Happy happy, joy, joy! I love building practices that are simple and sweet that bring me into a state of reverence & devotion. This also leads to feeling a sense of contentment, which makes me feel so happy and joyous. And yes, you can find practices to bring these "feels" too.
My love of Ritual is pretty obvious if you know me, in reality or in social media (go to my instragrm page if you'd like some inspo, I'm sarasloves). I really enjoy taking things that are already in the house, or on the ground, and making little altars around my home. Thank goodness my husband "gets" me!
These little dots around my home, these little special arrangements encourage me to remember my practice and what and whom I hold dear. I read somewhere that if you don't live in an intentional way, that life will do it for you. There's certainly no shortage of choices; courses to do, books to buy and read, people to hang with, show's to watch, places to go, workshops to do. There's just a few for you, that I come across regularly.
And if you want to go a bit deeper, the Vedic text called the Bhagavad Gita encourages us to make the every day things we do sacred. That might be cooking, bathing, gardening. There's so many opportunities to practice life with some reverence and thread some of the sacred into it too.
Here's a few ideas for you, remembering its best to start with what your already "into" or "captured" by.
I love morning and evening ritual as they can set the scene for the start of the day, and the evening ritual is a nice way to wind off from the busyness of the day.
Here's a morning suggestion:
Find somewhere to sit, that feels nice.
Light a candle, signifying the illuminating of what you hold dear.
Place your hand on your heart, feel its warmth.
Take a handful of calm and easy breaths.
Read an inspiring quote, or passage from a book.
Sit with the words and impressions.
Place your palms together at your heart,
Smile, and take this into your day.
And an evening suggestion:
Go outside and lay beneath the night sky.
Cover yourself with blankets and get comfy.
Let your gaze rest on the evening sky,
and let the stars and landscape of the night come to you.
Inhale the evening air, breathing in the night sky.
Exhale and let go, release the the day away.
When you do these, flavour them with what you love. You may like to start the day lying down watching the morning sky change, with a cup of tea or coffee. Maybe you'd prefer to light incense instead of a candle. Or if your really into crystals, place one outside and let it soak up the night sky and then collect it in the morning and carry it with you during the day, reminding you of the qualities of the night; introspection, wonder, quiet.
I'd love to hear what your up to? What lights you up? What little practices bring a sense of joy and wonder into the everyday.
When things are in a state of flux, when things are awry, upside down, inside out.
What do you feel?
What/whom/where do you turn?
Do you have any anchors you carry with you? Any little rituals that you are drawn to? Ways of being?
Patanjali who wrote the Yoga Sutra writes about two qualities we need to cultivate to ensure we are indeed practising Yoga; steadiness and ease.
I feel like anchors, or rituals can be tools used to take us close to a sense of what Patanjali wrote about in the Yoga Sutras, steadiness and ease. Not just reserved for a cute boat pose on the mat, or a Virabhadrasna 2.
What about considering that Patanjali also meant that steadiness and ease were qualities for your entire life. School pick ups, traffic jams, difficult conversations, exams, gardening, cooking! All of it.
Steadiness and ease. To put effort in, to ensure you have a sense of ease, to cultivate these two qualities any time, all the time.
When we have a sense of these two qualities, we might remember:
- Oh yes, I need to lie down, physically soften and gently breathe
- Lighting a candle reminds me to be steady like a flame
- Moving my physical body helps me to feel these qualities
- Putting a little altar beside my bed prompts me to smile
- Milk & honey, yes, nice before bed time.
Just some little thoughts.
Love to know what you think?