I like the concept of rituals versus routines.
The official definition of a ritual according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:
: a formal ceremony or series of acts that is always performed in the same way
Now I am finishing up Week 4 in this program and I do love the return to 15 minute sessions but I have to admit that the burst of energy I get is not the same as the previous program. This is an easy strength program and I feel good afterwards and my mood and patience is still positively affected. I just know that pushing my body to safe but uncomfortable limits make me feel great and when I have an off day for training, I make sure that I counter that with some type of physical activity outside like playing soccer with the kids or going for a bike ride.
My morning ritual ceremonial items: My morning read, two journals – one for morning pages and the other for directed writing, books that help me create, and my two kettlebells which the kids have named “Cloudy” and “Blue” :
And the two things I drink first thing in the morning – 1. Water with lemon, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, sea salt and 2. Coffee (Of course.)..always in a mason jar and my mug:
If I can get these 5 things done in the morning, ending at whatever time I end at, I am calmer and more patient throughout the day. I move a little bit more deliberately and can choosing gentle words become easier as the days progress. Being present in my morning ritual also sets the tone for the rest of the day. I am more open to spontaneity and embracing the unexpected. I also don’t remain in negative spaces for long periods of time especially when the kids are having a rough time. I have a newly found optimism for the day. Not for all the days to come, just today.
This 2-hour ritual may seem self-indulgent and it is. It really is. I am indulging in my life. I am fully taking pleasure in this one life I have. And I want the kids to do that too. There can be a balance of needs for the rest of the day, a balance of work and play, but the early morning is mine. All mine. I can have an evening ritual with the kids and Ever-Patient, touching base before the end of the day, saying brief farewells until the morning, giving all reassuring kisses – a send-off to dreamland.
But that dawn is mine. There is a comfort to know that I can have this intimate moment with myself and the first light of day – a chance to become “en-lightened” over and over again.
Alive moments can be anytime, anywhere. If I closely watch any natural wonder, really watch it, nonjudgmentally, in the present moment, noting its nuances, how it looks in changing light, or on different days, yet remains recognizably the same, then the world becomes dearer and less trying, and priorities rearrange themselves with an almost audible clicking. – Diane Ackerman, Dawn Light
Try devising a morning ritual for yourself that delights your senses as you greet the day. Can you hear that “audible clicking” of priorities re-shuffling themselves? Does the world look a little brighter?