Every morning I make myself coffee.
There is a ritual to it; I roll out of bed, put on a comfy pair of pants, and wander into the kitchen. I fill the kettle with water and set it on the stove. I find the pour over cup from its place on the dish rack, choose my favorite mug of the moment, open up a new filter, and scoop in some coffee grounds.
It’s not the most exciting part of my day, but it’s consistent. It brings me comfort and helps me settle into the morning.
However, the ritual isn’t always graceful.
Sometimes I wake up anxious, my head so full of thoughts that it takes me a few minutes to find the mugs. Sometimes I’m exhausted, and that cup of coffee becomes a lifeline. Sometimes I’m stressed about the day ahead, and I stand at the counter waiting impatiently for the water to strain through the grounds.
Making coffee is one example of a ritual. Rolling out my yoga mat is another.
In yoga, teachers speak about having a beginner’s mind each time we show up to practice. To spend time with each pose, no matter how familiar. To observe the body and breath. To listen for the lessons the pose can provide.
I can’t help but see the similarities between my yoga practice and my morning cup of coffee.
Because sometimes I don’t want to practice. Sometimes I wander from one asana to the next, with little to no direction. Sometimes I’m anxious and my mind is spinning with thoughts. Sometimes practice is a lifeline. Sometimes I rush through it.
Practice is a ritual. It’s not always going to feel calm and comfortable. But it’s always an opportunity to be present with the moment.
This week, I’m taking that perspective to life on and off the mat.
I’m setting the intention to be present with my daily rituals. To notice when I want to rush, when I’m not feeling it, and when I’m clinging to those rituals for dear life.
I invite you to explore your own rituals and notice – how does being open and present to each repetition change your experience?
My hope is that by noticing rituals, spending intentional time moving through them, and having gratitude for what they offer, we can all feel more present with each day.
The practice: reflect on your rituals
Think about your daily routine. What rituals already exist?
As you move through one of your rituals today, take a moment to be with it. Tap in to your senses. Notice where your mind is, and notice your breath.
What would it feel like to pay close attention to that ritual each time you move through it?
Is there a habit or routine that you wish to practice more often? How does viewing it as a ritual change your perspective on it?