Day 218/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
The sound of the kettle coming to the boil as I warm the coffee plunger, scoop an oversized portion of soft coffee grounds, gently pour the boiling water over them after having rested it for just a few minutes. The ritual is complete with a long slow inhale of coffee aroma before securing the lid to return it to its pantry shelf.
My kitty climbs tentatively up my body to rest on my shoulder at 6.50 am to alert me to breakfast time. She purs and snuggles and invites a patting hand, leaps off the bed as I throw back the covers and waits by her breakfast dish for a special morning pat of her belly and a therapeutic squeeze of all the muscles and joints as I do my morning check over with deliberate pressure to activate proprioception that she would enjoy if there was a kitty companion.
The everyday rituals that make life bearable are often rushed and harried and their intrinsic value to the texture of our life overlooked.
That old adage that goes something like "it's time to stop and smell the roses" says it all. It's time to stop and pay attention to the rituals in life that seem small and insignificant yet important enough to feature in your life every day.
When I prepare my bath in the evenings I take the time to set the temperature perfectly, light candles and another low light, heat the room to a comfortable warmth, prepare my big, gorgeous, soft towel, my bathing tools and scented lotions with deliberate love and attention before I slowly immerse my body below the sea of bubbles.
Of course life wasn't always this deliberate, and I wasn't always conscious of my movements through life. In fact it was the realisation of the very antithesis that awoke me to more care and attention to life's small and meaningful ceremonies.
Today I'll identify other rituals that I can bring more of myself to.
Very occasionally I bring more time and care to preparing my meals, although usually hurried as an afterthought is my usual MO, when I begin to feel the lethargic effects of hunger having forgotten to eat for 9 hours of the day.
Preparing my desk for research and study each morning could be more ritualised than it currently is. I could tidy and file, clear away empty coffee cups and water bottles, set my pens and pads in readiness, backup yesterday's as i wait for my second cup of coffee, add a flower from my garden, and warm my office as well.
Yes, I'm even going to ritualise my shopping trip this morning. What fun that will be.
Sarah says that "nothing is too insignificant for our authentic selves". All these small rituals make the day that begins when we rise in the mornings and ends when we rest in our comfy beds at night. How we spend that time in between is the stuff that we call life.
By turning everyday habits into rich rituals, ceremonies of an authentic life, we are in a way honouring ourselves, and blessing our life.
Will you join me?
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.