Rituals are a way of honoring life and all it’s moments. Taking time to honor ourselves, our inner voice, our body and the rhythm of life.
Rituals have been around since the beginning of time. Originally recognized in religious practices, they are now commonly carried out in the western world for many different reasons. We unintentionally carry out rituals everyday, from brushing our teeth, to making our first cup of tea each morning. But most of the time, we do these things on autopilot. Moving from one thing to the next without becoming consciously aware of what we are doing and why.
What makes a ritual sacred? Intention and presence. Intention and presence are powerful ingredients that when brought into a ritual can transform a basic pattern or routine into a sacred moment. It becomes something special, something honored, something purposeful. It brings a deeper respect for what actions are being carried out, what tools are being used and what emotions are present within us. Whether it be a yoga practice, walking the dog, a placement of feet on the ground first thing in the morning or a few deep breaths. If we bring intention and presence to these practices they can become beautiful rituals. There are also many ways we can set the scene and honor the space for carrying out a ritual. Lighting a candle, burning some incense, playing your favorite piece of music. Whatever brings the moment to a higher level of enjoyment.
Of course, many of us lead very busy lives these days and it can be sometimes be difficult to find time for lengthy rituals, but even allowing as little as 5 or 10 minutes each day can still have a profound impact on our lives.
Honoring the beginning of a new day. A time to set intentions for the day ahead. Morning is a particularly magical time to preform a ritual, a quiet time before the hustle and bustle of the outside world begins. There is a slow, calm energy. Whether you have time for a yoga session, meditation or just a hot drink and a few deep breathes. Make it sacred by bringing intention and awareness. Morning rituals can be done in many ways. But here are a few suggestions..
1. Try to avoid looking at your phone until after you’ve carried out your morning ritual. This will allow you to remain in the present moment and not bring the overwhelming energy of the outside world into your space.
2. Find a quiet space, take a few deep breaths and carry out whatever you are called to do in this moment. A yoga session, meditation, journaling, gratitude practice, energizing breath work.
3. Enjoy and embrace your first hot drink for the day. Whatever your first drink is in the morning - Make it sacred. Use a special mug, bring awareness to the action, slow it down and become present. Give gratitude for where the ingredients in your cup have come from. Watch as the hot water pours into the mug and the ingredients infuse, hold it close you your heart, take in the smells, feel the warmth, take the first conscious sip. This simple moment in itself is a beautiful ritual.
Daily gratitude ritual
Having a gratitude practice is a beautiful way of honoring life. Taking a moment to pause, reflect and acknowledge where you are. It’s as simple as listing what you are thankful for in that particular moment. It can be as little as elaborate as you like. Write them down in a journal or close your eyes and list them in your head, it’s up to you. I suggest lighting a candle or burning some incense to honor the moment. The act of bringing a deep sense of gratitude for what we have, what we experience and what surrounds us is powerful way to reset and bring inner peace. Keeping a daily gratitude diary has been proven to improve overall mental wellbeing.
Evening rituals are a beautiful way to slow down, release and reset before sleep. If you suffer from broken sleep, a pre-bedtime ritual can be a powerful tool. Our minds are constantly overwhelmed by so much input and activity throughout the day that it can be very difficult to just switch off and go to sleep. Creating bedtime ritual can work wonders for our sleep health.
1. Setting the scene – Turning off or dimming down all the lights at a set time in the evening. (Having only a candle or an amber light on is optimal), playing some relaxing music (ideally without words)
2. Avoid digital devices and blue lights after a certain time in the evening. (Setting your phone to night mode & ideally putting it aside until the morning)
3. Drink a cup of calming tea (We recommend our Tonic Room Restore tea) Making it slow and sacred by consciously pouring it, watching and waiting as the herbs infuse into the water. Holding the warm mug in your hands and close to your heart, taking in the smells and slowly sipping it, becoming aware of the warmth as it enters the body.
4. Using essential oils - Diffusing calming essential oils such as lavender, sandalwood, rose, ylang ylang, eucalyptus & frankincense. These oils all have deeply calming affects on the mind, body and soul. Applying a drop of oil to your hands, rubbing together and cupping over your nose for a few deep breaths or massaging diluted essential oils into the soles of your feet for fast absorption.
5. Conscious calm breathing – There are many methods of breathing we can use to calm the body and mind and down regulate our nervous system. Such as alternate nostril breathing, 4-7-8 breathing which is breathing in for the count of 4, holding for 7 and the releasing for 8.
A skincare ritual is a beautiful way we can honor our skin and the perfect excuse to give ourselves time to slow down and connect with our senses at the beginning and the end of each day. Regularly feeding our skin with nutrients is just as important as nourishing and feeding our bodies, and the more often we do so, the greater the results. Morning and evening skincare rituals look fairly similar, although the products may differ slightly. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.
1. Cleansing - Cleansing the skin morning and night allows us to wash away the impurities of our day and evening. Apply the cleanser and consciously work over the skin with finger tips in a circular motion, covering all areas of the face. Breathing in the aromas of the botanical ingredients.
2. Hot Compress removal – Cover your face with a hot compress and hold for the count of 5 before removing your cleanser. Removing your cleanser with a hot compress is a way of allowing the ingredients in your cleanser to absorb deeper into the skin and to opens the pores for absorption of nutrients. For best results we recommend holding the hot compress 3 times for the count of 5 before removing which is deeply calming.
3. Exfoliation - Recommended only once or twice a week depending on your skin type.
4. Facial Mask – Using a facial mask once or twice a week is a beautiful way of honoring our skin and feeding it with added nutrients. (I like to have my mask on while I carry out my Sunday morning ritual, my favorites are MV signature mineral mask and Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask)
5. Facial serum – A serum is a light weight product that absorbs into the deeper layer of the skin prior to a facial oil and/or moisturizer (We recommend MV Native serum for deep hydration)
6. Massaging in your Facial oil and/or moisturizer - Facial massage is a beautiful way to honor and connect with your skin. It also has a lifting and toning effect on the facial tissues and brings fresh blood and nutrients to the skin (It’s one of my number one tips for skin wellness.) Apply a few drops into your hand, rub together and cup over your nose, taking in a long a deep breath. Smelling, connecting and grounding with the beautiful bouquet of botanical aromas of the oil. Slowly apply the oil with both hands to the face in a methodic rhythm, applying gentle pressure to generate warmth in the tissues. Massage the face in an upward motion, working towards the lymph nodes for drainage. (We recommend trying Vintner’s daughter botanical serum or Tata Harper retinoic oil)
by Lauren Ryburn