Originally posted on Yoga Parkside's blog on 9/7/20
2020 has given us a lot of negativity intertwined with beautiful glimmers of hope. While there have been many unforeseeable challenges, sparks of resilience and creativity are happening all around us. We’re all doing our best to work through several different emotions and experiences. Each of us is navigating this journey in our own personal way, adapting to new digital and social ways of being.
Most of us have adapted to a new routine, whether it’s working from home, socializing with others, homeschooling, etc. While a regular routine is important, it is often done out of habit (like brushing your teeth) and can feel mundane. Our daily routines can be transformed by the power of rituals, or meaningful habits that connect us to the present moment. In his book Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us how simple tasks like washing the dishes or eating an orange can be a ritual. “Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred. In this light, no boundary exists between the sacred and the profane.”
Here are 4 practices to turn your daily routine into a sacred ritual.
A morning ritual is a great way to ground yourself and awaken your mind to the day ahead. It can be simple and it doesn’t have to be a big activity. Most importantly, it should energize you.
Here are some simple ideas for a morning ritual:
Set aside time for at least one ritual before logging onto your computer or checking your phone
Create a comfortable space
Designate a small area, separate from the rest of your home, as a sacred space. This doesn’t have to be a large space. It can also be outside. Keep it simple and create an altar using pictures or other meaningful objects (crystals, figurines), plants, candles, etc. to designate the space. Choose objects that energize and inspire you to get into your morning ritual or connect with yourself throughout the day.
Declutter your space! Whether it’s an entire room, a closet, or your desk drawer, start small and commit. The Buy Nothing Project is a great way to give away things you no longer need to your local neighbors. Find your local group here.
Make time for creativity
Despite the challenges of the last few months, we have been given an opportunity to reimagine our personal and professional lives. Set aside some time for the project you’ve been thinking about doing, or the hobby you’ve wanted to pick up. Disconnect from your devices and find an activity that centers you and cultivates a sense of ease and playfulness.