Rituals to Anchor Your Mindfulness Practice
Rituals are important because they imply sacredness. Mindfulness. Doing something co mpletely and making sure it doesn’t get lost in the ether and drift away. The sacred practice of rituals keep us connected to our source. When something is important to you, then you should ritualize it. Your teeth are important to you so you brush them twice a day. You start the day and end the day with this ritual. Why? Because our teeth are important. They allow us to chew our food into easily digestible pieces, which in turn allows us to nourish our bodies. They are taken for granted almost always, and yet the quality of our lives would lessen greatly if we allowed these teeth to decay to the point of them falling out. Oral health is not unlike our inner health. Our inner health requires not only consistent nourishment, but also consistent maintenance. One of the keys to maintaining our mental, spiritual, emotional (and physical) health is to create daily rituals. Here are a few suggestions of rituals that maintain our inner health: -Start and end your day with meditation. Spend five minutes connecting to your breath, silence the mind, check in with your heart, and plant your seeds of intention for the day. In five minutes, you will have invited clarity into your space, and set the tone for your day. -In that space of waking up and jumping into action, take 3-5 minutes to breathe and check in with yourself. Scan your body and look for areas of tension. Send breath and healing prana into these pockets of discomfort. Allow the natural healing abilities of your body to do the work for you. These spaces may feel heavy, uncomfortable, even painful. Explore why this is. What’s stuck there? What’s worrying you? What’s causing you pain, sadness, anxiety? Breathe into this space. Send it some love. Allow the breath to EXPAND this area rather than allow it to remain constricted. This process can take as little as three minutes! -Explore what you are grateful for. What you have to appreciate in this moment. It could be something as small as your kids are still asleep, and you have 5 minutes of peace and quiet to meditate, or the fact you have a home that keeps your family safe. The beauty about gratitude is that it is an expansive, uplifting emotion. Imagine a hot air balloon...gratitude will send you sailing effortlessly up, up and up into the sky. It gives you a feeling of lightness, and a fresh perspective. You are connected to all you see, but you should not be attached to all you see. When you can rise up in that hot air balloon and see everything around you with a fresh perspective, you are able to see with objectivity. You are able to see the beauty in all of it, as well as the impermanence of it all. -Set your intention for the day. Every day we wake up with a to-do list that can make our heads spin. Work, kids, relationships, and on and on it goes. But take 2-3 minutes and pre-visualize your day. What do you want to accomplish? What action steps are you going to take toward that goal that lights you up? Your ritual can be whatever YOU want it to be, but the key ingredients should be gratitude, compassion, and service (to yourself and others). It should be nourishing, and it should set the tone for a day full of flow and grace. Feel free to join me as I take you through my own 10 minute morning practice.