When I feel confused about things in my life and can’t seem to find the answers to my questions, or even quite figure out what my questions are, I turn to a form of meditation. I have created an evening ritual that fits into my work and philosophies as a massage therapist.
You will find your own expression that suits what you do and what your beliefs are. Prayers, yoga, meditation, a shower and so on. The intent will be the same, and that’s what is important.
This is part of my wellness regime, possibly the easiest part for me compared to diet and exercise.
I want to share my ritual with you, to let it serve as an example and give understanding to why I do it. It’s my hope that you will find it useful and it can aid you in creating your own ritual.
I do a smudging with sage and other herbs. It has several steps where the intent is to let go of the day that has passed. The intent is to remove the negative influences and feelings. It is a symbolic cleansing of my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body. I then offer thanks and gratitude for the day that passed, again including all aspects of life.
Once I have smudged myself I often play with my massage stones. Arrange them in patterns on the floor and just enjoy to touch them. This has a soothing and calming effect on me, and is a meditation form.
I then take a medicine card. The cards have animals on them and the book describes these totems. For you it could be tarot cards, daily affirmation cards, beads or any other things that you attribute some meaning to and which will give you associations to important things on your mind.
In my notebook I write down the date and then exerts from the text of my daily card. I just write down the sentences or words that speak out to me in that moment, the words that feel right and ring true.
Then I put away the card so I can still see it and I start writing. I write what comes to my mind. It can be events of the day that are not fully solved, some challenge or pain weighing on my heart, associations with the card. Really anything that pops into mind, questions and answers.
By doing this I get into contact with my subconsciousness and often I gain clarity and inspiration on how to deal with certain issues or ideas for what I can do to change things. It is very productive and insightful.
Finally, I write a daily affirmation. This can be just a few sentences or several paragraphs. That all comes down to what weighs on my mind and where I want to change. If I want more success as a massage therapist, I will write that I am a successful massage therapist. If I want to be more compassionate and kind, I write that I am compassionate and kind.
If I need more grounding and calming, I will cocoon myself with some of my stones, either hot or cold, and go into meditation with them lying on me. Often I fall asleep quickly and only vaguely recall putting the stones on the floor an hour or two later.
Doing this little ritual every evening helps me wind down from the day, calm my mind and gives me a nice quiet time which allows me to sleep better at night. All my thoughts, worries and ideas of the day have been written down and dealt with. And they’re there for the next day if they’re important.
What is your little evening ritual? How do you let go of the day and prepare yourself for the night?