Life as Ceremony: Pause before March-ing full steam ahead this month
Each morning when you wake feel the divine gift of this new day. The ancient Taoist view each day as a blessing, a sacred bow to the sun rising is a practice we can all adopt. Try offering gratitude at the beginning of each day as a way to awaken the eternal light of consciousness within you.
The sunlight sweetly awakens with a slow yet steady rhythm. As reflected in the ancient dance of Tai Chi, where the practice is to intentionally honor each transition from one moment to the next. When the practice becomes second nature, you will begin to notice how you are able to conserve your energy and achieve a deep calm and peaceful stillness. Each morning as the sun rises the light within you is inspired to awaken anew. A new day is not a metaphor to a new beginning, it is fresh, clear of past actions and words and a vast 3-D canvas to begin being and doing whatever your heart desires.
When I commit to staying in a space of sacredness each action, thought, and glance of my eye is witnessed by my higher self. These exchanges of energy are what I become.
If I consume heavy energy I become heavy energy. If I consume light energy I become light energy, the ultimate goal of Taoist masters. The ancient wisdom of the past has been preserved by our ancestors as a loving effort to support us on our path to evolution. To cultivate the energy body is to refine your energy to the highest frequency; light.
The ancient texts refer to love as the highest form of health and healing. The expression, and the action of love is affection. Love and gratitude in action to yourself, offered to another, allowing others to offer their love to you, and of course we can’t forget the beautiful love and affection offered and received by our beloved pets. This is the most potent medicine anyone of us can connect with and it is absolutely free.
Offering love and light to ourselves through refining and cultivating the narrator, the inner-voice (too often critical) to one of sweetness with acceptance, affection, and admiration allows for the love to then be expressed outward as a reflection to all others we connect with on our path. Loved ones, coworkers, passersby receive the internal glow that’s cultivated by a daily practice of staying in ceremony and upholding one’s own commitment to being a beacon of light in this world at a time that it is so needed.
One of my favorite practices of self love is that of Abhyanga, an Ayurvedic self massage practice. There is no separation between profound and mundane, and when you live your life as Ceremony you live an extraordinary life.
Enjoy this practice of acknowledging, witnessing, and offering affection, admiration and acceptance to your own self through self touch and a beautiful ceremony of self healing.
- Start by warming your oil — it should always be warmed, in order to offset the cold and dry properties often experienced during this time of year.
- Place the bottle in a larger container of hot water. I fill a mug halfway with hot water and then place my smaller glass bottle in the water.
- While the oil heats, prepare your space. I love creating sacred space by lighting a candle, turning on peaceful music, diffusing lavender or cedar wood essential oil, and laying down an old towel to make the room as relaxing and comfortable as possible.
- Once the oil is warm, apply some into your hands and begin to slowly rub the oil all over your hands, front and back in a ceremonial way.
- Allow the warm oil to invite a gentle relaxation in the body and feel the oil begin to penetrate the skin
- Begin with circular massaging on your wrist joints, and then move into long, slow sweeping strokes on your forearms.
- Continue up the arms and with long, slow strokes on the bones and circular massaging on the joints of your entire body.
- Allow this practice to be a gift you are receiving from your highest self. Mindful of the transition from whatever you were doing prior to your self love ceremony, with ample space after you feel complete.
- Remember to slow down and stay present to fully receive the healing and affection you are giving yourself.
- When you feel complete, wrap up in a bathrobe or towel and relax for up to 40 minutes
- Mindful of your slippery feet before you rinse the oil off with warm water in the shower.
- There’s no need to apply body lotion or body oil afterwards as the skin will be nourished.
- It’s important to remove the excess oil as this will pull out the toxins that were released from your body during the massage.
Enjoy Abhyanga a few times a week — more if you are in a stressful time.