It's been cold and snowing all day...which was nice because I worked at the garden shop and it was quiet, oh so peaceful and quiet. I felt like I had the best of both worlds. Outside the snow came down in fat, wet blobs. Inside, it smelled of hyacinth, lilies, roses, and dirt. I sat under a heat lamp and grow lights and was able to write a long overdue letter to a friend, then worked on a few Finding Water divining rods in my journal. It was quiet yesterday also (a pre-spring lull) and so after I finished up with everything that needed to be done, I sat down with a pile of bulbs and plant leaves and did a few pencil sketches in my journal. I learned a lot about 'Dwarf Elephant Ears', Eucomis, and other strange creatures in the process. I'm not usually lucky enough to have such luxuriously long-winded bouts of quiet time to do nothing but putter around with words and pencils between cups of coffee and window gazing...but I drank it up with great thirst. I've spent the past two days loving my job...and feeling like I am exactly where I should be in my life right now--what an odd and wonderful feeling.
I do believe that these days I am living my truth. It might not be glamorous (I wear jeans, a flannel shirt, and winter boots to work) and it might not make me rich or famous or anything even remotely special...but, between the garden shop and the children's bookstore, I feel very lucky, indeed. These days, my life feels saturated--with color and scent and ideas and fresh air and friends....
The point of this post is not to blather on about how happy I am or how fulfilling my work has been, but to share a few sensory rituals that help to move me to a sense of safety and expansion (yep, this was one of this week's divining rods). I like the way those two words, "safety" and "expansion," fit together. They are such contrasting, contradictory words--yet they fit so well together. To feel safe, yet have room to grow--isn't that the feeling we are always after?
The Writing Ritual: Clean my writing room--including dusting, washing the floors and organizing my desk. Then light a stick of "Amethyst-Balance" incense (because it's warm and soft smelling). Light a candle. Close the blinds and turn on my paper star lamp. Brew a fresh pot of coffee and sit down in my warm cocoon to write.
The Relaxation Ritual: Run a hot bath and add calming oils (like cedar and lavender) or foaming bath salts (like ginger/mint). Light lots of candles. Play soft sounding global music. Soak, soak, soak while reading a good book. Afterwards, put on a cozy pair of fleece pajamas, crawl into bed, and read some more with a fresh cup of chamomile tea sitting on the shelf next to be. Then...fall asleep while reading.
The Nature Ritual: Put on warm, comfortable clothes and go for a walk to the flower garden. Once there, find an especially magical place to sit and write in my journal. When I'm finished, continue walking through the flower gardens--slowly--taking time to notice little tiny things (the shape of a leaf, the bark of a tree, the sky's reflection in water, the chitter of a bird...) and soak in its beauty.
The Morning Pages Ritual: Find slippers. Feed the cats. Make a cup of espresso with a little cream and sugar. Turn on the small salmon-pink lamp and snuggle up next to it at the end of the couch with a soft blanket thrown over my legs. Write in the dark, quiet hour of the morning--exploring my thoughts without expectation or distraction.
The Sunday Ritual: Hang out in my pj's longer than usual. Finally shower. Then pick up a copy of the Sunday paper and go out for breakfast with my husband for a late breakfast at the "Egg and I." Order the Mexican Skillet with a side of homemade salsa and a cup of coffee. Read the newspaper together, people watch, eat, people watch, talk, read the newspaper, talk, people watch, eat some more...Then do something fun before returning home (even if that just means running an errand together). This is the ritual my husband and I share. It is something that we do to "reconnect" with each other on a weekly (or almost weekly) basis.