What I do….

July 21, 2010 § 2 Comments

I get up (early). I take care of The Sweeter. I grab a glass of water and head back upstairs. I light a candle (it’s nicer and less jarring than the overhead light at 4:30am). I open my journal write about what I’m grateful for and whatever else is in my head & heart. I write to clear my head – I scrawl. Sometimes I read a bit for reference, or clarity, or inspiration. I learn – about how my mind works, about who I am, and who I think I am (sometimes two very different things – huh.) I close my journal and I sit and breathe. I begin my physical practice, sun salutations and variations. I start slowly and build heat. I work hard. I breathe loudly (and attempt to control it – making it smooth & long – beginning again when I forget to breathe at all). I slow down. I go upside down… I float. I test my growing strength. I feel my muscles shake with effort. I hold poses that are hard for me for as long as I can or just touch them for a brief moment. I bend my back to open my heart. I am happy. I feel love. I stretch. I work on tough areas that seem like they will never open. I lie down. I twist. I end with Savasana and my breathe again. There’s something very reassuring about beginning and ending and working in the middle with this simple act of breathing.

If I haven’t used up all my time (lately I have been losing track), I attempt to clear my head and let go. Sooooooooo……. (exhale) Hummmmmmmmmmm….. (inhale) I open my eyes and close my palms in front of my chest. I whisper intentions for my day….  Good thoughts… good intentions… nuture… trust… give… I open my eyes. I take one more breath, blow out the candle and start my day.

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I used to think rituals were a nice idea, but I had no idea how to make that work in my life. I’d been at it for a couple months when I realized that’s what this was, and why it seems to be working for me now (finally, after years and years of trying to build a consistent practice). If I start every day the same way (whether I spend 15 minutes, or 90), there isn’t any question of pushing it off until tomorrow or the next day. It feels a little OCD (down to the order in which I do very simple things – Start filling Sweeter’s water dish, get her food while that’s running. Set her up. Get her meds and drink some water while she eats. Give her her pills, some snuggle time and take her outside. Adjust the thermostat and head upstairs.) The other stuff is nice, the candle, etc, but it’s all a part of the habit. Do you have any rituals? I’m drinking tea to get myself warmed up for bed right now 🙂

§ 2 Responses to What I do….

  • Rachel says:

    I actually use to think the need for rituals (routine) was a character flaw. Don’t ask me why except I think I had some romantic notion of spontaneity and also because I felt as if the creative process would by suffocated by routine. I didn’t realize that the two could exist side-by-side in the same life. Now, routine is almost necessary. I’m far more productive, more motivated, and more centered when I have routine and can stay on some semblance of a schedule. Too bad my job doesn’t really allow for it often (which is why I’m not really sharing any of my own rituals).

    Outside of the 4:30 wake-up time, your morning sounds like the perfect start to face the day.

  • heatherknits says:

    I wish I could be up before the sun. Ritual is not the same as habit and routine – I’m more adept at the latter rather than the former… But in reading and thinking (only a little, not enough) about mindfulness, intention, and thinking positively, I realize that it’s the start to the day more than the end – when I go to the gym – that would really make all the difference for me.

    We’ll see if I can do it. One day I woke up and had to run. I’m not running most of the time, but I walk/run 3 miles most days, and do some weights. Maybe one day I’ll wake up at 430 or 5am and just need to do that morning thing – journaling, centering. I’m hoping.

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