Tag Archives: ritual

Seeking Rhythm & Ritual

21 May

I took a break. That may be obvious from my lack of posting. I needed a week away. My intention had been to have a stockpile of 30 different daily intentions by the end of my little experiment… but after about 22… I started having the urge to repeat previous ones. So instead of forcing myself to stay in the box I’d created, I took a breather. Let the week just go by and tried to pay attention to what my natural rhythm ended up being each day. And in each portion of the day. To notice when I had energy, and when I tended to get cranky.

I think Monday is my bare minimum day. Where I pick just a couple of things… like going to the gym, posting a book on PBS, and taking a walk… and then let that be my bare minimum.  Anything else, is only if I feel like it, extra.  I noticed that the previous intentions that fell on this day were ones like Slow Down, and Gentleness. And since I work on the weekends… Monday tends to be my breather, but I also turn into a grump if I get to the end of the day without having done anything that feels productive.

You see this intention game is part of this bigger search of mine. To bring more rhythm and ritual to my days. To our days. I had an inkling of the need for this before… months and maybe a couple years before now. But the presence of a baby who’s behavior is landmarked by rituals (naps, mealtimes, play times), and who brings a decidedly more scripted pattern to our life, had made me realize even more how important rhythm is.

But I’ve wanted it to be a natural rhythm, in line with the ebb and flow that occurs spontaneously throughout the day. Action and exploration at the times when our bodies want to move and our minds are alert. Cooking and clearing when I need to get out of my head and back into my body. Ease and gentleness at the point in the day where we all get tired, a little worn out.

Without rhythm, the hours slip away so quickly, but the days somehow seem long.

I’ve been aching for rhythm.  I have been trying to discover my/our rhythm.

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Daily Intention: Slow Down

23 Apr

I’m trying something new.

I did this yesterday and it went really wonderfully, so I’m going to keep it up.

I’m making an intention to hold for my day.  Kind of like an extended, occasional meditation.

Yesterday’s intention was to be accepting of the moment I was in.  Which was a really helpful intention to hold in my mind while I was at work, and often, would prefer to be elsewhere.

It reminded me a bit of the practice of choosing a word for the year… where it just serves as  a gentle reminder whenever I could feel myself start to get disgruntled.  It helped to bring me back, at least into a frame of mind that wasn’t struggling against my unavoidable reality.

Today, my intention is to go slow.

There was one visit, several years ago, that I made down to Orange County.  I was at my friend Nathan’s house and had just said a brief hello to his parents as we were heading out the door, when his dad stopped me.  Without having had any kind of update on things going on in my life at the time… he told me that he felt like I needed to hear something before I left.  Slow down. he said to me.  He said a few more things, I’m sure.  But to this day, I can still hear the soft, gentle tone of his voice, and feel his hand on my shoulder.  Slow down.

I told Nathan about it later and he reminded me that his dad had once been a pastor.  And also said that he definitely had a some prophetic sensitivities.  And I’ll never forget that.  Because it was, exactly the message I needed to hear back then.

And while life is dramatically slower paced than it once was… Internally, I often still feel like I’m running the hamster wheel.  So today, it’s my message to myself.  To slow down, take things as they come, and allow myself some mental space when I’m not sure what should come next.

A Farewell, Funeral for my Former Self

16 Sep

We gallivanted. We walked on the edge of sleeping and waking. We kept things light and carefree, but we questioned our desires and motivations in our moments of fearlessness.  We were somehow simultaneously impulsive and ever hesitant.

Without you, I would not have felt my way through my own boundaries.  Because of you, I learned to be patient with myself.  Because of you, I’ve learned that life comes in seasons.  That sometimes periods must be reserved for trying on different shoes, testing limits, recovering, distracting, resting and centering.  You taught me how to trust my process, even if others can’t understand it.  And how to keep putting one foot in front of the other when traveling through the rough times…  trusting in the ebb as much as the flow.

I will always be thankful for everything you taught me.  for everything we went through together, and the entire course of events that have brought me here.  To this place where I can allow myself to be wildly in love with what is behind me and in front of me.  Where I can be… experimental with what surrounds me and fills me.  Where gentleness and trust and even breathing feel more easeful and necessary than distraction.  As the days and months pass, I’m learning to embrace the tender and sometimes frightening moments involved in… being present and aware and open.  That there is necessity in allowing vulnerability and progression, especially in a new, foreign direction.

I’m both relieved and solemn in witnessing your passing.  You were my segway, my breather, and my hit in the heat all wrapped up into one.  And I’ll always remember so many days and nights, stolen sunrises and blurred closing times.

Goodbye my crazy, beautiful, eclectic, movie-worthy, heart-breaking, whirlwind of a season.