Rising Rituals by Imani Williams

There are two kinds of people in this world; the “Good Mornings” and the “Grand Risings” is what I like to call it. I used to be a GM for a while, no shame in that. I never really took my risings seriously. I was always running around, rushing and bouncing from one place to another, especially in my head. I was on autopilot, doing what I was “suppose to do”. It wasn’t until when my cousin had recommended this book, ‘The Wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn” by Florence herself, and explained that it would really help with some of the anxiety I feel and guide me towards realizing my own powers of manifestation. At 17, I didn’t quite understand the balance of the mind and body. I was an athlete who grasped the concept of working hard on the track and kept my grades up. It was a cool read. I highlighted a bit, skimmed a chapter or two, then put it on the shelf to add to my collection.

Fast forward 4 years and I’m 21. Living alone in DC, I’m doing the same thing, STILL on autopilot. Allowing my thoughts to get the best of me, still rushing and bustling, not listening to anyone or anything because I was stubborn and thought everything was just “oh so cliche”.  My current read at the time was called ‘Notes to Myself’ by ….  and this very quote is what made me go back to my collection and pick Florence up again with a swiftness.

“If I prepare my mind almost as much as I prepare my physical self when I leave the house, then maybe I would feel more at ease.”

It really put a lot of things into perspective for me at that moment… For someone who spent a lot of time on their physical appearance, I was still in a mental fog where I had no real idea what I was doing.

I’d wake up, grab my towel, smoke and shower, brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed, eat breakfast(most times), grab my bag, and hopefully I had my water bottle, if not just make sure I drink enough at work and boom. That was my morning routine. It sounds perfect because I’m doing exactly  what I should be doing, crossing my “t’s” to the point of water check-in…. getting to work on time and performing as I should. I’d do that 5/6 days a week but I was missing the balance. I wasn’t doing anything for the mind. One day, I woke up and asked myself a question:

What is the point of drinking my water if I wasn’t doing anything for MY mind. Not just any old sayings but ones that really resonated with me whether I’m coming up with new ones each month or each week. Picking her back up one rising is what a gave me the “why” to my transition from GM to GR.

Diving back into the pages and actually retaining what she was saying, she pointed out something that was funny to me being an English major: Manifestation rules and the higher power (of any belief and religion) isn’t quite hip to the complexity of the English language considering it’s constantly changing every day and new words are being added yearly to the dictionary. She pointed out the ‘mourning vs. morning’ situation and how we are unconsciously mourning the days we wake up and telling others that as well, even though we have no collection of the meaning, very similar to learning the pledge of allegiance in kindergarten never really understanding what we were pledging to, but we were told to do this every day at 8:15am. As complex as the breakdown was, it made a lot of sense. The moment I changed the verbiage for myself, I realized the difference. 

All my alarms were changed to “GRAND RISING”, my rising playlist is also titled “Grand Rising.” GR just made me realize it was the real deal and just how much I was “mourning” my days before they even had the chance to be great. 

GR began to help me get my mind excited to wake up and it made me want to slow my risings down a bit, regardless if I had to be at work at 6:30am to open up at the coffee shop. 

`I handed over waking up and choosing violence and decided to wake up and choose peace, not even for just the sake of myself but for those around me that I cared about. At first, I thought I could resort to the “self-care gurus” of Instagram.. and after awhile realized not a lot worked for me because I am not them and they are not me, the real way to find out was just to spend more time alone with myself and dive deep into my own heart/inner child. 

Journaling to a playlist I made full of songs that really ease and groove with the sunrise so that I could wake up to empty my mind was my first step. Sometimes it was my raw feelings and emotions, or existential thoughts, or even to-do lists for the day; anything to CLEAR my mind. I’d either make some coffee or grab some if I had time, take a nice walk to get some air. And then talking/watering my plants became a part of my ritual, checking in with them because as living beings living together, we all are reflections of one another, so if I wasn’t doing well I would be able to tell through them and vice versa. Taking that time is what fed my soul.

Slowly and surely over the years, I have changed which means my rising routines change as well. Always making it a priority, I set that time aside for myself, and when it’s time to switch it up, I resort back to a few questions to see where I’m at:

  1. What gets me excited to wake up? A certain breakfast, a new playlist, a shower?
  2. What kind of movement does my body like? Dancing, running, a quick run to the gym, stretching?
  3. How am I talking to myself?

Just a few days and I can tell the difference, and lately I’ve been inspired to constantly keep my risings alive and full of love, keeping my mind on its toes as well as healthy. 

Imani Williams is a non-binary writer from Fresno, CA who now resides Washington, DC. Imani has been writing since the young age of 4 branching out from short stories to poetry and personal narratives. Self-publishing two poetry books at 19 and 21, they continue to explore the many ways of the writing world while sharing not just their stories but others as well in that reside in the beautiful city.

More of Imani’s work in Mixed Mag: Meet Imani: Self Care/ Sex & Love Columnist (Issue 6)

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