Photo by Debra Lopez
The Writer's Ritual
Sit down on the floor with a black/white composition book, crayons, your favorite bowl, 10 sheets of blank paper, a pen and scissors. Cut the sheets of blank paper into squares big enough for a sentence to be written on them. Then make lists with the crayons. You can even draw pictures of what you're thinking...even better....
Now write one thing down on each of those slips of paper from this list. Do this as fast as you can w/out thinking. First things that comes to mind, write.
20 things you love
10 of your favorite happiest songs.
20 things you're proud of
20 things you would do if you had all the money in the world and didn't have to work or fret about survival: What would you be doing right now.
10 of your most relaxing songs.
Fold each slip of paper and place them in the bowl or jar in your writing corner. Don't got one, make one. One place that is sacred in your house...someplace comfy, with space for your coffee and throw a Buddah statue or something over there to remind you to chill-lax...
Now, I want you to put those 20 songs on a playlist and add them to your phone. That's your Chillax (Chillout & Relax) list.
Great thinkers gave me the tools to get out of my way and write. Pema Chodron's Things Fall Apart and The Places That Scare Us are absolute musts for the writers rituals.
I speak of these two in particular because Pema speaks to the artist's foibles do directly. Artists quit on themselves faster and self-sabotage with "whatever" all the time. Complaining is defeat, Dreaming is power.
Pick up these two books and put them in your writing corner.
Elixir of the Goddesses: Proper Chai Tea
Every morning, the first thing you will do is breathe. From the moment you open your eyes, just sit there and pay attention to your breathing. When your body has enough breath to fuel getting out of bed, do so and put your coffee or green/white/black tea on.
Or you can make April's Elixir of the Goddesses (work w/me people, this is how I get out of bed in the morning)
Black pepper kernels
Loose Black Tea (I love PG Tips)
Pure Vanilla Flavoring
Raw Honey (i love weebee raw honey, but stevia works too)
Throw all that yumminess in a pot and let it boil the night before or that morning. Thich Nhat Hahn says that the rituals that we enjoy in our homes are a kind of meditation. My hot drink making and making my bed or my rituals that let me know the day is going to be good and I am alright with the world.
So once that brew is dark and chocolatey, bring it to a hard boil till is about to spill over, then turn down the flame. Repeat this 2 more times. Then allow the evil to begin: add evaporated condensed milk or half & half or my favorite Soy Creamer until the brew is the color of a good chai Tea. Taste as you go and add at will.
NOTE: The entire morning ritual happens in silence, so alert your family that they are not to disturb you until your done. It is silent ritual.
Stay, Just Stay
Now read a chapter of Pema, play your chillax soundtrack, sip your elixir and feel yourself becoming more and goddess-like and write 3 pages long-hand without stopping in your black/white composition book. The key is to stay, just stay. If you get sleepy, tired, frustrated, happy, just stay with it and with yourself for 3 pages.
If you run out of things to say, write "WTF" over and over again until something new comes up. The thrill, the challenge, the joy is to stay true to yourself. To commit to yourself...to wander without an agenda for 3 pages. To give yourself 3 pages of silent meditation, sweet song and the elixir of the Goddeses.
Try it everyday...then share with me what you learned in the comments below...
Love u, Mean it...Let's do you...Write...and sip...write...and sip....
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April Yvette Thompson