When a day off feels empty: 10 days of Intention. Day 4

4 Jan 2021

I’ve got one whole week left before I go back to work. It is glorious + amazing. And I am so very grateful. So, why in the hell did I wake this morning with a sense of restlessness + an irritating inability to relax. Why did I have Monday anxiety today? As I made my coffee, I found myself pacing in the kitchen, confused by my thoughts + feelings. Instead of feeling like I had a whole, long, unplanned day off in front of me, I felt like I had a frighteningly empty day ahead of me. How would I use it? What would I do? What did I want to do? What did I need to do? My thoughts were running wild + all I wanted was to soak up the morning. But it all felt so weird + unsettling.

Well, of course that made me irritated at myself. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. I don’t know if I have ever felt such anxiety about having an empty day off. Normally I have a long list of things that I want to do, things that I finally have time to do. Photos to take, things to write, time to really meditate, food to cook, Netflix to watch. But, none of those things appealed to me. Or, actually all of it appealed to me. But, I felt some weird sense of guilt or worry or wonder if I should do any of those things.

So, I took my cup of coffee + stood by the window for a while. Just gazing. Trying to land in my thoughts + calm my spirit. I then decided to go snuggle myself on the sofa and write in my journal. It took a while, but I finally opened my book, picked up my pen, and began putting my thoughts to paper. I had no super amazing breakthroughs or revelations, but I did understand a few things.

I think that I am missing discipline in my life. Ever since right before Christmas, I have not had a focused ritual for my mornings. I have had no real daily ritual, in fact, for the past 2 weeks. And, clearly that does not work for me. Once I realized this, I should have gotten up off my ass + meditated or pulled some cards or something that I usually do. But, I didn’t.

And, now that I am sitting here, writing this, I am struck with that revelation I was missing this morning. What if those rituals that I’ve been practicing lately are not what I need or want right now? What if I’ve outgrown the rituals of 2020? And, then, I had a whole new thought: What if my new ritual is this evening blogging?

A new year means that we can release + let go of everything that is not working for us from the previous year. There is no rule that says that I have to meditate, pull oracle cards, use crystals, or whatever the hell I have been doing for years. Yes, those practices are grounding and inspiring. But, I am beginning to wonder if it is time for me to change up my morning rituals + practices. Maybe it’s even time to shift my grounding practices from the morning to the evening.

No matter when I engage in whatever soul-inspiring practice I choose, I know that these rituals are the grounding + anchoring bookmarks of my day. And, as I mentioned, since being on holiday vacation, I’ve abandoned my rituals. All except for that first cup of coffee. At first, ritual-less mornings felt freeing. A chance to just do whatever I felt in the moment. Sit in the dark, write, read. Whatever slow, quiet, contemplative practice that felt right at the time. So, I suppose I didn’t abandon them altogether, I just went with the flow, choosing whatever fit my mood or the day.

And, while that felt feeling for a while, it is finally clear to me that my soul craves discipline again.

The question is… what practices speak to my soul in 2021? What rituals will anchor me and leave me feeling inspired + not weighed down, filled up + not empty. Are they the same ones that I have used for a few years now? Are they a return to practices, such as prayer + reading, from10-15 years ago? Are they new rituals + practices that I haven’t tried or even thought of yet?

I have to say that, at least during the days that I have off from work, the ritual of blogging at night seems to be working for me. Who knows if this will hold true once I return to work next week. But, by writing this down, I have processed all of those empty feelings I had this morning. So, clearly something about this 4 day evening ritual feels right right now.

What I think I may want to do tomorrow morning when I wake is to explore in depth rituals + practices that speak to my soul. To really, really take the time to drop into those moments that not only ground me, but inspire me. Those practices that give me a sense of alignment, when I know that I am in tune with my true self + in rhythm with the moments of my days.

My Monday got decidedly better as the day went on. I realized that I needed to be more present than I was when I first woke up. I released the holiday vibes and allowed my soul to settle into a regular early January day. And I told myself to let go of any thoughts about returning to work next Monday. I have 6 whole days left of And, I reminded myself to breathe through any moments of feeling empty. Instead, I focused on resting, preparing soup, wandering in the backyard, feeling the crisp, snowy air, napping, and laughing with my love.

It turned out to be a very cozy day. And, as it now comes to a close, I feel a sense of balance + stability again. A return to a calm, a focus on the present. And an empty soul that is not frightened, but eagerly ready to be filled with inspiration, love, and possibility. Turns out that 2021 may be my return to more discipline in an effort to find more freedom.

Before I go, I’d love to pick your brain on whatever daily rituals or practices you have. Feel free to leave me a comment + share with me what you do (or what you wish you did) to stay grounded + present. As I said, tomorrow I’m going to be really diving deep into thinking about creating new rituals + practices for myself, and I may not have thought of everything. So if you have any ideas at all, I’d love to hear them!

Goodnight, loves. xoxo. liz.

(don’t forget to share some rituals/disciplines/practices you think might be good ones to consider). xx


  • Reply Beckett Stabile 5 Jan 2021 at 15:40

    Great reminder Liz! Being on empty allows you to have space to fill up your souls in a positive way.

    Sunday mornings, before the house wakes, my ritual is time spent alone. In a noisy home of children and pets, I need the peace and tranquillity to fill me up for the week!

    • Reply Liz 5 Jan 2021 at 21:34

      That sounds like just the perfect time to have to yourself. It’s so important, I think, to try to carve out some filling up time! Thanks so much for sharing. xo

  • Reply Arlene Hanratty 5 Jan 2021 at 16:24

    Thanks for sharing Liz. I found your blog last year after I did a search for Mintakan (it was card I picked at a cacaco ceremony and your blog totally resonated with me) I’ve been following you since! I love your slow conscious ‘living with the seasons’ mind and heart set. It’s been a pleasure to read your blogs. I’ve learned a lot about myself and you, which is wonderfully strange in these modern times. Thank you very much for your time and energy. Congratulations on 10 years blogging.

    I’m a new yoga teacher and I’m exploring the deeper, richer practices of the 8 limbs of yoga (not just the physical asana practice) such as the yamas and niyamas (social and personal ethics) mediation, and pranyama (breathing techniques). Like you, routine is important to me so I’ve started to get up at 530am to meditate, chant and practice asana so that I can do all the other things ‘I need to do’ for the rest of the day! What I’ve realised is, I ‘need to do’ those practices/rituals as well. They are so grounding and inspiring for me. I was introduced to chanting when I did my training in India and although I sing like a frog and felt very self conscious, now I can chant on my own in another room, while my husband sleeps. Better way to start the day for both of us! Of course, somedays, I choose not to get up that early but when I do, it’s usually worth it. Stay safe + wishing you peace and good health.

    • Reply Liz 5 Jan 2021 at 21:38

      Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for your comment – for sharing how you found me and your thoughts on rituals and routines. I am totally with you… I’m almost always up before my wife so I can have that time to meditate, sometimes I chant too (but it’s been a while, so that’s a great thing to add back in!), and do some light yoga. I would absolutely LOVE to hear more about your yoga journey – and your training in India. I have an intention to take a meditation-focused trip to India at some point. Thanks, again for your comment! So great to “meet” you! Blessings to you. xo

      • Reply Arlene Hanratty 6 Jan 2021 at 15:55

        Thanks Liz, lovely to meet you too.

        I did my training with Himalaya Yoga Valley in Goa. If you or friend ever want to do a 200hr level one course for one month, I highly recommend it. Lots of students do the training just for the expereince, not becuase they want to teach so it’s not just for teachers (although the cirrculim is a very high standard for teachers) It’s intensive… 6 days a week, 12 hrs a day starting with 6am meditation in the shala (so beautiful to experince a group mediation before the sun comes up with the birds chirping all around) silent mornings till 11am (all day silent on Thursdays), lots of lectures and asana practice and a few projects. One of the students then went onto Rishikesh to do a course in Yoga Nidra and mediation and she said it was excellent. I believe It’s a very popular destination for mediation courses.

        I hope that you can someday make the trip to India. It was one of the best things I’ve done (the other was coming to Ireland from San Francisco to do a Masters in Women’s Studies at Trinity college. That was 28 years ago!) So like you, I’m an American abroad and glued to the TV with all the election stuff going on. 🙂

        Enjoy your rituals, whatever, they may be. xo

  • Reply kate1975 6 Jan 2021 at 13:17

    Hi Liz,
    One thing I love to do is connect to the element water. Water is my element and very fluid and changing and perhaps would not feel grounding to others. I have two friends who are more connected to air, one who is strongly connected to lightning. So I guess it works best with the strongest element someone is connected or attracted to.
    I close my eye and think of the nearest body of water, which is the Mississippi river. I relax and breathe slow and feel the flow of the water.
    Good and healing thoughts to yous.

    • Reply Liz 6 Jan 2021 at 14:47

      I never considered focusing on the element I am connected to! What a brilliant idea, Kate. 🙂 I’m an air girl myself, which makes so much sense to me right now since I always feel so connected and grounded when I practice deep breathing. This is most definitely a practice, an element of my spirituality that I need to tap into more. Thank you for your insight!

      And just thinking about your flowing water made me feel such calm and peace. xoxo

      • Reply kate1975 8 Jan 2021 at 07:23

        Being a Minneapolis homegrown girl, I think the Mississippi River is the best! The photo on my blog is in the 3rd Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi.

        Thanks for letting me know it you were going to practice your elemental connection. It is not at all surprising to me that you have a connection to air. My two other friends who share an air connection share some basic similarities to you. ☺

        Good and healing thoughts to yous.


  • Reply Calling in calm + gentle energy: 10 days of Intention. Day 6. - be love live 14 Feb 2021 at 12:00

    […] thing that has become completely obvious to me is that, as I mentioned a few days ago, I need discipline. I crave discipline. A practice that is not only the foundation of my life, but also of my day. I […]

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