Everyday Rituals

There is a certain comfort in everyday rituals. I treasure my many familiar little routines that begin the day. The first one begins as I wake and stretch in bed, and become aware of my attitude. If it’s less than the best, I work on changing that mindset before I even get up.

As the water heats for that cup of tea, I pull on my walking gear. I then let Duff out of his den (his very own carrier) and rub his ears as I sing him “Good Morning, Morning” by Donna Fargo. This simple activity cheers both of us. Touching his silky fur grounds me for the day.

There’s nothing like the promise of a morning walk (and the immediate threat of poop somewhere inconvenient) to remind me of the importance of putting one foot in front of the other. We head out for a saunter to check out the day and the neighborhood. The Duff and I have already determined which homes have fiercely barking dogs, which old “puppy friends” he will greet, and which spots smell the most enticing. At times, it’s a solitary walk, for we are out early. To hear the sound of birds chirping and the muffled sounds of the town herald the day’s soft beginnings.

I look forward to regular morning texts with friends. We touch base every day, deepening our friendship as we do. I also share my thoughts on Stoic meditations with a friend across the country. These are welcome heart connections, and I count on them.

I don’t think I’m unusual when I think I can control outcomes or take charge of difficult problems. What an illusion! As I sink into the pleasure of an everyday ritual, that need vanishes. Funny how all the little comforting activities that come to mind are related to sameness and continuity.

If you’re searching for that peaceful, mindful behavior, I have a few suggestions.

  • Make your bed. Taking little to no time, this routine reminds me to get my outer world cleared for the day. This simple process also makes the bed feel more inviting on my return.
  • Nurture life. What a gift to notice the cycles in nature. A garden, or even adding a small grouping of herbs on the windowsill, can bring attention to how plants thrive during the seasons.
  • Enjoy your meals. It’s easy to chew and swallow while watching TV or getting ready for work. What did I have for dinner yesterday? Who knows! When I slow down and taste my food, the ritual of feasting is a satisfying comfort.
  • Hydrate. If you’re anything like me, I have trouble remembering to fit in those eight daily glasses of water. If I begin my day with a healthy chug, I’m already started off on the right foot.
  • Set intentions. While my day is often clouded by to-do lists, setting small personal intentions can help establish a feeling of control in my environment.

The rhythm of my walks and my early cup of tea has taken on a ritual status. But you don’t need a dog for an ongoing morning activity or a schedule for a specific text. And the practice needn’t take a lot of time. With that ritual comes the benefits of comfort, tranquility, and certainty. You deserve that peace. Live unstuck.

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