Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The power of ritual

This morning I had a shower. There is nothing unusual about this - I promise :)

Every day when I have a shower, I first brush my teeth, then I wash my body, and then I cleanse my face. I don't know how many years I've been showering like this, but I just do.

For some reason, this morning I reached for the soap first, and was rinsing my body off when I realised that I hadn't yet brushed my teeth. I got a real shock, and felt as if there was a jarring note somewhere in my day. So I brushed my teeth - and felt that all was right with the universe once more. Until I found myself reaching for the soap and washing myself again.

I've obviously hardcoded this ritual into both my body and brain, so that I know to reach for the soap after the toothbrush.

What I want to know is why?

I've tried to reach some conclusion before writing this, but I just haven't. I think that my time in the shower is when my brain just goes nuts, with lots of thinking and planning time for the day. Most people I know have come to dread the sentence that begins with "I was thinking in the shower this morning..." because they never know what is coming next. To help me to do this, I think my body just follows the normal routine, without consultations.

What do you think?

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