Photo by: Berta Drost
Photo by: Berta Drost
Always loved this simple yet wise credo: “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, Thats why it’s called the Present”.
I strongly believe that our lives give meaning by focusing on making each and every day worthwhile. Emphasising what will be around the corner, what will, what might happen tomorrow is a waste of time, just because tomorrow will never arrive if we’re always looking at what’s next. Anxious that your life is unfulfilled?
In this context I recommend reading “Life is a Gift” by Gill Edwards. It’s all within the title: Life is a gift – we just need to unwrap it. Often we know what we would like to have/be/do in life, but instead of being filled with love, confidence, and direction, we feel afraid or unworthy, and push our dreams to one side. This is one of those books that is best read a few times, making notes as you go through, of those ideas and comments that ‘speak’ to you. Then start putting the principles into practice.
However, you might think..yes that’s all nice and well and that slogan looks good on a book cover, but how do I actually do this? I am too busy to even think about reading another book and my day takes over because of planning for things tomorrow, next month, next year. To me this book prompted me to start thinking about how and what my perfect day looks like.
If a single day is the fabric, the one brick, the foundation of our life; what does a perfect ‘you’ day ideally consist of? Can every day be the same, will every day be amazing? Of course not..but if we don’t know what kind of day makes us really happy, with what kind of ingredients, anchors and milestones; how would we know we’re back on track?
Building on to one of my previous posts on creating your morning ritual, this takes it a bit further. What are those ingredients that create a ‘gifted’ day for you? Things you only can decide, control, start, influence. Things you can repeat every day and can only blame yourself for if you did not achieve them.
Think about that for a minute..what actually is your ‘gifted’ day?
Recently I revisited Luang Prabang in Laos. Early morning collecting alms by buddhist monks is an ancient southeast Asian, over 400 year old religious tradition and those who give alms earn merit for their next life. In Luang Prabang this ceremony is simply spectacular because it involves almost 30 monasteries and several hundred monks. The alms ceremony is a sunrise event with a long single line of monks in saffron-coloured robes making their way down the picturesque streets. Their feet are bare and each monk is carrying a bart bowl. In full silence and making no eye contact the monks accept the alms, the bits of rice offered by the pilgrims.
This quiet serene time in the morning is a very powerful ritual and sets the tone and pace for the rest of the day. Recognise the feeling that your day just takes over, you don’t know where and how it started and you ended the day feeling exhausted and unfulfilled? To start and end your day with your own rituals is a very impactful yet simple thing to do.
Using your phone as your alarm clock is very convenient and the moment you wake up in bed to first thing check your emails, in case you missed anything, feels very efficient right? So how often have you been enlightenend and felt liberated staring at your inbox, facebook status, tweets, online news and what have you that early in the day. So even before you even set foot out of bed, even before you start waking up properly, you allow yourself to get influenced by external noise setting the tone for the day. Your mind, thoughts have now already been programmed and influenced by the content and tone of these messages.
My dictionary explains: a ritual is a solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. Typically religions offer people many rituals, like the above buddhist alms ceremony, these rituals act like anchors in our lives. Many of us are looking beyond the traditional religions to place new anchors creating our own rituals.
I know what you are thinking: I have no time to go for a morning run, do complicated yoga poses and meditate for an hour because I have kids to feed, need to beat traffic and have deadlines to kill. However, do you have 10 minutes to spare each morning just for yourself? Even if you have just 10 minutes to set your own ritual is a better start than staring at your phone and get anxious even before you’ve hit the shower.
Here’s a few suggestions to start creating your own ritual and it’s just 6 easy steps:
Try this and I guarantee you that after a few weeks when you skip your ritual, you’ll start missing it. Experiment with it, extend you time. Is your ritual better suited going for a morning walk or run? You’d like to practice your yoga skills? Perfect, this is all about your personal intention creating your own ritual to own your day.
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