Years ago, my mother would go to yoga every morning- that was her morning ritual. The class would start around seven and end around nine, plus the time spent showering after class (about an hour). I would tag along with her and get dropped off at a coffee shop about ten minutes away. There, over a cup of delicious Indonesian cappuccino (or two) and my iPod, I would draw.
Nothing serious, mind you: just cartoon and comic characters, silly dragon like monsters from my own head, fanciful weapons, that kind of thing, following the melody only I could hear. I would doodle with colored pencils (because I enjoyed the waxy feel of their lead). When I ran out of ideas, I would just trace over the previous sketches in another color, or with ink. For almost three hours, I let my mind wander unfettered. Those were some of the best times of my life, putting me in what they call “the zone” of intense concentration and focus. It improved my creativity and just made me feel better, like a good workout. So what if I couldn’t drag my fat butt into yoga? I was doing yoga with my mind, man!
When my mom stopped going to yoga, I lost my reason for tagging along with her, and that morning ritual of coffee-and-doodles fell to the wayside. I’ve tried to incorporate it into my daily schedule. Not every day is successful; I’ve also stopped for long periods of time because I became too busy, anxious, or bored with my art. I know the artsy part of my brain has become flabby and creaky from lack of use (well, so has my physical body, but let’s not go there). I’d really like to get back into the habit of just sitting there and setting my mind free.
What’s your morning mind ritual?
Is it laying out your planner?
Jotting down your thoughts?
Or just closing your eyes for a second- trying to block out the noise and the traffic and the crowds, the social media notifications and the kids asking for their allowance- and just focus on the moment?