Rituals, to me, are routines that I have created that support me mentally and physically so that I can be my best self as often as possible. They didn’t necessarily come together over night. Actually it took (and continues to take) a trial-and-error approach to my ever-changing life.
Adaptation is a key component to my routines. Having flexibility has been SUPER important.
If I am too rigid, they don’t stick. It’s similar to the way I am with goals…. If I set a very specific goal, there is nothing beyond that. For example, last spring I was doing some hill sprint type workouts. And once I reached my goal of running up that hill 10 times, I stopped doing it. If I had set a more flexible goal, like: run up that hill as many times as you can twice per week…. I might have continued doing it. I know me. If I set black and white goals or routines then I can be very hard on myself for falling short of the end result. So I have softened and I find the less rules I have around my routines, the more ritualistic they have become. They nourish me from the inside out instead of having a competitive approach that puts me in a win or lose mindset. With softness I appreciate even achieving pieces of them rather than expecting the ultimate outcome. It truly is about the process rather than anything else.
DAILY: Mornings with me
Oh I love mornings. I am a morning person through and through. The best mornings are when I have an hour or more to myself. During the week my husband leaves the house around the time I rise so it’s really easy to fit this in. On weekends I tend to get out of bed an hour before him on purpose so that I can still get my practice in. What does my perfect morning look like?
Rise; wash face; start kettle; grate ginger; stir honey + lemon together with hot water and watch the fresh-ginger-filled-tea-infuser immerse into the water (simple pleasure); feed the meowing cat; bring hot mug into living room and set it on the coffee table that I push aside; find a comfortable seat; 10+ minutes of meditation; 10+ minutes of breathing exercises (alternate nostril breathing most days); sip tea; roll out yoga mat; get out kettle bell + resistance band if it’s that kind of morning; move my body for 30-60 minutes; tea and water breaks often; one final restorative practice of more meditating/breathing/being/thanking. Roll up the mat. Put all props and equipment away. Return living room to “itself”. Breakfast.
WEEKLY: Bath Time
Each week when Tyler goes to hockey, I pour myself a tea, draw myself a bath, fill it with epsom salts, add a few drops of lavender, turn on calming sounds/music, settle in, and soak.
This ritual was an idea for longer than it’s been in practice. Weeks, months went by while I thought “this would be a perfect time for a bath”. But I always found “better” things to do. Usually that was watching Grey’s Anatomy re-runs on Netflix. Then one Sunday I decided that was going to be the day I made a point of having a bath. And I’ve made it a priority ever since. This is a luxury that I savour deeply.
Another ritual I practice weekly is reiki. This is actually something I do most days but definitely something I make time for each week. I don’t have a set time or day for it at the moment. Usually it’s a few minutes of energy work before bed. Other times it is part of my morning practice. It varies, but I am aware of it’s importance in my life so each week, at some point, I do it.
Monthly: Moon Cycles
New moon and full moon rituals. I have been following the moon cycles for …. about 2+ years now.
NEW MOON: The beginning. Starting. Manifesting. Dreaming. Creating. A sensitive place to be. Darkness. Inward-ness. These are the associations I make with each new moon. I set time aside each new moon to meditate and journal about what I am creating or dreaming up… New moons lead to growth. What am I becoming? What energy am I attracting? How can I be more me? How can I connect more deeply to mySelf? These are the questions I ask mySelf. And as I grow this Being within me a consistent new moon goal has been to connect more deeply with my body…. to trust.
From the new moon to the full moon I focus on filling up, doing things, stepping out, going, taking action. Filling up the cup.
FULL MOON: Big. Full. Release. Let go. Energetic. Bright. Pouring. The full moon is a time for me to unleash all the power that has been building, break free from the ways I’ve been holding back, and truly step into what has been brewing and cultivating. Full moons are a time that I journal and meditate but also a time I embrace more movement (dancing, stronger yoga practices and workouts) to release the pent up energy within me. Full moons also tend to be times that I say what I mean and find the courage to be very very honest both with myself and others.
From the full moon to the next new moon I focus on softening, letting go, turning inward, slowing. Emptying the cup to make room for what’s next.
How I created These Rituals & How To Start Yourself
It has taken time for me to see and understand what is truly important to me. Honesty is where it all began.
Considerations: In what ways can you give back to yourself? Rather than paying it forward… can you open yourself to receive? Rather than giving away everything that you learn, all the “extra” goodness you feel… can you allow that to compound into something bigger within you?
Can you love yourself enough to dedicate to any form of daily, weekly or monthly ritual? Think nourishment, pleasure, honesty. You know what you need. You know what feels good.
I do a lot. Right now, these things are VERY important to me. I am taking care of myself so that I can be a better wife, friend, mother. I know these rituals will shift greatly over the coming year.
I am flexible. I am soft. I am strong. I love me.
Are you? Do you?
You are strong. You are soft. I know those things for sure. Only you can answer the other questions.