By The Mother Daughter Team
Stacy Shuman & Chaleigh Craft
Ways We’re Engaging Ritual Amidst Chaos
In the wake of a global pandemic, it can feel impossible to maintain a daily routine, let alone make room for daily rituals. But prioritizing ritual is arguably more important now, when we feel ungrounded, unsettled and are experiencing a general sense of unrest. Rituals help us to set our intentions, they can alter and improve our mood, and they help us to prioritize our needs, which enables us to better serve our communities. So we have decided to team up and share how we’re incorporating daily ritual into our lives, in hopes that it inspires you to also find those moments of clarity, peace, resilience, quiet, and strength.
Chaleigh’s Morning Rituals
A note on mindfulness
For a long time, I didn’t understand what being mindful meant. I would hear mindfulness encouraged and think “that must be nice, but I don’t know how to do it”. I couldn’t practice mindfulness because I neither understood what it was, nor had the mental capacity for the kind of mindfulness often preached. It wasn’t until it was broken down into the simplest of terms for me that it really began to click. “When you’re doing the dishes, try just noticing that you’re doing the dishes”–and so my practice in mindfulness began!
I love starting my morning with easy rituals, they help me slowly ease into and set a pace for the day. Every morning, I sip my coffee and think I’m drinking my coffee. During this time I also take my morning medications and supplements, reminding myself how lucky I am to have access to these tools that help me. I pull out my planner and see what I need to do that day, adding anything that comes up. I finally pull a tarot card, or three, and use the tarot pull for reflection and introspection. Together, it all takes about 15 minutes, but radically alters my morning for the better.
Stacy’s Mid Morning/Afternoon Rituals
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, my morning ritual involved hiking with my husband and our two French Bulldogs at one of our favorite Marin County trails, followed by a big salad at our coveted lunch spot, remarkably a small local grocery food store, “Good Earth”. I miss the easy, community vibe and the freedom we experienced, pre-pandemic, to eat outside before grabbing groceries for dinner, our meal plans unfolding on a daily basis.
Our meal planning and groceries have shifted to meet our shifting needs as well; our meals are planned in advance now. Yet this organization somehow evolved into a new ritual, a special lunch that is thoughtfully prepared and served at the table, where we slow down and quietly enjoy an afternoon meal together. I often pick lettuce leaves and herbs from the garden for our salads and I always set the table with our prettiest pieces. This is now a routine we both cherish. Many times we will acknowledge how much more meaningful it feels to prepare and enjoy special meals this way, sans the hustle that comes with parking lots, crowds and commerce.
Stacy’s Evening Rituals
Every evening, I use my hula hoop or jumping rope and spend time in my garden. I have a small side patio where I have planted many lettuces, tomatoes and herbs. I tend to the plantings, watering and harvesting for dinner. And I always wear Lavender on pulse points if I am going to be outside, particularly in the summer, to deter flea and tick bites. Lavender can also be safely used with dogs. You can apply a couple drops to a collar or use in a spray bottle with water and a bit of vinegar. These new routines have given structure to my day, ritualizing the things that nurture my body and spirit.
Chaleigh’s Evening Rituals
I like to end my day with earthly, grounding elements. The routine helps my body recognize that it is time for bed, and makes getting to sleep less laborious. I start by diffusing some Lavender essential oils from Well Scent. The lavender encourages sleepiness and provides a blissful scent for drifting into sleep. I take my sleeping medication, but thoughtfully, reminding myself once again how lucky I am for this tool. I then add an herbal sleep blend to my beautiful ceramic pipe and inhale a few deep breaths of this natural sleep aid. The entire routine is easy, feels good, and relaxes me from the chaos of the day.
Finding and Engaging Ritual
Sometimes, finding and engaging ritual is as simple as noticing what you’re already doing, looking for the routines you may already have in place, and cultivating more mindfulness around them. Looking for these moments encouraged us to slow down, to take in these moments more fully and viscerally. It hasn’t been perfect, it’s still unfolding and imperfectly perfect. We embrace that. We embrace that they may change, as our circumstances do. Yet, we choose to engage ritual because it serves us. And we encourage you to find what serves you.
What rituals are you engaging in? What rituals are you letting go of? How does ritual help you? Share with us in the comments here or follow us and let us know on Instagram at @Well_Scent!