Bea Marquez is an independent visual designer, art director and colorist. She alternates between different mediums of design — graphic, film, production, digital, and spatial. As she likes to collect cups and watches end-of-the-world films and anything with Jake Gyllenhaal in it, Bea also adores spaces, both interior and outer, and loves Dunkin Donuts choco honey-dipped munchkins. She is also a retail consultant at Aesop.
1) Tell us about your favorite rituals.
One of my goals I rewrite every year is to work towards being an early riser, even though it seems impossible after living in the upside down for a long time.
So to bring myself to a slow in the evening, I keep only my dimming moon lamp on, apply sleepy lotion and lavender oil, spray my bamboo sheets with valerian and even more lavender, light an earthy candle, read a book (a fight against the urge to stay up on Netflix), and hope and pray that the whole concoction places me into a deep sleepy spell.
After making the bed (the little things matter) when I get up in the morning, I moisturize, drink two glasses of water, and brew a cup of coffee using Aeropress. At first the number of steps intimidated me, but now it's the entire process I enjoy and makes coffee well-deserved. I sit with my cup, read my Bible, and journal. Time to meditate and reflect to start the day on the right note. I then watch TED talks, design videos or listen to podcasts as I transition into work.
2) How do your rituals fit into your morning or night routines? How much time do you allocate for them?
I used to be an extreme night owl, wide awake in the wee hours of the night until I see the sky turn blue, wondering if moving timezones would be a quick fix. But ever since moving and settling into a new apartment with one of my closest friends (who does happen to be a morning person), I've found a way of shifting my night habits earlier and in turn my morning ones.
Probably her best advice to me was to just roll out of bed no matter how sluggish you feel and zombie walk to the coffee machine! It’s still a struggle, but I’m learning.
In the morning, even just fifteen minutes to half an hour or so to read and meditate makes a difference. Consistency is a good thing.
3) How long have you been following these rituals?
It's been changing every so often, but when I moved to a new home, I've since found comfort in keeping to these rituals at these certain times.
4) Who or what influenced you to follow them?
I grew up seeing my mom and dad practice this every day. He makes her a cup of coffee first thing every morning (this is true love), and then they each have quiet time reading the word.
I think I’ve always had an aversion to routine or structure, but I found that having intentional and habitual time chunks makes space for freedom and better creative work for the rest of the day, especially since I work from home or café on my own time.
5) What tools, items or products do you use in doing your rituals?
I'm oh so particular about the objects I surround myself with, making sure they function well but look and feel just as pleasing, because what we're surrounded with does shape and affect how we go about our day.
I have a lot of love for the tangible and visceral, especially those that reflect experiences back to me––like ceramics I bring home from places I go.
Objects around my space are a moonlike timer lamp from Muji that dims subtly, a vase of dried eucalyptus, Lush's Sleepy lotion, Kung Tag-araw candle by Saan Saan, Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum and Rosehip Seed Lip Cream.
My favorite cup for coffee recently chipped, but I whipped out the mighty bond and carefully restored her. I've been using my Message Bible for over a decade now (it’s falling apart and already shedding pages) and I think it’s the best version I could digest and identify with.
My friends and I have a life group that meets every other week, which encourages us to grow and keeps us accountable, and we follow a two-year Bible plan––it’s a great pace, not so daunting as reading the entire book from cover to cover sounds like.
6) Do you dedicate a special space in your room where you do your rituals? Tell us more about this space.
The daybed in our common room, which I positioned right by the window to receive all the light, is my precious space. I'm nestled in that nook every morning, gathering myself.
7) How did these rituals help you on a daily basis?
I love changing my environment constantly and being in different places, but having a certain space or mindspace to go back to helps me feel more grounded.
That time of reading and meditation makes a difference in my outlook and how I approach the day.
More joy, motivation, and calm, I could say.
It’s important to carve out time to find rest wherever you are and whatever you do. I think it’s good to keep that balance in this day.
Photos by Bea Marquez. Bea is on Instagram via @beamarquez.
Would you like to share your rituals with us? Please write us an email answering the same questions above and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.