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  • Routines and Rituals: What Calms You?

    Posted by bailey-anne-vincent on March 15, 2021 at 11:53 am

    I was really inspired last week (and now this week) by Paul, a friend and born-writer here on the forum, who posted about his Sunday morning routine.

    Other than wanting to sing “Sunday morning rain is falling” an insipid amount, I haven’t been able to get this post out of my mind because there is nothing I love more in life than reading about the everyday habits and rituals of someone else’s life. I wrote about this last week in a column (because it really is a calming obsession of mine) and I even pre-wrote Instagram captions that go live tonight and tomorrow sharing some of my own routine (can we say fortuitous?)

    One of my favorite things to do at night, in fact, is read “Sleeping With” routines on Self, because it’s just a bunch of women sharing what they do to prepare for bedtime. So, yes, I read about other people’s bedtime routines to feel ready for my own (lol). I wish there were more of these for different lifestyles (not just wealthy, famous women): all genders, wellness levels and cultures.

    So here we are. On the forum. And I’m wondering, via Paul-level-inspiration, What Has Your Day Looked Like so far?

    You could choose your weekend routine or your manic Monday, but I’d love to know what sort of habits or happenings you seek, avoid or endure?

    In theory, I’ll share some of my own tomorrow! But first… You first!

    paul-met-debbie replied 3 years, 1 month ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • paul-met-debbie

    March 17, 2021 at 6:16 am

    Sadly, it doesn’t work that way, there is no reverse engineering in this. Although routines and rituals can indeed calm the mind, they work only in time and place and never last. I tried that for years and never found my inner calmness that way. On the contrary, the trying turned out to be exhausting in itself. The best way to solve a problem, is to stop causing it. You (by this I mean: everyone who experiences this problem) have to go a level deeper.

    It is not that my routines lead to calmness and if you copy them or find other routines you get calm yourself. It is completely the other way around: You have to find you inner state first. The rest will follow. My (and your!) inner state is calmness, it reflects in the way I live and shows in some of my routines. It mostly shows in all the things I don’t do.

    In other words: don’t keep calming the mind, go beyond it. To find the inner calmness that holds, it is not about doing something, some routine, ritual or trick. It is a not-doing. Find out what you normally do that starts the mania of the mind. You will find out it starts with thoughts, judgements, wanting and avoiding. Then just stop doing those things, thinking those thoughts, experiencing those emotions, passing those judgements. It is not about circumstances, it is all about your reaction to those. Stop reacting and combining. Turn inwardly and live life from there. What is left, is something that does not need calming, because it is Calmness itself. When in Paris, you don’t need to take a train to Paris.

    You were born calm, and calmness never left you. This was when mind and body were still one. You only made the mistake of allowing your mind to feel separate and to cover over your experience of calmness with stress, excitement, desires, pain, frustration, and you started thinking that this was who you are. If you remove that layer, retract from it, calmness will be still waiting for you where you left it. And this calmness needs no doing, no maintaining, no energy. It is effortless, this is who you really are. Find out how far are you removed from this and go back to where you once came from. It is coming home.
    You can start with redirecting your attention away from the mind and into the body. Be aware of the body at all times. The breath, the inner energy, the innate miraculous aliveness. This is the door to who you really are, which is even beyond the body. The rest is indescribable and unknowable. But it can be experienced through the body in some way. Don’t try to figure out how this works. The mind will never get it. No routine or ritual will ever get you there. Just do it. That is: stop doing the other things that block it.

    Don’t go for instant success, be patient. This is a way of life, not a hobby. It is the most worthy and rewarding way of spending your time and energy. From this, everything else will flow effortlessly.

  • paul-met-debbie

    March 17, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Having said all this, I don’t deny the enthusiasm you can feel after being inspired by something or someone. It is very possible that, listening to the calm and happy demeanor of someone, there is an inner resonance and recognition that inspires something in you beyond the mind. I always find myself being inspired by the talks of Eckhart Tolle for instance. That doesn’t mean however that acting or being like him will result in anything meaningful. In the end, it was my inner search that brought about the change, not following his or anyone else’s words or ways.

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