Restorative Rituals for
Meaningful Self Care
This is a brief life.
Our time here doesn’t last forever, although lately, I find myself acting as if it will. Sometimes, we get caught up in the drudgery of the day to day, the minor irritations and hassles that often feel like they will swallow us whole. Our growing to do lists take over our sleep, and download into our brains first thing in the morning, anxiety thudding in our chests. Somewhere in the midst of preoccupation and doing, we start to lose sight of the bigger picture “why” behind our choices.
For me, this is all too a common a scenario. And it falls under the category of taking life for granted. Taking another day for granted. Taking another breath for granted. Taking the health of my family and friends for granted. I start to place productivity and busy-ness over slowing down, pausing, paying attention mindfully, to the moments that weave the fabric of my day.
Often patients who struggle with a sudden diagnosis of a life limiting illness, or someone who has recently lost a family member, will come into direct contact with the fragile beauty of life. Life comes into clear focus. Priorities quickly sort themselves out. Decisions become simple. And yet the challenge, of course, is to live with our finger on the pulse of that fragility, without having to experience near death or death to do so.
I write this post as a reminder to myself to keep life small and simple, and to never lose sight of the beauty that can be found in the very moment that is unfolding. I try, in fact, to write a gratitude list in my journal at the end of every day…one of those simple “life hacks” that keeps me in touch with the joy that can be found in ordinary life, right here, right now.
Ironically, it is often the seeking of joy, which we imagine as something out there in the far off future (you know–once we have the perfect job, once we have the perfect spouse, once we have the perfect home, once we have the perfect children, once we have the perfect size) that robs us of the immense beauty that is right in front of our very eyes.
Today, I will share what I feel most grateful for here, at the end of this particular day (happens to be Wednesday evening at 9:42 as I write this), simply to share with you what feels good right now. Perhaps you might do the same, or have another way of touching the joy that exists in your current reality. I wonder what would happen if we talked about our gratitude more openly…whether we would manifest more of what we are thankful for, or perhaps start to see our world through a different lens.
It strikes me that life, almost always, will be a complex mix of good, bad, uplifting, stressful, easy, challenging. Our task is to be thankful and appreciate the positives that exist, while holding the reality of our problems as well. If we wait for a moment of all good in order to feel happy, we will likely be waiting a very long time.
So today, and in the week ahead, I invite you to join me in noticing what we might be taking for granted. What does the light of gratitude illuminate for you? I would love to hear from you.
As I enter into my 41st year, I felt a sudden desire to return here to my blog and write. It has been awhile. I have shared poems and other words on social media, and a few here as well. But, it has been some time since I have sat down to reflect, write out
For you whose light has been dimmed in an already dark world— For you whose voice has been muted in a loud screaming world— For you who feels lost in a world full of mirrors— Breathe. When every warm body is out of reach, you have the power to hold your own heart with a
Holding hands in the dark, the wash of moonlight spilling onto the sheets. A kiss on my cheek and a hug that lingers long enough to feel the solid warmth of skin and bone. The breath of a sunset sky, and the heat of thunder and lightning pouring cleansing waters from above. A singular burgundy