Centering With A Simple Practice

yin yang

Fall is a perfect time to shift gears and establish nourishing habits for this new season. It’s essential to start the day with centering. This could be a simple practice such as sitting on your meditation cushion or by an alter, wearing a prayer shawl as you pray and meditate, or simply look out and observe nature “waking up”. Centering with a simple practice could also mean some gentle or vigourous form of exercise, listening to a motivational talk, or reading something inspirational.

flowers and candles

Lay of the Day

Then it’s always good to orient yourself to the day ahead of you, and set out your intentions for how you would like it to unfold, and what qualities or attitude you would like to bring to it. Whatever you put on your to-do list, let it be action steps that are aligned with your true values, and include self-care (preferably at the top-and if you did the first step of centering then you can already check this one off!).

Time is precious, and should be held with such tenderness, rather than something you feel you have to “kill”, or “spend”. Time is also very consistent, with the same number of seconds in a minute, minutes in an hour, and hours in a day (with the exception of daylight savings of course). So, choose consistency over urgency to move into the flow of how you wish to tend your time. How do you wish to honour the gift of time you’ve been given?

Making a List or Two

Healing doesn’t take time, it takes alignment. You will flourish as you nourish your spiritual well-being with simple practices that create more openness, groundedness, and energy to support all the tasks on your list. A new list to consider making, is your “to be” list. How would you like to be in your life? How would you like to express your uniqueness? What would your day look like then?

Now take your “to be” list and place it alongside your “to do” list. Do the items on your “to do” list support the person you want to “be”? What can you shift to bring it all (or at least some of it) into alignment?

boy with lantern

Break Away

During the day, it’s essential to take breaks to re-group and center again. This could be sipping your favourite beverage, enjoying a nourishing meal, taking a walk or going for a run. Maybe even just sitting on a bench. Oftentimes people use their breaks to catch up on correspondance, the latest news and numbers, or run errands. Consider what is most nourishing and productive for you, and make sure it lines up with those lists you made.

For a true break, or a more extended one, consider a day or weekend retreat. Perhaps even longer. You can create this yourself, or sign up for one that has already been organized. Retreats are well-known as time for a relaxing, rejuvenating, and deepening your practice. Retreats strengthen your spirit and you are bound to find peace as you create this sacred time. 

Turning In

At the end of the day, as you prepare for sleep, create a simple practice that allows you to complete the day. This doesn’t imply you have to rush to do everything you had planned for at the beginning of the day, instead acknowledge yourself for what you were able to accomplish and be okay with what didn’t get done. As you surrender, you make space to emote, rest, and sleep. Recollect and relax. This is a time to wind down, settle in, and turn in. Although the term “turn in” appeared first in the 17th century to “go to bed”, I believe it carries a much deeper meaning, in such that it’s a time to turn inwards.

sleeping baby

This is a time when you can set the intention to quiet your soul and keep your mind calm and clear, and rest. What can you do to create good conditions for that? Perhaps turning off any screens an hour or two before bed? Journalling, doodling or colouring? Mediation? Cleaning and tidying up so you have a “clean slate” in the morning? Mindfully close the curtains or blinds, switch off the lights, and gather what’s needed for comfort and rest. Maybe you can try some bedtime yoga as a way to unwinde and prepare the body for sleep. Again, choose a simple practice that nurtures, heals, and supports your well-being, without trying to incorporate “everything”. Choose one practice to start with, then give others a try to see what feels and works best for you.

Whatever you choose, give yourself time to practice fitting this in so that it eventually becomes a natural part of your daily routine.

milky way

Do you have a favourite ritual you like to practice in the morning or evening? Or even during the day? I’d love for you to share in the comments below!

 

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