Morning Ritual (a reminder!)

As the seasons change, morning rituals may change a bit too.  What I keep consistent is the time allotment in the mornings to connect with myself.   I take time each day to connect with my dreams, my body, and the metaphors on my creative journey.

Here is a basic outline for my morning ritual:

  • Yoga-I keep this to a simple 15 minute practice
  • Journaling-I write stream of consciousness, dreams, thoughts, and feelings.  No rules, just writing whatever comes to mind
  • Tea-a soothing warm drink (usually organic herbal tea) to get my system up and running for the day
  • Tarot- I use the cards to discover metaphors in my life and dreams and to ponder my own insights
  • Drawing-creating visuals of my thoughts, dreams, and nature walks.  This gives me a deeper look into my own discoveries.  It also creates a great record in a different medium from writing.

I keep 1 hour open each morning in my schedule for ritual.  This allows for consistency and centering time to begin each day.  The rituals are do-able and totally appropriate for my way of creating meaning in my life.

Be clear with your intention.  Be clear with your time commitment.  Be clear with your sacred time.

I create this time by getting up an hour earlier in the morning than the family.  This allows for quiet time and personal space.  I also let my family know that the morning ritual I have created is sacred to me.  So, if any one should happen to get up early, they know that it is my personal time.  This is essential if you have a family!  They need clarity about your personal rituals and time.  They will respect it if you are clear and let them know that you will be there for them after you have your hour.

Looking back over my morning routine, I see the 4 general qualities that are essential for developing deep, meaningful rituals.

Movement – move your body in some way (yoga, walking, exercise of some kind).  This allows the calm or energetic movements into your body letting the brain and cells know you are awake.  Movement also rids your body of excess energy to clear the way for new thoughts and activities. When you have completed your “movement” session, thank your body for the work it does.  Sit for a moment and feel the changes movement causes to your body.

 

Warm drink-  I prefer organic herbal tea to let my body know that the systems will begin moving again after sleep.  You may have another favorite warm drink. Simply drinking fresh clear water brings sustenance back to your cells to start the day.  Remember, the brain and body need to be hydrated for optimum focus.  I find the tea is a habit with the kettle set, water boiling and tea steeping creates a ritual all its own.

 

Drawing/writing-Recording our thoughts in some manner show us the metaphors in our lives.  It helps us to organize our thoughts and be in the moment.  We are able to capture feelings, thoughts and ideas that are particular to that moment.  Having a visual allows us to go back later and see where things stood for us at a certain time in our lives.

 

Reflection-Taking time after your morning ritual to reflect may give you insights, creative ideas or just allow you to “see” yourself in that moment in time.  Some questions you might ask:  How does my body feel after a warm drink and movement?  What images showed up in my drawings and or writings?  How will I hold these thoughts or feelings throughout my day?

It takes time to develop rituals that fit your needs.  Each of us is unique.  These are my rituals what will yours be?

Take time to create a schedule that allows for ritual.  The beginnings and endings to each day are the best times to set these.  Morning is filled with possibility and evening is filled with reflection.  One hour to take the time to care for your creative needs.

Setting aside time for your morning ritual is worth it.  Being clear with your intentions brings this sacred time back to you.  You are worth it!

Seasons and the Creative Cycle

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I have begun to take a long look at how the creative cycle works in my life.  With this reflection, I have discovered that working in 12 week time blocks supports the cycles of the seasons and the cycles of my creative work.  You see following the seasons and changes within the natural world is how I work best.

Let me explain.

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I notice that the creative cycle (seed, plant, growth/blossom, death, incubation, re-birth) is like that of a plant.  The plants work with the cycle of nature and the seasons.  The seasonal changes-spring, summer, winter, fall- follow this pattern.  I see that I plan my workshops and personal work around the seasons.

I have divided my calendar into 12 week time periods, 3 months each.  Each of these time periods has a unique “feeling” that connects to the cycle of the season and my life.  I will continue to organize my life and work around this calendar.  This will be a new way of discovering what ideas work best at certain times.  This will allow me to see when to create and when to rest.

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I enjoy the feeling of completion; of a final “ending” and celebration to honor and notice accomplishments.  This is satisfying and then allows for some quiet (incubating) time that I need to begin the next project, idea, reflection….whatever comes next.

What is interesting to me is that this seasonal calendar has always been a part of my life and the lives of those who came before me.  It is just now that I am noticing it consciously.  I am turning my focus to embrace what was already there.

 

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When you reflect on your own life and work, what do you notice about how you set your schedule or calendar?  What are the cycles that show up in your life?

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Scheduling: Planning Out Your Time with Sunday Check-ins

Hi All!
Here is the first video of my Sunday Check-in video series.  This will give you a bit of information about how we “check-in” for the weekly Sunday Check-in series that is LIVE and begins January 15.  This series allows you to check-in with your weekly planning and creative work.  You will have the added benefit of a wonderful group of like-minded creatives just like you!

If this resonates with you, sign-up and join in this session of Sunday Check-in!  It’s time for YOU to get the support you need to stay focused on your creative journey!





Enjoy this post below :)
Susan

What I want to talk to you about today is scheduling. Yes, I know we creatives…we just want to have it show up for us. We want to wait for the muse to land and inspire us! Well, let me tell you something. That does not happen. I have found over the years that it takes planning and scheduling to allow time to be open to the muse (or any creative work).

Take a moment to write out your daily schedule. Be sure that you are taking the time to look at ALL of the scheduling pieces that make up your daily routine. Put these clearly into your schedule. I want you to DO this! Set aside 15 minutes to write this out. You may be surprised at what you see.

I want to talk to you about how to schedule your time to ensure you are setting the intention to get the important scheduling in so that you can get the important creativity out your life each and every day.

I do know that as a working mom, who puts creative blocks of time into her schedule, I must always be aware that the schedule shifts and changes. I realize that. But as you look at your own schedule, what do the core times of your day look like?

For example. I get up at 5:00 AM I do the things I need to do early on before the rest of the family is awake. I know when my scheduled work time is, my actual work on my job (8:00-1:00). I know that the blocks of time for my own work (like when I write articles like this!) 3:00-5:00. My scheduled time to create is 6:00-8:00. That time can vacillate or vary throughout the day or depending on what projects are in the works or what the family schedule might look like. But I make sure I have 15 minute increments, hour long increments, and maybe two hour long blocks of time are set those into every daily schedule to make sure I get my creative work in.

Here is the basic plan for scheduling:

  1. Your daily schedule- this is the main schedule to write out in detail
  2. Your weekly schedule- for this, you will need a calendar
  3. Your monthly schedule- Create columns with the next 6 months as the headings and add in activities/projects below in a grid format
  4. Yearly plan-write our your large plans for the whole year

 

The tools I use for each of these schedules is as follows.

  • I have note cards for my daily planning. I begin at 5:00 and put in ½ increments delineating each daily task. The reason for the note cards is that I often need to revisit my daily plan when the larger family schedule or job schedule shifts in times.
  • I use a calendar with large boxes for each day to write in the scheduled work that is consistent in each month.
  • I use a moleskine® journal for my months creating headings (the actual month) and ideas for the planning/project that will occur in that month.
  • There is also a calendar on my wall in my office where I put the monthly plan and highlight upcoming projects
  • For the year, I use the calendar planning book from the month long schedule planning

This may seem overwhelming to you. You may say “I don’t operate this way”. It might bring up all KINDS of feelings for you. Go ahead and journal about that. I spent years refusing to write my schedule and “to-do” list down. Seems this was an old belief that held me back from creating. (More on that another time!)

However, as I have taken the time to really SEE my schedule, I have found the time to create. I have made that my intention. And I hope you will see it as yours. You yearn to create. Setting your schedule, and writing it out, will allow you the freedom and time to create. It is that important.

The number one thing that I would say to do is to take a moment and write down the hour of the day you get up and every half hour increment until you put your head on the pillow to sleep. Take a reflective look! What DO you do in a day?

Write to me and tell me what you notice!

Journaling

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Getting back to writing in my journal each day!  Re-creating the ritual of writing that has been missing as my life has shifted and changed.  What are you bringing into your life these days?

Here are some thoughts on my work with journaling…and what I want to bring back into my daily practice.

In my younger years, I used to write sporadically in my journals.  At that time, I was keeping track of my emotions, where life was taking me, relationships, poetry…a real hodge-podge of thoughts.  Then, that switched to journals about my children, day-to-day ups and downs of motherhood, and my relationship with my husband.

I read Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way a few years ago. This book totally changed my way of journal writing.  I began to write 3 pages (stream of consciousness, Morning Pages) each morning and watched the journals begin to fill and fill and fill with so many thoughts, ideas and images.  This writing was a simpler flow.  Get- up in the morning and just write 3 pages.  Since it was just upon awakening, the words poured out and still do.  No pressure to put “perfect” ideas on the paper, just words that flowed out of my pen.

When I finished each journal, I would leave the last page blank.   I would then reflect back on my writings.  I would go back through each journal and “star” certain ideas that stood out to me as important.  All of those starred ideas were written out on the very last page of each journal.

Wow!  I now had topics from my life! 

I began to use those starred ideas from the end of each journal to create blog posts, which then became the articles that you see in these e-newsletters.

The tool of Morning Pages keeps my journaling “light” when I need just a flow of words.  It is motivating to me to just sit and write with no pressure to “produce” anything other than thoughts on a page.

Are there days I do not want to journal?  Yep….lots of them.  I honor that in my life.  However, I can always go back and re-read what I have written.

 I put journal writing into my morning routine daily.  Do you? 

Here are the steps so that you can try-out this process:

  1.  Get a few blank journals, pens/pencils.  Keep them in the spot you will go to, to write each morning.
  2. Upon waking up, open your journal and write 3 pages-stream of consciousness, no judging.
  3. Just before your journal is filled, leave the last page empty
  4. Re-read all of your entries and “star” the ideas and phrases that stand out to you
  5. Write all of those ideas and phrases in the back of your journal
  6. What do you notice?

Be prepared for thoughts and ideas to emerge that might be difficult and/or upsetting.  This DOES happen and can make us uncomfortable.  This is your journal, so no need for anyone but you to see it.  However, these powerful insights will give you “clues” to your life.  How will you interpret them?

You may want to use your “starred” ideas for articles and blog entries. You may learn new things about yourself that you had buried for a long time.  You might discover beautiful connections that you had not noticed before.  Whatever you discover, it will be connecting you to your own creative journey.

 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Creativity Coach Susan Loughrin helps people find the joy and creativity in everyday life. With the Inner~Creative~Voice Newsletter, she brings inspiration through creativity activities and ideas that can be implemented every day. If you are ready to learn how to bring creativity and wonder into your daily life, visit today and get your free set of Acappella Affirmations.  Bring some music into each day….and affirmations to bring you peace.  www.innercreativevoice.com.