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A peaceful spot on the Thames Coast. File Photo: LOGAN DODDS

Life and rhythm on the coast

Recently I was at a family birthday party surrounded by family and friends.
Some who I hadn’t seen in over a decade. I found myself in a conversation around the value of silence, solitude, and stillness with my brother in-law.
He shared of a secret spot he discovered on the coast. A spot where waves and time had carved two hollows beside each other that made perfect seats. He spoke of escaping to that place to sit and be.
He described imagining God sitting in the other seat, and being in awe of the beauty, the power, and size of the view before him. And in that moment, the stress, and the worry for the day to come would feel so small. And a funny thing would happen, the day ahead became so much easier.
And yet he was sharing of this space after two weeks of stress and struggle at work.
Things had got busy, things had got hard, and he found himself too preoccupied to return to that space.
I laughed because I was all too familiar with this story. See, over the years I have discovered the value of rhythms in life. The value of starting my day early in a similar way. 
It centres me. It brings balance and perspective. It brings an awareness beyond myself that I return to when things get tough.
And yet too often life gets busy, late nights creep in, I get tired, I allow the stress to build, and I find my rhythm all but obliterated.
I smiled and laughed as I shared this with him. We indeed are our own worst enemies.
Most of us actually know what’s good for us. We know what brings us peace, what balances us, what helps bring the best version of ourselves. For me it is a rhythm of stillness and reflection in the morning, meaningful conversations with friends, and a touch of outdoor adventures.

It is the basics too, getting enough sleep, eating well, playing with my family, and staying off my phone. Yet too often I find myself doing the very things I know are not healthy for me and abandoning that which is life giving.
So, as I write this and reflect, I once again commit to making space for the things that are good for me. And may you do the same.
You know the stuff that brings you life, you know the things that bring balance and the best out of you. Let’s lean back into those things, let’s lean in and turn them into a rhythm. 
For my brother in-law, as we talked and reflected the idea of creating a rhythm was a new concept.
One he was excited to lean into. He had a seat with a friend waiting on the coast and he was planning to return to it in a rhythm that brought him life..
– Michael Wilkes is a Living Well Trust Youth Worker