Rituals for the Offense, not the Defense
I created the east•west collection of jewelry to provide authentic spiritual jewelry celebrating the traditions of eastern and western cultures.
Jewelry has for thousands of years enhanced ritual in all cultures and provided meaning to daily life. Whether a cross, animal tooth, Shen bracelet or infinity symbol, jewelry gives me a sense of peace and purpose in my morning ritual.
I created a morning ritual after my Chopra Center meditation education program emphasized the enormous benefits of rising before the sun. I awaken at 4:30 in the morning when my house is quiet. The earth is subdued and there are no demands on my email or text inquiries. The ancient sages termed this time the ambrosial hour.
I always enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee and sometimes my favorite snack of almochocochia (dark chocolate+almond butter+chia seeds=happiness) when I first awaken. I might unload the dishwasher and I usually feed our cat Oliver. I light incense and offer a prayer to those who have gone before me. With coffee in hand I peruse my favorite websites.
Next I journal in my journal, handwriting a section called gratitude and another titled high vibration. The gratitude section usually involves experiences from the previous day that I am thankful for. The high vibration section reminds me of mind, body and spirit choices I want to make today to raise my vibration and live my most meaningful life. These include reminders such as inhaling and exhaling deeply, refraining from gossip and being an earnest listener in the present moment with my loved ones. I aim for three line items in the gratitude and high vibration section.
Around 5:15 am I switch from the kitchen to my sun room. I light a candle in honor of myself and others, focusing on friends who especially need support. That friend might even be me, anxious about an event in the day. I sit amongst my crystals and orchids, adorned in my east•west chakra and Shen jewelry. I set my phone timer (with a gentle gong notification) to twenty minutes and begin meditation.
Initially, I breathe and recite my primordial sound meditation from the Chopra Center. I then chant 108 gratitudes using my mala beads for count. Some days my gratitudes run deep, such as, “thank you God for my family.” Other days my gratitudes are more shallow and include material blessings such as Amazon Prime and strong coffee. All gratitude is worthy gratitude.
Next I chant the seven spiritual laws of success in Sanskrit followed by the yoga sutras. I chant my favorite mantras such as “hum sa so hum so hum hum sa.” Some days I sing out to the divine with the details that trouble my mind.
This morning ritual has shifted my days enormously. I am able to say good morning to my family from a state of profound fullness. The sleep I lose is overcome by the benefits of a peaceful, grounded mind. The gratitudes I chant remind me that this day is a gift.
Using the football analogy, my morning ritual lands on the on the blissful offense of Team Ritual. The defensive team, or Team Grumpy, never produces a sense of peace and purpose.
I hope your purchase from the east•west collection inspires you to create a morning ritual. The lack of sleep is minimal compared to the palpable benefits of living with grateful offense each day.
Kem McIntosh Lee
November 1, 2016