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Rhythm, Not Routine

Aiming for self-compassion, humility, and grace

"Forget about creating a routine. You have to focus on finding your rhythm. With routines you are either on track or not. With rhythm you can skip a beat and still get back in the groove." - KC Davis of @strugglecare

As an educator I was told for years to instill "routine, routine, routine" into the lives of students with disabilities. "It's the only way they'll learn," they said. "They'll always know what to expect," they repeated.


Come to find out, becoming too routinized is a surefire way to become rigid, which leads to gobs of problems when flexibility and patience are required (i.e., in everyday life!).


I love the above quote by KC Davis - instead of rigidity, let's strive for self-compassion, humility, and grace. "Skipping a beat" is a far kinder way of thinking about not being perfect, and to be clear - this has nothing to do with being disabled.


For example, if I miss my morning walk one day it's not the end of the world. I've learned the skills to say something to myself like:

  • "I'm still a good person."

  • "I'll do something else today to get my body moving."

  • "It was also important to take that call."

  • "I wasn't feeling well this morning - it's important to take care of myself."

When your plane is delayed, a team member calls out of work, an event is canceled, or someone doesn't pick you up on time, you need to have the choice of how to respond.


When you've spent years living by a rigid routine and something doesn't go as planned, you might not know how to handle the change. You might feel anxious, angry, sad, disappointed, confused, or any number of tough emotions.


By teaching students and supporting adults to live by rigid routines, we are setting them up for failure. Instead, we must teach flexibility, the ability to communicate tough feelings, and the skill of deciding how to reflect and respond.


a black Ford car with its front drivers side smushed; in the background a white van, trees, and buildings
a hand using a pen to write on paper (nappy.co)

"Forget about creating a routine. You have to focus on finding your rhythm. With routines you are either on track or not. With rhythm you can skip a beat and still get back in the groove." - KC Davis, Struggle Care

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