Many of us women simply do what we do out of habit or as a reaction to the things already happening around us. What if instead we consciously added simple actions to our daily rituals in order to brighten our day, thereby creating more joy and pleasure in everything that we do?
Perhaps the word ritual suggests things that occur on Halloween, or maybe it brings to mind smells of patchouli or Nag Champa. However, whatever the word means to you, rituals need to be reinvented so that we create practices that ensure health, joy and continued wellbeing. As I undertake my own experiments in defining and recreating rituals, here are some thoughts to inspire you toward a more conscious living as well.
A simple, yet thoughtful morning ritual sets the tone for the rest of your day. If done with mindfulness revamping your morning routine will reduce stress and bring more overall balance to your life — even if the rest of the day goes haywire. By devoting anywhere from ten minutes to an hour of doing things that you enjoy first thing in the morning, you can reap huge benefits. Feeling skeptical about such a bold statement? I encourage you try this consistently for a few weeks, and I promise you will not be disappointed. A morning ritual with you as the architect can and will change your life in so many good ways.
Tips: Try meditating, exercising, showering and eating prior to anything else like checking social media or reading email. Keep your phone, iPad and computer away from your bedside. This will help curb “information overload” and ensure that you are in charge of when and how often you respond to the outside world. Things like browsing email or Facebook before any of your important self-care tasks are distractions that might derail the train of productivity and land you in a bad mood.
Loving Your Body
Small practices to love your body more will have major impacts over time. Being conscious of the products that you use on your body is one such example. Being the largest organ of the body, the skin absorbs everything that we put on it. Choosing quality products made from natural ingredients is a sure way to wear the rosy-cheeked glow each and every day.
Tips: If a product has one ingredient that you can’t pronounce (and definitely if it has more than one) it’s probably not too great for you or your beautiful skin. Upgrade to a few high quality products, as your health is greatly worth the investment.
The Art of Dressing
Paying attention to how we dress imbues us with that triple-treat of beauty, readiness and finesse. If you happen to be an entrepreneur like myself, or even if you work from home, the days of working in pajamas should be long over. Why? It’s simple: when we’re dressed and ready, we can respond to any opportunity that comes our way. There’s a quiet sense of beauty and femininity that comes to mind while dressing, and this feeling can easily spill over into one’s work. Regardless of where your office is, adorning your body should be a non-negotiable ritual.
Tips: The art of dressing might mean having your own signature perfume or an assortment of beautiful earrings to wear any day of the week. Maybe you’ll go as far as wearing heels to the grocery store on a Monday night simply because you want to. Dress for how you want to feel regardless of what activities you have planned or what day it says on the calendar.
Food of the Gods
As busy woman, a rotation of healthy morning foods is the key to avoiding the 2:00 p.m. crash — that typical time for dipping into the candy bowl with unhealthy cravings. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, include nourishing whole foods as the basis of your morning fuel.
Tips: Create a delicious breakfast rotation with things like green smoothies packed with fruit and healthy fats, eggs with sautéed vegetables or a warm bowl of oatmeal loaded with superfoods, nuts and organic maple syrup.
Creating modern rituals is all about taking what we enjoy and making allowances for them throughout our day. This helps us to reframe our experiences and make us enjoy those otherwise ordinary moments. Reinventing rituals enables us to directly improve our lives, which in turn leads us to improving the lives of others. When we’re happy, everyone around us feels it. It’s the I’ll have what she’s having feeling.
Image courtesy of Ashley Paquin