For example, the actions you do to get ready for bed, such as brushing your teeth, putting on your pyjamas, can be treated as a loving ritual to help you wind down in preparation for a revitalising sleep. This personal ritual then provides a foundation for you so that, even if you are a bit upset one night, you are not so likely to go to bed in that energy because the body remembers the ‘getting ready for bed’ activities which you have been practising consistently with presence and so you will be more easily reminded to come back to a quiet wind-down rhythm.
- Walking – A daily walk can be a loving ritual and you will know you are present if you are enjoying it – feeling the joy of moving, listening to the sounds around you and observing everything without mind chatter. Take your attention to your feet as you walk, feeling your feet light on the earth, noticing how freely your hips and your arms are moving, and the quality of your movement.
- Food – Nourish your body with food that is fresh and cooked with love. Avoid foods and drinks that dull or stimulate the body. Enjoy all the different rituals around food such as setting the table, pouring a cup of tea, researching some new recipes to add to your repertoire.
- Exercise – For a strong flexible body develop a gentle routine at home or at the gym. Let go of competition or goals. Honour the limitations of your body and build it up gently. Honour your body and rest when you need to.
- What you love to do – Allow time for the things that really support you – writing, painting, blogging, knitting, carpentry, or gardening. Stop when your body says ‘enough’, even if you are on a roll.
- Home – Create order and harmony in your home. Love your home and make it nurturing for you. What is your style? Do you like a neutral palette or one that is rich and colourful, feminine or masculine? You may choose to clear out your wardrobe, pantry or car to create more space. Rearrange furniture and add flowers, plants, paintings, prints or photos, or perhaps some treasured collectibles that reflect who you are.
- Connecting with People – Make your life about people. Take time to connect with family, friends, and work colleagues, and even those you meet when shopping. Enjoy connecting with everyone you meet in your day. Join a group, a share house, or offer your services as a volunteer in the community. Appreciate your life experience and wisdom.
- Meditation – The Gentle Breath Meditation® is a great way to settle the mind and create harmony and stillness in the body. As well as connecting with our own inner nature we can also connect with nature that surrounds us by tuning into the temperature of the air, the clouds, the stars at night, the moon cycle, and what’s blooming or fading in the garden. These moments of connection can also bring us to a feeling of stillness and appreciation of ourselves.
My Recipe for Harmonious Living
Rhythms and Rituals – Building rituals from the above menu creates a rhythm in your life so that it flows. Each day will be different, for example some days you may need more rest, other days you will be ready to start on that spare room!
Choose whatever you feel will create a supportive structure to your day.
Attitude – Commit to life, knowing that you make a difference, that you have a place in the bigger picture. Keep engaged, keep working to be of service as long as you are able, keep learning. It is never too late to embark on new learning. Review your attitude to death and dying. How we live today is the best preparation – just as you feel complete and settled after a good day’s work, so too will you feel ready to let go when your time comes if you have lived your life to the full.
Enjoy You – Appreciate your strengths, your tenderness, and the opportunities life constantly brings us for more awareness and understanding.
Bernadette C., Australia