other small business owners. On the internet, nearly everything is just how you put it – a pretty painted picture – apart from the occasional, rambling, heart-baring post that reminds everyone that we are all human 🙂

    I hope you manage to keep your slower pace.
    PS: your photographs look like works of art too!

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Thank you, Zoe 🙂 I do think it has to do with being creative as well, we have so many ideas and choices that it feels overwhelming sometimes. Especially when there’s also a business attached. At the moment I am reminding myself every day that by choice my office job is my main source of income and that rather than dwelling on everything I can not do due to time constraints I should focus on doing the things I AM doing really well and enjoy them.
      Your cup of tea in the sun has a purpose, it rests your mind so you can be a better designer. Don’t feel guilty about it 🙂

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  3. Nicky

    There’s so much of this post that speaks to me right now. I’ve been reading it daily since you posted … marinating … thinking about what changes I need to make so I can cut myself some slack.

    “I look at people sewing and knitting and gardening and crafting a life and I want that too. Too many wants. Too many lives to live at once.”

    This is me ^^^.

    Thank you so much for sharing Kristina. Thanks for reminding us that we need to live life in the now.

    And p.s. I’m with Zoe, your photos are works of art. As are your knitting and your luscious garden.

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Thanks so much, Nicky!! Have you found an answer yet what changes you will make? I’m still searching too though it’s getting clearer 🙂

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      1. Nicky

        I’ve been thinking about your question and looking for my own answers all week. One of the things I do know I’ll be doing now is to limit my online time. The web is full of talented, creative, inspiring people but I believe that I compare myself many times with what others are doing, making, producing and without appreciating my life circumstances. Then I find myself short in comparison to them. I still want to be inspired, but I want to use my time more wisely to nurture the opportunities for crafting the life I want. Not the one someone else is living.

        There are some other changes I need to make; I’ll know more in the next couple of weeks and share them with you then. Hope you had a wonderful week.

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        1. Kristina Post author

          Thank you for sharing! I think that is so important – finding the balance for online time, between being inspiration and being overwhelmed by everything that is out there. I love Pinterest and the pages I follow on Facebook, but I hate that they often make me think “I could never be that good”.

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          1. Nicky

            You are good enough! You’re talented and have much to share. Limit your online time for a bit and see what happens. I limited my time this week and found out that I might be a natural colourwork knitter. Who knew?!!! I probably would have never found out if I hadn’t stepped back from online time and used the time to challenge my knitting ability. It’s funny, the people we admire spend time doing what they love and sometimes we spend time admiring them instead of doing us.

            Thank you again for inspiring me to find my own rhythm and balance.

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  4. Inge

    It IS hard. I struggle with this all the time (I feel like I could’ve written this post!) Sometimes I do alright for a while and then sooner or later all of my own expectations and goals catch up with me and I get stressed out until nothing is fun anymore. I also feel the desire to succeed in a way that can make life rush by in a blur. It’s good to notice this and go back to what you really want, which in the end is not to accomplish all your goals per se, but to enjoy life, for which you think you need to accomplish those goals. But in the end, they’re only a tool and not the end goal, if you get what I mean. For me, having goals and striving to accomplish those is what I need for a good life, but I also need to be very careful to keep it fun and realistic and not get too caught up in self-imposed deadlines and things I “should be doing”. Like you say, there are so many thing you can do in life, and for me it has helped to stop wanting everything and pick those things that really make your heart sing. Be conscious about what you do in order to begin to craft a life for yourself. Isn’t it strange that it takes so much effort to do so?

    xoi

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I totally get what you mean! We get so fixated on the goal and think if we just accomplish this, and this, and this we will be so happy and content. But then the next goal looms and the next. We really have to stop and enjoy the process and the flow of it and not get so hung up on results.
      Yes, it feels like it should be much easier to separate the things that make us really happy from the ones that suck energy and just concentrate on them. I think consciously reflecting on that is the first step towards choosing the right path for ourselves.

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