Winter Self-Care Series
A Ritual to Warm the Soul by Xandra O'Neill

This is the final guest post in the Winter Self-Care series. I hope you've enjoyed spending these last few months together, exploring the many ways we can take care of ourselves. So much love to you, xo Carrie

I rise before the sun. In the quiet, I make my way out of the bedroom, turn on the twinkle lights, welcoming their gentle glow. After my morning pages are written, my way to wake my soul from a night of sleep, I find my way to the stove.

Consciously I put the water on to warm, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass, and make my warm lemon water. This is how I start my days. It used to be occasional. Now it’s been every day for 2 months and it fills my soul.

My morning rituals begin to build my day from a place of love. I take care of myself in gentle and flexible ways (sometimes the morning pages are one page long and not three, sometimes I pack a lemon when I know I’ll be away).

In the cold of this winter there have been days when I have craved the warming all day long. As I come to the end of my lemon water, I fill the pot and boil more water.

By now, the sun has risen, as has my family, and amidst the activities of the morning (making breakfast, packing lunch, nudging the little one to get dressed and out the door), I continue.

I choose my tea mug for the day with great care - what message do I want for myself today? Do I want a small mug, rounded and easily cupped by my hands, or one that I won’t need to refill quite so often? I choose, most often, guided by my intuition. It’s almost like pulling a Tarot card - do  I seek love or comfort or wisdom today?

The tea in my home holds power for me. Some made by me, some by dear friends, some suggested by friends and infused with memories, one sip and I’m back on the lake in Maine. 

And my day goes on like this. By the evening, I am hydrated, warm, and my soul is full. I settle in with my final round, often a small mug of ginger chamomile, settling my body down as I prepare again for rest.

Each moment we live is an opportunity to take sweet care of ourselves. We make choices that are informed by how we feel right now, not based on expectations or old patterns. That’s how I first came to take these days of warm hydration.

The warmth of the drinks warmed my soul, reminded me that I get to create the life I want to live, and it can all start with a warm drink in my hand.

In this way, it becomes easier to surrender to the mountains that feel insurmountable, to the parts of life that feel forever out of your control. 

Warm lemon water. Hot tea. Again and again. A ritual to warm the soul.

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Xandra O'Neill is a writer, yoga teacher in training and coach to women who are ready to live from their souls. She can be found at where she helps women tap into their sacred power through writing, movement, breathwork, and coaching so they can bring life to their desires.

GIVEAWAY:: Creating Your Practice

Xandra has lovingly offered up a spot in her upcoming program Creating Your Practice, which starts March 1st. 

Often the hardest part of yoga practice is getting to your mat in the first place. Creating Your Practice is about exploring your practice – what it means to you to have consistency, how your yoga serves you, what gets in your way, and how your time on the mat has the power to transform your life off the mat. This is about discovering what you want from your practice, and in turn, what you want from yourself – and how to get it.  Learn more...

The deadline to enter the drawing will be Friday, February 27th at 11:59 p.m. PST. A winner will be chosen and announced here on Saturday, February 28th.  Good luck!