Since the middle of last year, I have been drawing a tarot card on Sunday night to set a theme for the week. It’s a way for me to pause and think about the days ahead from an angle I might not have considered otherwise. I have turned it into a small ritual that helps me to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare myself for the next stretch of the unknown. Because, if I’m being totally honest with you, I’m never entirely sure where life will take me next.
On weekdays, I wake up, drink a tall glass of water, write my Morning Pages, and then write my blog post for the following day. At some point in that process, I’ll have a smoothie. Once my writing is done and scheduled, I will head to the gym. The weekends no longer involve blog writing and instead I use that time to write articles for online publications. If the sun is shining and it’s not winter, I’ll skip the gym and go for a walk.
Bedtime is harder for me to pin down. If I don’t look at a screen at least two hours before bed then I can usually wind down enough to have a bath and do some light reading before bed. Admittedly, this is not something that happens every night. Recently, while soaking in the bath, I decided that I was going to change how I distributed the online courses I’m in the process of creating. It was all I could do not to open my computer and jump into research mode.
I’ve been thinking about rituals a lot recently. Mostly because I am growing increasingly frustrated with how much time I spend checking my phone. I’m constantly deleting apps and turning off notifications to make picking up my phone uninteresting. Still, I do it. Many times a day, I find myself idly scrolling through social media or even just opening my email for yet another time. It’s a waste of attention and energy and yet I can’t seem to stop doing it.
While I have good organizational skills, I am trying to move away from a schedule that’s rigid. For years, my carefully planned days were a necessary response to my anxiety. More and more, however, I am looking to ritual as a way to bring form and flow to my day. Beyond just helping me get stuff done, these rituals help me meet my daily ‘doings’ with greater attention and intention. Ritual helps me cultivate presence in even the most mundane activities.
This past Sunday night, the tarot cards that jumped out at me while I was shuffling my tarot deck touched on a breakthrough and courage. Unlike previous weeks, I left the cards out so I could create a new ritual around reconnecting to them at the start of each new day. Call it prayer or call it meditation, my hope is that the more intentional I am with my daily rituals, the more I’ll be able to spend my days mindful and present.
So, what daily and weekly rituals give form and flow to your time?