Sacred rituals – small moments of beauty, stillness and focus
Rituals are a great way to bring ceremony into our everyday lives. Ceremony can help us celebrate life, find gratitude and focus our attention in a meaningful way. And rituals can be very small things, personal or private. Winter is a great time to also explore new rituals. Why not head out for a short walk (rug up, of course!) and see what happens!
Being in nature can be a sacred ritual
I had a lovely experience this summer of visiting Pukerua Bay for the first time. We’ve lived on the Kapiti Coast for four years and it took us that long to get there. But an interesting thing happened – I found myself entering a sacred space. I discovered as I walked along the water’s edge that I felt a real sense of connection. I felt nature start to talk to me, almost immediately. I wandered away from my family, and found a space to listen with intent.
My whole body to the ocean, the rocky beach, the cliffs, the wind. I felt an invitation from the Bay itself, to come and sit in the small collections of water amidst the rock pools. And I had an uncanny sense of all the women over thousands of years that could have walked the same track as I was walking just then. I could almost see them walking in front of me and behind me, with elders and children and whanau. I looked out onto the gorgeous body of water between me and Kapiti Island, and thought of the many others that would have sat where I sat, enjoying the ocean in private, grateful, connection.
On my walk back along the track I noticed that the sand had thrown up a gift. It was a small, round piece of bark. It had markings on it that seemed just for me. I picked it up, feeling its warmth and the way it sat in my palm; light, but grounded and strong. I accepted the gift that the Bay had offered, and felt grateful.
Attending to Sacred Rituals
In the last few months I have been reflecting on what it means to attend to something. The foundation of it, in my mind, is bringing your attention to something. You are present, right then and there, with the full power of your awareness.
Attending to sacred rituals, big or small, is the same approach. Rituals are an opportunity to bring the power of our full attention and presence to the moment, and to witness that moment with our entire being.
In finding such a place of sacred connection at Pukerua Bay, I was able to see two sacred rituals being offered;
- The first ritual; regularly getting out in nature to seek connection and communion with the natural world. This is a ritual that I engage with every day that I can, and while the activity can vary, the ritual is the same – taking time to breathe, to be quiet, to connect and to listen with my body and spirit.
- The second ritual; connecting with my gift from the Bay and remembering that sense of sacred connection. My bark now sits on my studio table, with another sacred stone, and I pick it up often, and remember the very profound experience that I had, which was one of the highlights of my summer. The ritual here is the sensory experience of the bark and the memories infusing themselves every time connect with the bark.
Mindful Creativity and Sacred Rituals in Nature
Small moments of beauty, nature and stillness in nature can be calming, rejuvenating and simply joyful. Here are a few extra tips.
- Taking the time and the opportunity to tune into landscape. This can mean something different for everyone, but even just slowing down can be a great start. Stop talking, put away your phone, take a few deep breaths and find your way to stillness.
- Be OK with every experience being different. Nature is different every day and has different things to show and tell us every time. I like the fact that even with our best intentions, nature might show us something very different to what we had expected. Take up the invitation!
- Engaging in a tactile manner is really grounding. Don’t forget to touch, smell, listen, breathe, and use your imagination as well. Create a holistic sensory experience, and be open to your intuition providing you with insights, suggestions and ideas.
- Finding small objects that you can keep as a momento. This is one to consider with care. Think about what you can respectfully take with you. Sometimes just capturing an image of something is enough.
- Be open to objects that speak to you in the moment. Is it a river, a statue, a flower, a path you haven’t taken before? Nature is alive, there is energy everywhere; sacred rituals can be a great way to commune and connect with intent. Enjoy!
What is Mindful Creativity?
Hello, my name’s Jordan. Mindful Creativity is a great way to relax, unwind and enjoy creativity to enhance our sense of wellness. If you’re looking for a way to connect with your inner voice as you develop your own personal creative practice, it might be just the thing for you.
My Mindful Creativity blog, resources and tools provides ways for you to deepen into a more nourishing creative practice!