The Ritual of Shifting Atmospheres by Cathryn Fowler
Sun rays dance through the window and pitter patter into my steaming cup of tea, kind of like magic raindrops bringing in promises of hope and excitement for the day ahead.
It’s morning. My favorite time of the day.
I gaze out the window and my eyes feast on the beauty around me - clusters of trees hugging our little slice of heaven on earth. Our little home. There’s mountain views. There’s a rambling brook. There’s a forest. And there’s our gnome studded garden of nourishment. I love it so much. It’s visual therapy for my soul; it’s my ideal atmosphere to passionately pursue my mission of helping others thrive in happiness and health.
However, it’s not my present.
Presently, my current view is of clusters of buildings hugging our little city apartment. Our little home. There’s no mountain views, no rambling brook, no forest to greet my day. I think it’s rather easy to become so entrapped in our vision of a perfect life, a perfect dream, that we forget to enjoy the process of getting to our destination.
At least, I’ve done that many times; I’ve also saved my “celebrations” for the moments after completing tasks that I’ve deemed “worthy” accomplishments.
But, isn’t the act of living each day presently worthy enough?
Every single person is a breathing miracle! So that’s what rituals are for me, soaking in simple moments of pleasure and joy, moments blissfully and consciously experienced amidst the routine of my daily life, moments in which I am learning to enjoy the process of getting to where I want to be, my dream destination (that will inevitably keep changing as I change).
Rituals are celebrating the moments in-between the triumphant accomplishments; celebrating the fact that I’ve been given life and every single day is a blessing to be celebrated. After all, isn’t life just one big string of stunningly simple and splendid moments of being present?
I would definitely call myself an atmosphere sensitive person. I am extremely affected and attuned to my surroundings, whether it’s the emotions of other people, a stuffy room, or a noisy, over-crowded area. So for me, my rituals are all about calling in heavenly atmospheres of happiness, joy, and peace to my surroundings, my body, and my mind, no matter my physical location.
And yes, this is as simple as enjoying that morning cup of matcha tea, because though it may not be in my ideal atmosphere, my dream forrest nook, it still infuses promises of hope and excitement for the day ahead; it’s ideal in that it brings me joy during the process of getting to where I want to be.
Rituals, to me, are happiness; they are little intentional celebrations peacefully and pleasantly puncturing my daily routine. So without further rambling, here’s a little snippet into my morning routine, my morning happiness.
Moments of gratitude are always first taken while stretching in bed. These are simple moments enjoyed while soaking in the blissful promise of a new day ahead. The key for me during this time is to expect marvelous events to take place during the day. I approach each day with the expectation of miracles.
I personally like to do a workout before breakfast. This helps fire me up for the day ahead. I alternate every morning between kickboxing, HIIT intervals, weight lifting, and plenty of stretching. I sometimes have my most creative thoughts during my intentional movement practices. I like to let my mind wander, and I like to repeat personal mantras for me while doing the exercises.
Sidenote: doing burpees and repeating “I have everything I need to thrive in abundance, happiness, and health,” will really get the blood flowing and get you pumped to conquer the day ahead. Or leave you out of breath…I joke! ;)
After the workout, I enjoy some type of breakfast, which is usually a medicinal herb and mushroom infused chocolate porridge, with the base being grass-fed gelatin, with the addition of lots of green powders, healthy fats, mint, and fresh berries. I crave this every single morning, and it makes me feel my best when I start my day with plenty of water, greens, herbs, protein, and fat. Here’s where that tea comes in too, usually in the form of matcha tea or Pu-erh Tea.
During breakfast, I like to reflect on the day ahead, while soaking in the present taste of every single delicious morsel. I like food a lot, and I especially like the food that likes my body back and equips me with the necessary fuel to thrive in my purpose every day. Food is medicine to me.
After breakfast I go for a walk outside with my pup, and then it’s on to writing for a few minutes.
Most of my life changing atmosphere shifts take place when I work on rituals for my mind. It’s pretty important to start my morning with prayer, reflection, and gratitude, a time of connecting to my source of inspiration and love. I also read my “why” every morning to set my mind frame on the day ahead. This is especially helpful for when the day throws curve balls at you. It’s nice to remember why I’m actually doing what I do. I highly recommend writing out your why and reading it out loud every single day, ideally in the morning to set the tone of the day.
During my morning writing ritual, I try and identify toxic thoughts that continuously bombard my life, and I consciously think of an opposing replacement thought that’s rooted in truth. Those toxic thoughts are merely lies stemming from fear; so it’s an act of deliberately choosing love every morning to fight them. And since love always wins, how can I lose the day ahead?
During my morning, I mull over my healthy replacement thoughts. This daily ritual inevitably grows these thoughts in my mind, which inevitably grows new positive neural pathways in the brain as we now know thanks to the new scientific discoveries in epigenetics. Sometimes my writing session is short, and sometimes it sparks a creative plug that downloads new thoughts and ideas into my brain and I get lost in the flow of the ink and papers. Either way, it’s a very therapeutic and fantastic way to start the day, to set the intentional tone of the day, to expect those miracles to come abounding in the hours ahead.
I think of my rituals like this: It’s like one of those choose your own story books, which story do you want? What ending do you want?
To a considerable extent you’re in control. Flip through each page deliberately and with intention to get to your happy ending. Choose what you put in your body, choose to eat with intention, choose to think the right thoughts.
And that’s what rituals are for me.
They are those wonderful little moments in the day of being fully present and choosing that which will supply my body with everything it needs, that which will supply my soul with everything it needs.
They are the act of choosing to celebrate the moments in-between, choosing to celebrate the process of getting to where I want to be, choosing to celebrate the fact that I’m a breathing miracle.
Cathryn Fowler is a stop motion videographer and nutritional therapist, with a soul for adventure and a heart for slowly savoring life’s best bits through laughter, food as medicine, nature, and community.
Through her video work, her partnership with holistic-minded companies, and her nutritional counseling, she aims to empower women to overcome digestive and mental setbacks to reclaim freedom and clarity in health, happiness, creativity, and purpose.
Her mission is to provide a clear roadmap, outlined by love, to take individuals on a journey towards their purpose without the hindrance of brain fog, anxiety, bloat, depression, and toxic mindsets. She is getting ready to graduate from the Nutritional Therapy Association, and you can find her videos and rambles on her website and little snippets of her daily life on Instagram.