This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don’t have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn’t have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.
One thing I anchor myself with time and time again is ritual.
Rituals don’t have to be spiritual, or witchy.
A ritual can be your morning yoga session, or the way you make your morning brew.
For me, yesterday, a handful of rituals nourished me, held me, guided and supported me. I am mindful about these kinds of rituals right now – it’s important for me to be able to give myself space, time and nurture as I heal from burnout.
This is what I did.
On waking up at 5am (that’s a sleep in for me!):
- The ritual of breathwork while still in bed, and a quick ground and connect meditation. (3 minutes)
- Still in bed: fill my body and aura with light, and seal my auric field with colour. (1 minute)
- Seated meditation. It’s cold enough that I need to wrap myself in a blanket now. It felt so good to sit in that deep restful space, and to feel all the love and support of my Guides and the Universe. (A big one yesterday – 45 minutes)
- Morning yoga on my bedroom floor. Slow and peaceful and nurturing. (15 minutes)
- Monthly card pull. I sat on my bed, got out my Journeymaker’s Planner, my crystal and my cards and I pulled two cards for the month of June, then journalled about them. (10 minutes)
- Downstairs I made a mug of hot water with lemon juice and fresh ginger slices and I spent 30 minutes on my novel manuscript. (30 minutes)
This means that they very first part of my day was spent looking after myself and my own dreams FIRST.
Then I began my day, sharing breakfast with my little family.
After a busy day of work and errands I cooked a simple dinner and after dinner I spent a happy hour with Ben, watching a show we love. Then I left Ben downstairs in front of TV and I went back up to our bedroom on my own.
- I showered and cleaned my teeth, moisturised my face and body in the darkened bathroom room with only the soft glow of my bedside lamp for light.
- I put on pyjamas, and went back to the floor, stretching and then wrapping myself in a blanket for evening meditation. (20 minutes)
- I got into bed and spent a little time contemplating the cards I have drawn for June and the energies of the month ahead. (10 minutes)
- I held my crystal and sent my blessings and love out into the world (including to all the crazy Christians inundating my inbox right now), and was open to receiving them in return. (5 minutes)
I ended my day feeling connected, comforted and well loved. None of these rituals were difficult. None of them took a lot of time, except maybe the meditation – but that was my choice. All of them gave me great nourishment and a stronger sense of who I am, and who I hope to become.
Did I have to make an effort to get up and going in the morning? Or to go to bed early? Yes. But I choose to define myself by these things, and the feeling of satisfaction and wellbeing I experience through these rituals makes it worth any momentary discomfort when it might be easier to stay in bed a little longer at the beginning of the day, or to stay busy into the evening. A small amount of personal discipline, and keeping promises I made with myself, is so very rewarding.
Even on my hardest days, or when I have been most ill, I will still start my day with breathwork, ‘ground and connect’, and my simple auric field meditation. I will end my day by holding my crystal and completing my night-time ritual of gratitude and sending love out into the world – and then being open to receive love in return. Rituals do not need to be complex, or to take a lot of time. Even a few minutes a day can be helpful.
I highly recommend working with some rituals as part of your own daily or weekly practice. Especially if you feel that you have no time for yourself.
Rituals have the power to bring us home to ourselves.
Love, hugs, oracle cards, my favourite crystal and a big mug of tea, Nicole xx