I’m a big fan of ritual.
It is the easiest way I have found to intentionally create more space and direction in my life. It has helped me get clear on what it is I want to focus on in life and has helped me to feel more at peace with the craziness of our world.
The great thing about ritual is that it is non-denominational and can be as serious or as fun as you want it to be. It can be as simple or as complex as you like. Your ritual, your rules. For me, keeping it simple works. Whenever I have tried to follow some complex set of steps and rules, I either lose interest or get so overwhelmed about getting it wrong (totally ridiculous given there is no right or wrong way to conduct a ritual) that I ditch the whole thing in favour of a glass of wine and a Netflix marathon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as partial to binge-watching 18 episodes of Friday Night Lights as the next person but other than making me wish I grew up in Dillon, Texas, the show doesn’t really add anything to my life.
If you would like to incorporate some ritual into your life, here are my top tips:
+ Start where you are. As I mentioned above, you don’t have to spend hours setting up and completing a complex ritual. You can start by just taking some time first thing in the morning to set your intention for what you want to achieve and how you want to feel as you go about your day. If you’re more of a night owl, write a list of everything you achieved that day towards your goals, and put in a couple of things you are going to do the next day that will get you one step closer to your target. Reminding yourself of how far you have come is a great way of maintaining the motivation to continue.
+ Keep it in your budget. There is no need to go out and spend $200 on crystals, sage sticks, palo santo and singing bowls unless, of course, you want to. Some of my most powerful rituals simply involve getting some paper and writing a list of 10 things that are no longer serving me in my life then putting the paper in a bowl and setting in on fire (be safe with flames, kids), with the intention of releasing everything that was on the list. If burning things isn’t an option, you can tear the paper up or bury it instead. This is a great one to do when it’s a full moon.
+ Include Mother Moon. I like to pop the full moon and new moon dates in my calendar to make sure I know when they are happening. The new moon is the perfect time to get clear on what you want to create in your life. Head outside and sit under her golden light as you conduct your ritual. You could grab some cute little post-it notes and write an intention on each one, then stick them up somewhere you will see them all the time. If you prefer to keep your intentions and desires a bit more private, jot them down in a book instead. The full moon’s energy is about letting go, releasing past hurts and limiting beliefs, and making space for better things to come into your life. The burn-your-past ritual I mentioned above is my favourite thing to do on a full moon. Note: Howling at the moon is optional but totally recommended.
+ Get grounded. The easiest way to ground your energy is to – yep, you guessed it – sit on the ground. If you plant your bum on some grass, or dirt, or sand, you’ll feel more connected to the universe and yourself almost immediately. If you don’t have easy access to the earth, you can try having a bath with some Epsom salts. Throw in a few rose petals or lavender stems for extra feel-like-a-goddess points.
+ Use cards. Oracle cards (or tarot cards, if that’s more your jam) come in all shapes and sizes, and add another element to your ritual. I like to pull a card to see where I need to put my focus for that day. If I have lots of time, I’ll do a more in-depth reading. I like to ask, “What will help me most to remember right now?” If you aren’t sure where to start, The Little Sage cards are lovely. I don’t use cards so much from a spiritual connecting-with-guides perspective. Rather, I more just use them to check in with myself and work with what resonates most from the message to see what I need to focus on that day or week.
+ Meditate. Stressing about everything you need to do tomorrow is not conducive to a rockin’ ritual. To help clear my mind, I like to meditate for 10 minutes before I start my ritual. I usually keep it simple and just focus on drawing my breath into my heart space, creating an ever-growing pool of light until I’m completely engulfed in it and it’s radiating from me.
+ Smudge your house. After I give the house a good clean, I like to open all of the windows and smudge to clear out old, icky energy. I either use dried white sage sticks or palo santo wood, depending on my mood. If you haven’t smudged before, palo santo might be a good option because it has a lovely woody smell. Sage, on the other hand, is quite intense and can take a bit to get used to. If you jump on Google, you’ll find tonnes of examples of how to smudge. My smudging ritual looks something like this: start in the room that is furthest from the front door and as I let the smoke move around the room, I say, “I clear this space of all energy that is not for our highest and greatest good.” I repeat this process until I reach the front door. If I have enough time, I’ll then walk back through the house with a white candle and say, “I fill this space with white light and love.”
What about you? Do you use ritual to help bring your life into focus? If so, I’d love to hear about what you do.