This morning I woke up at 9:45 am, brushed my teeth, made myself a cup of tea, and sat down in my ‘writing corner’ to write for an hour.
I do this every single day except Sundays.
When I am planning my days I almost never schedule something for myself between the hours of 10 and 11 am.
I don’t always have the luxury of waking up at 9:45 or being at home in my own space, but I always have my computer or a notebook and am writing when the clock turns 10.
This is a ritual that has been part of my life (in varying degrees) for a decade. I can feel the impact when I neglect my writing time or schedule something over it.
It is in this hour that I build my creativity, trust, and self respect. It tethers me to myself and my true purpose.
I could be a construction worker, airline pilot, plumber, lawyer, or bus driver, but I would still be a writer. It’s my lifeline, my solace, the reason I do my life.
This morning I’m contemplating the importance of ritual and how it has the power to infuse our lives with meaning, reverence, and intention.
Growing up, church was where I experienced ritual. Every Sunday, we would get dressed up, go to church, go to Sunday school, and have lunch with a neighboring family. As I got older, church lost its pull and I was left without the ritual I had come to know so well.
Part of the reason I struggled so much in college was the absence of the family rituals I had become so accustomed to. The Sunday church experience, the morning breakfasts, the dinnertime conversation prompts, the cleaning days – all gone. I didn’t know myself well enough to know that I needed to create new ones. That creating them would help me survive.
Ritual comes in all shapes and sizes. For many, morning coffee is a ritual, a signal to body and mind that it’s time to begin the day. For others, it’s running or making breakfast.
Rituals ground us to our life and give texture to our days.
I think that ritual is a profound act of self care, something we do just for ourselves because it’s important to us.
Rituals do not have to be elaborate, they only require attention. They offer an invitation to be present with your life.
If you’re looking to add a little ritual to your life, here are some ideas for even the busiest of humans:
- Read before bed
- Close your eyes and feel the warm water on your hands as you wash the dishes
- Say a prayer
- Make yourself a meal or a beverage
- Designate a corner of your house to creativity, enter the space with intention (lighting a candle, burning incense, opening the window, turning on music)
- Make pancakes for your family on Sunday mornings
- Go running at sunset
- Walk around the block for you go to work
- Set up your workspace for the day with your computer, coffee, snacks, a notebook
- Kiss your child/partner/cat before heading out the door
- Take out your contacts, wash your face, brush your teeth, apply lotion in whatever order you like
- Designate 1-3 hours on Sunday to self-care. You can do whatever you feel like during this time. You can go to church, take a yoga class, go for a hike, make yourself a meal, take a nap.
- When you get into your car, take a deep breath before starting the ignition
- Buy flowers every week and arrange them around your home
- Use essential oils in your bath or shower
- Apply lotion to your hands slowly and lovingly
- Designate 5-60 minutes to your creativity – paint, write, sing, cook. Add this time to your daily calendar. Do not schedule over it.
How does ritual show up in your life? Have you been neglecting yours?