Morning & Evening Routines or Ritual: What's right for you.
Updated: Dec 29, 2019
I have noticed people find comfort in a routine, it could be the lack of surprise or maybe its the pre-planned nature of the elements of the routine. What is the difference between a routine and a ritual? For one if your routine gets interrupted because you want to sleep in a bit longer no big deal you just move on and feel a little rushed for the moring. A ritual is defined as a ceremony in which the actions follow a prescribed form and order where a routine is described as a set customary often mechanically performed tasks. So if the idea is to live a well-examined life I would choose the ritual.
I'll break down my morning ritual and why I think it contributes to the best opportunity for a mindful new day. I don't usually need an alarm although I do set one for 5:30 every morning. The first thing I do upon waking is drink a full 24oz glass of water, it's important for me to replenish my "precious bodily fluids" and to flush out any toxins from my system. I then have need to use the bathroom, 24oz is, after all a lot of water. Once completed I go to my meditation cushion and sit in meditation for 25 min. I have chosen this time and type of meditation after years of trying to find the optimum for me. Once I have completed my meditation I do 10 min of yoga with deep diaphragmatic breathing to loosen my muscles from a long night's sleep. Once I have finished I make myself a cup of coffee using my pour-over and add my special concoction to it that will enable me to go until 11:30 before having my first meal. After finishing my coffee of which I usually consume in 3-5 min I sit down at my desk and write in my gratitude journal and reflect on a few questions that will frame my day to come. After finishing my morning ritual I feel ready to take on the day and whatever opportunity it my bring. Life doesn't always go by a prescribed plan but we have an opportunity to plan how we start and end our days. If we have a ritual and we engage in it mindfully we have a chance to have that carry over to the rest of our day and life.