She drives down the dark road heading for the beach on Puget Sound. She parks her car, walks across the beach and finds five friends standing in the dark at the edge of the water. They leave their coats and towels on the beach and together plunge into the 48 degree water for a morning dip, no wet suits. She keeps saying…”it’s all in my mind” and her body adjusts to the cold water. An invitation 4 months ago to join this group has now become a non-negotiable morning ritual. The cold water, time with friends, watching the morning sunrise while in the water has become a joyful way to start the day. It has replaced the morning work email check and rush to the office. It’s a nonnegotiable ritual for these 6 women. What is your nonnegotiable ritual?
Cold water, nature, and friendships are building mental resiliency for these women. The mindset of it’s “just my mind” enables them to conquer the cold water physically but also other challenges that occur in their day. This mindset has become a tool for navigating the twists and turns of daily living.
Nonnegotiable rituals can be used to start, finish, and/or end our days. It can be an activity, a reading, a practice, or a pause. You will know you have your nonnegotiable when you body, mind and spirit expects it, wants it, longs for it and really misses it if you skip it. Some people find that if they skip their nonnegotiable, other parts of their day just don’t go that well.
So take moment….what is your nonnegotiable? Are you holding fast to it? Can you block off the time in your calendar so it doesn’t slip away from you? Can you embrace your nonnegotiable as a pathway to a moment of joy each day?
Listed below are some examples of nonnegotiable rituals. Perhaps you would add others and or like to try one or two for yourself. Either way, this does not have to be a huge time commitment. This is not a should or have to activity. It’s a long for, wanting to activity. Think of it as a way to start your day with joy or end your day with gratitude. Either way, this should be something so delicious, so wonderful that you just don’t want to skip it.
Ideas for NonNegotiable Rituals that Bring Joy
- Bird watching
- Coffee in bed watching the sunrise
- A morning run, bike or swim
- A dog walk
- A weekly coffee/breakfast meet up with a friend.
- A regularly scheduled facetime/zoom/phone call with a close friend
- Yoga or meditation
- Faith practice
- Walk in the woods, on the beach, in the field, in the snow
- Watching sunrise/sunset
- Weekly picnic to a favorite spot
- Game night with family/friend
What’s on your list? Add your nonnegotiable to this post so we can all find something that we are longing for and brings us great joy and mental resiliency.
My Puget Sound swimming friend was told one morning….”If you could only see your face when you are in the water and come out of the water. You are so happy”. You nonnegotiable should bring you that kind of smile.