A Day in a Life: The Rails Of Routine

In breaking routine, I got to see the Tibetan prayer flags flying, spreading their messages to the world... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
In breaking routine, I got to see the Tibetan prayer flags flying, spreading their messages to the world…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Routine, both a beauty and a beast, keeps us on the straight and narrow. Even if we are not train commuters, riding the rails each morning and back again each evening, our lives can become as rigid and narrowly defined as the rails upon which the commuter trains rumble along, heading always in the same two directions, in and out of the city.

The beauty of routine is that it keeps us sane. It occupies us for most of the day with all that holds us bound to life, to work, to duty, to the security and safety of all that is and all that we expect to continue to be. It invites us to easily get up each day and go about our lives with little thought to anything else.

Routine offers the beauty of knowing who we are and where we are, at least for the moment and perhaps even for the foreseeable future. Routine allows us to exist without fear or worry, as we merrily ride along on its rails of contentment. But routine is also a beast. It confines us to that same life of contentment, which leads to complacency. It allows us to dissociate as we let life pass us by, as we are not challenged to do otherwise. It takes us where it always takes us, with little room for adventure. It controls our lives and keeps our spirits dampened with its must dos and must haves. In truth, it limits us.

The control of routine goes far beyond our outer world, controlling our inner world as well. Think of the routine things we say to ourselves all the time, the repetitive thoughts that circulate through our minds telling us the same things about ourselves over and over again, the nagging and debilitating untruths that constantly keep us stuck on the rigid rails of unfulfilling life.

Rigid ideas, judgments, expectations, and choices keep us stuck, keep us narcissistically fixated on always being right and always being safe in our routine. We can’t hear anything outside of our inner patter and we can’t accept that someone else might have something important to tell us, offering a new perspective. If we are always right then everyone else must be wrong, and that’s a really hard way to live. In breaking through the rigidities of our inner routine, we offer ourselves the opportunity to hear, see, and experience something new.

Sitting in calmness we notice other things, we feel differently... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Sitting in calmness we notice other things, we feel differently…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

We recently took a week off from our routine. It was to be a week to flow with the energy of each day, seeing what arose to guide us, to entice us, to invite us into new experiences or to simply be. It was a wonderful experience; no pressure, no duty, no expectations. We woke each morning to a bubble of excitement. What will we do today? And then we waited. We waited for signs and for our mutual energy in alignment to guide us. It worked perfectly.

Some days we were active, other days we were calmly present, but always we acted from a place of knowing that there was no agenda and thus there was no compromise. Adventures presented themselves and we enjoyed them. Challenges arose and we met them. Nothing was denied; everything was acceptable. We noticed that the conscious shift away from routine did not mean there was no routine, but it meant that routine did not rule, it became a choice. It became simply a structure to engage in or not.

We let the energy of each day determine our actions along with our own sense of what felt right. We sat with feelings, emotions, desires and the energy of our physical selves and made our decisions based on sitting in calmness. Reading the energy of each day and the reality of where we were in the moment made for some interesting choices in how to use the freedom of no routine. Rather than run around like crazy with our freedom, no agenda gave us pause to investigate ourselves on a deeper level. What was most important to us? Sitting in calmness the answers came clearly. Sitting in calmness the world and its enticements dissolved.

In the midst of our week off we decided that we should break with some of our routine schedules. You may notice that our blogging schedule is going to be different, when inspiration strikes, rather than according to a plan we had set up years ago. This allows us to be more present in the moment, more spontaneous, and more in alignment with the energy of each day.

Channelings may appear more often as we deepen our exploration of all that is, both in the reality of our lives and in the exploration of other realities. We’re excited about this and our main intent is, as it has always been with this website, to freely share what we learn.

I got to experience something new today, including a glimpse of my own shadow... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
I got to experience something new today,
including a glimpse of my own shadow…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I chose to alter my own morning routine today. I spent some time in the garden. The weather was perfectly calm, the temperature perfectly comfortable, a high summer morning, the bees buzzing, the butterflies on the butterfly bush, the flowers in the garden nodding as I trimmed and admired them. Had I not altered my morning I would not have been available to rescue a fat chipmunk caught in a downspout, his mouth full of nuts. I heard something scrambling and when I poked the side of the spout I heard a petrified squeak. I disconnected the gutter and shook it. Out popped a stunned chipmunk, round and plump. He looked at me and then ran off. I gladly accepted that he was grateful for my assistance.

In volitionally changing our routines, we offer ourselves brief moments of respite from our usual feelings and patterns of behavior. We allow ourselves to just be, and when we let ourselves just be we soften. Softening allows us to feel and see things differently too, and those are the moments when new things begin to happen for us and to us. In moments of softness guidance comes, as we are more receptive, and when we are more receptive we are more naturally present to give as well.

In admiration of both the beauty and the beast,

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