Rituals are valuable. They help us focus and remember what matters to us. But we must not become slaves to activities that make us unhappy. If habits turn into ruts, we need to change paths.
First thing in the morning is a good time to establish a ritual. In her stimulating book, Creating a Life Worth Living, Carol Lloyd uses the term “ecstatic task”, and advocates making it part of the daily routine, along with taking a shower and eating breakfast. It should strike close to the source of your creative spring.
In the morning I usually make a pot of tea, then sit at my oak desk at the office window and do 15 minutes of free writing.
It is a good ritual when it works. Problems sometimes arise because I write for a living. If I am frustrated with an assignment or going through an episode of depression as I did last fall, free writing feels like a chore.
The creative lifestyle is an ongoing experiment. To start the New Year I want to revive my morning ritual. I need activities that will energize and help me establish a constructive state of mind. Here is what I plan to try:
- For energy, a sun salutation (basic yoga).
- For connection with the Earth and living things, 15 minutes of gardening (indoor in winter).
- For pleasure, make a pot of tea.
- Give thanks for three thinks in writing. If I have found any small token that inspires gratitude, I’ll place it in a shelf designated for this purpose (see photo).
- For focus, 15 minutes of an optional activity: free writing, spinning, drawing or tarot reading.
I am ready to start!
What rituals do you like to perform? How do you start your day? How do you get your creativity flowing?