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I am finding this rhythm of coffee and conversation and writing in the morning, followed by an afternoon of mala making. Giving myself this balance of time with others in a place that feels like an extension of home and time by myself in a place that has long been where I live and is slowly and steadily beginning to feel like home has been deeply nourishing for myself and for my work.

Finding a rhythm amidst inconsistency can be challenging. It involves more creative planning, more self-compassion, and more flexibility.

When I worked my last job for someone other than myself, my days were guided by reports that needed to be run and orders that needed to be placed at certain times. There was a lot of structure with a touch of flexibility. It often felt suffocating.

I left that job to create my own business and found that the freedom and open-ended flexibility felt suffocating in a different way. Instead of feeling boxed in, I felt at times like there was nothing to grasp, nothing to anchor myself to. I did not do well in those early years with creating the needed structure for myself.

I think in some ways it has taken me seven and a half years and some significant shifts in the work that I do to begin to feel a sense of rhythm amidst inconsistency.

The rituals that have guided me for the last few years, the ones that are steady standards in my day – morning pages and lemon water, have made room for other rituals to begin to take root, and they are tangible reminders that it can take time for rituals to become deeply embedded in who we have become.

It is these rituals that bring me back to what I was talking to you about last week – what matters, and how we get to the heart of that.

In the flux of day-to-day life, it can be difficult to find enough quiet within and around you to actually tune in and recognize what matters. I sit here writing to you in a coffee shop that is louder than usual, and it took some time for the noise to settle into the background. When I first arrived, I could not hear myself think. Many of us live our entire lives like this – the noise coming from the world around us, and also from within.

We may think something matters to us, and then we begin to doubt whether it does or doesn’t, or question whether it really matters to us or if we take it on for someone else. We can get lost and tripped up as we try to figure out what matters, and before we know it, we feel like a tangled mess. We’ve added more static and clutter to the situation instead of climbing towards clarity.

Clarity comes. For anything to come, we need to create the container, we have to invite it in, we have to welcome it.

This is what I do with the morning pages. The journal and the time I set aside for the practice are the container. I invite the words to show up. Sometimes it is simply the mush that is in my mind at the moment. Sometimes there are seeds that make their way onto the page that get nourished and sometimes they thrive and grow. And they wouldn’t even exist if I had not created a container for them.

When we are committed to diving into the process of discovering what really matters, we first create the container.

Once we’ve created the container, we get the joy of filling it with what we choose.