Today I want to reiterate the importance of having small, daily routines which will keep you grounded and open during the day.
I have been asked if I have any daily ritual myself and while I’m not quite sure I could call them that, I’ll go as far as to say that in time I have become more flexible, more real and surely less concerned about how other people in my field may be starting their day.
There was a time when I thought being on my path meant waking up before the sun rises, meditate in a specific way, following certain practices during the day.
Somehow though, it hardly felt right and most of all that sense of peace which was meant to last through the day would quickly vanish as soon as I came out of the tube.
So I started to watch myself, and I soon realized that some of these so called daily rituals were not mine at all, and they may never be. I borrowed them from others, believing they will work for me too but the truth was that I couldn’t feel them in my heart.
Nowadays I enjoy changing my everyday routine from time to time, and I guess that’s a ritual within itself. I like paying attention at how I ease myself through the day, what keeps me grounded and what irritates me. In time I have come to learn how to use different rituals accordingly on how my body is feeling. Some mornings I may meditate for an hour, other times a quick meditation will be followed by body work. At times I may just need a lie in, while some days I’ll read something good for the heart before opening my front door to the world. Through the day, I often feel there is nothing better than a quick five minute silence all by myself, with my eyes closed and my feet firm on the ground while I simply breathe in and out letting all the energy I’ve used come back into my heart. Some days I will let a cup of very milky English Breakfast Tea with a couple of chocolate oat biscuits bring me back to a place of calm.Lighting candles with intention always brings me back to the present moment, and I particularly like marking the end of a long week, the start of a new season, the end of an eventful day, by lighting a candle in every room.
Clients often want to know how to bring awareness to their morning time. I usually ask them how they would like to start their day. What would feel good? Do they need silence? Do they want to work on their body so to feel strong and energetic? And most of all, how do they mean to keep their morning good intentions throughout their day?
In my opinion a ritual could be anything that brings you back to yourself, to your own space. Anything that allows the flow of ease and grace in your life is a ritual to keep. Anything that allows you to slow down and create an internal quietness is definitely something worth doing as much as you please. Most of all, a ritual should keep you in the constant flow of eternal love you are but which you so often forget about.
So, look for something that gives you joy, that makes you smile, that enables you to play with life, for we seldom stop taking it so very seriously. If that’s a 10 minute meditation, great! If it’s a 2 hour meditation session, wow you are good! If it’s going for an early run, you get extra points. Would you rather start you day sipping a nice cuppa, looking out of the window, watching the world slowly waking up? Could it be perhaps, having a longer breakfast with your kids, ensuring your mind is totally there with them rather than busy worrying about the longer day ahead? What happens then half way through the day? What other rituals do you think will best support you in dealing with the world around and allow you to refuel your energy tank?
I once went back to Italy to spend a couple of days at my mum’s place. I remember one afternoon being particularly warm, leaving me no choice other than to go for a little nap. When I woke up, I went straight to the kitchen and I remember witnessing the most exquisite scene. There were 5 women around the table, all busy crocheting. Nothing moved in the room, no one spoke. Their eyes were down on their work the whole time, while the windows were kept at a jar so to keep the heat out, letting just enough light through.
As I watched them I knew God was right there, with us, in that room.
Whatever God they believed in, whatever my God was, that afternoon its presence was palpable in the space around, in the silence that echoed out while their hands kept on moving harmoniously . Every afternoon the same women would meet at about the same time, crocheting around the same table until their work would be completed.
That was their ritual.
Within the silence and the ability to focus on their creation, they found love and the presence of something bigger than themselves.
Within that love, they could allow themselves to come back to the breath of now no matter whatever may be happening in the outside world.
Every ritual is a ceremonial time meant to have you right there where you are, in body and spirit. So whether it’s time spent by yourself meditating or doing sport, enjoying the love of your family around the breakfast table, getting together with your friends to create something special, walking the dog or just smelling the roses on your way into work, allow yourself to be present in the joy of the moment.
(In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Daily Ritual.”)