What's Your Ritual?

The setting It’s 5:30am on a Saturday morning and I couldn’t be more excited. Armed with a coffee cup, a thermos, a tape recorder, and a towel, I ease myself into the bubbling hot tub sitting out on my back deck.  It’s maybe 20-degrees and the steam from the tub fills the air, partially blocking the incredible orange glow of the sun rising over the Colorado Mountains. If there’s a heaven, I think to myself, this has got to be what it’s like!

The purpose

My Saturday morning ritual (what I call the “hot tub session”) is the most important “me-time” that I have all week. It’s my time to reflect, to brainstorm, to plan, and to appreciate life. It’s the place where I reintroduce myself to my purpose and my passion. It’s where I am as authentic as I can possibly be.

The props

Although I love my morning coffee, probably the most important prop for my hot tub session is the tape recorder. Why? Because I can record all my meaningful thoughts, insights and brainstorming ideas immediately, in a free flow manner, which then feeds the next thought and the next thought, etc. By the end of a typical hour-long hot tub session, I usually end up with 30-minutes worth of great stuff on tape. In fact, some of my best decisions and ideas over the past ten years have come from my Saturday morning hot tub sessions. Sometimes I’ll even hold off on thinking through a difficult or challenging situation during the week until I can address it in the hot tub.

What if you don’t have a hot tub?

If you don’t have a hot tub sitting out back, then find the next best thing. The idea here is for you to create your own weekly ritual place. It could be on a park bench…or sitting in your car overlooking the ocean…or at a table in the back of Starbucks. Either way, find a comfortable space where you can sit and reflect for at least an hour of uninterrupted time.

If you do end up going somewhere in public, you may want to pass on using a tape recorder…I’m just saying…

Begin by…

I begin my reflection time by stating all the things I’m most grateful for. Then, if there is something I particularly want to think through during this hot tub session, I’ll pose it as either a question or as a request (to the Universe). I do this so that my subconscious mind can begin working on it while my conscious mind stays in the present. If I don’t have anything in particular that I want to think about, then I’ll simply allow my mind to go wherever it wants.

If you don’t already have your own version of this ritual, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of making time each week where you can do some self-coaching and reflection by yourself. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

Now I just have to figure out how to do this on a daily basis.