Start the day with a nourishing ritual

Gratitude shelf

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:

  1. For energy, a sun salutation (basic yoga).
  2. For connection with the Earth and living things, 15 minutes of gardening (indoor in winter).
  3. For pleasure, make a pot of tea.
  4. 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).
  5. 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?

6 thoughts on “Start the day with a nourishing ritual

  1. 2 houses back, I used to start the day with a pot of tea on the deck, observing the garden and being in the moment. Then the ex decided to crash my personal ritual and make it his own, so I stopped.

    In the Cottage I’d breakfast at the table, over-looking the garden with it’s view to the hills across the river; my private little world. I’d watch the birds and the sky or the river fog and just breathe for a while. I miss that.

    Here in Lima I live in a flat where someone else arranged the furniture. The dining table faces me away from the window, and my morning view is other apartment buildings and a grey patch of sky. I need to invest in a little more furniture for my room, some art, and a few house plants, to give myself a tiny space in which to welcome the day and to create. I need my island of beauty much more here where the outdoor world cannot provide it.

    At least I’ve found a real tea shop, where I’ve spent far too much money on good leaf tea. A teapot and mug will follow, once I’ve rearranged the kitchen to make a little more space. 🙂

    Thank you for reminding me of the importance of how I choose to start the day.


    1. Toni, you remind me that in one apartment some years ago I created an indoor sanctuary complete with flowering plants, a miniature fountain and an oil diffuser! I hope wherever we move from this house will have room for outdoor gardening, otherwise I might need to resume the indoor garden idea. I hope that concentrating more on staying connected with the Earth day-to-day will cultivate a healthy state of mind.

  2. The photo of the cedar waxwing inside the cabinet reminds me of when you mentioned the bird that became like a member of the family. Is that a photo of the same bird?

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