Funny how easy it is to get OUT of rituals.
Not just the religious kind. I grew up Mormon; rituals were a major part of my daily routine, including 1 hour of scripture study every day. I don't do that no more. I used to go to aikido twice a week; no longer. Every once in a while I get back to sitting for 15 minutes in the morning, but it falls by the wayside as mornings get more frantic.
Most recently, three days out of the week I get up in the morning and lift weights for 1/2 hour. That has been a longer-lasting ritual, about 8 months, with some sliding but always with the joy of coming back to it. Right now, as I type this, I'm feeling the lassitude in my arms as they try to re-knit the muscles that I abused early this morning. And it makes me smile; that's burning calories, even as I sit here at the desk.
Also recently--within the last week or so--I've begun eye-gazing with my wife. It's based on the recommendation of a podcast about Polyamory, where authors of a book on Tantra were interviewed. The question was asked of them: what is the easiest, fastest way to start something tantric. The answer: spend 3 minutes, every morning, looking into your lover's eyes. That's it. Three minutes, doing nothing but looking into the eyes.
That one is working really well. We've both found that no matter how bad the rest of the day goes, the memory of seeing the eyes means that something good has happened. I think it's improving our intimacy and connection by leaps and bounds, something which had been suffering as we hit our 8th year together.
But one ritual that I really let slide, that I think I miss more than any other, is the ritual of writing. For a time I was following the Artist's Way, and doing my daily pages: 15 minutes of writing, first thing in the morning, no matter what. I remember we had a porch, then, and I could sit out there with coffee in the early morning and just journal.
I don't do that any more. Now I maintain about 5 blogs, and talk to other bloggers, and write in a writer's group, but I don't write the daily pages any more. And I miss it.
I suspect, if I had my way, my perfect morning ritual would be:
- Wake up to eye gaze with my wife.
- Lift weights for 1/2 hour, or do yoga.
- Sit zazen for 15 minutes.
- Grab the cup of coffee that was brewing, notebook, pen, and write for 15 minutes.
- Shower, dress.
- Check emails, blogs, etc. for 1/2 hour.
- Make breakfast for my daughters, eat with them, drive them to school.
The problems with this? Well, the last one, especially: I don't actually have the same schedule as my daughters, and usually am out of the house before they're even awake. The rest...well, it's at least 2 hours before I get to the "breakfast" part, so again, I'd have to get up early.
Still. Now that I put it to paper, it looks doable.