A ritual is a routine that we perform mindfully and with intention. We bring quality to it, as opposed to the million other daily actions we do on auto-pilot (brush teeth, get dressed, unload dishwasher). Big or small, a ritual is a sacred moment with ourselves. It can be as simple as drinking coffee from a cherished cup or as intense as practicing ashtanga yoga for a whole hour, as long as it brings meaning or joy into our day.
Rituals are also moments when we can focus on being instead of doing, when we can connect to ourselves and slow down. By setting aside a pocket of time, we give ourselves the opportunity to forget the stresses and anxieties that occur in the rest of our day, if only for a few minutes. We take a restorative pause that helps us reset and brings us closer to finding inner quiet.
Morning and evening ritualsI feel at my best when I can perform both a morning and an evening ritual. It isn’t always possible (children, husband, life!), but having time to ease into the day and ease out of it again gives me a soft structure that I love. In the morning, it allows me to feel collected and focused. In the evening, it helps me relax and unwind. It frames my day.
But mostly, I see rituals as an intimate moment with myself. They’re a simple set of actions that ground me in the present, connecting me to my inner self and to whatever is happening inside of me, emotionally, at that very time. Having this space to understand what I’m going through gives me the ability to express what I feel in a much calmer, more constructive manner, and it helps me resolve conflicts more peacefully.
What is a good morning ritual?
Having alone time in the morning gives me the silence and stillness I need to start the day in the best possible way. As a mother who’s not always in control of her time, it’s immensely refreshing.
The perfect morning ritual awakens all my senses, and prepares my mind, body and spirit for the day ahead. I start by unrolling my yoga mat and stretching for 10 to 15 minutes. Then I sit on my meditation cushion, light palo santo and put on some soft meditation music. For a visual presence, I light an AKI lamp. I really set the stage, which turns my space into a place of significance.
And what about evening rituals?
At night, my ritual helps me transition from “life mode” to relax mode. From work and mama time to me time. I try to release the negative energy that sometimes builds up during the day, by expressing gratitude or practicing how to let go. I come out of it feeling more at peace and breathing positively.
Again, I love to light an AKI lamp to set the mood and signal to my body that the time has come to relax. And then I write in my journal – perhaps about things I’m grateful for that day, about feelings that have arisen or even about my long-term goals and dreams. I find writing helps me release emotions and find more focus. It creates a sense of wonder and makes me feel alive, inspired.
Meaningful objects can also help elevate a mundane daily habit from simple routine to sacred ritual. Surrounding yourself with cherished possessions imbued with love and care will convey a powerful positive energy and heighten your practice. That’s why I’ve made the AKI lamp an integral part of my daily rituals.
Oil lamps are one of mankind’s oldest inventions, present in ancient ceremonies as early as the Stone Age and across most civilisations. They were commonly used in temples and home shrines, given as votive offerings, or placed in burial chambers. Even in our modern lifestyles, these ritual objects retain a strong symbolism. Their flame connects us to the elements and provides a warm, comforting presence.
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