Clearing the decks this season
In organizing my space and recommitting to my morning rituals practice (aka “clearing my decks”), I’m finding myself making space to focus on what my Yes! looks like. A while back, I welcomed Autumn saying that I would endeavor this season to clarify my Yes! and work toward making it happen. In autumn, nature pares back to the essential, and reveals itself. If we’re paying attention, we do, too. For us, that means turning inward.
Sometimes, though in order to work up the courage and clear my mind to face challenging questions, I have to get moving physically and do something. I think it’s why I walk so much—it helps me to think. Cleaning also helps, which I think is the deeper reason why I started turning this place upside down and get things organized.
Do you ever clear your space in order to clear your mind?
Being active, but then being still—the importance of morning rituals
Being active helps me to think, but then I also need to be still. This is where my morning rituals come in. I move a bit first thing in the morning, feeding Ollie, making my coffee, and doing little things like watering the plans. That helps shake the cobwebs (also, coffee). Then I’m ready to sit down without falling back asleep (most of the time).
During my morning rituals, I focus for a couple of hours on things that are important to me, and it helps to set me up for a good day and to also make progress on things that I want in my life. My practice includes the following:
- Read for 35 minutes
- Plan for my Highlight of the day (see reading suggestion below)
- Express Gratitude
- Write for 35 minutes
- Do Nothing for 15 minutes
- Visualize for 10 minutes (I’ve heard this called Manifesting; I’m not sure if I truly believe that, but I spend an awful lot of time imagining The Worst. I figure I can spend ten minutes visualizing The Best)
Without morning rituals, I do not get to my Yes!
Without my morning rituals, I do not get to my Yes!, because I’m not connecting with myself. These morning hours are when I both imagine and live the life I want. Later on in the day, Ollie and I then take a long walk, where I often find myself back with something I that came to me that morning.
I let morning rituals slip a bit
I have to confess that I’d let my morning rituals slip a bit over the last month and a half. While I didn’t abandon them entirely, my mornings felt increasingly rushed with a hectic work schedule and life in general, and I didn’t feel as though I had time.
Does life sometimes get in the way of your rituals practice, too?
Understanding why I let things slip
Deeper than that, though, I think I started feeling antsy about stillness, because I knew that I’m not really living my Yes!. Sitting still and letting that sink in made me uncomfortable. I talked about this last week with a group that I’m a part of, run by my old friend Emily (I’ve posted about her before). That conversation helped to better understand why I was feeling uncomfortable and to recommit to my morning rituals practice. I’m happy to report that it’s working.
Let’s be gentle with ourselves and get back into morning rituals
Step seven in my Seven Steps to Creating a Morning Rituals Practice is to be gentle with ourselves. Life can get in the way sometimes. The important thing is to have built a practice that can sustain a little lapse once in a while.
If this has happened to you, too, then please consider this an invitation to be gentle with yourself and to recommit. I’ve created a little printable Morning Rituals tracker for you if you subscribe (if you’re already a subscriber, just enter the password). Sometimes a good visual is what we need to feel encouraged by our progress.
A little reading
Finally, a couple of reading suggestions, one from a Wonder & Sundry reader (and dear one). These are affiliate links with Bookshop.org, which supports local bookstores. If you order through these links, I get a small commission.
Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day, by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, was recommended to me by a colleague, it’s been the most helpful book I’ve read (and I’ve read quite a few) on elbowing space into my day to do what’s important to me.
In Make Time, the authors offer tons of practical suggestions that you’re encouraged to mix and match on how to do what matters to you. Their key practice is defining a daily highlight. You then develop a strategy to laser in on that highlight and make sure sure that you have the energy you need that day to focus on it.
Since I read this, I create a daily highlight, and I focus on it above the clutter (not always, of course, but more often than not). I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
Outer Order, Inner Calm
Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness, by Gretchen Rubin, was recommended to me this week by a dear one (who also happens to be a colleague) and focuses on the connection between organizing our spaces and clearing our minds. It’s on my must-read list, and please consider this a recommendation from an excellent source.
I would love to hear from you about how you are focusing on the Yes! in your life. If there are things that work for you, please let me know in the comments.