If you read my blog, hang with me offline or skim my Facebook ramblings I’m confident you’re tired of my talking about coffee.
If you’ve managed to avoid my coffee-talk (pun intended) here’s the short version:
Coffee was my everything.
My morning routine (smell coffee. leap out of bed like a puppy).
My evening tradition (cram filter with grounds. setting/triple checking timer).
One horrifying morning my coffee maker died and, to the shock of those around me, I decided not to replace it.
More than missing my morning cup (pour out some grounds for our fallen homie) my day demanded a new start ritual.
quiet morning + mug as big as head = old habit
I lacked a ritual to launch my day which, in turn, served to highlight an overall lack of practices to frame my days.
I possessed habits, but these were behavior patterns which felt almost involuntary.
My coffee was precisely that: a habit.
I craved 2 or 3 daily acts (not related to caffeine) regularly repeated.
Some of this thought pattern may have been sparked by Think Better Live Better:
But regardless, a beginning, middle and end to my day which was precise/verging on formal called to me.
I hoped the shift would remind me to pay attention to the pauses between “moments” in my life.
I’d stopped noticing the space before the action and, through the addition of 3 daily practices, hoped to rediscover these spaces.
I shifted seamlessly from starting my mornings with coffee to heading directly to my morning pages after waking.
Previously, I’d click around the internet while my coffee cooled. Now, without the coffee-habit, I turned immediately to writing.
Not only did this change reinforce the self-definition I want to create (I’m a writer) my morning musings often brought back stories I’d forgotten.
Stories which remained lost when I internet-clicked first.
Sometimes I create a prompt for myself the night before. Often I don’t and begin writing about the first thing which pops into my head.
Most importantly I don’t edit. I don’t reread. I don’t censor.
My Start is yoga-like for me in that fashion and in the way it’s become a daily practice.
my START: clean, white & zero word count.
I identify as Type B.
I don’t even know if Type B is really a (finger quote) thing (unFQ), but I do know I’m not a perfectionist and I don’t define myself as highly driven.
(This is not necessarily a good thing. This simple *is.*)
That said, my days can become work-focused verging on frantic.
I often start working the moment I return from school drop, build to a frenetic pace, until I realize either it’s time for pick up or, as we say around here, I’ve hit the wall and worked myself into mental exhaustion.
Creating the daily practice of a midday Slow(ing down from work) helps me renew my creative brain.
My new Slow ritual reminds me the importance of building positive procrastination into each day.
And, since this transition is a major one in terms of day-speed and focus, my Slow offers opportunity to pause/notice how I feel as I transition from WorkCarla to Slow, mindful Carla.
my #1 Slow-the-day-down sidekick!
Have I been a Shamash today?
On the surface my evening practice looks similar to my Start. Its intent, however, is different.
I spend no more than ten minutes writing (unlike morning musings where my time is unlimited
until the child is in my face) and in these measured minutes learn a lot about myself.
Some insights are good (ala my Shamash question). Much of it isn’t as great as I’d like to imagine.
I consider the way I responded to situations during the day. All situations. In these moments of written-hindsight I frequently discover feelings I’d not noted in the moment.
Feelings of jealousy, resentment or disappointment.
This discovery, while always pretty, is the very reason I created my Summation ritual and why I believe it works.
I choose to make time to confront my day (honestly and entirely) and when I’m finished I let any negative energy go.
All of it and no matter what.
Since I’ve begun this practice I’ve slept better. I journal. I go to sleep. I rarely wake or have insomnia.
Sure this could be from coincidence not cleansing. Regardless I’ll take it.
my Summation journal is old school.
Not yet a month into 2016, these 3 daily practices have helped me live with renewed mindfulness and awareness.
- Do you have rituals/practices to frame your day?
- What would your Start, Slow and Summation be?