It's 5:45am, I'm tired and wishing I went to bed earlier the night before. I sit in my kitchen with a cup of coffee and my journal. I begin to write, pen on paper, as the dogs munch on their food in the background. The house is still except the sounds coming from me and the dogs and this is why I get up at this insanely early time. To enjoy this stillness.
When M, the older child that we were trying to adopt from the foster care system, was living with us I learned to do this. To get up earlier than anyone else in the house. I knew that the moment he would wake up and emerge from his room he'd come downstairs and be disappointed that it was me and not my wife in the kitchen, every single weekday. He'd immediately want to start a fight about something; the choices he had for breakfast, the lunch that my wife made for him not looking good or simply having to go to school. The morning stillness became necessary for my soul to battle the storm ahead. And this survival skill, it stuck.
M is no longer living with us, I no longer have to prepare myself for a battle in my emotional spirit on a daily basis but I discovered how important it is for me to have this moment of calm reflection so that I can function as my best self. The time that he spent in our house was hard but I cultivated this skill of getting up early and journaling, I learned so much about myself and my needs for self care in the process of parenting him.
The coffee maker has a timer, when I arrive in the kitchen it's ready for me to pour a cup. I read an entry from a book and then I journal and drink coffee. The books have varied from spirituality and mediation, bible quotes and inspirational snippets from leaders of companies. I have no agenda other than to freely write. It doesn't matter for how long. It just matters that I do it. I know that I will feel better in my body and spirit if I do this thing every morning.
Do you have a morning or evening ritual built into your day to sit and reflect on everything that is going on if your life? Try pulling out a journal or notebook and writing out your thoughts. Any type of book will do, it doesn't have to be pretty or inspirational, a composition book will do the job. As you write ignore the misspellings and incorrect punctuation and freely write the things that come to your mind. Set aside a time to do this every day. The more you practice this ritual, the easier it becomes to do. The writing content doesn't have to be anything spectacular, that isn't the point. The point is to connect to your soul, to reflect on your life and the choices you are making. Don't read what you wrote, just close the book and move on with your day or evening. This isn't for judgment or ridicule, this is simply to put the thoughts on the page. Having a book to read an entry from has helped me to start getting my thoughts on the page. Here are some that I have used and enjoyed:
- Meditations on Intention and Being: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, Mindfulness, and Compassion
- When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
- Shalom for the Heart: Torah-Inspired Devotions for a Sacred Life
- The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman's Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras
- Flip Calendar - God in Every Moment