Ritual of Reflection

dramatic clouds reflected in still water by a dock

My mind can be so easily fooled, I rely on its gullibility. My brain shifted from stress to comfort with the change of a single word.

My old list of monthly tasks = chores. Weight on my shoulders. Adulting. Responsibility. Burdens.

My monthly ritual = soothing. Calm, comforting self-care. Aaaaaaah.

I look forward to the time I set aside each month to reflect, tidy up loose ends, and plan ahead. My ritual evolves as life changes (not sure about you, but things are, um, chaotic? here) and it shifted from being a list of things to do into a reassurance that at least once a month, I’d be tending to things that matter to me. I no longer worry about whether I’m ‘behind’, I rest easy knowing things won’t fall through the cracks or get lost in the whirligig of life.

I attend to the parts of my ritual over a few days around the end of each month, ideally with at least one weekend day in there to give me the s p a c e and stillness I need to reflect. I take as much or as little time as suits me.

And because it’s a ritual, I can make it as fun or woowoo as I want! I play music, say mantras, light candles, you name it, I OWN my ritual ❤️

Caring for my heart

  • Reread my journal entries and planner pages from the last month, noting anything I want to keep. 
  • Ask myself a list of questions to reflect, to help me remember the good stuff and choose how to spend my time the next month.

Caring for my kids, friends and family (and cats!)

  • Look through the month ahead and build in celebrations, down time, school time etc.
  • Check-in with my regulars as well as someone I didn’t connect with in the month before.
  • Go through photos (SO MANY CAT PICTURES), delete lots, share the best ones.
screenshot of many pictures in my camera roll, mostly cats
Cats and kids, welcome to my camera roll.

Caring for my home

  • Notice a neglected chore that’s been nagging at me and take care of it.
  • Declutter and take a load to goodwill or the women’s shelter.
  • Digital declutter: bookmarks, downloads, emails in my pending list, random things saved to my desktop
  • Fill in my planner with dates for bills due, garbage pick-up (ours is every 6 business days … not the easiest to keep track of), and anything else of note.
a view of a residential street on a sunny day with vines and trees and blue sky
the view from my porch ❤️

Caring for my business

  • Send out friendly messages and invoices to freelance clients, play with my financial spreadsheets (yes, I enjoy this, always have, lucky me 😊).
  • Update my resume and portfolio if I did anything exciting. Find something exciting to do if not.

My ritual involves pens and notebooks that bring me joy. I might trap myself under two snoring cats, away from my phone or laptop, or sit outdoors with coffee or wine (or gin! a friend recently re-introduced me to this delight).

a shelf unit with many dozens of pens
a few of my pens

I still take pleasure in checking tasks off a list (who doesn’t?) but for this, I just remember what matters and attend to it. Month-end went from being busy and burdensome to a time I eagerly await. (I mean, I’m writing this post to pass time until my next month-end).

I wonder what else I can trick my mind into? 

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