Rituals and Support
On Monday, I sat looking at my computer screen, attempting to decide what to share with you this week. My family went on Antigua's highly recommended Stingray City tour (see vid at the bottom of this post) the day before, but I couldn't figure out its connection to you. Monday was also Antigua's 40th Independence Day, but again it didn't relate to your place in this world.
From the Google analytics on my website, I know the majority of this blog’s readers live in the United States. Therefore, one of my weekly writing challenges is identifying topics relative to Americans and others outside of Antigua. After about twenty minutes of standing, sitting, and then deciding to take a break, I received a text message.
The message from my local cellphone provider read, “Happy 40th Anniversary of Independence to Antigua and Barbuda! Resilience, Reflection, and Recovery truly embody the spirit of our nation.” That text gave me some ideas to explore for this post.
Being resilient, reflective, and grateful for recovery are solid values to build your life on in 2021.
How do you manage difficult tasks? Do you have rituals that support progress on the days you want to avoid the hard work?
Rituals support resilient behaviors.
By ritual, I mean do you have something to help with transitions into bed or beginning work? Examples can include journaling before sleep or exercising first thing in the morning.
On some weeks, blog entries come running at me. There are other weeks like this one when topics are difficult to find, and I must rely on uncontrollable sources. But, on most days, my rituals guide me to connect with creativity.
When I write, I start by journaling and burning incense. The feeling of the pen in my hand and the fragrance of the smoke in the air help me relax.
Writing encourages the reflective thoughts necessary for self-improvement and empowering others to make changes.
During my first trip to Ethiopia in 2005, I began developing the habit of keeping a journal. In the Tigray region, where the conflict continues, I found something that helped me make more sense of the world. I shared poems inspired by travels to Ethiopia in my latest book, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity.
Do you struggle with keeping a consistent exercise routine? Try laying your clothes out the day before or finding a partner to meet you at the gym or park to work out.
My exercise days begin with putting on my pre-organized workout clothes for the day’s activities and grabbing my headphones. It’s often tough to get started with jogging, lifting weights, or training capoeira, but I always find the energy to keep moving after a few moments.
Yoga is one of my go-to activities for recovery.
On most days, my rituals serve their purpose of initiating activity, but occasionally they fail. I am not perfect. When challenges happen, resilience, reflection, and recovery reboot my spirit.
Think about one or more activities that you want to change or transform into a habit, and then identify the actions and resources to support discipline.
I write these blog entries to teach you something that you can apply in your life. This humble writing goal is not to suggest that my way is THE ONLY WAY to fulfillment. I intend to guide you in the right direction toward figuring your life out for yourself.
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Don't feel like commenting or subscribing now? Watch the video of our family's memorable stingray experience from Sunday.