The Cadbury Creme Eggs were always the prized possession in the Easter basket. Others could have their “Peeps” and jellybeans. I treasured the chocolate eggs which contained liquid sugar, all wrapped neatly in a colorful foil package. In fact, I loved them so much, I actually tried to save a few of them to make the bounty last for at least a few weeks after Easter. The small hollow chocolate delights would soon be forgotten, but the Cadbury Creme Egg was special.
The ritual around the Cadbury Creme Egg was as important to me as the joy in consuming it. Easter weekend and its rights of passage for spring remind me how important little rituals are. Some rituals we inherit from our family. Some from our religious practice. Others we create all on our own, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously.
So this week, I decided to pay attention to rituals and think about creating them in my life. My morning cup of coffee is a ritual since I don’t just drink my coffee, I make it necessary in order for me to function. Someone recently asked me if I was a coffee snob. Not at all. I’m just a coffee addict. Also, please don’t get between me and my chocolate milk after a tough workout. It would not be a pretty sight.
But what rituals do I want to create this week?
I returned recently to my home practice of yoga, which involves around 10 minutes of simple poses. Yoga stretches my body, clams my mind and provides me with a fresh outlook regardless of the time of day I practice. I also found myself drawn to a pair of books: A Year with Thomas Merton and Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. Reading the short daily selections will become part of my daily ritual this week.
Why the emphasis on yoga and mediation? Listening to the wisdom of my body, it wants a general slow down. Granted, that seems a bit antithetical right now. I’m preparing for a half marathon which is two months away, gearing up for another summer of adventure and new challenges and getting ready for another go at the 70.3 distance at Musselman in July. Shouldn’t I be bursting at the seams with energy and charging through life?
Here’s the thing: The rituals of yoga and reading slow down my mind. They give me a sense of peace, a sense of connection and a sense of confidence. It is from this place that I can go forth and conquer my training, my writing, my latest work assignment, a new project.
I keep my coffee beans in a sealed jar which reads, “Given enough coffee, I could rule the world.” Give me my joy of coffee along with the confidence from my daily, thoughtful rituals and I might rule the most important world of all — my own.
This week, I begin with the words of Thomas Merton:
So in a way it is a liberation day — and I have made up my mind to be what I am supposed to be. (Finally!)
What is possible when we make up our minds to be who we are supposed to be? What rituals will you create and recreate for yourself this week?