In a movement based life style, one of the biggest challenges I face is creating a routine, a rhythm to support the flow of my life. As I reflect, I recognize I also struggled with this while living “still”- being diligently committed to self-care, self-love and reverence for Creation (otherwise known to me as ritual).
What I know about my particular constitution is I thrive off of routine. I remember as a young girl having the idea of “routine” come very naturally to me. I was probably 10 or so when I would watch the 9pm news (which I preferred because it ended earlier so I could go to bed earlier) on a little black and white turn dial TV in my bedroom and get to bed at a “reasonable” hour (because we all know 10 year olds are the most reasonable creatures).
My family had a pretty well laid out breakfast schedule; typically, each morning had a breakfast that you could count on being repeated the same way the following week. It makes for ease, and can stifle creativity or spontaneity. In college I loved knowing my schedule for months at a time… I had class at this time Monday/Wednesday/Friday and similarly Tuesday/Thursday, etc.
BUT NOW! I am in a mixed up place. James & I brainstorm and talk in length about our plans for the coming months, something I’ve wanted in a partner, and haven’t had to this degree until now. And simultaneously, I hardly know what my “schedule” for tomorrow is. There is a long term planning required to put on teacher trainings, workshops, produce festivals and retreats; and I lack the solid consistency and foundation of a daily job/task that gets me up and going. So I’m learning what naturally works best for me, and I have to be my #1 cheerleader to keep myself on track. Here is what I’ve learned works well for me, and I’d love to know what you’ve learned about yourself on how to flow with your own rhythm.
- When I wake up around 6am, I soak up the stillness of this time of day, and it supports maintaining that ease throughout my day.
- I do the hygienic morning activities (wash face, brush teeth, tongue scrap and blow my nose), then drink tea or warm lemon water and… write, breathe, stretch/shake, play uke, sing my prayers, or pull a daily card from my Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck (Thank you Karen O’Dougherty!!) to have some time for just me in the morning.
- Eat breakfast around 7:30am or so, something that nourishes me (my diet consists of little processed food and thus lots of whole foods-seasonal vegetables, soaked grains, lots of healthy fat, the occasion happy meat/fish, and fruit…and it’s not perfect!).
- Take a break from the day around 12 or 1pm for 2 or so-ish hours while I eat another awesome meal and rest, put my feet up (there are lots of benefits), or read, and breathe. *Check out the links for great benefits on mid-day breaks.
- Eat a fantastic dinner around 6 or 7pm to allow my food to digest before I go to bed.
- Head to bed around 10pm, with a bedtime routine to help wind-down; tea, a good book, easeful conversation, music, or yoga. I notice when I take a break during the day, I don’t need as much sleep at night.
- **Connect with nature in some form every day! This nourishes my soul so deeply. (A few minutes barefoot on the grass, sitting at the base of a tree, taking in the view, child’s pose on the grass..there are lots of options!).
I’ve learned the benefits of slowly waking up the day, and slowly winding it down.
To balance my unique energy I benefit from routine. I am blessed currently with a very open and free lifestyle, which can be a challenge to routine. For my friends, family and followers who are more in the “typical” week/weekend way of living, what routines can you create to support your best self?
Remember: You are an incarnation of Spirit (God/Goddess), how would you treat the Divine? What can you do to care for yourself the way you would a king/queen/priest/priestess/creative-soul?
Take time each day to be:
- The Watcher/Senser~witness your eyes seeing, your ears hearing, your tongue tasting, your skin touching, your nose smelling
- The Feeler~witness the emotions within you
- The Thinker~watch the ticker-tape of thoughts roll through your mind and notice the space between them
- ~Connect all three with breath, and notice what shifts in your experience~
Check out this great audio by Ram Dass, a huge inspiration to me about honoring yourself.
Please share your favorite self-care practices and expressions of self-love, a topic I’m greatly passionate about! Even 5-10 minutes a day of a practice that nourishes your soul is beneficial; and you can steep the whole day with reverence…every sip of water, every bite of food, every moment of stillness, and all the moments of chaos. Each moment we can Wake Up to our own Perfection. Groove on.