It’s 5:30 and the alarm explodes.
Or rather the wristwatch alarm that I loathe vibrates alarmingly on my wrist, jerking me from slumber. Hmmm…do you slumber? That sounds so restful, so rejuvenating, so pleasurable…I’m not sure it’s what I do. I think I rather sleep. Waking to a slightly achy, stiff body who never feels quite satisfied with the experience. I think I used to slumber. Hmm…this is worth diving into.
But not today, today, I’m sharing with you my morning ritual. You know, after I’ve jerked awake. Why? Because I LOVE to hear about how others honor themselves and this one sweet life they’re living and how they carve time out to tend their own needs. (Because no one else will. No one. It’s not their job. It’s ours. Living life on perpetual empty serves no one.)
Now, truthfully, this ritual happens less than half of the time…but that’s okay. I always strive for more days, but I’m not negating all that self-care by berating myself for not doing it more. Not ma’am. We all need more gentleness in how we treat ourselves. (in fact, I recently made this interlock knit, cropped sweatshirt and made it a bit roomy. Interlock knits are softer and less compressing than the jerseys I usually sew with and I was sweetly, struck with how gentle it felt on my body. So yes, let’s be more gentle with ourselves. In all the ways.)
I’ve had several versions of this ritual and this is the one that I’ve finally, firmly landed on. Some of which I’ve gleaned from Atomic Habits by James Clear.
When the universe aligns, and I’ve gotten enough sleep the night before…meaning the little boy hasn’t crawled into bed to practice sleeping calisthenics, I’ve not fallen down an Outlander binge-watching cavern or burned the midnight oil, I set my alarm for 5:30. (that same cursed alarm that restarts my heart every time…but it’s silent and only wakes me…which is my goal after all. You know, my Dad has never set an alarm. He simply tells himself when he’ll awake and then does. What?! I so want this for myself and I’ve been practicing, but it’s not trustworthy yet.)
So, I awake at 5:30. Turn on the twinkle lights and salt rock lamp in the living room and start some tea water. I love this time, once the dragging from the bed is over. The house is silent and dark and I have space to think and be and consider without anyone needing anything of me. I divide my time into 3rds… whether it’s an hour and a half (best case scenario and rare) or 15 minutes.
First is movement. As I cue up my computer, I pour myself a big glass of water and prepare my teacup with oat milk creamer and earl grey.
My movement of choice is Qoya, a mindful, sensual, dance experience. It resonates with me on a soul level. I love the idea that moving your body allows those stuck emotions (the ones that are probably keeping me from a good slumber) to release from your body, and not take up home in the base of my neck. It’s first in my ritual because it allows everything else to flow with such ease. (I have a friend who does online classes if you’re interested in discovering for yourself.) If there’s not time for Qoya, I do several Sun Salutations.
Second is Meditation. By then my tea has been poured and I shift to a flour cushion, light a candle, and unwrap my favorite rocks! (not only did I glean a love of sewing from my Grandma Marian, but also a need to bring the rocks home, the special ones) I meditate and journal or sometimes I don headphones and listen to music while sitting in reverence. Mostly, I reflect and pray. And remember my center.
Ohh…does it ground me and bring such sparkle to my day.
The last third of my time is spent learning or being inspired. Watching a video online, reading a book that feeds my soul, listening to a podcast…that kind of lovely thing. The kind of lovely thing that is often left off in the day. (and in all honestly, if my time is cut short, as it often is, this gets cut from my ritual too…but I keep coming back to it. Somehow those children can sense you’re awake and seriously what could you possibly want to do without them? Surely, nothing. So they must get up too.)
Now, I’m gentle on this. Finally. After years of being hard on myself for not committing to it with laser focus. I allow it to be when I can, and to not be hard on myself when I can’t. But I come back to it again and again, because it sets my day for joy and peace like nothing else does. And if I’m feeling off and tight and hard, I know that reinstating this ritual will help. It always does.
So, I begin, again.
What’s your ritual? Do you have one? Hit reply and share it with me!
Dear one, may your days be full of light and laughter.
In Deep Kinship,