Tagged inspiration

The Importance of Ritual

Cute cartoon illustration of droste mirror effect as girl brushed her teeth

Cute cartoon illustration of droste mirror effect as girl brushed her teeth

I created this illustration for the upcoming Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Draw This contest.  The prompt word was “Ritual” which naturally got me thinking about the rituals I do daily.  (I’m pretty sure my dentist doesn’t read my blog, but in case he does, I DO brush and floss daily.) To be honest, as a teen I used to floss only sporadically, but that all changed one day when I saw a sign in my dentist’s office that read…

“You don’t have to floss all your teeth.  Just the ones you want to keep.”

(And just like that I was turned into a flossing convert.)

These days I’m also a yoga and meditation convert.  I wish I could say that I’d been smart enough to make yoga and mediation a part of my life all along.  Unfortunately, it took many years of Type A behavior – of constantly pushing myself to the limit and eventually getting super anxious – to realize that I needed to reevaluate my life, priorities and the way I viewed myself.  But better late than never, right?

Drinking more water regularly is the next ritual I’m hoping to adopt.  How about you?  Do you have daily rituals that nurture and sustain you?  Are you hoping to add any new rituals to your routine?

My Favorite Things – Recipes for Mindful Living

Just Breathe Final for IG.jpg

It’s actually that simple.  But if you’re like me and sometimes forget to do this most profound of mindfulness exercises, I recommend adding a few inspirational books to your mental “diet” as well.

I loved, loved, (REALLY loved!) reading Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment by Ezra Bayda, and plan to reread it often.  I’ve also enjoyed listening to Ezra’s one hour talk on Love, Relationships and Spiritual Practice. The talk is conveniently divided up into four 15 minute segments – which makes it easier to absorb and process.  If you’re curious, take a look below:

And these days I’m reading Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears by Pemo Chodron.  Despite working to “wake up” quite a bit over the past year, I’ve discovered that old habits, thought patterns and fears still die hard, so a new perspective in how to tackle old issues is always welcome.

Remember…

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”

Pema Chodron

No One Is Thinking About You and Why That’s a Good Thing

Little bicyclist "paper doll" cartoon on highway by Joana Miranda

Winston Churchill wisely said…

When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place.”

These words have only recently begun to truly resonate with me.  If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent a lifetime (well, in my case, 1/2 of lifetime, since I’m hoping to reach it to 90-something!) trying to…

please  others

-and –

gain approval

Which has caused you to…

sweat the little things

wonder how you compare

– and –

question whether you’re good enough

Little bicyclist "paper doll" cartoon on highway by Joana Miranda

Spending your energy wondering if you will measure up is a pretty terrible way to pass your days.  Not only will you spin your wheels needlessly (what IS good enough?), but you’ll probably eventually exhaust yourself and end up either depressed, or, in my case, quite anxious.

Getting to the point of not caring what others think is a process that’s liberating in and of itself.  Figuring out how to do it certainly might take you ’til your 40.  Of course, the danger is that if you decide simply not to care, you might actually be donning the F— Y–! mantle…a cloak that probably won’t wear well, or serve you (or society) much in the long run.

Even better is to realize and appreciate that your fellow travelers on this journey of life are like you…deeply engrossed in their own thoughts, ambitions, desires and fears.   And while that most likely leaves them no room to think of you, it also means that they probably aren’t wishing you any ill either.  And that knowledge, my friend, is deeply liberating.

So go forward and do what you love to do.  Write a poem, paint a picture, dance a little jig…do whatever it takes to celebrate being YOU.  Life’s not a competition or a race.  After all, we all end up at the same destination.

Enjoy your ride!

 

Friday’s Thought – The Ocean of Humanity

Photo of seagull on the beach in Nantucket, taken by Joana Miranda

"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came." John F. Kennedy

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