Balance Your Life With Routines And Rituals…

With the obesity epidemic on the rise, many people are concerned about their health and are eager to eat right and exercise more. Unfortunately, for many of us this is easier said than done. People today lead busy lives. Many people are running from work to a child’s sporting event, or this meeting or that meeting and don’t feel they have time to breathe, let alone follow a normal routine or hit the gym. Yet, a routine can be just what you need. Many people break their regular routines when they are busy, thinking they will get more done and feel better about themselves. This thinking however, often backfires and may leave you feeling and out of sorts. In reality, you can feel more alive when you balance your life with routines and rituals.

exercise

Routines and rituals keep us grounded and help us perform better. Routines are habits that give structure to our daily lives—brushing your teeth, a morning cup of coffee, organizing your calendar, a daily walk, visiting the gym, or eating dinner at the same time. Routines help keep us organized and on track, although they do require discipline and will power. Rituals, on the other hand, are a little different. They are more celebratory in nature and include, going to church, praying, meditating, attending a wedding, or celebrating a birthday. “Rituals connects us to community and to society in general. Routine reinforces our sense of control over our every-day lives.”¹ The bottom line is we need them both to feel balanced. When one or another is missing, we can feel off and feel like something is wrong.

meditating

For years, I’ve had a morning routine that included a walk outside. Well for some reason the other winter, I became little lax with my walking. Walking is  part of who I am, so when I miss going a few days in a row, I really feel off. Walking is uplifting to me and gives me energy for the day. I find the sounds of nature soothing too, so it is no wonder I wasn’t like myself. Funny how simple routines can keep us in balance.

walking in nature

In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about self-care and how important it is in our lives. Routines and rituals are a from of self-care, and are something we all need. They can help re-energize your body, provide activities for enjoyment and feed your spirit.

Hal Elrod, in his great book, The Miracle Morning, gives us a set of daily practices that he calls S.A.V.E.R.S. When done daily, he claims they will change your life. Give these routines and rituals a try to help balance your life and feel more alive.

Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning Life S.A.V.E.R.S:

S= Silence: Take at least 10 minutes to be silent. You can just sit still, pray, or meditate. This time is important and gives you some time to just be.

A= Affirmations: Use positive phrases to affirm your goals and aspirations. (e.g. I am positive, I am a hard worker, I am a caring person, I am loving, etc.)

V= Visualization: See yourself as having already achieved a goal. Picture yourself already having accomplished a task. You can use a vision board with drawings, or pictures of certain items, or can just envision them in your mind.

E= Exercise: Set aside a minimum of 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of exercise, whether it is walking, yoga, biking, stretching, etc.

R= Reading: Set aside at least 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of reading, preferably read some thing that is inspirational. This helps set the tone for the day and establishes a positive mind-set.

S= Scribing: (Journaling) Set aside at least 10 minutes to record some positive thoughts that came to you from reading, meditating, praying, etc. This allows you to record your thoughts and generate ideas, etc.4

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Reference:

¹ https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rhoda-p-curtis/routine-and-ritual-two-pi_b_1113845.html

² Elrod, Hal. The Miracle Morning. ©Hal Elrod International.2014. pg. 53-81

Renew Your Mind , Body, And Spirit Wtih Daily Rituals…

Baby it’s cold outside!

I know it’s December and I live in Minnesota, but I always have a hard time adapting to below zero temperatures. Brr! It just doesn’t seem right to me. I am a summertime gal and love warm temperatures and sunshine, so it probably never will.

Thankfully–I have an upcoming trip to look forward to. Nothing sounds better to me than a warm breeze, sunshine and the calming ocean. I hope you have an opportunity to take a warm vacation get away this winter too.

Speaking of the ocean—I recently read something interesting about the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches some 1800 miles from New Guinea to Australia in the Pacific ocean in one of Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes on the book, The Art of Peace. “Earl Nightingale, on a visit there with his son, noticed how the coral polyps on the inside of the reef, where the sea was tranquil and quiet in the lagoon, appeared pale and lifeless, while the coral on the outside of the reef, that is subject to the surge of the tide and power of the waves, were bright and vibrant with splendid colors and flowing growth and asked why this was. ‘It’s very simple,’ came the reply, ‘the coral on the lagoon-side dies rapidly with no challenge for growth and survival…while the coral facing the surge and power of the open sea thrives and multiplies because it is challenged every day.’”¹ It is funny how that works, but is true for most organisms in the universe and humans, as well. While we all need challenges in our lives to grow, sometimes they can cause stress overload.

So how can we thrive, yet deal with the stresses of our lives? According to Dennis Waitley, in his book, The Psychology of Winning, “One of the best ways to develop adaptability to the stresses of life is to view them as normal.”² While some of us would rather avoid stress, it is a part of life and we need to learn to deal with it. We can also try and maintain balance in our lives by practicing daily rituals, such as exercising, that help renew your mind, body and spirit. Twyla Tharp, in her book, The Creative Habit, says “When you stimulate your body, your brain comes alive in ways you can’t simulate in a sedentary position. The brain is an organ, tied integrally to all the other systems in the body, and it’s affected by blood flow, neural transmission, etc.”³ By exercising and moving our bodies, we not only help de-stress our brains, but stimulate our creativity and promote well-being.

Some rituals can help prepare us for the day, while others can give you a break from work, or daily activities, and others may help you relax into the evening and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. Some examples of rituals include: meditation, walking, working out or exercising, reading, yoga, massage, going to the movies, prayer, date nights, and more.

Many of these can easily be incorporated into a daily routine, while others can be added weekly, or monthly. Matthew Kelly, best selling author and speaker, reminds us we must feed our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual self to become the best version of yourself. 4

How are you doing?

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Reference:

¹ Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Art of Peace. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Art of Peace, pg. 2

² Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Art of Peace. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Art of Peace, pg. 1

³ Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Creative Habit. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Art of Peace, pg. 4

4 Mathew Kelly: Becoming the Best Version of Yourself. Beacon Publishing, 1999. CD.