Life Prosody


There is a word I love that you may not be familiar with: Prosody. It refers to the patterns of rhythm and sound used in poetry. It indicates at best when every element of a poem assists and supports the entire poem. This state also occurs in prose and music.

In a broad general way a song in a minor key helps support a theme of sadness versus a happier theme would be supported by a major key. So when all the parts support each other the whole is integrated.

We can extend this concept into our lives. This is a useful way for us to review our values, our passions, our effort, our ability to generate income, our mission and our goals. Does each part support the other? To what extent does your work support your mission? Are your values expressed in your passions? Does this weeks goal align with the overall mission?

When we get closer and closer to a well supported “Life Prosody” people often report feeling “in the flow”. There can be an experience of living with a sense of ease and peace. When challenges arise there is the possibility of resilience and grace.

How does a person achieve prosody in art or in life?

It starts with awareness. Great artists are aware of the themes they are creating. I know a singer songwriter who wrote a wonderful song about Monarchs. You might wonder if he was writing about butterflies or rulers of countries. He very cleverly wrote about both simultaneously and used comparison and contrast to tease out ideas and meanings.

Writers know that keeping writing within a consistent voice avoids confusion. I am often guilty of this because I write like a modified version of how I speak. Paying attention to the voice and the point of view in writing can make the difference between powerful and weak writing. A common way that people distance themselves is by avoiding "I" and "me" statements. Or I could have said, I am more vulnerable and I can own my thoughts when I am writing in the first person.

In our lives awareness is also key. A simple test is to ask yourself what your top three to five values are and why. If this exercise feels foreign it may be worth trying out in order to discover how well you are living or activating the highest values you hold dear.

For example if I said that physical fitness was my highest value, and I exercise regularly, then this value is highly activated. However if I do not exercise or go to the gym or eat food that is healthy then this value is not activated by much.

Finally as decisions are reviewed it can be a very helpful guideline to ask yourself which of my highest values does this decision support. If none you can look deeper to understand what value the decision does support and if it makes sense to establish a new value.

In life and in art there are opportunities to stop and review edit and change the content and trajectory. These are the moments to look at the prosody of what you are manifesting and ask yourself if anything should change.


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