Three Daily Rituals to Restore Wellbeing

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As a person who all too often feels overwhelmed with the stresses of everyday life, I have found it helpful to incorporate three rituals into my daily routine: cleansing; stretching; and nourishing. When I consistently integrate these three simple rituals, I feel refreshed, renewed, and restored.

I usually begin my day with a fairly ordinary cleansing ritual, that of the shower. As the warm, soapy water cascades down my awakening body, I feel a sense of purity which allows me to enter the day untainted by whatever may have happened in the past. About every other day I head to the gym, where I release my worries and other toxins through the sweet sweat that trickles down from my brow. When I feel a great physical or emotional heaviness, cleansing through a one day juice fast or three week regimen of only whole foods makes me feel lighter and more free. Deep, intentional breathing is another means of cleansing our systems, and taking in the air from the seaside or deep within the forest has an unmatched healing quality.

My every other day visits to the gym are not only cleansing, they also provide me with an opportunity to move and stretch my body in new ways. Yoga and walking in-between further provide me with the stretch that I need. In addition to stretching myself physically, I try to expand myself intellectually at least once a day. I do this by trying new things, reading, and pushing myself to surpass my goals. Stretching rituals multiply the possibilities in my life and contribute to my continued personal growth.

My third daily wellness ritual is nourishing my body, mind, heart, and soul. I do this by eating healthy foods, exposing myself to enlightened ideas, practicing excellent self-care, indulging my desires, and planting seeds of hope through my work in the community. Nourishment provides me with the sustenance I need to pursue and fulfill all of my aspirations.

These three rituals — cleansing, stretching, and nourishing — serve as the foundation for my personal wellness practice. By making them a part of my day, every day, I am able to live a full and vibrant life.

Hungry Muse, Naughty Muse

I yearn to create writing that is imaginative, playful, honest, and luscious — and to do so on a consistent basis. Writing is not only an emotional outlet, it is a reflection of who I am. It serves as documentation of the interconnected processes of self-exploration and transformation which I continually experience. It is an exhumation and selfless giving of the most special, sacred spaces in my heart. Writing is what makes me come alive, and in turn it gives life to ideas that hopefully inspire others in unique and meaningful ways.

At one time, I barely wrote anything for about four months. I was depleted, uninspired, and exhausted. My life felt heavy and stagnant. I was unable to produce anything of merit, anything worth sharing, anything worth reading. The less I wrote, the less I wrote. I was sucked into a downward repressive spiral from which emergence seemed more and more impossible. Was this it? Was there nothing more to say? Was I all but gone?

There was a lot going on my life at the time, and as a highly sensitive person I am often unable to filter out certain types of difficult experiences. I absorb them, ruminate, and internalize other people’s insecurities. Eventually my despair serves a purpose — connecting me with greater awareness and understanding, and illuminating new insights. This lengthy and difficult process is necessary for my spiritual awakening. But I could have been writing to help me make sense of those experiences along the way.

When I get stuck, it is usually because my naughty, naughty inner muse is assisting me in this self-sabotage. And like unruly children who are neglected and unfed, that naughtiness comes from a lack of attention and nurturance which renders her incapable of engaging in a creative relationship with me. When I feed my inner muse, she astonishes me with her support and tender loving care; In other words, I am better able to invoke passion and love through the written word when I take care of myself and indulge my desires — regardless of how often I stare at a blank piece of paper or screen. Because my writing is so deeply connected to, and a part of, me — I need to be well in order to write well.

There are certain special things I like to do to feed my inner muse, like immersing myself in sunshine, bubble baths, ocean waves, and spectacular music, eating ripe peaches at the height of summer, and traveling to previously unfamiliar places. Daily rituals, like meditation and physical movement, also fill her heart with joy. I can also approach every moment with openness, wonder, and curiosity and engage with the world as my playground, rather than a battlefield. Neglect her, leave her hungry, and naughty girl will once again emerge. At every moment, I need to treat her, my most wise and beautiful inner self, with lovingkindness so she, and my writing, may flourish.