When you think about the cycle of a day as a metaphor to the cycles of life, there is an opening that occurs in the morning and a closing, which appears at night. When we arise, we are meeting a new day like a blank slate and when we close our eyes at night to sleep we are leaving the past 24 hours in our wake as our subconscious factory starts its overnight duty of processing the emotion and existential influences of the day. I like to partake in a daily solo sacred ritual at both bookends of my day to sanctify both the beginning and the end and to pay homage to the body I live within that allows me to function and enjoy my life.
The first thing I do when I wake up every morning is to go downstairs and boil a pot of water. I get out my earthy ceramic cup that feels like a warm stone between my palms when I fill it with fresh brewed tea. I choose different teas depending on the day: soothing green if I am hunkering down to dreamily write for hours, energizing gingko biloba if I need to focus on technical production of my artwork, or bitter and hearty reishi mushroom if I am feeling low on energy. I also take out a tiny porcelain cup and fill it with a teaspoon dollop of organic honey and a tablespoon of Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar. I pour a fourth cup of left over boiling water into the mix and stir it all up. This vinegar concoction, sweetened by the honey, is a magical elixir to the digestive system and keeps it working properly alongside managing the flora and fauna of the body’s natural bacteria. It keeps the elimination process regular and everything flowing smoothly. Then, I boil a little more water and cook a heart and belly warming spot of cereal. Sometimes it is oatmeal with a scattering of walnuts, raisins and coconut palm sugar swimming in a dash of almond milk. Sometimes it is Chinese lutein cereal, stirred into hot water until creamy with slight cocoa and rice notes. Sometimes it is a bowl of organic brown rice sweetened with coconut milk, chopped up dates and cinnamon. Sometimes I will wash this all down with a small bottle of kombucha by my favorite kitchen witch Sanandra Black to give me a jump start of buzzing bee exhilaration throughout all of my cells. While I enjoy this daily ritual I boot up my computer and casually read my emails for the day. This not only takes care of my physical system for the hours to come but it is a sign to my soul that I love it and wish to properly care for its being. Instead of jumping head first into the to do list and gobbling down convenience foods or coffee, it prepares me slowly and steadily and imparts a sense of grace to what may come. I leave the table feeling renewed, nurtured, and prepared to face whatever will come.
At the end of my day, I do something similar. After all the art and writing work has been done, exercise exhausted, errands run, chores conquered, dinner enjoyed and house shut down, the Cute Gardener and I will spend our time doing something together that we enjoy. During this down time stoked with my love, I like to pay homage to another great day gone by with another cup of tea and a treat. The act of warming up a cup of chocolate purhea to dip fresh baked French cocoa sable cookies into signifies the end of my day. It is now time to shut off my brain, enjoy the art of the dunk, and let my brain rest until tomorrow.
These simple acts of hello and good-bye assure that I never go to bed angry, wake up stressed and afraid or clog up the normal rejuvenation cycles of existence with toxic emotions — I have come to utilize these tiny food rituals to make me slow down, breathe, nourish, and learn the gentle art of staying in the present knowing everything else is simply stuff to let go.