RITUAL - ON THE ROAD
Self care has been an important set of practices in the past five years that steers how I take care of my needs. It varies quite a bit, but I make time for it every day. Developing these regimens has allowed me to have more energy, clarity, and genuine joy in my everyday life.
Typically I wake up very early to go to my day job. I wake up at 5 am, take a few drops of digestive bitters, drink water, write intentions and a to-do list in my journal, pack breakfast, lunch, and my travel mug with a tea bag. I fill my bike bag with whatever I need that day, put bike lights on my bike, get dressed and ride to work before the sun is rising.
At work, I drink my tea, drink water, eat my home cooked food, do my best to stay in a positive or neutral mindset. I practice breath work techniques that help me to stay calm, I stretch, I stay present. I get my work done to the best of my ability. Once I clock out, I ride home, take my vitamins after eating my main meal of the day, do health coach work, hang out with my partner and/ or friends, have dinner, clean up, wind down, shower, have tea, write in journal about how my day went, meditate, take magnesium, go to bed.
If I am not working at my day job, my daily routine varies slightly. I sleep in til 7-8, get up leisurely, might make a more involved breakfast, do chores, run errands, take care of health coach work I need to do, then usually spend the rest of my day outside being active, biking or hiking. I'll eat lunch and dinner at home usually, nothing fancy, but might go out to dinner if I have a Ritual Kitchen meeting with Sierra. Then I'll head home and wind down, write, take magnesium, meditate, sleep. There are fun things at night fairly regularly but this is my "regimen".
My commitment to practicing self care no matter what is happening around me keeps me sane, centered and able to enjoy life. It also helps me to show up for other people in a way that feels really healthy. Whether I am working or not, I try to do these things every day:
- wake up and take digestive bitters
- drink water
- assess my body's needs for food that day and what I have access to
- bring tea, breakfast, & lunch with me if I'm leaving home
- bring a camp spork and a bandana with me if I'm leaving home (less waste if I'm eating somewhere with single-use utensils and disposable napkins)
- eat my main meal in midday
- take multivitamin with b12, take liquid D3, and any herbal tinctures
- stay super hydrated/ bring a refillable water bottle with me everywhere
- eat fermented foods/ drink fermented drinks
- leave enough space between meals to fully digest
- eat LOTS of greens/ fiber
- aim for three BM's per day
- check in with myself throughout the day (do I need to pee? am I thirsty? am I breathing?)
- release tension in my body with breath work and stretching... and honestly, laughing
- use aromatherapy if I need some extra anxiety support, especially during travel
- pay attention to my moon cycle/ hormones and support those specific needs for extra space, rest, exercise, different nutrient rich foods, herbs, or massage
- ALLOW myself to have some treats because #pleasure
- spend time alone
- write (usually I write in my journal twice a day)
- have a "wind down" ritual; dim the lights, signal to my body/ mind it's time to go to sleep
Accommodating my needs has become a creative practice, especially when traveling. There are always unexpected situations that challenge me and also help me to grow. I've learned that when I am on the road, it's not just what I pack with me, but also how I create space within and around myself. What kind of attitude am I operating with? What are my boundaries and how do I communicate them? How can I use what I've already got?
For me, regularity and consistency are things I like. It might be because (I'm a Capricorn! just kidding, or am I) for years when I was younger I did not allow myself to need or want those things. Regardless, they support my well being, and help me deal with anxiety or overwhelm when they come up. Those things are less of an issue now that I am sober and hardly drink caffeine, and rarely eat super sugary stuff, but they do still happen.
I am extra flexible with my "routine" when traveling, but sometimes I find I need help getting grounded in the present moment. Here are a few grounding practices that have allowed me enjoy traveling and adventure even more:
- saying "I'm gonna take a quick walk" if I start feeling anxious or awkward in any situation
- actually take that walk and indulge my senses; look for beauty everywhere, take it all in
- list what I am thankful for because there is always something! instant perspective shift
- focus on breathing.. like, REALLY intently, because it shuts down the fight-or-flight stress hormonal escape response that often comes with anxiety
- drawing tarot.. tapping into my intuition is very important for me in order to stay at ease
- carry things with me that instantly help to feel "at home" I've enjoyed using scents, jewelry, specific pieces of clothing, my keys, or a book for this purpose
- WRITE. I can't emphasize this enough. I'm a writer, I need to write every day. Whatever your "thing" is, I encourage you to find a way to bring it with you on the road.
Self care, especially on the road, has facilitated some of the most juicy experiences I've gathered in my life so far - here's to many more!
Holding Space for Ritual during Full Times
A Day in the Full Life
Lately my days have been unpredictable and full. Some days have set hours and schedules, but others are ever-changing and just as full. Keeping all the moving pieces together can be hard, but something I don’t let shift are daily rituals. Here is a peek into how I fit rituals into my day:
- Stretch a few simple stretches to get my sleepy eyes open.
- Set intentions for the day, and after rising, write them down.
- Herbal water - bitters, flower essence, and other herbs I am focusing on. I keep an altar space for all my current plant medicines so that I see them every morning and recognize their power.
- Roll out a rug for more movement and stretches and end with a movement meditation. These practices keep me grounded and feeling connected to myself for long, full days.
- Feed and connect with my wonderful cat Nopalita.
- Morning is a sacred time for me. It is a time for me to reconnect with life, be a waking human and set intentions for the day. I am deliberately slow and intentional, and for that reason I try not to have early morning commitments to others. It doesn't always happen, but when I have a full morning to myself, it’s glorious!
- I love cooking a full warm breakfast in the mornings; it sets a nourished tone for the day.
- While cooking breakfast and being in the kitchen, I put together lunch and plenty of snacks for the rest of the day. I’ll often utilize foods that I’ve already prepared but sometimes I’ll prepare something new. My food bag contains a fork and knife, cloth napkin and a metal water bottle full of water.
- Getting some morning sun after breakfast really makes me feel nourished and warmed, whether a quick moment of sun or a long sun bath.
- Tidying my spaces for a few minutes helps me to feel clear and ready for the day. I used to not prioritize this and would always feel chaotic and overwhelmed in my home.
- I am rarely home for my big mid day meal, but I usually have some food items packed.
- I try to always eat this meal outside to slow down and take time.
- Sometimes I will write during this time as well, refocus on my intentions and regroup for the rest of the day.
- This can vary a lot but the first thing I usually do is feed and connect with my cat. She is very loving and always wants to “catch up” and spend time with me.
- I set down and put away my things that I have used for the day. I like the feeling of completeness, so I try to put things in their place and finish projects all the way through before the day’s done.
- I pour a glass of water or start the kettle for an herb infusion.
- If I didn't get any movement in the rest of the day I try to either go for a walk or bike ride with my partner. Some evenings I take a dance class.
- I take some breaths to let out energy I kept from anyone else throughout the day.
- I work on some part of my practice or my collaborative project Ritual Kitchen
- Sometimes I have dinner meetings with Hannae.
- I eat dinner with my partner and we often cook together - which I love.
- A lot of the time I put together things I have pre made and with a few quick cooking additions. I usually don’t like to cook big dinners on full days, and I save the experiments for the days that aren't so full.
- While cleaning up for dinner I sometimes put together the next days snack or mid meal for my partner and me.
- I love making herbal tonics and mocktails, and after dinner I will put something together for us, sit down and relax.
- This is the time I have rituals with my body, such as body oiling and tending to any aches and pains with plant medicine and self massage. This helps me wind down for sleep.
- I love to read, so I try and catch up on reading before bed.
- If I am having a hard time letting go of some energy from the day then I will jot down a few thoughts or ideas.
Things I carry with me throughout the day
- I always have a pouch of medicines, tinctures and flower essences to take during my full days.
- Water - staying hydrated keeps me focused and calm - less potential for burnout.
- Snacks and a knife - I love to be prepared and being hungry definitely throws me off.
- A grounding or calming mist. I make these myself and it can really transform the energy around me.
- Things to keep me grounded and centered: a stone, picture, piece of lavender or similar - this changes but I always have something.
- Bringing things with me helps me keep my rituals strong and present.
Tools I use
- I try to keep my morning ritual always. Even if it is a micro-version. If the rest of my day is thrown off by some unknown (or known) roadblock then I will still have the stability of my morning ritual present with me.
- Boundaries - this a huge piece that deserves lots of exploration and is not easy but setting boundaries has helped me tremendously.
- My beautiful cat Nopalita - she is so loving, and putting my head on her while she's purring is the best head vibrational feeling.
- Snacks! - I have so much love for snacks and what they do for me - my favorites are crisp carrots, sugar snap peas, bananas, avocados, seaweed and so many more.
- Sundays are a day of rest and resetting. I do wild (and non wild) food collecting and preparation for the week on this day.
- Laughter, laughter releases tension and provides space for joy and play in my life.
An Ode to the Sun and Earth
Sun - With a womb-like presence the warmth holding me as a light bath cleanses me of all static energy in the body. The sun is my guide, my home , my medicine and a source of deep joy.
Earth - The bountiful Earth - A practice I use during times of need is putting my head directly on the earth to feel its magic and stability to ground my thoughts to now, and to worry not because the earth is always beneath me.