Tag Archives: water

My Daily Rituals for a Meaningful Life

March 18, 2018

Culture and Society / Intention / Piano / Reading Will Save the World

I have a lot of goals and dreams in my life, and I am cultivating daily rituals to help me accomplish them.  These are incremental steps that I take on a regular basis to help me get further along in my goals. They may not seem like much, but in the overall scheme of my life, they make a huge impact.

Here are my daily rituals that I try to live by:

1. Drink lots of water every day in the morning.

One of the first things I try to do after waking up is drink one or two glasses of water. I also have coffee in the morning, but water is absolutely essential. After six to eight hours of sleeping in bed, your body needs nourishment. This is also an easy way to wake up and refresh your internal organs after a long night of sleep.

2. I make my bed after I get up every morning.

This happens immediately after I get up. Not only does this make my bedroom look more orderly and calm, but it makes coming home later in the day more pleasant. My bed is my sanctuary, and if it looks clean and cared for, it becomes a much more inviting oasis. Coming home to a messy, unkempt bed is a lot less pleasant.

3. I write every day.

These days, I have created numerous opportunities to write in my daily life. What I mean by “write” is the exercise of composing my thoughts clearly and expressively on paper or on my computer.  I have the options of writing for an assignment at school, in my daily journal, my blog, or for a post on social media. Usually, all or at least one of these options is available. I have found this to be the best way to learn how to communicate. If you can write well, you can speak well. These skills are valuable in any situation.

4. I play music every day.

I am passionate about performing music, and it is a lifelong pursuit no matter where I am or what I am up to. I know how to play the piano, the cello, and the ukulele. The piano takes up the lion’s share of my music time, but I love the contrast that the two other instruments create. Playing music engages my mind and body in a way that feels effortless, fun, and creative. Whether I am learning a cover song, writing one of my own, practicing several pieces from my original catalog, or just making stuff up, the act of using my body to syphon music out into the world is extremely fulfilling.

5. I spend time with my cat every day.

I am an animal lover at heart and a cat person. I try to spend at least 15 minutes of my time just focused on my cat Steinway. Cuddling and petting are the main activities, and these are moments when I can extend my attention to something other than myself. It works out best whenever I get home from school at the end of the day. He is often ready to purr and give me numerous cat kisses if I lie down to greet him. The affection from an animal that loves you unconditionally is healing and comforting.

6. I express gratitude outwardly every day.

I say out loud something for which I am thankful. Usually, my partner and I ask each other what we are thankful for every morning. This is a daily practice for us, and I also say “Thank you” to people as much as possible.  When you cultivate thankfulness, you become aware of the abundance in your life. This is as close to happiness as I have found on a daily basis.

7. Read a minimum of 20 pages of a book every day.

Let’s do some math. If you read at least 20 pages of a book every day, that amounts to 7,300 pages. Let’s say the average book is 300 pages long. After a year, you will have read about 24 books. There are people who have not even read that many books in a lifetime.  Reading not only exercises your mind and fine tunes  your comprehension skills, but it invites new ideas and sensibilities into your mental vocabulary.  You can learn something new, laugh, cry, and be enlightened through reading books.

Again, these daily rituals may not seem like much, but for myself, here is the big picture:

1. I want to live a long life in good health. Water sustains everything on this earth. It also sustains me.

2. I want to have mental and emotional well-being. Caring for a pet, having a safe and clean place to rest, and continually being grateful are the building blocks  for a strong heart and mind.

3. I want to be an accomplished musician. Playing music every day strengthens my musical muscles.

4. I want to write a book someday and be an articulate and effective communicator. Reading allows me to learn how others communicate, and writing as a daily practice helps me express my ideas better. Like everything else in life, practice makes you better and stronger.

If you have a goal in your life or something that you deeply value, look for ways that you can integrate them into your daily existence. Weave them into the fabric of your life and watch how they can make you stronger, more focused, and more aware.

The goal becomes the process, and this is always good.

-Roqué

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The Life Lessons I Have Learned

February 25, 2018

Intention

If you’re going to take the time to read what I have to write , then I need to share information that might be helpful to you, and this week, I want to share a couple of life lessons I have learned. These are important concepts and intentions that have helped to shape who I am and how I go about my day. I have many lessons to share, but today, here are two worth noting.

Lesson #1: Generally, endlessly staring  at a screen is addictive and adds less value to your life.

Television, mobile phones, and tablets cultivate a passive existence. Staring at a tv or binging on Netflix may be hugely entertaining, and watching movies can offer a break from a stressful reality.  However, doing countless hours of it leads to a passive and sedentary life. Every minute that passes by while you stare at a screen takes away time that could be spent having a conversation with a friend or loved one or actively doing creative work that you love.

In my case, I gave up on cable television many years ago. I decided to prioritize everything else over watching tv. The benefits of this have far outweighed the losses. Sure, I became unaware of the latest shows, plot lines, and movies, but it meant that I got to focus on my music and art. It meant that I got to cultivate a clean and beautiful home. It meant that I could take a luxurious nap or a walk outside. Television is a window that lets you stare passively out into the world. I would rather open a door, walk outside, and explore the world myself.

For many of us, this would be a difficult transition to make. The best way that helped me was to cut off the distraction from the source. Ending my cable subscription not only saved me money, but it created a barrier against hours of passive, sedentary, and addictive television. I have applied this mentality to anything that forces me to fixate my attention onto a screen. I limit my time on Facebook and Instagram to no more than 15 minutes each per day. This means I do not get caught in an endless comment loop or argument, and I gain valuable time to focus on time-sensitive work or long-term goals.

I am not saying that all television and passive entertainment is evil. I do allow myself to watch a movie or binge on Netflix once in a blue moon as a way to relax, but I aggressively go for moderation with the knowledge of how addictive all of it is. I impose time-limits, and I stick to them.

Lesson #2: Drinking a lot of water is one act that provides multiple benefits.

I have made it a habit every day to drink as much water as I can. At school, I carry a water bottle that I fill up when ever it gets empty. At home, I drink water in the morning and before I go to bed at night. Here are the benefits that I have discovered from drinking water:

  • It helps with the flow of food digestion in your body.
  • It rids your body of toxins.
  • It helps you to stay full longer and to eat less during a meal.
  • It helps your skin stay hydrated and prevents dryness.
  • It gives you a boost of energy and minimizes lethargy.
  • Its lack of sugar and salt means that it does not negatively impact your blood sugar or blood pressure like other drinks do.
  • It makes you feel refreshed and is a way to cleanse and invigorate your body on the inside (the way taking a shower can do so on the outside.)There may be countless more ways that drinking lots of water improves your well being, but I have enjoyed these particular benefits in my life.

The one complaint I have heard from people about drinking water is that it makes you urinate a lot. I would agree that it does; however, taking the time to pee offers a momentary break in your day to relax, breathe, and let go. This is what I do when the opportunity presents itself, and it has turned out to be a great way to help me stay present and focused throughout the day.

Also, wherever I go, I make a mental note to know where the bathrooms are. Holding it in too long is uncomfortable and not good for your body.

There you have it. These are two simple life lessons I follow that have offered exponential value on multiple levels to my life. Avoid and/or restrict addictive media on any screen (tv, mobile, etc.), and drink water many times a day.

Thank you for reading, and if you find any of this helpful, I hope it leads to a more wholesome and worthwhile existence.

-Roqué

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