Tag: morning ritual

Acknowledge the Good

A couple of years ago I posted about a gratitude jar. The jar I’d begun using became needed elsewhere, so I took all those little slips of paper, and placed them in an empty Voluspa jar. Last December, I sat down in the middle of my bed with the jar, and read each one.

I remembered cutting paper into strips, writing something I was grateful for, and placing it in the jar. The jar wasn’t very full, because walking by it isn’t enough. I have to pause long enough to write something down. It’s funny, but I was the most grateful for sunlight. The unfolding of each piece of paper and reading what it said, felt like a ritual. I refolded each one and placed them in a baggie for the jar to be used as a vase.

One of my most loved books by Julia Cameron is The Sound of Paper. I don’t know which I love more, the book itself, or it’s title, because I’m enamored by the sound and feel of paper. I want to experience that year-end ritual again, so I started a new jar, in hopes that by this December it will be packed full. The key is to sit it where it doesn’t fall into the background of the everyday, so it’s by my bedroom window waiting, every time I enter.

Empty Voluspa jar.

Here’s some examples of how often I see this jar.

  • First thing in the morning, while opening the drapes.
  • When I walk back in to make my bed.
  • Sitting on the floor, during meditation.
  • When I pet the cat who’s lounging in the morning sun.
  • To plug in my phone for charging.
  • While getting dressed, or anytime I retrieve something from the closet.
  • Anytime I’m in my room gazing out the window, the jar is there.
  • Running the vacuum through the room.
  • Closing the drapes at nightfall.

Some days I’m overwhelmed by goodness, while other days, I need a magnifying glass to see it. No matter if it’s a lot, or just one thing, there’s always something to write on a sliver of paper and place it in the jar.

Pause… breathe… and acknowledge the good.

I Am Second

“Did you write today?”

“Yes.”

“Then you’re a writer today.” Julia Cameron ~ The Right to Write

In a recent staff meeting with the Zen Habits Team, it was suggested for each of us to go through one of Leo’s courses like a student would. I chose his ‘Beautiful Mornings’ course. I love waking up early and seeing the first light of day, but to do that and feel rested, I needed to reel in my bedtime.

In the course Leo’s asks that we implement something into our morning to make it more beautiful. There’s a book that’s been laying on my bedside table for years. You can tell by the cover it’s been well used, and the pages aren’t as bright, white as they once were, but it’s been laying there waiting to be used some more frequently. I’ve re-inserted it into my morning and praying over my adult children.

Most mornings I wake up and my mind begins rolling through the day, but last year I promised myself I’d ‘watch the day unfold‘. Being in need of more practice, I’m sticking with it this year. There’s one thing I feel the need to do before anything else, (even coffee), and that is to spend time with God.

No matter how the day unfolds, or what I see on my plate, by putting Him first I’m trusting His plan instead of mine. When it comes down to it lovely, the only reminder I need today is, I am second.


Credits:

Julia Cameron~The Right to Write

Stormie Omartian~The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children

The Bottom of the Page

It’s still dark outside my window, and the house is quiet and still. I’ve already written my morning page, and I call it that because I only write one page. Julia recommends 3 pages of longhand, but that feels like work to me. It’s more enjoyable to pull out one blank page and fill in the empty space. I’ve been noticing a certain feeling toward the page of the bottom.

The halfway mark has a satisfying feel to it, and once you get there, ‘it’s all downhill’ as they say. The pen glides back and forth across the page, making it’s way to the bottom. I always pause when there’s only enough room left for two lines to be written. How do I want the page to end? Sometimes I simply wish myself a remarkable day and sign off.

The page is not about what you write, it’s just asking to be written. It’s become my daily disciple before the day begins. A certainty to be relied upon in this uncertain world. For the past few days there’s a feeling of accomplishment, or completion when filling in the bottom. My soul is at ease at the bottom of the page.

The Blank Page

It was 2019 when I first tried implementing the Morning Pages into my life, and it was a struggle. I tried and failed many times, but never stopped completely. In 2021 it finally clicked, and today, the page feels like mine.

Looking back I see it as playing with pages. You have to find the page that’s right for you. I kept bending the rules, but in reality there’s not many rules with the Morning Pages. It’s pen to paper, first thing in the morning, therein lies the name. One thing I always came back to was a standard size piece of paper, but today the page looks totally different than where I began.

It’s blank with no lines and it’s not in a notebook.

The blank page

I’d continually try different forms of paper and encourage you to as well. I’ve used journals and spiralbound notebooks. Notebook paper worked for months, but then I purchased some paper for a project at work. I only needed 25 pieces of paper to print out some letters, but the smallest sized box held 100 pieces. This paper is pale gold parchment, and if you’ve never held a piece of parchment paper in your hands, you need to.

Each morning I sit down at my desk, pick up a pen and let it glide across the blank page.

The Coffee Bar

I’ve written quite a bit about coffee, so it seems fitting to highlight the coffee bar, it’s magic, and staying in that magic.

In the post Wide Open Spaces, the coffee bar was dismantled to allow room for a work related project. That was in September and the project was complete mid October, and then it became simply space. I’d walk by and try new things with it, but it always looked cluttered, and nothing seemed to fit. We didn’t know what to call it, and I’d refer to it as ‘what used to be the coffee bar’. That was a weird mouthful of words.

Then, one day my daughter referred to it as, ‘the coffee bar’, and I knew immediately what she was talking about. It was destined to be.

The Coffee Bar

Reassembling it this week, I saw where I crossed the line before. What began as a coffee bar, fell over into a beverage bar and housed coffee and tea. Our hot tea collection has grown this year, so I left it in the kitchen on the tea cart. Everything on the coffee bar relates only to coffee, well, except for the flowers. 😊 The top level remains empty for creative space.

Life is tricky, and we need to stay in our magic. Tell me a magical part of your life. I missed the coffee bar whenever I walked by and saw it empty. Now, I get to stand there once again and feel the magic of the coffee bar.

In My Corner

We’ve been talking about creating spaces. Whether it’s wide open for an upcoming project, which may mean dismantling something you love, or an outdoor space to soak up nature and be available to whomever passes by. This corner was one of the first spaces created and the inspiration came from a Team member of Fearless Warrior.

In this spot you feel at ease, and there’s very little thinking required as the space stirs up creativity itching to be released. Some mornings I walk by it several times telling myself I don’t have time to enjoy it, but I’ve learned if I don’t sit there, my day suffers from not taking the time.

Nothing fancy. It’s literally a corner of the room.

But, it’s mine.

The chair is one of my favorite pieces, and it’s comfy to sit in, but not relaxing. That’s important because I don’t want to dwell there for long. I pour a cup of coffee or tea, place it on the window ledge and then sit in the chair to reflect on possibilities of the day ahead.

It takes about 30 minutes, and it varies each day. Sometimes I need to read, or simply jot down a few ideas, and at other times it’s a full on page of journaling to empty the mind. The ottoman is used to spread out inspiration bubbling up from my artistic side.

Do you have a corner? If not, let me encourage you to create one. The quality of the day begins in my corner.