What tiny rituals: signal that your day is starting; help you ease into a creative project; give you closure from an intensive task; or mark other significant milestones in your day? What new rituals would you like to create in the new year?
Ritual or Routine: Eyes open – need coffee. My preference is for espresso but I have been known to plumb for instant if only to coax my eyelids apart. This is definitely part of a daily ritual and just about the only lever to get me out of bed. A start without coffee is well, we won’t go there because I cannot imagine such a day. No coffee. No wakey up.
Easing into a creative splurge is definitely a ritual as the decks are cleared of all previous projects. The house is tidied and cleaned while I make sure nothing else needs to be done. I need to know there will be no interruptions before I can even start. If I know something will be coming up shortly after a new beginning, I put the start date back until I can have a good run at it. There is little more frustrating than having prepared all the paraphernalia than having to tidy it away, only to have to drag it all out again.
My foray into digital journalling lasted all of a month. And I was so certain it would become a ritual. I wanted it to become part of my day but the commitment became overwhelming and then paralysing. In 2015 I would like to weave digital journaling back into my life because I think it is important to pause, reflect and record. A ritual as part of a routine: nurturing ourselves whilst in the comfort of an established routine (or soon to be established routine). Who I am at certain times of the day varies … and I’m sure we all behave differently when we’ve enjoyed eight hours of sleep rather than staggering along on broken sleep or dragging ourselves through the afternon in a low blood sugar funk. I am not a morning person so committing those thoughts to a journal in the morning would not be a fair reflection of who I am. The ritual within a routine would need to become part of a night time routine.
Because I am believing for renewed energy and enthusiasm in 2015 I am looking forward to reestablishing the ritual of a daily quiet time. This ritual was nurturing and grounding and helped me to process matters in a non-reactive way. I miss the ah-ha moments of quiet time as well as being still and listening. I think the ups and downs of this year may have been minimised if there had been more quiet time and reflection. Seeking answers rather than hurtling through life at break-neck speed, no matter how ultruistic the motives. Maybe less blogging.
I believe we perpetuate, adopt or create rituals to nurture ourselves, to find connection, and to remember as well as to honour. There is a sense of process within a ritual. We have personal, family and then community or even national rituals. One such national commemoration that has become ritualistic is the annual dawn parade that Australians and New Zealanders act out every 25th April.* The march to the local memorial, welcome, dedication,,wreath-laying, prayers, hymn, recitation of The Ode (They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.) We will remember them followed by the Last Post. There is comfort in these rituals as well as a way to honour their sacrifice. In essence the commemorative service following a funeral-type ritual for those men who died at Gallipoli.
Ritual is powerful.
Routine, on the other hand lends structure to our lives. Not being a morning person, routine is paramount in getting me out the door and off to work every day. I may be vertical but I may not be awake. At some point in the routine my brain kicks in. The wake up routine goes something like: bed-making, dressing (long and painful), breakfast, coffee, dental hygiene, make up, pack work bag, gather lunch box goodies, find keys, out the door and … relax!
In conclusion, I’ll be carrying the early morning coffee and bedtime routine into next year while endeavouring to establish digital journaling and quiet time as rituals that create opportunity for reflection and being still.
How about you, what rituals and/or routines will you be carrying through to 2015. Are there any rituals or routines you would like to create or establish as part of moving forward?
* On the morning of 25 April 1915, the Anzacs set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and an ally of Germany.
The Anzacs landed on Gallipoli and met fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. Their plan to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the allied forces were evacuated. Both sides suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli and the events that followed had a profound impact on Australians at home. The 25th of April soon became the day on which Australians remember the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.