Q and As

Rhythm & Flow / Slideshow

What can we learn from the natural rhythms of the Universe, and how can its teachings help us survive and thrive in our current consumer led society?  Writer and leading trends expert Kristina Dryza spoke to TiP about resetting the agenda and how cultivating a non-linear relationship with the cycles and flow of Nature can benefit the way we live our lives.

We recently spoke to Alain de Botton about the significance of Beauty and how we should prioritize it more as a condition in our lives. As a trends forecaster and philosopher of contemporary culture, what values do you consider important today, and could we be living our lives in different, more meaningful ways? 

In the modern western world we often value clock time more than the natural movements of the sun and moon, and have lost the ability to connect to time through sensation. The sun never struggles to rise or set, it does so effortlessly and with great ease. This is an important reminder for us to go about our day just as fluidly.

In today’s western culture we also have a deluded idea of balance. We believe it’s static, and it causes us tremendous agony as nothing in life stands still. Absolutely nothing stays the same. Planning otherwise is futile. Why not reframe balance as reorienting with the now? Not maintaining equilibrium as a permanent state, but constantly re-balancing ourselves to each new moment.

Life is an act of love, not results-orientated expectations. We need to stop judging and comparing – whether it’s people, places, experiences or our own emotions. Each second of time is its own incomparable, individual moment. This progression of time isn’t something to conquer, but an irreplaceable sequence to enjoy. We misguidedly think doing more will make us be more, but all that’s necessary for us to ‘do’ in this life is ‘be.’ By trying to prove our worth with our busyness we lose who we are in a long list of things we need to do. We forget our being.

One last thought on notions that need reinterpreting: Creation is ordered by rhythms and cycles and withering is still an extremely valid expression of creation. It is newness that society is preoccupied with: the latest fashion trends, hottest technology gadget, latest diet fad. In all forms – including dying expressions – there rests and breathes great beauty. Nature is constant reinvention. Whether it’s presently born – or a step away from death – each element of the cycle contains expanding perfection. We fail to value the completeness of life when we focus only on one part, a solitary element of the whole. Let’s open our eyes beyond the decline to witness the birth that exists there too.

You believe in Flow and Rhythm, fundamentally non-linear concepts. Can you tell us a bit more about this? How does it impact on time, space and nature? 

When we sense ourselves as part of nature, we’re more in tune with sequences, cycles and rhythms and become aware of the various patterns that exist – random, regular, alternating, flowing, progressive – knowing that within them variation and contrast are crucial. When we’re aware of them, it’s easier to sense the pulse of life. A state of flow doesn’t come from the mind and it’s not always logical! So while flow implies natural ease, it occasionally comes through mastering pull and push, alternation and repetition. The trick is to learn how to move freely between the different modes of operating in this world.

While the tide effortlessly comes in and goes out, this doesn’t imply we take a lazy ‘go with the flow’ attitude to our lives and projects. If we want to catch a wave on a surfboard we have to work with the ocean; with no paddling on our behalf, the sea can’t propel us forward. Mutual energy and co-operation are required to achieve freedom from effort.

The ebb and flow and waxing and waning of life means we’re continually adjusting, fluctuating, tinkering and oscillating. By tapping into the rhythm underneath each moment – the life force that beats through each of us – we live as the pulsating energy of nature itself.

How important – and relevant –  is the Spiritual to our lives now?

Put simply, can all the mental stress we hold inside ourselves even begin to compare to the beauty of the stars? The spiritual dimension of life is crucial to those of us living in an information society as we struggle with our inability to let go of our need to control.

When we align with the greater rhythms – like the seasons, tides, our internal body clock or the moon’s phases – we gain a greater perspective of life and relax into the moment so a greater calm can pass through us. We feel the nature of constant change.

As human beings we often forget to sense ourselves as an aspect of nature, but we’re a part of it, and it us. The mesh of life means all things are interdependent and inter-related. These threads, like a spider’s web, blanket us here on earth. These connecting filaments remind us of our role in the collective vibrational experience.

Intuition runs at a higher rhythm than our intellect, but unfortunately we mostly rely on our literal, rational mind. We can’t reason our way out of our individual (or collective) problems. We need to feel our way through. The heart though is considered unreliable; society has deemed it not fit to rule, regarding it a redundant, useless barometer. But we’re always receiving its guidance. It is unfailing. Our body is part of the body of nature and it’s time for us to listen and act on its inner intelligence. When we surrender to a timing and force greater than our own personality – and get out of our own way – we become a channel for life to flow through us.

Kristina Dryza is a consumer trends expert who advises the world’s top companies on emerging consumer, social and cultural trends so they can best align with the unfolding future.  She has also written an allegorical novel on the rhythmic nature of life, focusing on seasonal, circadian, lunar and tidal cycles and teaches workshops on aligning with nature’s effortless flow.  www.kristinadryza.com 


Great stuff Kristina, reminds me to recall what you so rightly say.. day to day, balance is an act of sheer dynamism..