Last Sunday morning I was in my studio. It was raining, the sound of rain soothing on the roof above me. I had lit a handmade candle sweet with essential oils. The light danced and flickered in its jelly jar, the rest of the room dim.
I was writing in my journal. Listening to the rain. Slow, still, for the first time in a while.
Despite my good intentions I have not been creating moments of stillness. Life suddenly is full, busy. There are new worries, old worries and it seems I am constantly do-ing. Even in the slower moments I find myself preoccupied with what I need to do next or bothered by little irritations. Or else I'm distracting myself with books, the internet or Netflix.
I checked my Joy Journal and realized I hadn't written a Joy List in almost 2 months.
Have I been avoiding stillness? Maybe unintentionally, but isn't the result the same?
Sitting down that morning, lighting a candle and listening to the rain opened something up in me.
I concentrated on that stillness. Slowed my pen as I became fully present. Worries dropped away. My to-do lists dropped away.
And then ideas started pouring in.
The brainstorming led from one idea to another. I felt inspired. Excited by possibilities.
Maybe the brainstorming was just another way my mind was filling the void of stillness, but I'm not going to complain or scold myself for it.
My daily schedule, my rituals have been thrown out of whack. Moments of stillness, of quiet reflection, candles, journaling (real, deep journaling, not the hurried scrawl my journal had taken on these last couple months), writing Joy Lists -- these were deemed non-essential, easy to leave off the to-do list. They don't really accomplish anything, do they?
What a mistake.
Coming up on the end of the year, I'm re-committing to my rituals of stillness. They are essential.
What a wonderful reminder that rainy, candlelit Sunday morning.
And so, here's a joy list for today:
What about you? What's on your Joy List today? Do you have routines or rituals that you are committing to with the coming of the new year?