Joy of rhythm and entrainment

Under all our endeavours lie rhythms we normally take for granted: breathing, brainwaves, sleep and waking, digestion… and most vital of all, the heartbeat. On Sunday morning the cat woke me and I noticed I had an irregular heartbeat.  A really irregular heartbeat. Suddenly it was hard to think of anything else but the rhythm. Raewyn took me to the hospital, where the good people whose whole job is to help people when the rhythms get our of order, tested and helped me so nicely I felt a joy and gratitude for them and empathy for all embodied beings.

But after a few hours in the ward time dragged and the spectre of a life so handicapped by fibrillation kept me from even being able to read (!). All the busyness and goals from before the loss of rhythm seemed impossible to return to. I gave up coffee, got out on Sunday night with a withdrawal headache, a beta blocker prescription – and an irregular heartbeat.

Last night the caffeine withdrawal was almost over and I had caught up on sleep, but the heartbeat thing was distracting and depressing. I had read about ‘entrainment’, how rhythms in proximity tend to synchronise, for example two pendulum clocks mounted side by side, and I thought maybe lying heart to heart with Raewyn with her steady beat might help my erratic one get in line again. It was hard to even settle to trying that – the tendency seems to be to nurse the affected parts and protect them. Then I meditated and listened to music. I prayed to get that rhythm back, and vowed to be calmer and meditative. I found I could imagine opening  Dreamspace after all if I was like that, in harmony with myself (what was left of me) and any others who visit the gallery. I went to sleep more calm about the future.

This morning I noticed I wasn’t noticing my heart – the rhythm was back! I am learning, not the way I would prefer, but it is good! I intend to continue with these lessons. I’m back in the most vital rhythm of life – and appreciating all the other ones!

3 thoughts on “Joy of rhythm and entrainment”

  1. Hey Peter, sounds like you had a disturbing weekend! Did they give you a name for your irregular heartbeat??? My one’s called Supraventricular Tachycardia which sounds a lot like an alias to me 😉
    It was actually a relief to find out it had a name about a decade ago, until then I’d always assumed I was having panic attacks for unknown reasons…
    I hope the beta blockers do the trick – thank goodness for modern medicine!
    Practicalities aside – Sorry to hear you had to go without coffee!!! Are you up this coming weekend for Millie’s 21st? If you are, and in the area, please come visit for a coffee at our place as I’d love to create a bubble for you and Raewyn if possible 🙂
    x Hannah

    1. Hi Hannah! Thanks for that – yes it sounds similar. Atrial fibrillation, mine is … the fellowship of suffering! I had no idea you had that. Grandma Harris had AF too, and high blood pressure. So I am continuing to deny myself caffeine to return to base level, then see if I can keep the rhythm… So far so good. There’s a tendency I’m finding to worrit, and not relax, which doesn’t help!
      It would be nice to catch up, have a bubble… but we don’t go north much at all now – too busy here and it’s a long way by road and dear by plane unless book a grabaseat a long way in advance. xxx uncle peter

  2. AF is what Chris had I think? And successfully got rid of with surgery blasting his heart to go the right way…. I’m likely to do the same in the future. Oddly, I have very low blood pressure. And a tendency not to even consider it, to the point that a new doctor suggested I go straight onto Beta Blockers in the interim, as surely I don’t want my heart to wear out any quicker than it should? Well seeing as she put it that way….. 🙂

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