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January 31, 2019
The concept of “ritual” has been practiced by religions, spiritualities, and cultures alike since time immemorial. What was once a way to commune with the divine and infuse the mundane with meaning and purpose has now become a major "new-age" and wellness industry buzz word. All trendiness aside, incorporating ritual into our daily lives can have a profound impact on enhancing our mental health and well-being.
In my own life, rituals have been essential to keep me grounded, relieve stress and anxiety, and help me maintain a positive mindset no matter what comes my way. When I refer to ritual in my personal practice, I'm speaking to a kind of behavior where "action" is infused with "intention." The simple act of bringing awareness to our behaviors allows us to create a different kind of “space” or “energy” around them that is more potent, healing and cathartic than the behaviors alone. It is this powerful marriage of behavior and awareness that can transform otherwise ordinary moments into experiences that support our personal growth and development.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do ritual as long as there is an intention behind it. It can be structured and repetitive or free-flowing and dictated by the needs of the moment. It can entail a particular "sacred space" – think candles, incense, flowers, oils, and more – or it can be practiced on the fly at a moment’s notice.
Whether you’re new to ritual or a seasoned devotee, these top three rituals will add a layer of self-awareness that's sure to enhance your day and life.
TOP 3 RITUALS TO TRY TODAY
1) CREATE SPACE AROUND YOUR MORNING
Bringing awareness into the way you wake each morning can have a profound impact on keeping you positive, motivated and grounded throughout the day. Whether you have 2 hours to yourself or just 15 minutes to spare, see if you can take some time to pour your energy back into yourself before extending it outwards into the world around you. Carve out some space for yourself to feel, be, breathe and bring intention into your morning routine instead of just jumping out of bed and rushing out the door. Gently open your eyes and allow them to adjust to the room. Take time to breathe while still laying in bed. Pour yourself a glass of water. Determine how you want the day to unfold - who you want to be, how you want to show up, what you want to leave behind. Set some intentions that are just for you and breathe life into those intentions. Repeat them to yourself slowly and consistently, and maybe grab your journal and jot them down if that feels good.
*For more morning inspiration, check out my post on my personal morning routine.*
2) GET YOUR RITUAL ON IN THE SHOWER
If you're one for multi-tasking, what better way to use your quiet shower time than to layer it on with a mindfulness meditation? Water has the power to soothe, cleanse, and clarify, and a shower is a beautiful opportunity to harness this energy. For a potent shower ritual, bring your attention to the cleansing process - notice the sensation of the water as it hits your face and body. Notice the weight of your body and the strength of your legs and feet as they hold you up. Feel the connection between your feet and the earth beneath you. Close your eyes and deepen your breath, breathing through an open mouth to get an even deeper release. As the water trickles down your face and body, allow the droplets to purge any tension, stress, anxiety and fear-based thinking. Continue to bring your awareness back to your physical sensations when your mind starts to get ahold.
*Enhance your shower ritual by including essential oils in your routine – apply oils to your wrists and temples and the steam of the shower will help diffuse the oils and create a beautiful aromatic experience*
3) UNPLUG BEFORE BED
A cathartic way to unplug and reset before drifting off into dreamland can be to create a ritual around your bedtime routine. Start by turning your phone on airplane mode, which can not only help you decompress, but can also set your next day up for success since you won’t be bombarded by emails, texts and social media when you go to turn off the alarm. Just before you’re about to hit the hay, see if you can take a few minutes to process your day. Lie flat on your back and breathe into your body. Notice what you're still holding onto from your day - the conversations, experiences, and interactions you're still grasping . Notice the sensations in your body and where you're holding those experiences. Give yourself a few moments to process your state of being before fully retiring. See if you can conjure up a feeling of gratitude towards all of the moments of your day - the blessings and challenges - and even choose 3 tangible things to devote your gratitude towards. Allow a sense of peace and acceptance to wash over you as you finally let yourself doze off.
Essential oils are naturally-occurring chemical compounds found in plants. They derive from the plants’ roots, flowers, leaves, seeds and more! Through the science of aromatherapy, essential oils can be powerful holistic tools to enhance any ritual.
Read more about the science of essential oils.
FEATURED PRODUCTS TO ADD TO YOUR RITUALS:
INDULGE MOOD OIL®
MOOD MIST SET
RETREATS & WORKSHOPS
Jennifer Rose Goldman offers exclusive self-care retreats and workshops to help you strengthen your self-relationship. Practices include gentle movement, breathing & meditation, aromatherapy & tea, guided visualization, and much more!
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