Day 7 | Define Your Ritual

“There are two ways to look at the world: as though everything is a miracle or as if nothing is a miracle.” – Einstein

I love the idea of rituals, but sometimes I find it hard to really put them into practice.  Lately, I’ve been determined to talk with my parents on the phone more.  Living across the country from them, I sometimes feel disconnected and would love to find a way to catch up more frequently.  Having recently started driving to work, I would like one of my rituals be calling my parents during my 30 minute commute.  I’ve tried it a few times and with my new earbud, hands-free set-up it’s worked really well.  While at other times I feel like I easily get distracted or feel rushed during our conversations, when in the car driving to or from work, I can completely (well, aside from the whole driving thing) focus on our conversation and find that our communication is much richer and deeper.

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Day 6 | Time to Make

“We were designed to create.” ― Sarah K Peck

I LOVE to make things with my hands! So, this is such a treat. Even though I had an incredibly packed day, I was determined to make something with my hands or at least start a project.  If I had it my way, I’d spend the whole day using my hands in creative ways…painting, playing with clay, I even see cooking as part of this.

It just so happens that yesterday I finally had the chance to buy yarn to make fingerless gloves for myself and my fiance. So, today my practice of making was to at least get started on these cozy hand warmers–especially welcome and appropriate with this frigid weather we’ve been having here in the Bay Area.

Day 5 | Nourishment as Gratitude

“Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point 
at which we learn to understand that all growth 
does not take place in the sunlight.” 
― Joan D. Chittister

Today I will nourish myself with…

  • a morning meditation to center myself for the day
  • a warm cup of tea to warm my core on this cool morning
  • a healthy breakfast to feed by body and brain for a productive day at work
  • a soothing soundtrack to accompany my morning
  • a cleaning session of my room to clear space for my mind and being
  • a walk around the block during lunch to stretch my legs and breathe fresh air
  • a workout after work to cleanse and build strength in my body
  • a bouquet of flowers to add beauty, color, and aroma to our home
  • a time to read before bed and computerless time for relaxation and reflection

Day 4 | Reaching Out

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize
how good things really are.” 
 – Marianne Williamson

The past few years I’ve made it my New Years’ Resolution to stay better connected with friends and family.  This is something I see much value in, as community is such an important component of a supportive and meaningful life.  Unfortunately, I frequently find myself shying away from making a phone call, writing an email, or writing a letter to connect with others.  Instead, I’ll choose to retreat inward and do something by myself.  I know that I fall on the more introverted side of the personality spectrum, but this doesn’t mean that I can’t get that rejuvenating alone time AND catch up with family and friends.  For me, I think this all comes down to making time to prioritize what’s important to me and making less time for meaningless activities (ie. the black hole of the internet) that don’t feed my mind, spirit, and heart.

Today I give thanks for my family and friends who have always been there to support me and nourish me with their love and compassion.

Today I wrote a note of gratitude to the family friends who hosted a lovely and delicious Thanksgiving.

Day 3 | A Breathe of Kindness

“Gratitude is always the best place to begin.” – Danielle LaPorte

Things I love about myself and am grateful for about myself…

  • my smile
  • my ability to listen
  • my sensitivity to others
  • my love of food and cooking
  • my motivation and drive to nourish my mind, body, and spirit
  • my willingness to help others
  • my love of dance

I find today’s practice very challenging. Every time I come up with something I love about myself or am grateful for about myself, I find myself immediately beginning to discount it and say, “Well, you really could be more motivated,” or “Are you really that sensitive to others’ feelings?”.  This is definitely something I need to practice more and something I’ve been working on for awhile now. I find it so hard to accept myself for who I am and honor my unique qualities and characteristics without judging or questioning.  I connect this exercise with a tool to work on in my recent quest to build confidence in who I am and what I can offer the world.

Day 2 | Learning to See Again

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.
If you are attentive, you will see it.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

Day 1 | Warm Up

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is
the foundation for all abundance.” ― Eckhart Tolle