Over and above my daily shower, toilet break and breakfast in the mornings, I’ve re-started a spiritual practice that I’d let slide badly over the last three years. I’ve again been doing daily devotionals at the altar, lighting a small candle (we get ours from Owltree Grove) and occasionally a stick or cone of incense whilst reciting one of Dorothy Morrison’s daily blessing chants from her “Everyday Magic” book.
In the past I’ve found that the few minutes of focus and linking of mind and soul together has made my day(s) simpler and more effective. It’s also helped deal with a range of stresses in my life at the time. That minute or so to light a candle and incense between stepping from the shower and getting dressed for the day became something so habitual that I could still do it on the days I had blinding migraines – without the incense of course. I would leave the inexpensive dinnertable length taper burning as I dressed, snuffing it before leaving my room to head off for work for the day. Once I moved from my home and lost my personal altar space however, I let the habit slide.
I noticed it a few months into my “new life” that I wasn’t coping with stress well. I did a ritual to ease stress in my life. It worked for awhile. We moved to a new town four months after our wedding and we set up our little Home by the Sea with the altar in a more accessible place. I suggested to myself I should re-start the daily devotionals, if only to zen the house even more than it was…that idea took another 18 months to actually happen.
I’ve been back in the habit now for just over two weeks, and I’m noticing the difference in myself – turns out it wasn’t the house that needed extra zen after all 😀 I’m calmer, more in tune with my senses, less anxious, I can cope with stress that crops up better and if I’m honest, I think it’s making Mr U happier to have a less loonytunes Mrs U around! Oh, and we’ve had small wins in one of the lotteries in that time too. Nothing huge, but $30 will get our fruit and vege for the fortnight, or replace our non-functioning toaster!
I’ve also taken up an old hobby I’ve not done in over 10 years and am in process of crossing my eyes doing counted crossstitching. Once I get past all those
blasted blessed “confetti” stitches in the first pattern, I’ll be flying along again LOL! Team that with my continuing plans for more scrapbooking sessions, and my time that was once spent either doing housework, staring at the walls or spending 9-10 hours faffing on Facebook is being better spent, with more tangible results.
It’s a simple ritual, one that anyone can incorporate into their day, and it can make a difference. Don’t just take my word for it though, get some tealights or some tapers or even birthday candles and a safe place to let them burn for 10 minutes or so, and see for yourself. You don’t need to say a whole lot of high-falutin’ chants or poems or even speak aloud at all, just thinking the words “For the good day I’m going to have today, Thank you” is a good jumping off point. For those of you with children, if they’re old enough to help out, include them if you can’t get 10 minutes for yourself. It’s a lovely way of having “family time” however briefly before you all head off to work/school/kindy etc.
To build from there (and something I’m thinking of doing myself too), how about lighting that same candle at the end of the day and in a similar way saying/thinking something like “It’s been a good day today, thank you for that. Goodnight.”? Or if you prefer something a little more formal, find an evening blessing/chant to recite. That’s the joy of these things, you can be as relaxed or as rigid as you like/need to be!