Happy confinement everyone!!
You guys know I love routine, I've already talked about it. Now that the figures speak for themselves, we are all going to face a few weeks - if not months - of drastic confinement. Doing my best to 🎵 always look at the bright side of life 🎵, I want to seize this as an opportunity to test a simpler way of life.
Living in the buzzing city of Paris, I am touched, drawn towards and dragged along a frantic way of life. I run around everywhere to grasp what the city has to offer: I'm a big consumer of high-end cultural goods. I love clothes, I buy too many of them, and find myself mindlessly drawn to clothing stores when I have a little spare time in between meetings. I eat out very often, stay up late and drink more than I should. And then, after a few months of this life, I find myself longing for retreats or vacations where I can finally hit pause and ease into a monastic way of life. What a life!
What about reversing the tendency and bring the monastery into my life in the city, now that I'm forced to stay quiet anyways? I came up today with a schedule I'd like to try out for this confinement period. I live alone with my Lune and have no kids : this is certainly not applicable to all parents having to homeschool their kids, but I hope it'll help and inspire some of you.
07:30 Wake up
I don't like to wake up early. I've done the wake-up-at-5:30-to-practice for over a year and it does not work for me. This is as early as I can do. I'm no perfection, are you?
07:30 - 08:00 Glaze at the ceiling
Am I the only one needing 30mn before they can get up? Instead of being harsh to myself and try to force myself to be more disciplined, I figured incorporating it to the schedule was a more appropriate response. I need this period to get out of the fog from sleep - even though I use a dawn simulation alarm-clock, it appears that my body needs that long to get ready to move... 🤷🏼♀️ So be it!
08:00 - 08:30 Stillness practice
Mindfulness, meditation, stillness, presence, breathing, dharma, awakening, sitting, praying, call it however you’d like to call it, but just do it.
08:30 - 09:00 Breakfast
I like my breakfast to be light these days. My favorite? A vegetal yogurt blended with cacao powder, half a banana sliced and a few almonds and hazelnuts. Also, I'll try to drink a heavily gingered juice every morning, to keep the vitamins, anti-oxidants and nutrients high during this period. My body needs to be strong in case the virus hits! This time slot can also be taken to launch a long dish to be cooked - I use Tajine a lot, and like roasting my veggies in the oven: this can be launched in the morning to optimize the lunch break!
09:00 - 11:30 Work
Schedule phone meetings, write, reflect, develop that Organizational Quotient test that I have in mind for years, coach my coachees online, perform tasks for clients, try to find a way out from the economic disaster that is most likely to hit me as I'm an independent just starting her business... 😨😨😨 Maybe tape YouTube videos on Teal subjects ? Would you like to see that? And if you think now is the perfect time to start an executive coaching online or reflecting on how to evolve towards more organic, resilient way of organizing work in your team, reach out, I'd be happy to help!
11:30 - 12:30 Movement practice
I've realized that the best period to exercise for me is right before lunch. When my attention from work starts to decline, but I'm not hungry yet for lunch break. Movement is essential during confinement, or you may risk transforming into a squishy cucumber. Move your body. If it's allowed, go for a run to get some air (while keeping 1m safety distance with anyone I encounter). Do some yoga. Play a workout video. Whatever, but move.
12:30 - 13:30 Cook & Lunch
Do some quick cooking for lunch. Cook and eat while listening to a podcast, calling a friend, or get some news from the radio. Try to keep this one short, eat light. Something half-prepared in the morning, a quick salad, something not too heavy on digestion as the next slot is...
13:30 - 16:30 Work!
Same as morning. Try to stay away from social distractions. I know it's hard...
16:30 - 17:30 Break
What's obviously missing in Benjamin Franklin's schedule when comparing it to my life is time for house duties : groceries shopping, cooking, cleaning were none of his concerns. I'll try to fit these into a daily 1h break from work. Getting groceries, will be an opportunity to get out of the house if it's allowed, do the laundry, whatever. This break can also be used for some yoga, stretches, or whatever other things you may like that give you a break from your computer screen!
17:30 - 19:30 Work
I want to keep a work slot at a time where I'm less likely to get calls or video meetings. As part of my coaching degree, I must write a short thesis, and I figured that this confinement period may be the perfect time to work on it. I intend to study "the role of mindfulness practices in consciousness shifts and their implication on the emergence of teal paradigm in work communities." How do you like it? Would you be interested in reading such a thing?
19:30 - 20:30 Wine & Dine
This is when I hope my lover or a friend will join after a day of work in his/her own home for some social time. I'm an extrovert, which means that I flourish around people and wither if left alone. I know that I need to keep the evening socials and stay connected to the people I love. I'm happily ready to hop on my bike with mask and gloves to go meet a friend in their place for dinner - if that's okay with confinement measures as they will evolve!
20:30 - 22:30 Chill
Watch silly YouTube videos. Play the piano. Or board games. Cuddle Lune. Have a bath. Do a self-massage. Call a friend living far away. Read a fiction book. Watch a movie. Paint my nails.
Yes, I love sleeping.
Alternatives to routine
Listen to the flow
Having a regular routine is what I think will save me during long days at home, but I'm only speaking from my own self-knowledge and experience. Some of you may be more intuitive and would thrive better on a schedule like:
Wake up naturally
Work when I feel motivated
Exercise when I feel like it
Eat when I'm hungry
Sleep when I'm tired
I wish I could rock that one, but I know it's too ambitious for me! I don't have reached yet the level of letting go that this requires, but I'm working on it. Maybe someday! For now, I know that I would drift away into laziness and in no time, feel like sh*t.
Another way to work it out would be to set intentions for that period. Here are mine:
Try to stay on a low-information diet
Stay flexible with the schedule
Reach out to friends and relatives as much as I need to avoid feeling isolated
Make room for practice, practice, practice 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
Read real books instead of internet articles
Catch up on Michael's podcasts Master one new nocturne at the piano
Keep the house neat and tidy
I hope to see some of them realize!
What about you? How do you plan on going through this phase? How can you be soft yet firm towards yourself? Is anyone else willing to try out that schedule with me? We could cheer each-other online, let me know!
Wishing you the best for you and your loved ones during that strange period.
With much love,