Daily Rituals

Since I work from home, I rely on daily rituals like yoga, to keep me productive. Otherwise time slips by and I don’t notice. On the longest day of the year this is especially true.

Every morning, I faithfully make oatmeal with cranberries, walnuts, chia, flax seeds, and cinnamon. Then I juice a chunk of ginger, one carrot, half a grapefruit, and two oranges. I clean as I go, but it’s still messy. It takes fifteen minutes to do all of that before I can actually sit down to breakfast in front of my computer for, hopefully, a full day of writing, researching, and taking care of business.

Should I mention that I’m obsessive about the way my bed is made, too? My husband tends to stand back when I’m fluffing pillows and smoothing blankets. The cat is the only one who dares to think I’m joking. He darts between the sheets and squirms around like he invented hide and seek.

But my yoga practice is the ritual that I cherish the most. Since I’m wilted over a keyboard most of the day, I crave that hour of movement when I stretch to my limits and find positions that don’t seem possible. Is it wrong to need proof that my body is physically strong enough to support itself; that I am warrior, hear me roar? Then there’s my hyperactive brain that needs the stillness and focus that yoga requires.

Sadly, I am not living my dream, ritual-filled life twenty-four hours a day, or even four hours. It’s a struggle minute by minute not to divert to my bad habits: fidgeting, stalling, chocolate, etc. But yoga has taught me that every time my thoughts stray I can come back into focus by focusing on my breath. I can stay at my computer until I pound out a first draft. I can concentrate long enough to read an assignment. I can hold on and finish what I need to do.

So I will be gentle with myself as I start this day. When I get lost down some rabbit hole on the Internet or continue putting off that letter to the naturalization people who pissed me off over some paperwork, I will remember to breathe. I will use rituals as lines to follow through the hours, and I will spend time on my mat challenging my body and pushing my mind to believe that today I am the person I want to be.

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