I'm someone who loves self-nourishing rituals —regular, predictable activities that nourish me, body, mind and spirit.
These sorts of rituals (ceremonial acts) involve tender enactments—things we choose to do regularly to soothe our body; slow our mind, enabling us to focus on the present moment; engage our senses, allowing us to luxuriate in "me time."
The key to a ritual such as this is how the steps or key ingredients are performed in exactly the same way each time. This provides the comfort of "sameness" — the relaxing feeling of what to expect while knowing that nothing else needs be done other than to sit back and enjoy. As a result, we experinece the pure pleasure of savoring the moment for what it is—a moment in time where we can truly BE.
For me (no matter where I am) a nightly bathing ritual is paramount to my well-being. The simple ritual I have created is something I look forward to. It is a reward at the end of a busy day. And I enact this ritual whenever I need to, especially if stress sets in, or I am not feeling well. I set the stage with my reading glasses, the book of the day, a favorite bath or shower gel, and, of course, peace and quiet. This bath ritual takes at least 15 - 30 minutes. I may even drain and fill the tub so the water stays the perfect temperature. I forget the world outside the bathroom door and slide into a world of comfort.
Do you have a self-nourishing ritual? Anything—done regularly, to specification—that enables you to simply let go?
If you don't, you can begin to create one for yourself right now.
1. Identify what it is that truly gives you comfort.
2. What materials or props will you need?
3. What time frame do you have to work with?
Give yourself permission to be creative and devise a wonderfully delicious way to to enjoy YOU. Let your body purr with contentment; let your mind be at ease.
Whatever self-nourishing activity you create, do it regularly with the same intent, preparation, tools and setting. This predictable pattern, in time, will move your body toward equanimity—and all of you toward wholeness. You may actually begin to remember how it feels to be completely peaceful and free. As memory stirs, you will be moved to create the ritual again and again, until it becomes a "normal" part of your day and you cannot imagine your life without it.
That's precisely how I feel about my bath ritual. And I can hardly wait to move into our "new" cottage next week. It comes complete with a turn-of-the-century claw foot bathtub. Heaven on earth ...
I'd love to hear about your self-nourishing rituals ... Do tell.
(Image courtesy of www.guspa.com)