When I was young, I’d sometimes come home from school to find my mother, smothered in cold cream, lying on her back with her head hanging off the side of the bed. She was using gravity to reverse the effects of aging. And strangely enough, it was from this position she taught me how to make fried chicken & mashed potatoes. I would run from the kitchen to her bedroom, getting step by step instructions.
My mom knew how to honor her rituals. And I totally believe in rituals, too.
Rituals have the power to hold space. They give us pause. They help reconnect us with our truest self. They allow our head, our heart and our mind to play together in the same garden.
But in our society, they’ve become scarce--a thing of yester-century.
Come, pioneer your own methodical magic. It doesn’t have to be complex. I’ll show you how.
Heart: Morning Sipping Meditation
My favorite career coach, Joanna Ziemlewski, introduced me to this one. To be clear, tea isn’t actually my main thing. I like to make a big gorgeous cup of coffee. So find a drink that you like to devour.
1) Start kettle. I don’t even have a “kettle” but I like to call it a kettle. More fun.
2) While drink is being prepared, write your intention on your beautiful cup with a Versa Chalk marker.
3) Pour drink and light candle.
4) Find comfy spot (straight back, criss-cross applesauce is not required!)
♥ With the smell of your sweet liquid, breathe in your intention.
♥ In the beauty of your words, your cup, the flame, see your intention.
♥ With the feeling of the cup, feel your intention in your hands, your mouth, your belly.
♥ In the flavor of the tea, savor your intention.
♥ In the sounds around you, listen. Hear the silence broken by birdsong, traffic or the fridge.
You are here, in your body, giving yourself this exquisite moment to simply BE. Listen within.
♥ When you’re ready, begin to write. Whatever comes. Stop when you want.
♥ Hands over your heart, thank yourself for this moment. Repeat Daily.
Body: Shower Yourself with Love
I have to thank my spiritual teacher, circa 2007, for this one. She taught me to thank my body. And I ran with it from there.
You’ll Need: Shower, soap, your body, your heart.
1) Start shower.
2) Get wet!
3) Lather up your hands with soap. (I like a scrubby glove and body wash.)
4) Begin speaking in loving terms and appreciate every part of you.
♥ Thank you, liver, for detoxifying me. I love you.
♥ Thank you, gorgeous round belly, for carrying my babies. I love you.
♥ Thank you, beautiful ba-dunk-a-dunk, for putting the sashay in my steps. I love you.
♥ Thank you, soft arms, for helping me carry food and water every day. I love you.
You get the idea. For a double self-love whammy, lather yourself with lotion in the same manner.
Soul: Claiming Your Primal Power
Tarnie Fulloon, physiotherapist turned life coach who specializes in the sacred feminine, told me about this grounding ritual. It helped me reclaim my body as my own. Your body is your vessel for the vast journey of life. Every woman, regardless of childbearing choices, surgeries or lifestyle, holds this force of creation inside her pelvic bowl.
1) Put on sexy music. (I like Amy Amy Amy by Amy Winehouse)
2) Begin moving your hips in a figure 8.
3) Close your eyes and let the music guide you toward your primal purpose.
♥ Imagine the sisterhood of divine feminine that you belong to, all those gorgeous souls, dancing barefoot around a sacred flame
♥ Put your heart and hips in rhythm.
♥ Remember your place among them, ask for their guidance, support and protection.
♥ Feel the sheer sexiness of you and the power of your own body, exactly as you are right now.
♥ Take this feeling with you today. In every thing you do, every interaction you have, in every dream you dream.
What does all this have to do with photography?
Photo shoots are another fantastic annual ritual. Photographs help us understand who we are. They shift our perspective. They help us really see ourselves. These aren’t selfies. They’re not capturing us amidst activity. They are full-on photo shoots which are about ONLY us. Celebrating our SOUL. Celebrating our being.
What are your rituals? How do you reconnect with yourself?