Ritual of Roses

Tuning into Life.

Do you at times, look at your kids and think that clichéd statement “where did the time go?” Do you ever look at your parents and think, “They are getting so old and frail, I wonder how much more life is left in them?” Do you find that you hardly ever slow down and if you do, you tend to use coping mechanisms, such as alcohol to numb all that is within your head? I’m quite certain you can all relate to this mutual problem amongst us. We work hard, we parent, we volunteer, upkeep social schedules, as well as the variety of other responsibilities. The fact that we’re hooked up to our laptops, smart-phones, smart-watches and other technology that keeps us immersed into our over pressured mind, how do you suppose we ever have a moment to ‘Stop and smell the Roses’ that self-help guru’s talk endlessly about. We are all in this pressure cooker about to burst. We all are on this high of doing more, fitting more in and looking at our never-ending ‘to do’ list and thinking “how the bleep am I ever going to do all of this.”

It’s an absolute fact that tomorrow can never be given back to us, the last hour has passed and is a memory already. We all here that statement, ‘Stop and smell the Roses,” but how many of us at present, have the time to do that, or even remember to do it. This simple life lesson is so essential, especially within this current era of our over-worked, plugged-in lifestyles. I was reminded of this, just this week.

On Monday, I jumped into my Uber drivers front seat, passenger side and in my 17- minute ride to the airport, he reminded me of his version of ‘smell the roses.’ He explained his desire to home school his youngest daughter, as opposed to her having her attend regular public education. Homeschooling is something I do not judge however, I’ve never been able to comprehend it, perhaps it’s because in Canada, where I was born and raised, we never had that option. Looking at it from an analytical, academic perspective, I never quite understood it. I posed some questions to see if he could enlighten me and he did. His point was purely that, his daughter is 15 and the youngest of 5. The others were off to college and he wanted to keep her around and savor the time he had left, as he knew that once she embarked into young adulthood, he would never get this time back again. He didn’t want to regret that he didn’t do more, as he apparently felt with his other children, due to his hectic corporate life. He also decided to ease his work load for a few years as well, create flexibility to see her more, and be there more. He liked taking her to her extra curriculum activities and mostly being present for her everyday life and important milestones. Prior to this adjustment in his life, he was overworked, stressed out and unable to be there for his other children. Something that really ate him up inside as a real regret. They are all grown and don’t necessarily need him anymore however, when they did need him the most, he was too busy.

Now I’m not saying let’s all homeschool our children or quit our jobs but, my intent is to remind each and everyone of us, to savor the time in any form or fashion. Just like you brush your teeth in the morning, or make that daily workout, or perhaps you take your puppy out for a walk at 6 pm, those daily rituals are habits. You know you need to do them so you just do. I encourage you to add one more item, a “Ritual of Roses.” Do something daily that reminds you of the essence of life.

For me it’s taking a daily morning walk, for 30 minutes, I breathe in fresh air, and I get right into nature. To me, nature is this amazing process that gets me into a space of remembrance of who I am, where I came from and that everything is purely nature. All the photosynthesis going on around me, the natural raw earth and the chirping birds as well as the morning sun peeking through the Spanish Moss trees, it’s my form of “smelling the roses.” It makes me forget and get in tune with myself and my life. It brings me to my authentic self and reminds me to carry forth with gratitude. It fills me up with an abundance of ‘good-things.’

If I don’t do this, I get consumed. Consumed with parenting, life responsibilities, work, technology skimming, and I can’t seem to get away from the world we create. This leads to over-consumed feelings, which lead to me needing a release, and I tend to reach for a glass wine. Once that alcohol leaves my body, its back to where I was. A temporary fix not a real true fix. We need to transition our minds into thinking of a long-term, complete, contentment type, of ritual in order to combat these overwhelmed feelings. For me the purity of nature reminds me of so much and unplugs me, fills me with raw, soul energy. It’s an inner peacefulness that takes you away from feeling so full, full of stress.

Stop and smell the roses can come in different forms for you. Your own personal way. For the Uber driver it was him cutting back and home schooling his youngest daughter and being much more present. For me it’s walking and reminding myself of nature, it brings me back to the simplicity of the simplicity of life. For you it may be a different kind of roses moment, it could be stopping at a point in your day and placing a daily call your mom because she may not be there tomorrow and you can’t get yesterday back. Perhaps it’s a daily text message to someone you love, expressing your gratitude, love or appreciation. Maybe it’s a long drive in the opposite direction of traffic, to a different spot to have a brief time to reflect. It can be just sitting quietly in your car and reading a personal statement to remind yourself of something that makes you feel content. We all have something that utterly does something for our soul. I encourage you to find it, and set it on your smart phone reminder, as a daily ritual, and perhaps twice a day to make you feel extremely full.

Doing this just simply once is not sufficient, it won’t do much for you. Making this apart of your daily ritual is what will actually create a change within you. It’s a habit that you will crave and desire once you start it. It will encourage good thoughts, bring your mind at ease and most importantly contentment for your soul.

Watching life pass you by and wondering where it all went, the only memory is the stress of work and balancing it all, is no passage of life, by any means.

Being a bystander in your own life is not an option. Make this into a daily ritual and watch how much it will do for you.