On Daily Creative Rituals

by Tammy Strobel on March 24, 2014

My morning view

Since I’m a worrier, it’s important for me to counteract my anxiety with daily creative rituals. My rituals keep me on track, motivated, and focused. They also help me operate from a place of gratitude, instead of worry.

No matter where I am in the world, the following activities are part of my day:

  • Once my coffee is done, I take a photo of My Morning View. Other than drinking my first cup of coffee, this is my favorite part of the morning.
  • Tarot cards might seem a little woo-woo, nevertheless I love The Wild Unknown deck and the accompanying guidebook. Each card is a piece of art and I love looking at them. Plus, the cards serve as writing prompts. After I pull a card, I read about it’s meaning in the guidebook. Then I write in my journal.
  • My intent is to walk 10,000 steps — about 4 miles — everyday. I don’t always reach that mark, however walking gets me out of the house and away from the computer. On good days, I take a walk in the late morning and again in the afternoon. When I feel stuck with a work project — or a personal dilemma — walking helps me clear my mind.

If you want to develop a daily creative ritual, below are three ideas to get you started:

1. Make a love list. Get out your journal and make a list of the activities you love to do. Then circle or highlight the activities that you are drawn too. Be sure to keep your list in a safe place, that way you can refer to it in the future.

List Love

2. Make time. Now that you’ve picked a few interests from your love list, make time to engage in those activities. I encourage folks who take my e-courses to track their time. It’s a great way to find openings in your daily life, to focus on creative projects, and rituals that make you happy.

3. Take action. Incorporating a ritual into your daily routine means you have to take action. If it isn’t fun, pick another activity. Your daily ritual should be helpful, not hurtful, and enable you get into your creative flow.

What would you add to the list? 

Be well,
Tammy

My Morning ViewP. S. My Morning View: An iPhone Photography Project about Gratitude, Grief & Good Coffee was released last week!

You can help with the book launch by:

  • Sharing this post with friends, family, and on social media sites.
  • If you are inclined, and have the time, please leave a book review on amazon.
  • If you are a blogger and want to interview me about the book, send me a note: [email protected]
1 Paul R March 24, 2014

I started tracking my steps last June and keep a record. Not unexpectedly I do more walking on the weekends. I ended 2013 with an averaged of 4623 steps a day. Just under my goal of 5,000, but I’m trying to increase that this year. That included a period when I didn’t have a car for 3 weeks, it was being painted as a result of a minor accident and I didn’t want to pay for a rental. But it also includes four days when I was sick. I was surprised to see that even though I spent most of the day sleeping. Just getting around the house and scooping the catbox and cooking, I usually did 500 to 700 steps. This year I’m only at 3700, but the weather is getting nicer and I should be able to get out more.

Love your blog, thanks for sharing.

2 Teri Clifton March 24, 2014

Ok… I am called out, joyfully. Journal begins again today after a hiatus.
Gratitude always balances my being and I just recently shared that I was glad I knew hard times growing up with a single mom because it made me passionately love very teeny, tiny things. Thanks Tammy, for a continued reminder of the teeny, tiny. :)

3 Sandra Pawula March 24, 2014

Dear Tammy,

I love this idea of creative rituals and how you have established it in a simply way. This gives me wonderful food for thought!

4 Dena March 24, 2014

Walking seems to be a theme here. I too am working on a weekly step goal and once the weather warms up for good I’ll be making it a consistent part of my week.

5 crystal March 24, 2014

Love it. I’ll be sharing a link on my tumblr as it relates so much to my current project. I’m a worrier too and this stuff helps! XX.

6 Amy March 24, 2014

I’m working on trying to wake up earlier to get in all the things I’d like to do! Right now I wake up with enough time to shower, get ready, and eat a quick breakfast. I’d love time to add a morning walk (my goal is also 10,000 steps) and who knows what else!

7 Sabrina March 25, 2014

I just recently started to create something like a morning routine. Before I just got out of bed, switched on the computer, ate breakfast and wasted my time surfing mindless until it was time to start working (and as I don’t have fixed working times I wasted a lot of time!).
Now I try to write, drink a cup of green tea, practice yoga for a few minutes (just 5-10 minutes make such a difference on how I feel!) and meditate before switching on the computer and / or start working. It feels so much better having done something for my mind and my body before I go out into the world!
In the evening I usually take a foot bath with magnesium (calms me down and helps with migraines), write a few sentences in my journal and do a short meditation before I go to bed. I sleep much better when I take the time to do this!
I too try to walk 10000 steps a day, but it’s really hard. Usually I do about 7000 steps, but I have to take at least a short walk to reach that number. When I stay at home the whole day I do about 3000 steps (in this case it helps not to live in a tiny house!). On weekends I sometimes go on a longer hike, and then I sometimes do 20000 steps or more.
I just recently got a tarot card deck (I use the Vision Quest card deck which is beautiful. Most traditional tarot card decks scare me!) and I am learning to work with the cards. But that’s not part of my daily routine (yet).
The best thing: I don’t need extra time to do all of this. My morning routine is done during the time that I wasted surfing the internet, I take my footbath while watching TV or reading, and the time I spend for my meditation in the evening is well invested as I fall asleep much quicker than without it! It get’s tricky while travelling, but usually I can fit in a short meditation and some yoga. I just have to remind myself that these 15 minutes are well spent and will improve my whole day!
What really helped me to change my morning routine was Courtney Carvers microcourse. I hope it’s OK to mention it here!

8 Tammy Strobel March 25, 2014

I loved reading your comment! You inspire me. I should have mentioned Courtney’s course in my post. I’m a huge fan of her work and e-courses. :)

9 Sabrina March 26, 2014

Thanks, Tammy! I get so much inspiration from your blog, it feels good to give a little bit back :)

10 Neens March 25, 2014

I’ve been trying to work out a daily ritual for myself for months (I just haven’t blogged about it yet as I want to be able to stick to it before I share it)! I just spent an hour tweaking it yesterday, to find the time to do a bit of writing every morning (I took your writing course last year). Funnily enough, my new ‘draft’ includes a lot of the same elements as yours does (just swap the coffee for tea and the tarot cards for angel cards, lol!). I’ve never really had a routine, but always wanted one. I am a freelancer working from home and with clients all over the world that also means I can have deadlines at any hour of the day, so it is difficult to do the same tasks at roughly the same time every day. But I’m determined to find a way, so thank you very much for this timely inspiration!

11 Tammy Strobel March 25, 2014

Neens – You can do it! Maybe you should blog about your struggle to find a daily ritual that works. I think other folks would relate and it might be a great way to hold yourself accountable. :)

12 Neens March 25, 2014

Thank you, Tammy – that’s a good idea, I think I might do that! I forgot to mention that I’m also doing the 10,000 steps a day challenge. You’ve inspired me to write a blog post on that as well! And now I’m off out to walk my dog – and add some more steps to my step counter. :)

13 Justt Joe March 25, 2014

Bought it this morning, have that cup on me. :)

14 Tammy Strobel March 25, 2014

Thank you so much!

15 Sylvie March 25, 2014

dear Tammy, thanks for posting really inspiring articles! I love this idea of morning rituals. They give indeed some courage, so line to go on with projects, they comfort and keep us steady. You inspire me also!

16 Amber Marie March 25, 2014

I love your adjectives! “Zippy” and “woo-woo”…I’m going to have to find sentences for these fun guys today!

I’m very interested in the tarot cards. It’s really neat that they serve as journal prompts. I need something like that to get my writing going better.

17 kyenne March 25, 2014

I love the coherence of your morning practice.. I’ve been working with TWU deck as well for similar reasons, and in honor of that synergy I ordered some Northbound Coffee today – it will be hard to beat some of my local roasters (Ristretto and Portland Roasting) and change is good. Thank you for consistently inspiring and thought provoking writing.

18 Sharle Kinnear March 25, 2014

Hi Tammy! I just wrote a review on Amazon for your new book! I received it on Saturday, and I loved every bit of it . . . I am sure it will inspire many others as it has me . . . to pick up a camera and a coffee mug and record the beauty of the everyday miracles we witness around us. I love the idea of ritual and routine as a tool for creativity. Can’t think of anything to add . . . for me the important thing is to get outside, leave the cocoon of my warm home, and immerse myself in nature. To be sure, there is inspiration to be found indoors, but there are also chores and walls . . . outdoors, one can just BE, without thinking about the minutea of must dos. I look forward to your posts, Tammy, and I always find something in your words or photos to jump start my day. Thanks so very much!

19 Tammy Strobel March 25, 2014

Sharle – Thank you for buying my book and for leaving a review on amazon. I sincerely appreciate it.

I loved your comment. I’m about to go for a long walk. I need to get out of the tiny house. :)

20 Joseph Townend March 25, 2014

I like all your ideas and the rituals as you call them. I also like to walk 10,000 steps a day and use my pedometer to check this. I usually catch a bus to somewhere safe and walk the way back. This varies the scenery for me and I see new places that way. When I am walking I try to be self aware and mindful of my surrondings. I do not have any headphones and listen to any music. I like to hear the noises around me.and be fully concious of my surroundings.

21 lucent imagery March 25, 2014

Tammy I love this post. I too am an avid walker and find it balances me, inspires me, relaxes me and lifts me so much. After a traumatic event in January I am not walking as much again just YET, and I miss it. But I’m taking the steps physically and metaphorically towards striding out again with confidence. I don’t have a set ritual of sorts but definitely some patterns. I usually like to do some housework first so that when I sit down to create it feels like a luxurious time out knowing that the essentials are done.

22 Terry Chandler March 25, 2014

Hi Tammy:
Thanks for sharing everything and welcoming everyone! I really am enjoying your blog and am inspired by your simple life.
Over a year ago I sold my car and vowed to walk more. I’m semi-successful with that goal. I’ve also started blogging and would love to blog about you and your lifestyle.

Who, what, where, when, how and why are the five one word questions I’d like you to answer. That’s what good journalists ask, and then I’ll share on my word press blog.

Sound good? Let’s get this show on the road then?

Thanks!
Terry

23 Calvin Koepke March 27, 2014

Hi there!

Stumbled across your blog from a friend of mine. I love that you the first thing you do is make a cup of coffee every morning. I do the same thing, but want to make it a little more of a time of reflection, than just cramming some beans into a cup.

Personally, I love using my AeroPress. It takes a bit longer (though pretty fast compared to some forms), but makes the BEST coffee in the world.

Thanks for this post!

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