Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by strong women in my family who take good care of themselves.  Mainly my Mom, Nana and the women on those branches of my family tree.

I find it important for Mamas to build a little rituals into our day.  I mean little as in:  Small ways to center ourselves.  Ways to bring attention and focus to our day and everything we do.  A way to take care of ourselves, and therefore our family.  Our children also need to see us take care of ourselves and show gratitude for our overall well being.  Hopefully, they will continue the tradition.

Every Mama tends to feel pressed for time, so I try to make that time count.  Every little moment and thing we do is a blessing.  I used to think of them as stolen moments, but that makes me feel guilty by putting it in those terms.  I rather think of them as small pauses of gratitude.

In the last few months especially, I have slowly added and created rituals to my day.  I'd like to share them with you.  Here are the little touchstones of my day, in the middle of everything else I do.

When I wake up (or more like when Bodhi wakes me up) we lay in bed together and play around.  We giggle, smile, play and just gaze at each other until we hear Z wake up or Daddy is leaving for work.  That's my cue to brush my teeth, scrape my tongue and splash my face with water.  Then it's time to go greet Z with a smile, kiss and hug if he hasn't already joined me.

I try to at least do Sun Salutations, or a little Yoga.  Right in the living room floor in the middle of everything.  If I waited for the perfect moment I would never do them.  It's not about exercise, it's about bringing attention to my breath, body and the world and greeting each new day with gratitude.  Sometimes Z joins in, sometimes he just wants to be silly and sometimes he climbs on me and just about knocks me down.  That's just life with a toddler.  

I then fill a large glass with about 20 oz. of warm water and stir in a teaspoon full of local honey and a slice of lemon to light my agni.  I slowly drink it all.  Sometimes Z asks for some and I happily oblige.

We eat a healthy breakfast.  It is very important to start your day out right.  It's the most important meal of the day and I make it count.

After our breakfast and Bodhi goes down for a nap I sit on my zafu and set a timer to meditate for 15 minutes (sometimes a little longer, sometimes a little shorter).  Z is good at playing by himself during this time.  If he needs me I will answer.  Sometimes he comes to me and asks, "Mama, what are you doing?"  I answer, "Meditating."  He'll either run back to play or stop me.  I used to feel guilty about this, but if I can find 15 minutes to sit on Facebook, I can find 15 minutes to meditate.

It's important to spend a little of each day in the sunshine and nature.  This needs no explanation.  You know how good it feels to be outside.

I like to find a little time each day to read.  If Z is absorbed in playing and Bodhi wants to sit with me or play while I read then that is awesome.  If not, oh well.  They are my top priority.

I'd like to make the time for my creativity and art each day.  This one is the hardest.  Z and I do something creative every day, that's not what I'm talking about.  Things like drawing, pastels, making collages, cross-stitching or anything art or craft related that I enjoy.  Even five minutes of doodling lifts my spirit and makes my heart sing.  Z usually wants to join in and wants to do what I am doing, not his own art, no matter what I try.  I love to make art with him, but it's different when it's my own.  He will draw on anything I am drawing on because he just wants to "help" or do it with me, and I can't get mad at him even though it frustrates me.  He once drew all over a picture I have worked on for years.  He was so happy I waited until I was out of sight to get all teary-eyed.  By night time, I am usually tired and don't want to over-stimulate myself and get so absorbed by what I'm doing I don't want to go to bed at a descent hour.  That's not healthy for me or the boys.

I try to go to bed by 11 p.m.  11:30 is pushing it and anything after that just makes the next day much more frustrating and less fun for everyone.  After the boys go to bed and I clean-up, I like to spend a little time with myself or Daddy if he isn't zonked out.

So, those are my little daily rituals.  It sounds like a lot once I think about it, but they are simple acts that really don't take long and make all the difference to my day when I do them.

I don't get frustrated if they don't happen perfectly.  Sometimes some of them don't happen at all.  And that's OK.  My daily routine is always evolving and growing with me.

I try hard to be conscious of what I do during the day and how we spend our time.

Here are some other beautiful women that I would like to honor as my inspiration.  These ladies have opened my heart a little more every time I read them or touch base with them.  I'd like to thank them for helping wake me up, to follow my intuition and heart, and pay attention to what is in front of me.
Karen Maezen Miller
Pixie Campbell of Pink Coyote
Leonie Dawson of Goddess Guidebook
Christine Mason Miller
Stacy of Sweet Sky
Robin of The Good Eye Project
Amanda Soule of Soule Mama

Do you have any rituals that are important to your day?
Who inspires you?


  1. I love your rituals! You inspire me!

  2. Thank you for you words!! I wish I were as focused on the important as much as you. (I also enjoy Z being naked or nearly there in each and every picture you post :)
    A ritual for me is becoming my morning exercise. It has nothing really to do with weight or exercise, it is, like you, time for me to breathe, time to not be touched, and time to miss my kids. I also must must must read every single evening before I close my eyes. Non-negotiable!!

  3. Ha, Alyssa. Z hates clothes and I can't blame him. He'll claim he's not cold just so he can strip them off outside. Sorry, little buddy, not at 50 degrees.

    That's awesome. I wish I had the focus to exercise, more than just chasing Z all day. I think the whole getting out thing makes a difference too. It makes coming home even sweeter. Thanks for sharing.

    You're focused on plenty of important awesome things! I wish I was more involved in my community and different groups like you are. That's awesome and quite inspiring. I just don't juggle many balls at once very well.

  4. Oh, that was so beautiful, and very inspiring! I'm often bad about taking care of myself in this way, but you wrote about it in such a loving and practical fashion that I think I might be able to incorporate some rituals like yours, too! Thanks for sharing this :)