When my Darling One and I began our best and last romance we wanted to ensure that we always remembered this.
We wanted to make sure we never lost sight of the importance of love in our life and so we created relationship rituals, because something precious is lost if we rush unthinkingly into the daily details of life, without pausing for a moment to acknowledge the blessings of the gift of another day
Our relationship rituals were designed to nurture and nourish this, our best and last romance.
And this, I believe, is the most important one. At least for us.
Every night we take a minute to say thank you to each other for who we are, what we’re grateful for about each other and to remember the love we give and receive every single day.
We’ve never missed a night. No matter what. Ever, because love flourishes in love.
And one day I realized how often I’m not mindful of other precious things in my life.
I’ve never set an intention to be mindful…and yet it’s a big part of living a conscious life. So I’ve taken a few small steps on the path to more mindful living. Some more rituals for a more lovely life.
I love the idea of the Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies, so I’ve decided to start there.
The first written account of tea ceremonies was over 1200 years ago, called “The way of Tea.”
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
Japanese monks traveling through China during this period began to learn about tea and tea culture.
In fact, the spirit of the Chinese Tea Ceremony translates to peace, quiet, enjoyment and truth and since I’m such a tea drinker, I’m going choose to be attentive to feeling the peace and quiet enjoyment of making and drinking my tea.
Maybe for you it could be a coffee ceremony.
Enjoying the aroma in peaceful contemplation. Of course you might have to get an early start to the day if you have little ones demanding your attention!
2. Starting right
When I get out of bed in the morning, instead of jumping onto my computer to get a head start on my day I’m going to sit…somewhere I don’t usually park my bum…and stare…just being.
I remember my grandfather used to do that and he was the most peaceful man I ever knew. He must have been on to something. Sorry I said bum.
3. Practicing awareness
We’re not big on watching television while we eat…but in the mornings I have been known to read stuff on my computer whilst I have breakfast. Hardly mindful I know.
I’m going to have a trial period where I focus simply on eating and enjoying my breakfast. No computer, no cell phone, no newspaper. Just me and my food and my gratitude.
I live in Florida, where for ninety percent of the time I can be outside. So that’s where I’m heading for breakfast and contemplation.
Why don’t you do this already, you might well be asking. I have no ready response.
And yet as I write these words, my mind is trying to trick me by saying, “What if I read something uplifting with breakfast?” No…not okay.
My mind needs to get with the programme.
4. Day’s end
Lastly I’m going to practice Thomas Jefferson’s idea of asking at the end of each day. “What good did I do today?” Setting up the intention that every tomorrow I’ll be mindful of every opportunity to do some good.
None of the above is earth shattering, but I’m told that in our busy culture and multi-tasking environment mindfulness is a calming oasis for the mind and spirit. And given the success of our love ritual every night…I’m definitely game to add more peace and joy to the equation. Especially if it leads to living a fuller, richer, more awake life.
How about you? Got any ideas for more mindfulness in your world that you’d like to share with the rest of us? Let us know in the comments below. We are all blessed with your insights.
Encourage one another.
Love it! Much like what I do.
We are so often on the same page Vidya…I smile every time I read your posts…because I find myself saying YES!
This was lovely and a much needed reminder to be more mindful.
And thank you Angela…I’m still having a wonderful time with your meditation tapes. 🙂
These are great recommendatations for anyone! I do some of these already, but I will put others to use as well! Thank you! 🙂
Thank you Victor. Got any others you’d like to share?
When my kids were little, we had family night every Friday night. We rented a movie, ordered pizza, and ate in front of TV. Not a very spiritual ritual!
Like you, I try to meditate/pray every morning. I do it more mornings than not, but for example, I got up this morning and got distracted. Tomorrow is a new day!
I hear you Galen. Distraction is all too easy to take us off course. But as you say, tomorrow is another day and another opportunity. I’ve learned to let go of being disapproving of myself. 🙂
words, ritual and presence…my favorite kind of thinking! beautiful post – thank you so much!
Welcome Michelle and thank you for joining in the conversation. 🙂
“Thankyou” is so powerful Elle,
be good to yourself
And I say thank you to you David, for all the beautiful posts you write. 🙂
I love this, thank you 🙂
While I practice unfolding, I begin and end each day with a ritual of gratitude. However, when I lived on the boat, I also stretched to the sun in the morning and to the moon in the evening; now that we have moved to land, I find it awfully comfortable to stretch inside (yes, as I write this I understand the metaphysical meaning..wow!). And so, I shall renew this ritual. Thank you 🙂
What a great phrase Joy ~ inner stretching. I like the idea of stretching to the sun and the moon. I bet that feel’s just great. Thank you so much for sharing.
Such a lovely reminder to live with a sense of mindfulness even in the daily routines of life.
I like to the first one up in the morning and have a cup of tea and just connect with the present moment. The I read a small section of an Earnest Holmes book or Louise Hay or Perfect Power Within you – so I can start the day centered in spirit.
I also take a short mindful walk during the day to re-group and let go of the stress for a moment.
& there’s a nightly mindfulness moment of meditation and closing the day at peace with what ever was or wasn’t accomplished and connecting with gratitude so I can sleep with a quiet happy peace of mind.
Having daily mindful moments and rituals really helps reduce stress and anxiety. It helps stay spirit centered while living in a busy hustle bustle world. It’s a reminder of what’s really important.
I like the idea of taking a walk during the day Aileen. I usually walk in the morning, when it’s a bit cooler…but taking a mindful break…now that speaks to me. Thank you so much for sharing your practices with us. 🙂
Elle….I’m not surprised that we overlap in some of our values. This past month I’ve been researching the beauty of the Japanese Tea Ceremony as a tool to remind us that practice for our lifetimes is what matters…there is no perfection.
And Thomas Jefferson? He’s one of my all time faves. Yes, his question at the end of the day makes perfect sense. When my kids were young, we went to Monticello 3 times…He was an extraordinary individual…
Thanks for your fine thoughts. xxoo-Fran
Nor am I Fran. We seem to frequently be on the same path…it’s always nice to have a fellow traveller. 🙂