It's the end of the day, so you find your favourite spot on the couch, cozy up in your favourite fuzzy blanket, and curl up with a warm cup of tea while you reflect on the day.
Perhaps you sink into a lounge chair with your newest book and munch away on pretzels, soaking up all the personal development tips you can, or engrossed in the hottest new fiction novel.
Rituals look different to everyone, but they are so important for our personal growth.
One of my favourite sayings from Jay Shetty, an author, podcaster and former monk, is that "location has energy and time has memory." Look at rooms in your home and start to see them as spaces with purpose rather than spaces that are confused. So often, we eat where we sleep, we sleep where we eat, we eat where we work, we work where we eat - we're confusing the space.
If your bed is a multi-purpose tool and you struggle to fall asleep at night, your mind is likely confused as that space is often used for eating, watching tv, working, etc.; it confuses the energy. Instead, create spaces of purpose in your home where you go to that space to do a specific activity and that simplifies the energy, using sight, smell and sound to clarify.
Take meditation for example. One of the keys to meditation is to perform it at the same time, in the same place, maybe even with the same blanket or shawl every day. Why? Because your meditation practice changes the energy in that area of the house. In essence, it elevates the energy so that when you return to your practice, it’s easier to drop in next time. Your body and your mind recognize what is about to happen, so it becomes easier.
Start to think of your daily rituals, what you do intentionally and why you do it. I like to break mine into various parts of the day to minimize stress and prepare my body and mind for the next step.
“Your morning ritual is the one thing that can determine the quality of your day, and as time goes by, is going to determine the quality of your entire life as well." - Furudo
My Morning Rituals
For me, the way I start my day and the way I end my day are my most important rituals. As a mother of two small children, I have learned that if I wake up at the same time as them, I can’t catch my breath; the whole day feels like I’m constantly scrambling, leaving me in the wrong state of mind. If I start the day feeling stressed, it's very hard to kick that feeling.
Instead, I choose to wake up at least 30 minutes before the kids. If the air is chilled, I put on my woolly socks and sweater before heading downstairs. I like to start the day in comfort and ease so that I can keep this relaxed, zen state throughout the day.
Each morning, I drink two cups of black tea with cream and honey, one while I’m alone and the house is quiet, sitting in stillness or reading a book, and another later in the morning - simply because one is not enough. I consciously do not look at my phone during this 30 minute time frame so that I do not start ‘doing’ - as the rest of the day is reserved for that.
Work Day Rituals
“For most of us, a ritual is a way of connecting with ourselves for a little while, before we run out into our busy day [...] A ritual is grounding and helps us feel anchored in the world. It is something important to us.” - Micaela, Mindful Momma
My Work Day Rituals
Most of the time, work is busy. I use a lot of brainpower being in a creative and strategic frame of mind and there are always countless fires to put out. Before I sit down to work, I brew a cup of herbal tea and light a salt candle without fail.
In addition, I often have lemongrass scent diffusing somewhere in the house as it reminds me of some sacred spaces I’ve been to in the past and brings back good memories and feelings whenever I smell it.
“The difference between a ritual and a routine is that with a ritual, we are fully present and aware of what we are doing. We are focused and mindful about it. [...] Rituals are intentional.” - Micaela, Mindful Momma
My Evening Rituals
My evening ritual consists of at least 30 minutes of yoga, stretching or walking. I find the days that I miss this ritual, I don’t sleep well or I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep; therefore, I make sure to move my body every day.
Now this ritual may not be scientifically approved, but I enjoy finishing off the night with a little milk and cookies. I have been doing this for five years now and, while I’m sure it’s not the best habit to form, I find it curbs my sweet tooth throughout the day as I am always looking forward to this each night.
To finish off a great day, I ensure that my lights are dim for my last 30 minutes of the day, as they are for my first 30 minutes as well, to cue my body into a relaxed state.
So, what rituals do you swear by to keep your day on track and your mind at ease?