when i lived alone, i would spend the first hour of my day drinking coffee, journaling, and singing Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen while playing my guitar or my piano.
i just needed something to prove to myself that it was i who owned my life, not my boss.
and after i married i actually had to start working for myself so that i’d have the freedom to maintain some sort of morning routine.
the practice of establishing my self-ownership developed into a series of daily rituals that have changed many aspects of my life as they themselves have changed. the specific rituals and routines continue to adapt. and so do i.
i tend to believe an actualized life really begins once you develop a personal practice.
a special chunk of time to return to on a regular basis.
a place where you can set an intention and feel confident in knowing it will happen – or at least get your undivided attention again in the future.
with all the pros of an intentional routine, it’s easy to try to convert it into a conveyer-belt on which to place your goals and desires.
but a practice isn’t about more.
and a practice isn’t about perfection.
a practice is a place to come back to and connect with your self again and again.
a practice is about being.
and because of this, a practice helps you achieve balance in your life.
there are so many intentions that call out loudly. so many demands on our time and our attention.
but if you have a healthy, intentional practice, then the simple things, the thing for you, the things that would get overlooked and forgotten, those things get a pocket of time in your day.
for instance, when i get into the office (yeah, i still have an office, and i fucking love it), i set my bag on the chair, make an espresso, sit down at my writing desk, and pull out my notebook and the fountain pen i bought at my daughter’s birth. i write my morning pages and listen to my morning playlist. it’s a little ritual that kicks off my day. it doesn’t always happen. but it’s the first in a series of rituals that make up my daily practice. little things like making a task list and ignoring my list and coming back to the list again and again. but because i have a practice, i know that i’m going to make a list and because i have a list, i know i’m going to have a little reminder of some of the important things i want to do that aren’t urgent. my day feels a less hectic and a little less out of control.
it comes back to knowing yourself and leaning into selfulness. if you develop and invest in a practice, the relationship you have with the many interesting sides of you gets stronger because you have a practice that uses the moment to provide for the future. and as you keep those promises to yourself – as your practice demonstrates to your inner-artist that your decision-making / action-taking self can be trusted, your confidence discovers a solid foundation.