This is the last in a series of three posts designed to explore rituals and the beneficial role they can play in our journey towards a life in balance. Click to read the first or second posts in the series.
The Ritual Series
Using a Physical Item To Complete Your Ritual
In The Rituals Series so far, we’ve discussed what a ritual is, and how you can begin to incorporate one that is meaningful into your life. In this post, we’ll explore how adding a physical item, like a candle or fragrance, can help focus, enhance, or even be the basis for the ritual itself.
You may have heard of people who light a candle while they meditate. Or others who sip a cup of tea while they write a daily journal entry. There are many benefits to adding a little something to your existing ritual, or even beginning a new one using an item as the activity. For example, lighting the candle at the start of your ritual may help structure it by providing a clear beginning, and a new environment in which the ritual can occur. Brewing tea may help you become more aware, engaging more of your senses. An object like a journal, may even give you the platform for the ritual activity itself.
Selecting An Object For Your Ritual
If you are thinking about starting a ritual, or already have one you enjoy, think about whether it could be enhanced by, or centered around an object. Could adding a dab of Sensory Oil to your wrist before your morning yoga class enhance the experience? Could buying a journal help you turn your daily thoughts of Gratitude into a ritual?
In the previous post, we explored building a ritual around a hobby or an activity that is meaningful to you. This can also be done with an activity using an object that is important to you. For example, one member of the Cerra team has a friend who likes to cook old-fashioned oatmeal each Saturday morning in a cast iron pot that her grandmother gave her. As she measures, mixes, and stirs, she is mindful of the happy memories associated with the pot, and the calm it brings her to go through the process.
Sara, a mom and tea blogger, describes how her ritual with a special teapot and mug set the stage for the day ahead:
“When I am in the office, my morning tea ritual starts with adding fresh hot water to tea leaves waiting in my little teapot. As they steep I spend a few minutes to think about what lies ahead for the day, and what I’d like to accomplish. After the tea has steeped, I pour it into a glass teacup, where I can observe the color and aroma. As I sip the tea, I think about all the flavors I’m tasting. After a few sips I try to focus on my mood, and observe how it slowly starts to lift as the effects of the tea kicks in. It is a good way to wake up, and get my mind focused on the tasks ahead.”
As you explore selecting an object for your practice, consider how the elements of your ritual could be pulled together. Would you like to add warmth? Focus? Fragrance? Would you like to have the structure of an object that makes an activity possible? Do you have a meaningful object or activity that could be turned into a ritual?
Cerra Products Designed For Rituals
Knowing the importance rituals can play in living a life of balance, we specifically created products to help you take a bit of time for yourself each day. Here are a few items from our collection that you could use to begin a regular wellness practice.
• Sensory Oil
Before work, dab some Sensory Oil on your pulse points while breathing deeply and saying the affirmation of your chosen Intention. Later on, when you catch a whiff of the fragrance, you’ll be reminded of the good feelings you get from your Intention.
• Guided Journal
If you find that you enjoy writing down your thoughts, but sometimes aren’t sure where to get started, the prompts printed on the Guided Journal bookmarks can help. If journaling is already a part of your life, try keeping an Inspiration journal—each night before bed, write down 3 things that inspire you and why.
Brewing a cup of tea filled with the flavors associated with your Intention can add warmth to your ritual, and help you become more aware by engaging your senses of taste and smell.
• Dissolving Notes
Dissolving Notes are a unique tool. They work by writing down a thought on a water-soluble note and watching it disappear in water. Start a Courage ritual by writing down the things you are afraid of on a Dissolving Note, and watch as your fear symbolically disappears.
• Me Time Pebble Candles
Each candle burns for about 30 minutes, so they’re a warm, fragrant way to squeeze a ritual into a busy schedule. Try lighting a Pebble Candle each morning and meditating for the duration of the flame, breathing in the scent of your Intention. When the candle burns out, you’ll be ready to start the day with a renewed focus and calm.
• Circle of Friends Loving Kindness
Some of us are social creatures and may enjoy performing rituals in a group setting. Invite a few friends over, and have each person write an example of kindness in the journal while adding a donation to the bank. Afterwards, discuss how it makes you feel to celebrate kindness. When the bank is full, select a charity to receive your donation!
As The Series Comes To A Close…
We hope you have enjoyed this Rituals Series, and can begin to incorporate a regular practice into your life. If you feel comfortable sharing your rituals, we’d love to hear about what you do to maintain balance in the comments below.
Looking ahead, if you have any comments, suggestions or ideas for topics you would like to know more about in the future, we welcome your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.