Welcome Spring With An Awakening Ritual

We welcome spring with an awakening ritual. May your heart be open and your aura be light. Learn how to go from sleepy bear to goddess aware.

Winter may have been an arduous affair for you, depending on where you live. For me, winter has had a mild temperament this time around. Inevitably, however, the longing and anticipation of spring is undeniable.

Go from sleepy bear to goddess aware.

Today's ritual focuses on curating an environment that serves as the foundation for your seasonal transformation. Create space and clear the canvas for your ritual awakening. Honor spring with this new beginning.

Open

Open the windows and doors of your sacred space. Allow the air to flow in from the outside and through your home to carry out all stagnant energy. Winter can be positioned as "heat trapping" in which the lot of our efforts are in producing and capturing heat. Along with this heat is often trapped moisture.

Open up your home to dry out all moisture trappings and invite a renewed sense of relief. Like a cold shower first thing in the morning, a good blanket of crisp, cool wind will awaken your senses and renew your spirit.

Clear

Clear all surfaces, one at a time. I love to welcome spring by clearing the canvas and truly starting the season off fresh. Use your favorite, non-toxic dusting spray and a soft, dry microfiber cloth. Choose one room in your house and begin. Slowly move throughout the room gently clearing dust from all surfaces.

Wipe down everything before returning it to its rightful place. Now is the time to rearrange items on your dresser, on the mantle, or other common surfaces to spark the start of spring. I like to create color palettes throughout my sacred space. For spring, I love light pinks, jade-like greens and vibrant blues. Swap out gold and rusty colors for silver finishes and mirrored surfaces.

Welcome Spring with Flowers

Invite

Invite something new into your home. Channel the season's brightest insights. Bring home a bouquet of seasonal, fair-trade flowers from the market. Invite a new scent to bless your sacred space and enliven your aura. This may be in the form of a candle, incense, perfume, or essential oil diffuser blend.

Search for new flavors to engage your palette. Taste test new coffees until you're introduced to a light, spring blend with notes of citrus and toffee. Opt for a spring jasmine green tea, or white tea with rose. Match your mornings with a grassy matcha, perfect for spring.

Prune

Prune and repot your trees and potted leafy plants. Peel back the yellowed leaves to make room for new growth. Trim browned edges off spider plants and incorporate new soil to enrich every leaf. Make new plants from the baby nests and gift to someone you treasure. Love the life growing in your sacred space.

Prune or pluck the things from your life that add clutter and stress or deprive you of joy. Donate unwanted or unused items. Sell or consign all others. Remove all winter wardrobe items, leaving a cashmere sweater or two to bridge the seasons. Stow winter socks and coats if it feels right to do so now. Make room for lighter outerwear and spring-themed essentials to take the stage.

Charge

Charge your crystals under the light of the full moon. Set them on the sill of an eastern window to catch the morning kiss of the sun. Imbue your workspace with positive energy. Strike a balance between the masculine and feminine energies. Be in control and receptive to change in equal measure.

Charge your being with an intention. Decide what you want more of this season. Then, ask for it during your morning meditation or when you connect with your goddess of choosing. In this way, you are in charge of your environment, balanced in energies, and in charge of your response to what life has in store for you.

Flower Vase with Glass Beads

I love to welcome spring with an awakening ritual by first implementing changes in my physical environment.

By opening the windows, clearing space and inviting something new, I'm already setting the foundation for a pleasant response to the season to come. Removing clutter or unwanted things through the pruning process works hand-in-hand with infusing myself and my environment with goodness.

Begin with a clean canvas, and it's in your hands to choose what you allow into the frame.

So, let me ask you this: What will you allow into your life this spring?

When I sit down to write or create in any other capacity, it's likely that my workspace will become crowded and messy. Before I can produce decent work, or feel primed to get started, I must have a tidy home elsewhere. Not everyone feels this way, but it is my firm belief that our environments impact our state of mind and thus our state of being.

I love to clean my entire house, exert some effort and sweat maybe, and then provide the same level of care to myself. After a good scrubbing of the home, I like to apply a similar strategy to my physical being.

Scrub

Scrub away winter skin with an exfoliating skin care ritual. Reveal your brightest, softest, most nourished skin yet. A simple recipe for this is equal parts organic sugar and oil of your choosing (maybe almond, avocado, coconut, or grapeseed oil). For extra brightening power, grate in some lemon zest and stir in freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Set aside time to do a thorough floor and tile scrubbing, but also mark your calendar for time to scrub you too.

Soak

Soak your feet in a refreshing, soothing foot bath. Either sit on the edge of your tub or fill a beautiful large, low-rimmed tub or bowl with warm water. The possibilities are endless at this point. So, choose a few ingredients to nurture your hardworking feet back to life and into open-toed shoes!

I like to use peppermint and lemon, or tea tree and grapefruit or orange essential oils. Of course, I like to add a nourishing oil as well. Opt to put a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the water. Epsom salt will aid you in relaxing and can be perfect after a long day of welcoming spring with your awakening ritual. Give your feet a good scrubbing, and then rest them in a foot soak to dissolve the day.

Reimagine

Reimagine your potential! Create a list of things you would like to accomplish this season, or this year. Then, organize your list project size. Place small tasks or projects at the top of your list. By completing these quick goals first, you can gain momentum to tackle the larger goals on your list.

Give yourself permission to either quit projects that aren't serving you, or narrow your focus to get things done. Spring is a new chapter to unfold, so utilize this fresh start as an opportunity to nix a project or wrap things up and move forward.

Welcome Spring With An Awakening Ritual

Welcome Spring With An Awakening Ritual

Spring is the start of new beginnings. All that has been paused throughout winter is renewed at this time. Consider how you feel most rejuvenated after hibernation. Peel back the layers and bring yourself into the light with an awakening ritual.

This time of year is yours to shine. Curate an environment that allows your creativity to flow. Make this year the one in which your desires manifest and your goals come into fruition. A little mindfulness goes a long way.

Go inward in order to bring forth your light. Dig deep to discover your truth. Mine the goodness that you discover, and let that be your theme for spring. Consider how summer will unfold by planting the seeds of spring.

Welcome spring with an awakening ritual that aligns with your essence.

What will you allow into your life this spring?

Paint me a picture with words in the comments below. Which of these suggestions are you excited to implement?

A Grounding Ritual For Uncertain Times

During uplift and chaos, the only way to feel like yourself again is with a dedicated grounding ritual for uncertain times. Not only do we need to reel in all loose edges and find our footing, but we need to be reminded of our control.

There may be increasing amounts of variables outside of us in which we have zero authority. This is an opportunity to check in with ourselves and release what is beyond our reach. By doing this, we can discover a treasure field of manageable gems, and in exchange, remember where our authority lies.

I know how uncertain this time is and what it feels like to be isolated.

You are not alone.

We are in this together.

Accept where you are in this moment. The changes you have been forced to make are meant to test your nervous system. At times, they don't seem fair, nor do they shed a glimpse of hope. So, acknowledge that it's going to be hard for awhile. It was designed to be. Because you are worthy of the benefits and progress you'll have made on the other side.

Please know that while our planet is in a state of uncertainty, you are capable of bringing balance and certainty into your life right now.

Connect with the earth and with your core in this grounding ritual, for this uncertain time.

From Familiar to Unprecedented Uncertainty

Right now, you may be lamenting old patterns and the familiar consistency of your everyday life as you knew it. It's okay to mourn this part of you that felt safe, organized, and stable.

What I urge you to focus on is what is. Take a look around you. Simply observe what you see without judgement.

You are home.

Being at home is the ideal place to find your center. Let your guard down and let be. This is your sacred space and I want you to let that bit of information sink in.

You are in your sacred space.

I am riding this wave alongside you. Currently, I am self-isolating and redesigning my life at home. As an introvert, I'm secretly (and not so secretly) rejoicing. While I love to be home, and treasure creating a life here, I struggle with maintaining a schedule each day that doesn't feel forced or ridiculous.

Looking online at other people living their "lives as usual" kind of makes me cringe. Before the quarantine, I primarily worked outside the home. On my off days I did laundry, meal planning, food prep, and set aside time for self-care rituals from time to time. I longed for the days in which I could return to painting, get to the ceramics studio, and write for the blog.

Now?

Well, it appears I have all the time in the world and no clue whatsoever how to manage my time. It's like opening a stack of completely blank printer paper. There's no agenda, no sense of urgency. So, the immediate response is to feel frantic, upheaved, and uncertain.

Well, I've got just the thing for you, Babe.

Remember how I said "we're in this together?"

I meant it, with all my heart.

I'm a procrastinator, perfectionist, and oddly enough, a people-person. So, I miss not having obstacles in the way of getting other things done. I obsess over every detail and keep busy just by creating problems or messes. One of the things I loved about my job was the interaction I had with other people, coworkers and customers alike. While I get stuck in my head so often, it was the complete randomness of being available that kept my anxious mind at bay.

So, I get it.

What really matters is that we work together to find our centers. Before we know it, we'll back out there on the front end of our lives, engaging with others, and feeling whole again.

But we have to stay sane.

And one way to do that is by having a go-to grounding ritual that makes you feel safe and stable. Every day may be uncertain for you right now. So, the one thing I suggest you take seriously is you. Your wellbeing is the foundation for how well you can be grounded for your family, and your loved ones. They need you right now. They need to know that you're okay.

You're okay.

A Grounding Ritual For Uncertain Times

A Grounding Ritual For Uncertain Times

Today's ritual suggestion is just that. It's a suggestion. You are your own guide and I'm simply here to reassure you of your humanness. It's okay to feel every emotion you have every day. Of those emotions, you may feel anger, sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, boredom, depression, and fear. It's okay. Consider the following suggestions and most importantly, decide to make a change that is in your best interest.

Commit to a consistent sleep schedule.

Waking up every day around the same time and going to bed around the same time is ideal under quarantine. Any time your life becomes chaotic or unpredictable, prioritize your sleep schedule. Maintain a consistency that optimizes your sleep and supports your nervous system.

Perhaps your schedule has changed and you are overwhelmed by time that is not accounted for. It's important to block out that third of your day with sleep. In case you didn't have the flexibility to experiment before, give yourself permission now. Know for certain how many hours of sleep your body and mind require each night.

Because your bedtime is predictable, naturally, your day will start to wrap up on its own. My goal is to be in bed by 10pm, so I'll usually tidy my workspaces, put laundry or dishes away, and sanitize surfaces around 9 o'clock. Some nights require less time to get the house back in order, but regardless, I suggest creating a blank canvas of sorts for the following day.

Then, I'll have about 30 minutes to get myself ready for bed. That means committing to my evening skin care ritual, oral hygiene ritual, and reviewing my list of to-do's for tomorrow. Because I spend a good portion of my day standing, or walking and running with the pup, I like to really coax my body into rest mode at night.

I take a large back cushion off my couch and use it as a bolster for my legs. Depending on how tired I feel, I'll set up camp in my favorite nook in the living room, or lug the bolster to my bed. My goal is to get my body in a position that cues my parasympathetic nervous system to take over and my sympathetic nervous system to take step down.

You may also lie down on the floor or sit at the edge of your bed with your legs up the wall for 10 minutes. Allow the blood to flow in the opposite direction. Imagine this inversion unleashing calm and serenity to wash over you. Breathe normally with your left hand over your heart and your right hand over your belly.

Before climbing into bed, prepare yourself a delicious, grounding tonic to aid in deep sleep.

The warmth of this tonic will surely urge your body to slow down and make room for the deep sleep that your body needs right now. During times of heightened stress or emotional upset, it can be difficult to quiet our minds and soothe our hearts. This tonic truly relaxes me and I often find myself peeling my limbs from the sofa and dragging myself to bed.

If you already feel tired, but want an added comfort before turning in, enjoy this grounding tonic in the hug of your bed. Dim the lights if possible. Express gratitude for making it through the day.

You made it. You are safe.

When your eyes open in the morning, take a big, deep life-affirming breath. You are here and the world awaits your daily intention. There is no pressure. Enjoy a good stretch and move through your slow morning ritual. You've got this.

Arch of Branches

Set an adaptable daily intention.

Ground yourself in an adaptable daily intention. Having a simple, yet flexible schedule in place helps to block out your time. By having blocks of time to work with, it can feel easier to prioritize your day and reduce the overwhelm that options can offer. Keep it simple and stick with a schedule that works for you and those living with you.

As we both know by now, things can change at a moment's notice. Remember that we are adaptable. Anything that comes our way can be figured out. So, set an intention each day, give yourself some parameters, and remain flexible at all times.

What I have found to be true is that having a few things I want to accomplish each day keeps me grounded. That's why I keep a running list of things to do and review that list each night before going to sleep. Choose 2-4 things you'd like to get done each day. For larger projects, reduce to one or two each day.

The idea isn't to pack your days with busy work. You'll quickly realize, if you haven't already, that everyday tasks and chores will consume a noticeable amount of time as it is. This reality is amplified when you're home with a partner or entire immediate family. Go easy on yourself and start with small intentions.

When you feel like your daily intentions are underwhelming, or even spark a creative flow, by all means, keep going. As an artist, I know firsthand how unexpected flow states can be. These flows are magic, so do not break your concentration. When you feel like the few small tasks get completed rather quickly, determine whether you'd like to tackle one more, or if you need a rest.

The key is to listen to your body and really air on the side of underachieving.

Ritually rest when it feels impossible not to.

Every day, schedule in a block of downtime. Allow yourself to recharge. The time of day isn't a rule set in stone. Follow the rhythm of your body every day and honor its desire to rest. Have no judgement about when, just rest.

I typically wake up around 7am. By 10am, I've taken the dog out to play in the park, prepared breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen, and sat down to write a rough draft for a blog post similar to the one you're reading now. This may not seem like a lot of activity, and many days that's me just getting started; however, on other days, I'm ready for a nap once 10:30am rolls around.

I don't try to fight this urge to rest unless I have an important appointment or a time-sensitive engagement. Otherwise, I crawl into bed again and sleep anywhere from 25 minutes to 2 or 3 hours.

Perhaps you aren't an avid napper like me. In that case, decide when in your day you're most likely to need a break from your activities. For children, it's helpful for them to see an end to a segment in their day and know what's coming next. For adults, the same can be true, especially while we're on the topic of uncertainty.

Give yourself those nuggets of certainty throughout your day. Rest can be as ritually enjoyed and predictable as breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Be creative with how you rest. I'm an introvert, so socializing, planning and scheduling, and trying to "do" things all day exhausts me. That's when I really need to lie down and sleep to recharge. If you're more extroverted, calling to check in with a close friend or family member may be the kind of rest your body requires.

Completely disengaging in an activity or project is important too. Whatever it means to you to rest, take this ritual seriously. Honor your nervous system and remind yourself that you are safe and grounded in this moment. Cherish this fact.

Pine Leaves

Meditate morning, noon, and night.

Make meditation part of your grounding ritual for uncertain times. You can't always know how the day will unfold. Regardless of how well you plan, or how prepared you are, there's always a slight chance that things won't always go as predicted. It's okay.

Life is unpredictable. And we know it. By starting off your morning with a meditation, you are building the foundation and trajectory of your entire day. Even as little as 5 minutes can be a powerful start.

Meditation not only helps with calming anxiety and easing depression, it also requires us to breathe consciously. By breathing consciously, we are calming our nervous systems, boosting our immune system, and refocusing our attention to the present moment.

Of course, this is what you read or hear about meditation everywhere. If you haven't developed a meditation practice, just getting started may be your biggest challenge every day. But know this: the hardest part of meditating is choosing to do it every day. It becomes easier with practice and it will prove to become an essential element to your wellbeing.

Meditation may be your key grounding ritual for uncertain times. Focus on deep belly breathing. Inhale through the nose to expand the belly. Exhale out the mouth. Repeat for 3 to 5 minutes, any time.

I tend to meditate once a day, either in the morning or in the evening. Some days, I turn to meditation multiple times when I'm feeling unsettled. Another ritual I love is inviting a goddess into my sacred space. Also, having a connection to a higher power may ease any tension or worry. Let go of what you have no control over, and embrace what is going well in your life.

Red Trail Flower

Get outside to feel alive.

Fresh air is the essence of spring, which is the season upon us as this post goes live. There is nothing like opening the windows to refresh our homes. To protect yourself from drafts, and to ground down, step outside.

Making it a habit to set foot in nature has become my favorite grounding ritual for uncertain times.

Early morning and late afternoon are great times to leave the house. Maybe where you live, the mornings are cool and refreshing. Late afternoon catches the sun and its warmth without the uncomfortable heat.

I go to the park 2-3 times a days and have never felt more connected to my neighbors than during this isolation period. We're all in this together and it's natural for each of us to want to be around other humans. Even if just to see each other again. Nobody feels forced to talk to one another, and sometimes we don't say anything. But there is a kindness to this shared experience and I feel it deeply.

If you feel safe and are healthy enough to leave your house, a walk can be good for your spirit. Again, this is just a suggestion. Remember never to shake hands or invade someone's 6-foot safe-keeping. Be considerate, and be kind. Step aside for the runners. Take turns on the exercise equipment. Don't touch your face until you return home.

Take it easy and take good care of yourself, whatever that means to you.

A Grounding Ritual For Uncertain Times

We're in this together.

As a culture, and a planet, we are coping with unexpected financial and emotional hardship. This hardship translates to every avenue of our lives. Our nervous systems are being tested with all the fear and change we experience during these uncertain times.

Know that we have never been more equipped or more knowledgable, in the history of humankind, to solve this pandemic and save billions of lives.

I am aware of the increasing number of lives lost to the coronavirus, and the peaks predicted to come. My heart goes out the families whose lives have been touched by this virus. I cannot know the depths of pain and suffering this outbreak has caused for so many of our people. If I had the words to express my compassion in a way that could bring comfort to you and your family, know that I would write them here.

It is a privilege to connect with you here on sipping sun. My prayer for you is that you stay safe, maintain your health, and stay grounded during this uncertain time. It may only be you, self-isolating in your home, but know that your wellbeing is essential to others.

Reach out to your family and your friends regularly. Ask them how they are doing and what changes have been made in their communities to protect them from this virus. Offer to shop for those who are most at-risk. Give away excess food or supplies. There is plenty for all of us. Please don't hoard resources.

Magnetism comes when we no longer live with a scarcity mindset. Be smart, and considerate. Have respect for everyone, as we are all in this together. Lend a smile in the park. Wave to your neighbor. Say hello. Genuine connections happen online every single day. Take this genuine disposition with you into the park. Your kindness and consideration can be heard and felt from 6 feet away.

You've got this, girl. And if you believe this grounding ritual will help someone you love, please share it with them. Continue this dialogue and let me know how you are grounding in ritual during this uncertain time.

I'm here for you, always, and appreciate your effort to remain strong for yourself and others.

For added support, allow me to virtually show up at your door. No risk whatsoever.

A Grounding Tonic To Aid In Deep Sleep

Tucked inside your home, possibly for an indeterminable amount of time, your days may be slightly disorganized while you cope with change. Our nights are soothed by a grounding ritual paired with a grounding tonic to aid in deep sleep. In this warming concoction, welcome the earthy elegance of rooibos, adaptogenic herbs, milk, and honey.

When nothing has gone as planned, or there's cause for worry, heightened stress and uncertainty, ground down with this roots' red tonic. An evening ritual may be just the medicine to bring you back into balance. When it's 9pm, and you're elbow-deep in a sink full of dishes, reward yourself with this relaxing recipe before night's end.

This is the tonic you'll return to again and again. Reel in the accomplishment of the day, if only to acknowledge the survival of it. Change into comfortable clothing and rest in your favorite corner of the couch, legs propped up, grounding tonic in hand. Welcome the relief and welcome a deep sleep.

A Grounding Tonic To Aid In Deep Sleep

Ingredients

1 cup freshly boiled spring (or filtered) water
1 rooibos tea bag
¼-½ tsp ashwagandha
¼-½ tsp shatavari
splash of milk of your choice, up to ½ cup
1 tsp honey (optional)

Instructions

Bring water to boil and allow bubbling to cease. Pour a splash of the hot water into your favorite ritual mug and swirl to warm. Add the remaining hot water and place tea bag inside mug to steep for 5-6 minutes, or until suggested on tea tag or box. Remove tea bag and either save, covered in the fridge for en eye compress later, or discard. Stir in the adaptogens with a spoon, or small milk frother, until fully combined. Add the honey now, if using. Top off with a splash of milk. For best results, warm the milk before adding. Alternatively, the cold milk brings the tea to the perfect drinking temperature. Enjoy & sip sun.

Notes

I use organic cow's milk, but I have also enjoyed this grounding tonic with coconut milk, oat milk, and other blends of dairy-free milks. Quite simply, the rooibos tea is grounding and relaxing on its own. The milk adds comfort and depth, while the honey soothes a nearly empty belly and will help keep you from waking up in the night feeling hungry.

I love to use adaptogenic herbs before bed when I need an extra soothing touch to my evening ritual. Ashwagandha is an herb that helps to alleviate stress, anxiety, and even insomnia. It's so powerful at adapting that it aids in daytime activities too like concentrating, low energy, and fatigue.

Shatavari is a rejuvenating herb that cools the body and maintains healthy production of female hormones, supporting a healthy immune system and aiding in digestion. According to Banyan Botanicals, it "soothes the membranes of the lungs, stomach, kidneys, and reproductive organs. Shatavari may also help to regulate your menstrual cycle.

A Grounding Tonic To Aid In Deep Sleep

Homemade Whipped Body Cream

Crafting any homemade skin care or beauty product is a ritual that gets me reacquainted with my pantry. I love how deep and diverse every creation has the potential to be. What I've found to be the most empowering is using 1-3 ingredients to whip up something magical. In this case, I've literally whipped up a homemade body cream that is simple, yet effective.

Sometimes all we need is the reassurance that we've got this. And it's so much easier to ride the wave of beauty-know-how when we have an arsenal of simple, quick recipes. Today's recipe is an adaptation from Sara Panton's Essential Wellbeing. This book has been a true delight to read. It's proving to be a handy resource for everyday essential oil knowledge, as well as a guide for daily rituals and moments of intention. I (reluctantly) put this book down, ready to concur so many essential oil projects. Instead, I opted for this one.

Working with essential oils, especially if you're new to this avenue of wellness, can be overwhelming and can leave you with so many questions. In her book, Sara Panton (co-founder of Vitruvi), makes learning about essential oils digestible and enjoyable. There is no mistaking the accessibility of this realm after reading this beautiful guide. I am so grateful for this treasure and find myself referring back to pages about lymphatic drainage massage, morning face steams, and hair tonics.

Homemade Whipped Body Cream

Ingredients

1 cup organic solid virgin coconut oil
1 tsp organic liquid honey (optional)
½ tsp perfume oil (optional)

Instructions

Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or hand mixer), whisk the coconut oil & honey & perfume on the highest speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. During warmer months, place the coconut oil in the bowl of the stand mixer and refrigerate for a few minutes until it solidifies, then add the other ingredients and whip. Store homemade whipped body cream in a glass container with an air-tight lid, out of direct sunlight for up to 2 months. For humid climates or throughout spring and summer, store in the fridge to maintain the whipped texture.

Notes

Simply whipping the coconut oil on its own is a lovely way to get the smooth, lightweight texture of the body cream with just one pantry staple. For added love, the honey contains antimicrobial properties that benefit the skin and help to draw out impurities. Sara Panton has a recipe in her book called "The Land of Lavender and Honey" in which she infuses honey and lavender essential oil into this simple whipped body cream for extra indulgence. I love to use this lavender version at night or any time I want to induce a state of calm.

Use this homemade whipped body cream in the evening, after a warm bath. When you plan to moisturize determines which essential oils or fragrance you use. I've made this as part of my Sunday check-in ritual and lounged around in my bathrobe during the day, steeping in the steamy goodness.

An ethereal fragrance oil.

In this recipe, I've added my seasonal signature fragrance. From a local aromatherapy and massage oil boutique, I buy a perfume called Ethereal Amber that is earthy and sensual. It lifts my spirit and grounds my being for the ritual of the day. This blend gives me an extra feel-good boost, especially on days when I work from home and spend many hours indoors.

In her book, Sara includes three essential oil blends for this homemade whipped body cream recipe. In just ten conscious drops, you can create a blend that is unique to you. Enjoy experimenting with this recipe and let me know which scents you've come up with.

Lastly, name your homemade fragrance. If you've concocted an essential oil blend that is pleasing to you, celebrate this incredible moment by choosing a name that evokes the essence of your blend. Use a piece of masking tape and a permanent marker or pen, or delicately scribe onto a beautiful label.

Make it a ritual.

Anoint your body with this homemade whipped body cream, using firm yet gentle strokes from your feet to your shoulders in the direction of your heart. Massage any areas where you feel tension and strain. Breathe deeply to ignite all of your senses.

Be careful to wipe your feet before walking. For best results allow your body to soak up the nutrients on its own. You may also pat dry before dressing so as not to stain your clothing.

Alternatively, apply the oil before a bath and allow the steam of the hot water to penetrate the oil into your skin. Seal in the moisture by rinsing with cool water. Be careful as the tub may be slippery. Wear socks or slippers and wrap yourself in a clean, soft linen sheet or warm, dry robe.

Have a glass of water and grant yourself permission to read a book, watch television or rest.

In one act of self love is a practice worth revisiting weekly, if not more often.

Homemade Whipped Body Cream

How To Invite A Goddess Into Your Sacred Space

I've been inviting goddesses into my sacred space for many years, and it was actually when I read Whole Beauty by Shiva Rose that I learned to associate my prayers with the likes of each goddess. To call in what I most need in this moment, I now call in the divine legend that governs these qualities. I give thanks, and I ask that my heart be opened for the guidance, support, or abundance to come my way.

Goddesses have been part of cultures and central to traditions for centuries. There are thousands of them! I am in awe of the ways in which women were idolized and honored and treasured in centuries passed. To continue this marvel, I connect with a different goddess based on my desires and where I could use a little leverage in fulfilling aspirations of all kinds.

Each goddess contains a special reservoir of gifts, and by calling upon her, she can lend her gifts to you. I call on a goddess when I feel directionless, find myself at a low point, or in preparation for a challenge. In the very moment that you choose to sit in silence, realize that you are woven into the vastness of ancient female wisdom. You are fully supported and highly intuitive.

Know that when you feel lost or out of alignment, it is simply your chance to pause and recognize where you are so that you can pivot and make your way back home. When calling in goddesses, there are differences among them that I encourage you to honor. Not all goddesses are the same.

What's most important, however, is that you set intentions mindfully and make your offerings accordingly.

How To Invite A Goddess Into Your Sacred Space

I truly enjoy scavenging for offerings to put on my altar for each goddess. I use it as an opportunity to get creative, plus it's a chance for me to be playful and light in preparation for my request. Usually, I recognize how much I truly have and that I'm brimming with wonderful gifts to offer my treasured guide.

Goddesses have qualities that we can each find within ourselves. When we are feeling less than our brightest, most magnetic selves, inviting a goddess into our sacred space may be just the right medicine. To balance out emotions or energy, you may call in a goddess who embodies opposite qualities. Her contrast may aid in viewing your circumstances differently.

If you are unsure which goddess to call in, I suggest sitting in meditation for a few minutes while you qualify your current state and ask the Universe to help you call in the appropriate divine energy. Another suggestion is to research a handful of different goddess to determine the best fit.

Often, we resort to communicating with goddesses in emergency situations; however, it's extremely beneficial to maintain on-going relationships with them. Shiva Rose likens it to taking each of the goddesses out on a date, getting to know them intimately - which is an analogy that I love and recommend to you.

Know that the goddesses want to help you, and will offer what they can when called upon. What's really special is understanding when a certain goddess's energy is present in your life. This understanding helps you to grow a deeper relationship with her. Acknowledging this goddess energy strengthens your capacity to believe in our interconnectedness, which strengthens trust in your intuition to guide you.

Notice how you feel in the presence of this sacred energy. Give thanks for the wonderful things that enter your life, and to the feelings of hope, joy, and clarity. Give thanks to your creativity and the love that enters your life in all forms. No acknowledgement is too small, and there is no such thing as too much gratitude.

Give thanks on your terms and know that you're the only one who can tell you when you've given enough.

How To Invite A Goddess Into Your Sacred Space

Prepare For Your Goddess

Each goddess is attracted to different things, and so there are naturally different approaches for inviting a goddess into your sacred space. The following suggestions are what make me feel the most present and connected. It's important that you follow your intuition and let your heart guide you to make decisions. What feels right to you will resonate with your goddess, and your prayers will be heard and answered.

Appoint

Designate a space where your altar will be. If you don't have an altar already, it is very simple to create one. An altar can be a whole room or a single surface that is pleasing to you. An altar should be someplace accessible and I suggest in a well-lit and ventilated area. Some altars are even outside! Listen to what calls you and use what's available to you.

I have an altar on my mantle where I gather fallen things in the park and pay homage to the beauty that has landed at my feet. I like to honor the seasons in this way and set intentions for my home and family. It's especially moving to have one altar dedicated to hosting a goddess. Choose a place that encourages and allows you to be yourself. This may seem basic, but it's very important that you create a space that honors who you are at all stages and phases of your life. Allow your altar to evolve and change as you do. This quote sums it up perfectly:

"An altar alters you." -Shiva Rose, Whole Beauty

Clean

Clean your home. Clean regularly so that the goddesses will be able to swoop in unannounced! Ever had a last minute guest "pop by" without warning? Maintain the cleanliness of your home throughout the week by tidying each night and planning more thorough cleaning every 7-10 days, or whenever works best for you and your lifestyle and needs.

Clean and clear your altar in between rituals. I'm guilty of adding things to my altar with full intention and then leaving them to collect dust (or dim in vibrancy). When you feel like your life is chaotic and overwhelmed, cleaning your altar is like "cleaning your life," as Shiva mentions in her book. So, take good care to not overlook this space, and treat it as it has the potential to be - sacred.

Cleanse

Cleansing your environment is an incredible way to reset your sacred space. Some of my favorite ways to cleanse the energy in my home is by smudging with sage or palo santo, and by lighting incense. Open all doors and windows to allow for proper air flow and dispersement of smoke. Know that your intentions and prayers can be heard from the heavens in the spirals of this cleansing, so sneak in an intention when smudging.

In High Vibrational Beauty, Kerrilyn Pamer and Cindy Diprima Morisse (founders of CAP Beauty) like the mantra, "Let there be love, let there be light," and of course I love it too. It's a simple mantra that is suitable to everyone. You may also ask that your space be cleansed of negative or stagnant energy and that it may now be filled with positive, new energy. The words aren't always important, so long as you are infusing your space with positivity and choose to remain fully present.

Cleansing falls into the ritual category on its own as I find it to be quite transformative. When smudging with incense, consider burning ones that are as natural as possible. Even though the smoke escapes through the window, remnants of the oils and fragrances linger and continue to effect your air quality; so ensure that you will only be breathing in the purest scents.

As for sage, you may be able to find the sage leaves bundled with flowers and other herbs or wood pieces that offer added cleansing and clearing benefits. Making your own bundles is easy and the ritual of gathering fresh sage leaves offers more depth to your ritual ceremonies.

Candles

A simple way to call in a goddess is by lighting a candle. There is symbolism associated with a candle's color and you can reference a Wiccan guide to help bring in what you're calling forth. I love to use a natural beeswax candle, which comes in varying shades of yellow, because of its air purifying properties. The scent of beeswax is heavenly and floral and truly comforts the senses. Before lighting, take a deep inhale of the wax part of the candle. Exhale slowly. Repeat until your whole body relaxes. Know that you are part of one of the most beautiful cycles of life.

One candle is plenty if you choose to use it. When I'm really in need of the support, I often light a few, and if I really want to feel the warmth, I'll light more. What I love is to see which candle's flame grows the tallest, which one flickers and dances with its shadow around the room. I'll usually have my eyes closed during my meditation and prayer and open them to realize that my goddess has been responding all along!

Jewelry

Depending on the goddess, I like to add different types of jewelry to my altar. If I have real gold, or a string of pearls, I'll offer to the queens, for example. I also love to create themes with the jewelry, such as turquoise and silver for a goddess like Artemis who is a huntress and is wild and brave. When I want to connect with my sexuality or I'm focusing on my lower chakras, I will add jewelry that is elegant and really brings out my femininity.

Whatever you believe will be attractive to the goddess you're calling in, she will be delighted at your thoughtfulness and receive your gift openly. Use your imagination when offering jewelry. Think about a pair of earrings, bracelets, rings, tiaras and crowns, necklaces and malas, or things made in nature with flowers and weeds or grass. Anything that feels special to you or holds a special place in your heart is welcome.

Treasures

Anything and everything that can be added to your altar might easily sit under this title. But for now, I'd like to include any physical item that brings you joy, that reflects what you are thankful for or what or whom you would like to protect. Sometimes this comes in the form of a photograph or keepsake that protects a memory.

Consider adding small trinket dishes and boxes. The boxes may contain a few secret treasures that represent your privacy and boundaries. I have a beautiful wooden butterfly carved box that I received as a gift from my mother. For a long time I wasn't attracted or attached to this box in any way, but believed that some day I would be better able to connect with it. Well, since I have gone through so many changes and consider this particular time in my life to be one of complete transformation, I love to offer this box when I need help growing through an especially taxing phase.

 

How To Invite A Goddess Into Your Sacred Space

Crystals, Rocks & Stones

Bring home a rock or stone that caught your attention while at the beach, or on a hike, or during a road trip or adventure. If it's pleasing to you, it will immediately amplify your altar and your life. Crystals fall into the same bracket, although you will likely be drawn to them in an archeology shop or any other local crystal boutiques. Mining for your own crystals is an option as well, and I encourage you to learn crystal mining etiquette so as not to disrupt the integrity of the crystals and to pay respect to the process and our planet.

Every crystal has a unique set of properties that may aid in the wide array of conscious work you are doing to heal. Some open the heart, some help to create balance in your life, some help with manifesting your desires, and others protect you during your travels. I often place certain crystals, like citrine, on my altar because of their ability to bring clarity to a situation or decision. Others help you to fly high and can be really powerful!

Trust your intuition when collecting crystals and other natural stones. When you are unclear about a gem, ask a professional, or someone you trust, to tell you more about the piece you were drawn to. Don't overthink it. Enjoy the process of learning and remain open to your guiding light.

Photographs

Photographs reconnect us with loved ones. Often they cause us to reminisce and reencounter a missed memory that's been tucked away in our hearts. Select a photograph that you can hold in your hands, that shows who you'd like to protect, like your children, family, and pets. Allow your photo to stand its ground. It's valuable even in its most distressed state.

Pull from tarot cards or a goddess deck and allow your energy to feed into the card that emerges. Sometimes we know our attention is required some place particular in our lives, and yet we can't quite put a finger on it. To help you articulate what you'd like to call in, consider purchasing a beautiful deck of spiritual wonders and see just how connected you can become to yourself and your needs.

Open to a page in your favorite ritual book. Let the page be your guide to communicating clearly with your chosen goddess. Place a painting or a drawing on your altar. It can be one of your own creations, even! I painted a portrait of the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi, and love to invite her into my sacred space with many candles, or place her picture by the stove to ignite her powers.

There are many beautiful, timeless pictures of paintings of the goddesses in books, made into posters and printed on cards. These may aid in your visualization of a goddess and help you to imagine having a conversation with her. The photographs need not be of the goddesses only. It's up to you! Place any image that you desire, because after all, it is your time with the goddess, so make it meaningful. I even use cards I've received as birthday gifts because they have beautiful images on them, or tear off pieces of packaging if it evokes the emotion I want to enter my sacred space.

How To Invite A Goddess Into Your Sacred Space

Flowers

Goddesses love flowers in the same way that us women are attracted to them too. Offer a stem from the bundle you pick up at your local grocery store or farmer's market. Bundle a few small daisies or chamomile with twine and place in a small vase or glass of water on your altar. Dried flowers can be wonderful gifts as well.

I like to offer big, full and silky flowers such as peonies, tulips, roses, and hydrangeas, or just a few fragile petals. I particularly love tulip leaves and will press them into my beauty and ritual books as bookmarks and love opening up to pages that I revisit to find them there, ready to greet me. When gathering flowers from outside, choose ones that are plentiful or have fallen to the ground already. Having your own garden means you make your own rules, so welcome the project. Another one I love is honeysuckle, and I'm fortunate to have a large honeysuckle bush in the park near my home.

Flowers can be offered in edible forms as well. I like to offer jasmine or rose steeped in tea or lavender infused in cream, and orange blossom in a pastry. There are certain colors that may be better associated with each goddess. I love to offer them in shades of red, pink, white, and violet. Plants and succulents can be added to your altar as well.

In High Vibrational Beauty, the authors point out a tradition they love and honor called Ikebana, the Japanese art of flowering arrangement. This is the perfect wabi-sabi sort of approach to bringing the outdoors in. There aren't any rules to it. Just get outside and pull together elements to create a bouquet that is beautiful to you. Let your heart lead the way. Keep it simple, and enjoy the potentially rough nature of the experience.

How To Invite A Goddess Into Your Sacred Space

Fruit

Juicy, luscious fruit like peaches and apricots, berries and cherries, plums and grapes are all welcome for your goddess to feast upon while she listens to your prayers. Anything that makes your mouth water, she will surely devour with gratitude. Offer what's in season and what's available to you. Consider refreshing, organic watery fruits such as watermelon, honeydew and cantaloup, oranges and grapefruits. I would even slice a cool cucumber or offer a ripe banana if that's what I have and want to really set an intention that is savory sweet.

There are many other delicious, luxurious foods you can offer the goddess you are entertaining. See pleasures below.

Heirlooms

We inherit interesting things from our relatives and dear ones when they pass. A way to honor the spirit of these souls is to include their treasures in your offering to call in a goddess. I've primarily received jewelry and other unique objects from the women in my family. These items are sometimes valuable and sometimes priceless. Anything that you so cherish dearly can be used as an offering to a goddess.

What we give is what we receive in return. Not every time is it necessary to give the best or most expensive artifact to your goddess. The same goes for jewelry. Sometimes it makes sense, or feels right. And other times, a simple, honest and thoughtful gesture will do the trick. Remember, you don't have to have lots of money or extremely valuable things in order to call in a goddess. Be where you are, who you are, and start from a place of meaning, however that might resonate with you.

As you develop in your spiritual journey, you will begin to acquire special sacred objects that you'll want to place on your altar. By either stumbling upon them while out with a girlfriend, or receiving them as gifts and gestures, you'll soon notice that you have so much to offer, that you're swimming in abundance!

How To Invite A Goddess Into Your Sacred Space

Letters & Lists

Write a letter to your chosen goddess. Address her by name and sign your name in conclusion. Ask her for her guidance, wisdom, or support. Ask for the help you need and be sure to include that you hope and plan to use her gifts in an effort to improve your own life, renew your own energy or heal your chakras so that you may be able to lend a hand to others, improve someone else's day, or act in the betterment of your community and planet.

You don't have to want to save the world in order to receive; however, become clear about why you want what you're requesting. What kind of impact will your request make? Will patience and clarity allow you be a better manifestor, one who stands in her worth and lifts herself up in order to be a light and a guide to others? Will strength and motivation help you through a particular challenge that impacts your social circle or your family?

Understand that what you desire affects someone else in one way or another. My heart goes out to all mothers when I say that asking for things is not wrong, and it doesn't make you bad or selfish. You must fill your cup and put yourself first in order to give to your children and partner and community in a way that unites all of you and everyone feels heard and understood and loved. Sometimes a little boost from a goddess is just the thing that will get you through the day, or the week, with better ease and more kindness.

Make a list of all that you want to call in. The goddesses hear your desires when you say them aloud. Use a whispering voice if that feels comfortable. I'm not always alone in the house when I call in a goddess and so keeping a soft tone allows me to speak my deepest secrets and not be overheard by others. Lists can also be helpful when praying because it helps to keep your prayer organized and to remain specific. I like to honor the times when I have clarity over a topic and want to communicate that to my goddess of choosing.

Other times, it's perfectly appropriate to simply ask for clarity. Sometimes, our circumstances don't make a lot of sense or we don't have the vocabulary to identify exactly what's going on. Through calling in a goddess to help you gain clarity, you will soon find that the answers exist and they arrive in a variety of ways. Sometimes I'll be listening to a podcast and I'll extract a bit of information that reels it all in for me, or I'll have a random conversation with someone and they say something that I'm able to link to my current situation. With clarity, I also ask that my goddess helps me to keep my heart open for the answers and that I may remain flexible with my path.

Pleasures

I love to group food into "pleasures". My belief is that food is conducive to nourishment, joy, and satisfaction and when offering foods to a goddess, offer her the best quality chocolate, honey, milk, seeds and nuts, dates and other dried fruits. I'll even offer cakes and pastries, breads, and butter or nut butters, even ghee and coconut oil. Anything you believe is decadent, you may offer on your altar.

Spices create another avenue of pleasure that may interest your goddess. Think saffron, pink peppercorns (which are actually berries), and fresh sprigs of thyme or rosemary. Himalayan pink salt or celtic sea salt may be offered as well. How I like to approach adding food to my altar is any food that I would like to enjoy can be infused with an intention. Herbs and spices can be used in preparing meals. Sweets and delicacies can be enjoyed for a snack with tea or coffee.

I will even set a prepared cup of coffee on my altar and call in a goddess, offering Turkish coffee or a locally roasted variety - something that feels like a treasure itself. Imagine the sweet, chocolatey, sometimes smokey aroma steaming into the clouds and luring your guest of honor to my altar for a gathering and feast.

Oils & Perfumes

In much the same way that you can charge crystals on your altar, you can also charge perfumes and oils. By charging them, you are infusing them with a positive intention and asking that they provide you with the beneficial properties they are known for.

When offering perfumes to a goddess, choose clean, nontoxic perfumes or oils that smell beautiful to you. Infusing oils with flowers and citrus can be an awakening ritual in itself, but using what you have with the right intention will do wonders in calling in the goddess of your choosing.

Fabric & Lingerie

Textures like silk, lace, and linen are wonderful ways to honor the divine feminine, which is what we're really doing when calling in a goddess. I have a beautiful floral print shall that was gifted to me by my mother-in-law and it always reminds me of when I lived in Turkey when I wear it or place as an offering on my altar. It's lovely and soft in texture and provides the warmth and sophistication that I believe a goddess deserves.

Place on your altar any type of lingerie that makes you feel sexy and vibrant. A gorgeous silk slip on a beautiful wooden hanger, something from your intimates drawer, or anything that gets you in touch with your physical body and your appetite for physical pleasure are great offerings for your altar.

By way of clothing, hats and shalls or neck-tie scarves may be used. Animal skins like leather, even fur, and faux animal textures that enhance your prayers may be used.

Bowls & Vessels

Add ceramic, wooden, glass, marble, and other natural materials to your altar in the form of bowls, big or small. Bowls are great for grouping things together like crystals of a similar kind or color, beads or other granular objects like salt or clay, coins for abundance, rings and pearls, seashells, and small pieces of fabric twisted into a loose ball or draped over the edge.

Vessels can be in the forms of vases and carafes, planters and baking dishes like ramekins and coquettes. I love the idea of using a metal hammered, or carved, hamam dish used for pouring water like a pitcher. Even mugs or tall, thin water glasses make for unexpected vases.

I purchased a beautiful, glazed jar & lid at a craft show one summer. The lid has a raw clear quartz positioned as a knob. I love this container and often use it as an offering to the goddesses since it's both an earth-derived-handmade object and it's charged with a very powerful crystal!

Nature

All things that come from the earth are things that remind us of where we come from. They connect us to our cores and to the core of the earth. I love to pick up ceramic dishes and mugs whenever I travel because they are literally made of mud and come from the earth and I know that someone made these things with their hands, with their hearts.

I encountered an older gentleman who puts up a yard sale every year, and purchased some photography props from him, including some pieces of broken ceramic tile from a beach off the coast of Italy. Among the finds, I purchased a couple candlestick holders, a small ceramic mug and a ladle with a bone handle. I will always remember our interaction and his vibrant stories. Our conversation made an impression on me and therefore added meaning and value to the treasures I found that day.

Seashells, feathers, sticks and branches, sand from a special coastal place, sand dollars, pebbles, pinecones and acorns are just a handful of the many things we enjoy and find in nature. Adding a flare from nature is a beautiful way in acknowledging our connection to the natural world and also welcomes the goddess back down to Earth by way of the earth's elements. Nature's gifts are aplenty and humble us in our humanity.

Music & Mantras

Playing music that urges you to dance is a playful way to call in a goddess. By honoring your body through healthy exercise, you are creating a wave of vibration between you and your maiden. Mantras and chanting is another way to beckon your goddess. These forms of vibration really help to center you and can open your heart to receive.

Creating music of your own can be another way of showing up for your goddess. Serenade her with sounds that invite calm, peace, or sensuality. There are so many different types of music, so play what feels good to you. I personally find music to be quite emotional and cathartic at times, so I listen to sounds of nature or soft, art music during my rituals. Purely instrumental music can create just the right kind of ambience to lure in your goddess.

How To Invite A Goddess Into Your Sacred Space

How To Invite A Goddess Into Your Sacred Space

Your imagination can be an incredible gift when developing a spiritual practice. It is the link between you and what you believe. As a child, I was raised in the Christian faith. It was through my imagination and creativity that I was able to communicate with God and sense that my prayers were received.

Now that I'm an adult, I have refined my spiritual practice to align with what's most authentic to me and my honorary system. I feel that I can connect with several different goddesses acknowledging how human they are in some ways, yet how omnipresent and majestic. No matter how out of reach a goddess may seem, I can always connect with her through the divine feminine and in the shared space of womanhood throughout history.

There is a place for me on this sentiment and there is a place for you. We wouldn't be on this planet in this physical form if our creation wasn't intentional, a co-creation by the universe, by light and love, and by starlight.

When staging your altar to invite a goddess into your sacred space, know that design experience is not required to make an impression. Simply showing up with your whole self, with intention, and a breath in between, is enough to get you in contact with this divine energy. You don't need any special tools or objects or talents to show up for your life.

You may find called to accumulate sacred objects in order to make an offering. Be patient with this process and never feel the need to spend a lot of money on items to have on hand. Some of the most meaningful and beautiful things that I offer are free. I offer objects I've had for years and recycle their potency as it aligns in my life right now.

Place your intentional offerings on your altar. Have fun with the arrangements. Sometimes I put only a few items on my altar and I keep my prayer simple and sweet. Express your gratitude for the abundance currently in your life. If you are familiar with this goddess's energy and have noticed it appear in your life recently, mention it now. Always address a goddess by name. Our names are the sweetest sounds to our bodies, as we know by now, so keep this in mind when praying.

I like to point out each offering by saying something like, "Please accept this rose quartz as my offering to you, and may it help to open my heart to receive the love that I am calling in." Hold your hands in prayer position if that feels natural to you. Sit, stand, kneel, or lie down if that feels most comfortable. For the first part of my prayer, I will sit with a straight yet relaxed spine in easy pose; then, after I've given thanks and made my request, I will sometimes lie down with my heart open to the sky and my back flush with the earth for an extended meditation.

After all this effort, it may be worth it to you to take some time to meditate in the beautiful, tranquil space that you've created. Allow your goddess to linger as your guest and begin working to fulfill your desires. Be patient and breathe deeply for several minutes. Get up from your sitting position carefully. Be sure to gently stretch through the backs of your knees. If lying down, either rock up to a standing position or gently roll over on your side to lift yourself off the floor.

Be sure to blow out any candles before leaving your altar. Incense may be left to continue burning in their heat proof dish, or stubbed out.

Any food put on your altar may remain if it has a decent shelf life. All perishable items should be properly stored or consumed accordingly.

Practice patience when on the receiving end of your goddess ritual and continue working hard to make your goals and dreams come true. You have the power within you to create any kind of reality and it's a wonderful gift to be able to call upon a goddess that resembles your needs and desires. As women, we are connected to and a physical embodiment of the divine, so be grateful for this vast interwoven energy field we are part of. You are not alone, and you don't have to do it all by yourself.

Asking for help is admirable and humbling and we all need a little light and a little grace from time to time. Don't be shy and don't be forceful. Show up with curiosity and candor, allowing your interaction to unfold as it may. Enjoy this process and enjoy inviting a goddess into your sacred space.

How To Develop A Slow Morning Ritual

Mornings are exquisite in their red-lit glory. They ignite the senses in every way; the smell of fresh dew on the lawn, insects perfecting their quiet, the lavender wonder of the day yet to arrive, the taste of gratitude for yet another. And then there's that feeling when you realize after all this, your heart is open and full and it feels just right.

Slowly, I move through the sequence of my morning. I rise early with the pup and commit to a few non-negotiables. While I love my slow morning ritual, I'm undecided whether not I'm a 'morning person'. Here's a hint: I need many hours' time before I should be let loose to interact with other humans, partner included.

Do you relate? Raise your hand if you can't receive calls, make appointments, or begin functioning for society approval until the clock strikes noon (i.e. 1:30pm).

So, you can imagine how serious I am about perfecting the slow in my morning ritual, eh?

Yeah, it's wicked slow.

I believe in mornings and I believe they must be savored. That's why I resort to a slow morning ritual, rather than just a routine. Routines make you feel like you have to do something. A ritual makes you feel like you want to do it, like you're indulging in a super-secret series of pleasures, and you want to savor it all to yourself.

Okay, so mornings can be spent together. And when your beloved rise with you to greet the day, it can be the most precious indulgence.

Personally, I love to catch the constellations in the sky at 5am (when they are their brightest against the darkest sky), or the sunrise at its infancy, and I prefer these moments in solitude. It happens to be my direct line to the universe and I want privacy's cloak when calling upon my guides.

As women, we owe these moments to ourselves. It isn't selfish, or outlandish that we choose to take the first breath of morning in our own company. Sometimes the only way we are able to give to others is by skimming the cream off the top, taking the first lick.

Top o' the mornin' to ya, m'Lady.

God gave mornings to women. We are the care-takers, the nurturing ones, the booboo-kissers and problem solvers, the breasts that feed, and the hearts that carry warmth and discernment. We hold the world in our arms, but first, we must let the morning hold us.

Nestle your gigantic brain into the bosom of your slow morning ritual. You can hear its heart beating...

*snaps fingers*

Did you fall back asleep?

Rise and shine, Babe, we're working on a development, featuring Y O U.

Before we begin, answer me this: what's ONE thing you love about mornings?

Well, that ONE thing is likely to be your driving force for stearing you out of bed every day, and not back down that linen-laden tunnel called 'bed'. It's important that we stay on track here, because I don't want you should-ing all over yourself and phoning it in because you think someone else knows how to conduct your life better than you do.

You are your own conductor, your own guide, the master of your time & energy. You do you, girl.

And don't apologize.

Let me give you some perspective.

I don't wake up at 5am unless there's a pretty good reason for it. These days, my puppy's bladder is about to burst by then, so we dash out of the house together (I know, already we're straying from slow) and wind up on a patch of grass. On our way back I look up into the great black expansion above me and I notice the unmistakable Star Sisters in their glorious arrangements of light.

It's breathtaking, and I'm grateful for not stumbling off my staircase and face-planting into the pavement on my way down with a 20lb. (angel) beast in my arms. Aside from, well, being grateful that I didn't face-plant at all. But in that instance, I find relief; better yet, once I return to my apartment where a gushing of 74°F envelopes me, protecting me from the frozen temps of my morning excursion.

At this point, I don't want to wake up and smile in the direction of the rising sun. I want to secure my enthusiastic pet in his kennel, pull my eye mask back on, and sleep until the birds chirp wildly from inside their tented cage. I don't want to fling my hair about in a rapid cat cow sequence, or spend 20 minutes oil pulling, or meditate for 22 minutes in my favorite chair, which I don't have.

I want to sleep, and I want to get to doing things when I feel it's time to get to them.

Are you still with me?

It's so important that we listen to what our bodies, minds, and hearts need. It will be different for each us of us, and that's the best part. I've tried all the things, and without having a WHY attached to them, there is no way I commit to anything. If there isn't a benefit that I believe is crucial to my well-being, or essential to bringing me to life, then it's over. And trying to make something fit that doesn't isn't only insane, it's a sure way to reach exhaustion and feel as though you've failed.

Be kind to yourself.

"Failure is just an event. It is not a characteristic. People can't be failures." - Judge Victoria Pratt

At this point, all the suggested morning routines I've tried just haven't quite worked. Surely, bits and pieces have stuck, and those are the bits that have become non-negotiable to me. What's better, is that they are simple and they help me feel fresh, alive, and even awake! But the best thing? I've strung them together to develop a slow morning ritual that is as exquisite as the sunrise itself.

My slow morning ritual is sacred to me because it's the gift I give to myself to build a strong foundation for emotional intelligence, ease, and that grounded, centered self that I want to show up as in the world. It begins slowly. And how I care for my being is contingent on how I feel in my body, after I've checked in.

This is what I prescribe for you too. Check in. Make a deposit in your name, first thing upon rising in the morning. Take your time. Give yourself that space and quiet. If you live with a rowdy bunch of monsters, then you already know what you need to do now: wake up before them. Greet the kitchen before there are crumbs on the countertop, or paw prints on the tile.

Lie down on the floor in the shape of a human. Eat warm toast while sitting on cool granite. Let the temps mingle until you've reached comfort in your environment. Say yes to you, if even for 15 minutes a morning.

I bet you're wondering how I have so much energy already. Well, what the hell, I'll give ya the low-down.

Ha! You're brilliant, and yes, I meant 'slow-down'. Now, I'll share with you my three morning delights, but then I want you to tell me yours, okay?

Okay. I believe you, and since I can't properly see you, just show me with a CLICK:

I PROMISE

Now that we've gotten those out of the way, which I'm still savoring, I want to throw out some inspiration for you to catch and examine. Once you've held each idea in the palm of your hand, gently brushed it along your cheek, given it a little coo, and looked it in the eye, I want you to decide if you're delighted.

Sometimes, it takes three consecutive days to decide if you're into something new. It's a learning process. So what if you didn't finish Yoga with Adriene's annual 30 Days of Yoga in January. Let it go.

There are other things, and here are some:

Mornings are for:

Connnecting

Connect with God, Source, the Universe, Mother Earth, your spirit guides and angels, your loved ones who have crossed over to the other side...Connect to any higher intelligence and say good morning. Thank them for being here with you today and express gratitude for all they do for you, all the dots they connect for you.

Connect with your heart center by touching your hand to your heart and feeling the exchange of warmth there. Feel rooted from your tail to the core of the earth, a connection strengthened in easy pose. For some, it may not initially be so easy. With practice, everything gets easier.

Connect with your body, give it a soothing touch, an embrace around your shoulders. Run your fingers through your hair, coaxing the hairline awake, massage the tender areas of your face, tug on your ear lobes. Give some attention to your hands and feet, greet them kindly and say hello.

Connect with your lover, your partner or spouse, your children, your pets, your roommate, and all your dear ones. Embrace them, kiss them, pet them, look them in the eye, greet them in your own secret language, and feel the warmth of your connection to all these important parts of your life, your entire existence.

You are not alone. You are connected, and whole, and complete as you are. Like a packet of stardust, you are wild in your dispersement.

Bathing

Bathing in the morning is the best because it's so serene and even more private than a nighttime soak. The bathroom is all yours, and the tub yours to dream. I'm all for a quick shower first thing, but what I've in mind is a good ol' fashioned feet-up-head-back kind of start to the day. Water is so feminine, a flowing, adaptable element that gets us out of our bodies and releases all things ego, judgement, and shame.

In the swelling tubful of wonder, we can discover our desires, what we most want to manifest next. Lie there in acceptance and just be.

If your fortunate enough to live near the ocean, or a natural body of clean water, go bathe in the sea, trust-fall into the arms of a spring, dip your feet into the rippling water of a creek, splash your face with gathered drops of rain, scoop the wonders from an ancient fountain in the palm of your hand.

Take a cold shower. Start out warm, and then give yourself a good blast of cool to seal in all that vibrancy you want in a face, all that shine you want in a mane. Wrap yourself in clean, warm towels; sigh. Life is beautiful. You are beautiful.

Energizing

Gently touch your feet to the floor and give your heart a moment to catch up to your rising body. Wake up your knees, rubbing your joints clockwise to get them lubricated. Stand tall, with your heart open, your shoulders down and back, and reach towards the heavens, palms open to receive. Stretch to one side, and then the other; bow, reaching towards the earth that supports you. If your body allows, fold your hands to cup your toes and feel that deep stretch in the backs of your legs. Feel the blood flow to your head and through your limbs.

A brisk walk outside is sure to get the juices flowing, lighting that fire inside, bringing you to life in the crisp morning air. Get your heart rate up, notice as your hair thickens and shines bright; little to moderate exertion will suffice.

Show up on your mat for a sun salutation or a series of your favorite foam roller moves to wake up the spine, abdomen, and give some love to your arms and legs (gotta love those limbs). Hit the gym, show up for your morning yoga class, meet up with a friend for a run, take the stairs, play your favorite exercise video online and sweat in the comfort of your sacred space.

I fully advocate getting our bodies moving in the morning, and all throughout the day. Even dancing to your favorite song or playlist can do wonders in lifting your spirit, and your mood. I also believe in the energizing effects of adaptogens, which, in place of caffeine, naturally energize without causing you to crash come afternoon. Some of my slow morning favorites are ashwagandha, chaga, cordyceps, and maca.

Loving

Love making, that is. Spend time being close with your partner, spooning, cuddling, nuzzling, or just sharing that intimate hour waking up in complete contact. Even just with your eyes or simply scooting closer together in a duo-generated heat space under the covers. Stretch, smile.

Love on your loved ones throughout your home. Speak sweetly to your plants, animals, and children. Tidy your home, for love's sake. Lovingly prepare a meal for yourself and others. Set the table, use an organic cloth napkin, light beeswax candles, brew something magnificent for all to enjoy. Wrap yourself in a soft blanket and scoot around in your slippers while you sprinkle love all throughout your sacred space.

Open your blinds and shades and love what you see outside. Love your sheers and curtains and the privacy and ambience they provide. Turn on the gas fireplace and love the light, love the flame. Choose to do something that you love, and if you don't love doing something, do it lovingly anyhow and see how it makes you feel. Give it new meaning. It is not you. You are love, and you have love to give.

Creating

Create something with your hands. Imagined creations are just thoughts, and they don't count until you've put them into action, until you've brought them to life in energy-form, at the very least. Rise early before work and spend an hour on your passion. I love the story Elizabeth Gilbert shares in Big Magic about a friend of hers, who wakes up one hour early every morning with her partner and the two of them draw together before work, just because they love doing it so much.

Creations don't have to be grand, world-changing contributions, nor do they need to be finished to hold value. Just create. Brainstorm an outline for a blog post; choose a theme for a novel and go nuts into research and keyword-ing the shit out of that story; whip up something simple and nourishing in the kitchen; create space for yourself in this quiet hour; create a new tradition, and invite someone to amplify this experience.

Create a new healthy habit, one that serves you, one that inevitably serves us all; create one new sentence or haiku or poem that speaks to what you feel in this moment. Creating is for everyone. It isn't only reserved for the artists and writers or inventors and trained professionals. Be playful; play. Tinker with something; Fix or repair something. Create a dialogue with someone who shares your beliefs, your zest for life, your zest for an important (or unimportant) topic.

Create an opportunity for gathering, for community; give to but a bulb and watch your creation come to life; nurture an existing creation; create a family in all its many forms in honor of you and your unique design. Create a sacred space, and develop a slow morning ritual.

Sungazing

Sungaze at sunrise, just as the sun lifts above the earth into view. Within the first hour of rising (and within the hour before setting) the sun's ultraviolet levels are zero. This is the ideal time to exchange glances with our day's true light. Give it your attention, and it gives you in return the stimulation of melatonin (our circadian-rhythm hormone) and serotonin (our well-being neurotransmitter).

According to Nadine Artemis in her book Renegade Beauty, "Sunlight enters our eyes and stimulates the pineal gland, which is connected to the hypothalamus, where sun-energy triggers vital magnetic, electrical, and chemical reactions in the human body." She suggests starting with just 20 seconds a day, and even covering up one eye to reduce squinting (and crow's feet!), then alternating; add a few seconds every day and in three months you'll have built up a 15 minute practice.

Baking

Bake bread in the morning; set out croissants to rise overnight, delay start your oven, and bake-awake your home with the smell of buttery blessings. Bake breakfast in ramekins or a casserole dish, a concoction of what's around and what's sound. The natural warmth of the oven will have all come running to gather round.

If preparing a breakfast stovetop, turn your oven on the lowest setting and place a plate inside; turn off the oven once it's acclimated and arrange pancakes or french toast, as soon as they reach their golden doneness, onto the plate in the oven to keep warm until serving.

Brewing

Brew coffee in the slow ritual way. Grind your beans immediately before brewing. Choose a bean that's been roasted just two weeks prior for the best flavor. Always swirl freshly boiled water into your vessel before brewing as this creates a warm hug for your coffee to be blossomed into life. Brew through an acid-free, chlorine-free filter, if using. Be present for every step of the way.

Brew tea in the slow ritual way. Use fresh, organic, quality tea leaves. Choose a tea that you enjoy, that evokes your senses and awakens your spirit. Boil water to your tea's unique temperature. Be patient. Breathe calmly while steeping. Say a prayer. Close your eyes. Breathe the sweet tea aroma into your lungs and exhale the great love within you to share. This is your ceremony.

Brew golden milk in the slow ritual way. Slowly heat the milk and all your combined spices; add healthy oil and raw honey, if using. Stir occasionally, on this occasion. Pour into a tall vessel, add your favorite adaptogen, and combine all ingredients with an immersion blender. Pass through a fine mesh sieve into your favorite mug. Top with a pinch of spice, as you wish // sip sun.

Watering

Water your potted lovelies all around. Shower your garden with sufficient drinkable life. Stand out there in your wellies, or embrace the earth barefooted as you bring to life all that nature prescribes. Admire your co-creation. Provide a clean bowl full of water for the furry and feathered babes. Blow kisses their way. Shower them with affirmations; if it doesn't work for you, know that it works for them.

Journaling

Journal your dreams. Consider their meanings. Do they mean anything? Have no judgment. Settle into a comfortable chair or cushy nook, and let your hand write you a narrative. It doesn't have to be real or accurate. It's wonderful realizing how many words and word sequences you know; how fun it is to journal upon new ones.

A slow morning ritual offers you the space to ponder everything that you feel. Write down the magic that you experience. I love to write in the mornings because it's as if I'm writing a whole new day for myself. I'm setting the tone. Much like a meditation practice, I'm honing in on the present and I'm unprotected by filters of thoughts, of words, or feelings; they all come rushing through my being and out the ballpoint of my pen. Brilliant.

Reading

Read something uplifting; pick up where you left off; read about a method or resource that can advance your professional life; read a book, for pleasure (as all reading ought to be, eh?); a great novel just can't be put down, and it's highly acceptable, albeit required that you spill out of bed in the morning and find the sentence that thrilled you, reading over paragraphs already read, just to gain the momentum like new.

Read a cookbook for pleasure; Shannon Ables is onto something when she suggests having books around all your favorite reading spots in the house, and that there's fulfillment in reading kitchen diaries and reading through cookbooks, not as a chore, but as entertainment. Besides, you may even stumble across seasonal meals that work perfectly into your meal planning. Enjoy the unhurried, non-desperate ritual of dog-earring and bookmarking and flagging of simple, delicious recipes.

Read the newspaper. If you are passionate about being a well-read citizen of where you live, or if you prefer the goings-on everywhere else, pick up a paper. Even better, retrieve a delivered print from your mailbox, as expected through your favorite subscription service. Read a magazine that inspires you for the day; tear out a page that speaks something interesting to you, or give it to a friend or coworker to brighten their day.

Listening

Listen to the natural sounds of the morning. If you aren't so fortunate to live in a grassy, riverside meadow set deep into the highlands, sometimes just imagining that you do can solve much lusting after. Unless you prefer the sounds of a sleepless city, the wakeup call of construction outside your home, the humming white noise that makes you feel less alone, less in-your-head.

Listen to soft jazz or playful classical music. Play a tune of your own. Put a record on and engage with a sound so singular. Listen to a morning playlist that causes inexplicable sensations to flow through your being. Don't try to explain it. Just listen, feel. Music is movement, and thus allows for perfect company in the morning hours.

If sound overwhelms your day, practice a quiet start. If where you live makes it difficult to sit in the required silence, invest in quality noise-cancelling headphones. It isn't ridiculous, it's crucial. Know your environment, and adapt accordingly. Sound can be heaven or hell and you are the responder, the curator of a better morning. Listen, examine, and decide the tune of your heart.

Meditating

Meditate in any form that appeals to you. Consider an empowering white light meditation, guiding star meditation, or attending a Kundalini yoga class regularly. Sit quietly in your home and bring your attention to your breath, guiding it into a gentle rhythm; count to four as you inhale, hold for four seconds, and exhale on a four-count. Exhale for upwards of eight seconds and notice the difference in how you feel.

Meditate using the Calm app, which I prefer, or subscribe to another favorite, perhaps free, online source. One of the most practical methods is to simply set a timer for any desired length of time and meditate to your favorite soothing sounds. I love rippling water, whistling birds, and pouring down rain. A tailored ambience. Get into your body to get out of your head.

Thoughts prove that we are alive. Not all thoughts are important. It's okay. Rest easy knowing you will train your mind to serve you on your wellness journey. Develop a ritual that holds meaning for you. This is your practice. Live in alignment through your choices.

Have you picked up each cute and furry little thing? Tried them on for size?

Go on, I'll meet you back here in three days.

*three days later...*

Welcome back. How did it go? Any surprises? Did it take all three days for something to stick? I would love to read about your experience. I would love to know what slow morning rituals you already love and enjoy. Enlighten me. Give me a taste of your authentic morning sipping sun.

If I've lost you along the way, fear not. We've all spent time in darkness until we've gathered ourselves and made it into the light. Follow that shining star until you, too are wrapped in the empowering white light of your own decision-making. If you prefer developing in a nut shell, then continue reading.How To Develop A Slow Morning RitualHow To Develop A Slow Morning RitualHow To Develop A Slow Morning Ritual

The one thing I want you to know about developing a slow morning ritual is to keep it slow. Slow for you may be like quiet molasses. It may be like intentional thunder. You are not like anyone else, and thus your day will begin in alignment with your singular personality, your mood, your predisposition, your preferences, your desires, your physical requirements, and your personal style.

There is no wrong way to be who you are. You are magic, and the more you try to wear someone else's hat and shoes, the better you will become at quitting, at becoming exhausted and overwhelmed by the should's of society. Should you choose you over anyone else, you'll be doing yourself a favor. In turn, you'll be that woman who everyone looks up to, is mesmerized by, their can't-put-their-finger-on-it girl crush.

Your secret?

Not giving a damn what anyone thinks, whether not they like or approve. Your slow morning ritual will feel good to you. You will get lost along the way, and you will find your footing, over and over again. This is life. You go in and out of seasons in which one thing feels good and then isn't a priority any more.

You'll have non-negotiables and then all others that adjust according to the energy shifts throughout the year, temperature changes, traveling, working, new projects, and all the in-between lives we live. Go with the flow. Change as the leaves do before falling off onto a new adventure. Life is only as meaningful as you allow in this moment.

Be who you are, and always strive to reach your most centered, and aligned self. Reach your highest vibration. For you; for the planet.