Monday, June 25, 2018

Rituals, Coffee, and Recovery Tools

A few weeks ago, I took on a challenge from a friend of mine.  Two weeks without coffee or hanging out in coffee shops.  More to break routines and shake up life more then anything.  I did miss it.  I love the taste.  Surprisingly, my energy really didn't change at all.  I don't ever feel jittery drinking it, and I didn't feel less "awake" without it.  I did have a small headache for about 2 or 3 days, but what I did have was a weird omission of ritual.

I'm almost done reading through a book called Dollars and Sense.  It is about our irrational, emotional spending, saving and thoughts on money.  How we are influenced by things we may not be paying attention too.  In one of the chapters they talk about the importance of rituals and how we pay for it.  In their example they are talking about food.  "What they found was that the people who engaged in rituals savored the experience of eating much more.  The was true for both chocolate and carrots.  Rituals increased the experience and enjoyment both in anticipation of the actual experience and in the moment."

"Rituals make us stop and focus on what we're doing."

Coffee is often a ritualistic tie in for me.  It's setting the tone for my day.  I'm often up before the kids and having coffee, savoring the smell, taste and warmth, in the quite, is quite enjoyable.  Start the day on a high note so to speak.  I'll often go to my favorite coffee shop and read or write.  Again, coffee helps me transition into thinking.  Without the caffeinated beverage, it wasn't the same.  It's also something I look forward to in lifes chaos.  According to the authors, we enjoy things twice, the anticipation and in the actual moment.  

A vacation a month away, we get to dream about, look forward to it.  This is often why people will play the lotto, deep down, they don't really believe they will win, but perhaps for an hour, a night, they will enjoy the far fetched idea of what they would do with all that money.  Perhaps that is worth a dollar.  

Back to rituals.  Rituals help us bring importance to events.  Prayer can be that before eating, a moment of gratitude for not going hungry.  Athletes will often have their own rituals before an event. Watch a baseball player before every pitch, you will see the same gyrations, glove fidgets, bat wiggle and foot taps.  Rituals help us focus in.  

Rituals is what I wanted to create when our self recovery tool MOBI was designed.  Something simple that could help people achieve a physical practice.  Doing simple movements to help you focus in on the workout ahead or the process of winding down after training and maybe even before bedtime.  Working on your muscles brings awareness.  It gets you connected to the muscles, whats sore, what feels good, what is less sore today, what is more sore.  Awareness is how things improve.  Daily improvements can make life changes.   

PS:  I lasted 10 days without coffee.  Then I went on a weekend family trip/vacation and whats a vacation without coffee!  

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