Admittedly as I sit to write this post, I feel like a fraud because I’ve never been one to actually stick to any sort of ritual or disciplined approach to much of anything. At least not since I was 22.
I think I burned myself out in high school and college.
Still, I desire it, at least in some small way, and I also know the benefits of ritual particularly as a creative.
Here’s what I’ve learned from watching other artists as well as other pretty successful folks:
Rituals provide a sense of certainty and this is hugely beneficial when one works in and with uncertainty.
Rituals help form good habits and ultimately hold us accountable to protect them, which really means we are protecting ourselves and our own energy.
Rituals create the space for us to achieve flow.
I read about 50% of Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit and I think the reason I couldn’t finish it was because it started to feel both repetitive and too focused on the performing arts (I read it too soon on the heels of my closing Piccadilly Arts and it still triggered weird things for me).
Still I lifted a lot of good ideas and lessons from it.
I loved how she created a box for each project and any inspiration and research went right into that box.
I loved how disciplined she was with her morning routine, especially her workouts.
I loved how she talked about warming up with the dancers, all the movements that our muscles commit to memory.
I especially loved how she looked for the “spine” in her projects.
Meanwhile I’m here happy that I make my morning coffee.
What I know though is 8 weeks into the New Year, I’ve been sick 5 times, I’m a little Marie Kondo’d out (although my house is in significantly better shape), and feeling super out of alignment with my creative self.
I also know this about myself: if I try to do more than one new thing at a time, it’s difficult for me to do each one well and really stick with them.
So while I’d love to have 5 creative rituals, I can realistically and successfully pull off 1 each month.
I have 2 ideas for the month of March:
I have a 30 min. AM commute and a 40 min. PM commute — a good amount of time to listen to a podcast, audio book, or course. I also don’t really have to “do” anything here except remember to hit play and then sit back and listen.
It’s nearly Daylight Saving Time here in the Philadelphia region and my body clock intuitively knows this within two weeks of the time change. I start waking up earlier and wanting to hit the hay sooner. I can use this extra 30 min. in the morning to do some yoga or journal daily.
Let’s see how these two ideas go. These feel doable and realistic. So I’ll check back in next month and see how things have progressed and how much of the benefits of these rituals I experience.
Wish me luck.