Why Creating Rituals is Important
"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. ~ Henry Miller
Life is made up of moments. Looking back, the memories we've made are of special times usually with people that we love. We all have a choice to create a life that nurtures us in every moment from the time we get up until the time we go to bed at night. I've talked before about starting the day off with meditation and or journalling, preparing ourselves for the day ahead. That is an important ritual, and it is intentionally creating a life that nurtures. It is also possible to take the seemingly mundane tasks of every day life and elevate them into something beautiful. In this way, we create a beautiful life. I once read a quote that said "we should never say we HAVE to do chores, such as laundry, cleaning, etc. we should say that we GET to do chores". Some people would love to have clothes to wash or a house to clean. Why not change the way we look at these every day things.
I remember several years ago, going into an antique shop and talking to an older lady that worked there. I was looking at a beautiful antique soup terrine and she told me a story of growing up in Europe. Her family had very little money and some nights all they had for dinner was oatmeal, but her mother always served it in a beautiful soup terrine. I never forgot that story and it speaks to elevating a simple moment into something special. Her mother could have just let everyone in the family get their oatmeal out of the pot, but she created a wonderful memory by serving a very modest meal in a beautiful vessel and making it special for her family. It didn't take much extra effort, but it made an impression that this lady never forgot. Needless to say, I bought the soup terrine and it has a special place in my kitchen.
One of my goals for 2018 is to create rituals such as this one that take the ordinary mundane things in life and elevate them. We have a choice to fill our days with beauty and joy, or let them be filled with chaos.
I have always been drawn to vintage items. I've lived in old houses, in old neighborhoods for most of my life, I love antiques because they hold unspoken memories and I like to think of the people who lived in the houses before me or wore the clothes or ate from the dishes or silver. I have never used artificial sweeteners in my coffee, only turbinado sugar or sometimes honey. I keep my sugar in a beautiful vintage silver sugar bowl that sits on the counter beside the coffee pot and I keep a silver spoon in it. It always makes me smile to take a scoop of sugar from that bowl. After I meditate in the morning, I always have coffee as I work on my blog. For a while, I had gotten into the habit of sitting in bed with my computer, but that was making me feel somewhat less than professional. This blog is my passion and I decided that I should sit at my desk and work with a beautifully scented candle burning. I'm fortunate to be able to work from home and create my own schedule! I've also created a vision board that I'm having framed to put in my office. It will be a place to keep images that inspire me as well as pictures of family and special cards from friends. I'm making it a priority to keep my office clutter free and beautiful so that I'll be inspired when I'm working.
Several years ago I read the book, French Women Don't Get Fat. The gist of this book is that by making meals into rituals of importance, we elevate the experience and don't overeat. This is one thing I definitely need to change in the new year. I am busy and sometimes eat standing at the counter or just throw something in my mouth quickly and move on. By taking the time to prepare something, even if it's just a salad and putting it on a nice plate and sitting down to eat, we become more aware of what we're putting in our mouths. It's all about taking the time to make things a little more special. You can create daily rituals that make your life more beautiful.
The other day, a thoughtful Facebook friend told me about a book that she thought I would enjoy, Living a Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard. Turns out, I already had the book! It was given to me by a friend several years ago and I never read it. I immediately got the book out and started reading it and it is filled with suggestions for making life more beautiful. Alexandra Stoddard points out that "many people have a tendency to save up 95 percent of their money and effort to spend on 5 percent of their lives - festive occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, and the special, more public places in the home, such as the living or dining room. Instead, the way to live a beautiful life is to make the daily 95 percent of your life wonderful. Such great advice. This book was written in the 1990's and is a little dated, but still perfectly relevant and I highly recommend it!
I hope I've inspired you to light a candle, meditate, get out our best dishes and sit down to eat your meals, make a ritual of your drinking your coffee or tea, or put on music while you straighten your house. These simple things can make such a difference in how you feel as you move through your day.
I found the coat I'm wearing in these pictures in one of my favorite vintage stores in Savannah Georgia, called House of Strut. The store is filled with amazing vintage clothing and the prices are great! The moment I tried on this coat, I knew I wanted it because of the perfect fit and also because it makes me feel elegant. I wore it on New Year's Eve and it kept me warm and cozy in the arctic temperatures we've been having.
"Because when you stop and look around Life is pretty amazing"
Thanks so much for reading Crazy Blonde Life today!
Today, I'm linking with Classy Yet Trendy.