Episode 66 Ritual or Routine

June 2, 2023

Good morning from New York City. Here’s what’s on my mind. This morning I broke my coffee carafe and that one little thing has completely turned my morning routine upside down, yet it feels good. I’m a very ritualistic person. I have this very set pattern and when I know my routine’s going to get disrupted, I don’t like the thought of that. So somewhere in there, it goes from being a beautiful ritual to being stuck in my ways.

Anyway, my coffee carafe broke and I love coffee and I haven’t bought a new coffee maker yet so I’m having to get up and go out in the morning. I am really enjoying the energy I’m getting from this disruption. There’s something about getting dressed at six o’clock versus getting dressed at eight o’clock that has re-energized my morning routine. It’s making me think about the stories I tell myself. You know, that’s a theme that I love. I think it’s important that we question the narratives in our head. That can be anything from I’m a morning person to anything that completes the sentence  I’m the kind of person that … or the oh, I would never. It’s really easy to have those I don’t like narratives running basically on autopilot. Those are banal examples.

I think I’ve mentioned before that one of the themes in my head is I don’t like to travel alone, but I do a lot of things on my own, including travel, and when I really started to unpack that more recently, the truth of the matter is I like to have some structure to my travel. I like to have some sort of anchor in the places I go, even if it’s just a meal or someone I can meet up with. So somewhere in my head, I think what happened was I must have traveled when I was very young somewhere. Probably the first time I went abroad, and I thought it was cool to go away for a solo weekend, or something like that. I was likely either miserable or something went sideways, or I felt too embarrassed to go back home. Who knows, but somewhere that narrative took on a life of its own. It was only when I started saying it out loud, and when people started saying to me really – you travel alone all the time. One day, sharing this with one of my friends who does all this solo travel, I heard the story about how she does it. On social media it comes off as solo travel. In fact, he always has some sort of anchor, whether it’s a research project or class she’s taking, or someone she’s meeting up with at some point on her trip.

The other story I used to always tell myself was that I can only write in the morning. When I was working on something, I’d always put it in my head that I had to get up really early, and at some point last year when I was taking a course, I was writing some of my most impactful and important things at the end of the day. It was because I was really inspired by the work and wanted to do it. So the narrative in my head that I had to write only in the morning was turned upside down on its head.

So, what are those narratives or stories in your head that are perhaps ripe for reexamination? Is there some story that you’d perhaps like to turn upside down on its head, like I don’t cook, or I don’t listen to audio books, or I don’t like to hike? One of my friends who thought she’d never be a hiker now walks at least three or four times a week and has formed a walking group and is really enjoying integrating the walking into her exercise routine.

Another one for me is I used to say I don’t like to have music playing in the house because I live in a busy city and I really thrive in silence. I used to live with someone who had the music on all the time and, even though he had great music taste, it drove me crazy. More recently, I’ve started using music to change my mood. For example, if I’ve been stuck in work mode too long and I want to shake it up, I’ll turn the music on to shift my energy or to do something that I don’t want to do, like empty the dishwasher.

I’ll leave you with this. What are those things that maybe you want to try? What are the stories that are ripe for reexamination? Do you hear yourself saying things that don’t ring as true as they once did? Think about it.

I’ll leave you with that. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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