The lovely thing about rituals is that they help us carve out time and space on a regular basis (whether it be daily, monthly, or yearly) for our souls.
For several years now, journaling has been my daily breath. Each morning I wake up and write three pages, usually in a spiral nondescript notebook, longhand (no computers before 8:00 a.m. please!). I started this practice several years ago when I was first introduced to the Artist’s Way and it has been one of the few intentions that I renew year-after-year. My journal truly is my daily breath. The first page often feels hard, a bit forced, but time-after-time, pages two and three easily pour out. I often simply empty the contents of my mind onto the page, letting each thought flow freely into the next without much reflection. There is something so comforting and peaceful about putting our chaotic, running thoughts on the page. It feels as if by writing them out, we can quiet the voices in our heads for just a moment. Sometimes I make lists, plans, and ask questions. Sometimes I dream, laying out bold ideas that sow the seeds for future actions in my life. Other times I write letters to people that I never intend to send. On tough days, my journal fills with profanity as I simply try to get to the end of that damned third page. My journal can take it. No matter what I throw at it, it shows up day-after-day to provide my daily breath – a moment of rest, comfort, peace. Sometimes when things get very hectic (like over the holidays, for instance), I skip this ritual. Although I don’t feel it immediately, I often start to feel a bit out of sorts. I hold onto little things that people say, wondering what they really meant by them. Small worries creep up in my mind. I lose my patience and am more easily irritated. It’s as if I’m holding my breath without realizing it. You know how good it feels to breathe in and out fully and deeply? Journaling can provide the space to do that.
What daily ritual can you make your daily breath?