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No Alcohol. No Sugar. Non-Intoxicating.

An Unordinary Ritual: Is an Evening Drinking Habit the Next Biohack?

Charles Dickens took a three-hour walk every afternoon. Anyone who knew Dickens esteemed him as a man of discipline and diligence, but to the untrained eye, a daily three-hour stroll in the peak of the afternoon would likely be perceived as unnecessarily indulgent, or perhaps a bit reckless.

Rain or shine, Dickens set out at 2 PM. He’d relax with the fresh air just enough to dream up his characters as he observed the obscurities of humanity. As he walked he’d soak up the finer and more nuanced details of Victorian society, enabling him to re-illustrate the monotony of it in a way that well transcended his era of origin.

Dickens’ walk was both a ritual and a creative portal. The consistency provided a certain element of psychological safety amidst the unpredictability of life, and with that safety and space came the unlocking of his creative potential. 

Knowing what we know about Dickens’ walks and his life’s work, It’s hard to imagine him being as creatively successful without them. In some way, his walk seemed like the savior from the anguish of stuck creativity – the one thing keeping him from the tragedy of tortured artistry so many creatives and visionaries face.

As we look to biohacking and time management tools to optimize our productivity and performance, it seems as though the art of ritual and the science behind it may have gotten lost.

When we look at rituals, we’re looking at two key elements: 1.) the impact of consistency and 2.) the impact of the behavior

A Harvard study in 2013 led by Francesca Gino looked at the connection between rituals and performance, mainly looking at the impact of a consistent behavior performed over a period of time and its impact on unrelated participant performance. The outcome showed higher levels of confidence and output from participants when engaging in high-stress situations. 

In short, having a consistent ritual – regardless of what the ritual was – gave the participant a sense of predictability and a subjective feeling of control, making them less anxious.

Consistency serves as a cue to the brain that everything is safe and as it should be. As in Dickens’ case, it provided stable ground in the unpredictability of life. 

In this case, it’s safe to say the consistency of any behavior – positive or otherwise – helps breed the idea of safety. When we do that thing day in and day out, our bodies and minds are at peace.

If doing something consistently in and of itself is a mental health boost, the outputs can be skyrocketed when considering the contents of the behavior or ritual.

When examining Dickens’ ritual – a three hour walk – it 1.) created mental space 2.) cultivated presence and 3.) promoted physical health. Not only did the ritual provide a sense of security, It checked most major boxes that are proven to contribute toward happiness.

While carving out three hours for a walk may be difficult (although, I’m somewhat convinced it may be more effective than sitting behind a computer), Dickens’ life’s work and Harvard’s findings prove one thing: a ritual of any kind – even if it falls short of a three-hour walk – can provide significant returns.

Head to your bar cart, grab a bottle of St. Ember and set the mood. Consider it your modern Mad Men ritual – one that both satiates the senses and opens the doors to creativity.

The Little Saints ritual:

  • Turn on a playlist – one to activate your senses without overpowering your mind. We created this one here.
  • Put your phone on DND, dim the lights and grab a pen and journal
  • Set an intention for your evening and light a candle (a tea light works great!)
  • Pour your favorite non-alcoholic cocktail flavor or St. Ember over ice in your favorite glass. We recommend investing in glassware that makes your drinking moments special!
  • Open your journal and doodle and write single words or sentences as they come to mind. Don’t try to make art and don’t try to write anything coherent. Sip your mushrooms and see what comes out.

This provides a moment of pleasure, introspection and a form of meditation – a way to open ourselves up to pent up creativity and wisdom.

With the days getting shorter, let’s try this ritual together and see what comes up.

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