How We Can Incorporate Simple Routines and Find the Sacred in Everyday Life
There are times when the world seems heavy
Over the past year we have struggled with feeling isolated, fearful, angry, anxious and unsure.
World events and the opinions of others weigh heavy on our hearts and souls, the clouds of fear and uncertainty begin to block the light and we lose sight of all the good that is still all around us.
How do we clear out the noise and the darkness? How do we swim to the surface of the murky waters of fear and loss and rediscover the light?
So much of our modern day culture revolves around the media and consumption of the products, ideas, and agendas of others. It is so easy to lose sight of our own thoughts, beliefs, hopes, joys, and desires when we are being bombarded by these outside messages.
But it doesn’t have to be like this…we are so much more than our social media prescence…we are entitled to our own thoughts and opinions outside of the mainstream…
What If we stopped mindlessly scrolling through social media, realized that we are absorbing every negative word and image on the screens we surround ourselves with? What is we didn’t check our phones the moment we woke up? How would your life be different if you didn’t look at a single screen or listen to a single outside message from a TV or computer or phone today?
What if we lived entire days with a natural rhythm? Just ourselves, authentic and still and open? What would we feel, believe, think, focus on …without the distractions that we have become accustomed to?
When did we start to allow a screen to dictate our lives, our routine, our thoughts, our moods, our beliefs? Do you remember the last time you had an entire day without an electronic devise telling you what to think or do or believe?
If you woke up tomorrow and didn’t turn on a screen, didn’t have thousands of external messages telling you to be anxious and afraid…how would you really feel? What if we let our souls become our barometer of how we wanted to feel? What if we let our intuition guide our experience?
Sacred Living: Nature, Rituals, Routines
Even in the darkest of times, we can hold onto the rituals and daily routines that nourish our souls.
How would you feel if you woke up today, brewed a cup of tea, watched the world wake up outside of your window, read a book, stretched in front of the fire or went for a walk, spent time talking with your family, fully engaged in the moment?
If we anchor our lives in the rituals, routines, and natural rhythms that have guided us and our ancestors for thousands of years, how would our lives look? How would our outlook change?
Here are 5 ways to meaningfully engage in sacred living:
1. Wake up and go to sleep mindfully. Spend the first and last two hours of your day without a single screen. Keep your blinds open and let the light of the sun wake you up naturally, allow your body’s circadian rhythms to connect with the natural cycles of the sun and moon. Breathe deeply, stretch, and begin your day in sacred silence. Check in with yourself…how does your body feel? Is your mind clear? Did you dream last night? What is coming up in your thoughts? What needs done today? What is your intention for your day? Try to spend time in meditation, or journaling to get in touch with your inner wisdom and find stillness and silence.
2. Spend time in nature. Go for a walk or take a moment to stand outside in the morning sunlight. If it’s cold, take some time to sit near a window and gaze outside. Even in the city we can look for signs of nature…the way the sun reflects off the windows and walls…the animals we see on the tree branches, the way the frost creates artistic designs on our window panes. If it’s available to you, take a few moments to breathe in the fresh air…feel your lungs rejoicing in the burst of new energy, fresh air bringing rejuvenation and new life to our bodies. Plan for a walk or hike somewhere that you feel is sacred. Is there a park, lake, beach, woodland, mountain, or field near you? Can you find the time today for a retreat to this space? Taking time to walk or sit in nature. Allowing your senses to fully explore the world around you….can you feel the sun and wind on your skin? Taste the fresh crisp air? Smell the earth or wind? Feel the energy of the earth…perhaps take a moment to walk in your barefeet? What do you see and hear? No distractions…just taking time to be here now.
3. Establish your own daily rituals. Instead of buying coffee in a rush to work, can you take the time in the morning to mindfully brew your own herbal tea or coffee? If you didn’t spend the first hour of your day engrossed in a screen, would you have time to make a healthy meal and savor the way your body felt from truly nourishing yourself? Rather than rushing through a shower at night, what if you allowed yourself the time for a bath lavished with essential oils, candles, and soothing music? What if you decided to bake your own bread, knit your own scarves, draw, paint, or write in your journal, or spend time in a movement practice like yoga every morning? When was the last time you looked at the “screen time monitor” on your phone…how many hours a day do you think you are actually spending staring at that screen? What else could you do with that time? Hobbies and passions we think we don’t have time for…music, art, connection, movement…what if these were the priorities?
4. Sacred connection: Rather than rushing through time with our family, what if we mindfully engaged in conversations with our loved ones, giving them our full attention? Has someone ever asked you to put down your phone and look at them when you’re talking? Are you guilty of scrolling through social media while on a phone call, absentmindedly listening to the person on the other end? What if we set aside time to be fully present, engaged, and aware? Our hearts and souls long for connection, but looking to meet this need through a screen is an empty pursuit. How can you take time today to be truly connected to another person …or even a pet?
5. Spiritual embodiment. There is something deeper, calling us, craving expression and acknowledgement. Call it spirit, intuition, inner self, soul, or purpose. What is that thing that makes our heart beat? What is the feeling you get when engaged in your purpose? How do we nourish this spirit of ours? Making time to explore our inner selves…meditation, prayer, rituals, dreams…allowing the time and space to actually sit with these things. This isn’t always comfortable and we often engage in distractions to avoid these deeper feelings. Our soul is the essence of our being. When we strip away the distractions, we come face to face with our inner purpose and sometimes this can be a new experience…we so often run away from deep feelings, shadow work, and connection to the divine. How can we use these practices to engage in a deeper way with our inner selves and find our true purpose?
These are just simple exercises to begin to explore our daily habits and rituals. Start small, begin to explore your existing habits, see what is working for you and what isn’t. We are facing so many challenges, but a lot of our stress is external and manmade. When we take away the distractions and the opinions of others…what is left behind? Allow yourself to be authentic…trust your own inner guidance…commit to practices that nourish your own sense of wellbeing. Worrying about everything going on in the world isn’t helping anyone. We have this perception that worry and anxiety is somehow our duty…that being overly concerned is helping in some way, but it really isn’t. Being in a perpetual state of fear only serves to take away our peace, deplete our energy, and steal our time. Reclaim your power. Step into your purpose, take each and every momement of every day as sacred and fill it with things that make you feel alive, hopefully, strong and present. We can only be useful to others and a higher purpose if we prioritize our own healing journey first. Start small, start somewhere, you might have ups and downs, but the important part is to begin the journey.