“A lot of habitually creative people have preparation rituals linked to the setting in which they choose to start their day. By putting themselves into that environment, they start their creative day.” – Twyla Tharp
I read Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit” years ago during a teacher training with Laughing Lotus founder Dana Trixie Flynn. She spoke about the importance of sadhana, a daily spiritual practice. In this book and through Dana’s teachings, I realized the importance of setting a routine, a daily series of rituals that would keep my creative juices flowing and life in balance. Without these daily rituals then I may fall privy to tempting situations that do not serve my highest good. So, I set a series of practices that help to keep my head and heart in alignment and help my body functioning optimally. One of these rituals is just a simple practice of drinking hot water with lemon. When I wake up in the morning I start the teakettle and throw a lemon into some warm water. It wakes up my system and gets my digestive system going. This ritual alone has made a huge impact in my life and changed the course of my day.
Another ritual I set was a daily prayer that could come in the form of yoga, asana, meditation or mantra. I take time every day to move my body in a way that feels therapeutic and necessary for my physical wellbeing. Afterwards I take time to sit with my eyes closed and allow the clouds to clear. I stay conscious of my breath and allow myself to feel the wind (or prana) that rushes through my body and along my skin. Feeling this energy dance through my system keeps me feeling alive, creative and connected.
Lastly, I take the time to prepare, eat and digest my food. There was once upon a time when I would rush through meals or take my lunch to my computer screen while I fired off a couple more emails. What I realized is that I was eating unconsciously and sometimes eating more than my body needed. When I take just 10 minute to sit down, bless the food and count my chews (on a good day J) then I not only enjoy my food more but I also stop when my body says its done. I find this to be an important part to maintaining a healthy weight and also feeding my body nourishment that will turn into useful fuel for the rest of the day.
Other rituals you may consider adding to your everyday:
– Morning meditations with YogaWakeUp. I have a complimentary wake up on the app along with a series of chakra meditations that you can listen to at any point throughout the day
– Aromatherapy. Stopping to smell the roses and if you do not have access to flowers or the outdoors then adding some essential oils into your life for their emotional and therapeutic benefits. I like doTERRA essential oils as the company sources their product from the place where the plant is indigenous.
– Cleansing practices. Such as taking a bath with Epsom salts, oil pulling to clean your teeth, using the neti pot to clear your sinus’, or moisturizing your skin with coconut oil.
– Going on a walk outside. Connecting with nature and taking a few moments to breath in some fresh air, esp. if you’re stuck indoors behind a desk all day
– Cleaning your home before going to bed. Just the simple act of picking things up or doing the dishes before your head hits the pillow is a huge step to a good night’s sleep. If you can take a few minutes to create a tranquil sleeping environment then your mind and body with reward you deep rest and dreams.
These are just a few examples; the important thing is that you set a ritual that is workable for you. The ritual needs to serve a purpose, so don’t do it for the sake of doing it, do it because you feel the benefits. Whether it’s to warm up your legs before a run, your fingers before you play guitar, brush your teeth and floss in between, or take three deep breaths – find the ritual that works for you and maintain it. Patterns are tough to change and it’s easy to go back to your old ways. Keep at it and if you fall off the train, forgive yourself and jump back on. Life is too short to sweat over the small stuff but sometimes the small things can make a big difference for your overall health and wellbeing. What will you start today?