This is a transitional season when many of us start reflecting on the end of the year. Summer is winding down and, along with it, vacations and the downtime that summer beckons us into. Transitioning from summer to fall can feel constricted, intense and often overwhelming as the end of the year busyness starts to pick up. It’s a great opportunity to create sacred space and a little quietness within our lives to help prepare ourselves for what’s ahead.
To be honest, when I started to think about creating “reflective rituals” for fall, it was giving me a little anxiety. I felt like there was already so much to do–more than I can accomplish–and thinking about creating supportive space for myself by settling into a reflective ritual felt like just one more thing added to my plate.
As I often do when I get overwhelmed, I closed my eyes, took a couple deep breaths and went inward. “Aha” that’s a perfect reflective ritual. To reconnect with my breath, take a moment to acknowledge my feelings, reflect on the present strength within and then open my eyes to a calmer more grounded self.
As we turn the corner to a new season, we are invited to take time to reflect, to” be” in the moment, not simply “do”. In taking time to reflect it isn’t another to-do. It is me simply taking the time I need to notice, to find calm and to be present with myself (and therefore others!)
So I’m choosing my rituals to be small actions like:
- Going outside to reflect on nature
- Give myself a set time to remove from the constant connection I have with devices
- Appreciate open space, our earth–appreciate the colors of green, blue and the changing leaves
- Create a narrow vision focus and let it stay there. It’s been shown that we are able to go further and work better when we have a narrow focus
- Play soft music in the morning vs. checking my email or listening to the news
- Pause to reflect upon nothing, instead of everything
Instead of creating another “to do list” I’m choosing to undo. Undo the noise, the chatter, the constant cry for attention outside of myself. It feels powerful – the possibility that however minimal the ritual I choose to build, therein lives a limitless space for even a small shift or change. The intention itself creates space.
If you want to add something in that feels more actionable- here are some suggestions:
- Write in a journal- it’s amazing what can come out when you just let the pen flow on paper
- Light a candle- just the process can be cathartic
- When things get chaotic at home, try clearing the space with sage, palo santo or an essential oil spray. I love the Cleanse and Protect by Satya (Natalie Fairbrook) so simple to use and it always makes me and my environment feel calmer
- Write down or verbalize gratitude at some point in the day- when we look at what we’re grateful for it helps dissipate the energy around that feels hard or scary in that moment
- Listen to a guided meditation- this is my current favorite on Insight Timer on affirmations
Perhaps you simply need to create space for a routine of self-care–where the ritual becomes the ongoing reflection that you are important. Take a class, take two, meet a friend for coffee, nurture yourself in any way that feels supportive to you- and most importantly achievable.