When Routines – and Ritual – Change


This past while has been very full. Full of autumn’s splendor. Full of work and teaching. Full of change.

Changes in routine and ritual bring challenges . . . and blessings.

See, I love routine—and ritual. Thrive on them, really.

But since the start of fall term at the Chinese Medicine school where I teach, those look quite different than what came before.

Monday through Friday now go this way:

  • We rise at 4:30am, allowing a small space of time for Tibetans (a yogic breath and movement practice) and dark-roast mate before heading to 5:30am Crossfit or doing a home yoga practice.
  • At 6:30am, whether coming from Crossfit or home, I jump into a freezing cold, stunningly gorgeous glacial lake. That is my shower. The passenger seat of my Mini is my changing room, where I dress for school.
  • Randy then drops me at a nearby coffee shop with my bags of books. Unthawing from the lake, I sip bulletproof coffee at a secluded table towards the back, sometimes reading about pharmacology of Chinese herbs…sometimes practicing Chinese characters.
  • Around 7:50am, I walk to school in the thin morning light, taking in mountains and sky…remembering similar walks as a student.
  • From 8am until evening (usually 5:30-6pm), I teach. My lunch is small and packed from home…too rushed for my liking…sometimes paired with another bulletproof coffee.
  • Schools days are Full. On.
  • Classes done, Randy comes to fetch me. We drive straight to the lake for a second dip, bookending the day…clearing body and mind.
  • Next comes Home, with a gloriously hot shower, gentle yoga, dinner, and a novel (making my way through a series about a school for magicians). Then bed.

Weekends are different too.

  • For one thing, they are now when I see my own clients.
  • For another, they are when Randy and I eat together, resuming our cherished dinnertime ritual. He dines earlier than me on weeknights, wisely choosing to prioritize an early bedtime on account of our 4:30am wake-up. I’d do the same if I were able…but need time to decompress with yoga, reading and such.
  • Weekend mornings, we enjoy beautiful hikes…followed by full days together. This makes our cats immensely happy too.

So. The new line-up has meant big shifts in routine.

It has also meant creating new rituals . . . and finding new places of spaciousness, steadiness and ease.

While weekend mornings still look like this…

Weekday bulletproof now goes this way…

While weekend evenings still mean shared meals…


Other evenings now look this way…

Sometimes these shifts are really hard.

But they also carry blessings.

For one thing, the changes make me fully appreciate the little things…and the big ones.


For another, they signify places of focus, learning and growth.

I am an introvert through and through, and my own work with clients is usually one-on-one.

I never expected to be teaching—and even loving it!


Plus, amidst it all, I’ve found new ways to keep some things constant…making space for: 

  • Nourishing food and movement
  • Connecting with my partner (and our beloved little ones)
  • Remembering—and celebrating—what’s truly important

And you? What do you do when cherished routines change?

How do you create new rituals…hold fast to what’s dearest…and perhaps discover new gifts? I’d love to hear in the comments!

. . .
Need help creating routines and rituals of your own? Ones that truly support and nourish you?
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