Corage: Up on the Roof

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Returning to the Roof the other day made me realize I created a ritual without even noticing. So can you.

By Sally Eames

Last month, I wrote about the importance of ritual. I want to return to that topic because I’ve suddenly realized I created one and have been living with it for weeks without noticing.

IMG_1655I live in a building with a rooftop deck. From here, I have stunning views of both Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. For some ridiculous reason, I’m one of the only building residents who uses the roof. So I bring coffee, pens, notebooks - whatever I need to work on that day - and I hike the 10-plus flights of stairs to the roof.

It’s an elevator building; I could easily walk down the hall, push the button and ride in comfort. But I started using the stairs at the same time I began making my daily visits to the roof as a way to get some exercise. Now it’s just as much a part of the ritual of my rooftop mornings as the coffee I take with me and the writing and thinking I do.Even on days when I don’t want to walk them it doesn’t feel like I have a choice.

The solitude is so lovely up here. And the views are stunning. I could stay on the roof all day except that I can’t read anything on a computer or phone screen. So eventually, I have to go downstairs to my apartment to get to work.

Despite the fact that my bag gets a little heavy some days, the sun sometimes gets too hot and my body doesn’t want to climb all those stairs, I get really crabby if I don’t have my morning rooftop time. That’s how I know it’s become such an important part of my day.

The roof has become a place and time for me to connect with me again. Everything is slower on the roof. I can get perspective on my struggles. This is why I call my rooftop time a new ritual.

Where are your breathing spaces?

What do you need to reconnect to?

Sally Eames, CPCC, ACC operates Corage Coaching. She is a Certified Professional Co-Active coach and a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute. She is also an International Coach Federation Associate Certified Coach. For the full text of this column, please visit her blog. For more information on her work as a Co-active coach, please visit her site at

Justin Shimko

Justin Shimko is an award-winning writer and political analyst. He began as a reporter in his college days at the University of Oklahoma, writing for The Oklahoma Daily (rated as one of the best collegiate newspapers in the nation) and The Oklahoman, the statewide newspaper, winning awards from the CSPA and the Society of Professional Journalists. He later moved on to research and writing work for a number of political campaigns. His email is [email protected]

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