6 Ways To Live Life As A Ceremony
Posted by : Mary Wutz /
Throughout my studies and explorations around the world of plant and energy medicine, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in ceremonies of all kinds, ranging from blessing a harvest to praying for peace. Regardless of which culture these ceremonies come from, there seems to be a set of universal rules that always apply after and a period of re-integration from leaving that beautifully focused world and coming back.
What I began to notice when I was shifting from the world of ceremony to the “real world” was a sense of deep sadness within my soul whenever it was time to transition. I wanted to hold on to that high I experienced from feeling so connected and “in the flow”. It seemed like it would last for a day, or a few days, or maybe even a week depending on circumstance, but ultimately, the magic and synchronicities that were so accessible during those times where I was part of something so beautiful and innate began to fade. That’s when my “aha” moment happened: If I wanted that feeling to last, then I had to make the ceremony last!
So, I set out to study the elements of all the various ceremonies I had experienced and found the common threads among them. Once I identified these aspects, I began to implement them one by one into my life and the results were awe-mazing: Synchronities became commonplace, relationships of all kinds deepened, and my overall happiness in life was at an all-time high.
I’m not saying that I’m able to maintain this set of rules 100 percent of the time, but when something “goes wrong” or the magic seems to disappear, I quickly become aware that I’ve fallen off the ceremonial wagon.
Here are the elements I use to keep the alchemy of ceremony alive everyday:
1) Slow Down: Before entering into a sacred space, slowing down is crucial. Treating every action as a conscious movement has positive ripple effects not only in your immediate space, but in others' space as well. Apply slowing down to every thought, interaction and decision.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao Tzu
For me, this translates into taking an hour or a day if I can to turn off my smartphone, put on my away message, and spend some time listening to my own heartbeat. Sometimes I hug a tree (seriously- there’s science there- look it up!) Taking the time to slow down allows us to function from our hearts instead of our heads. It allows us to get into our rest and relax mode, which is our responding mode instead of our fight or flight mode, which is our reaction mode. Take time for the quiet.
2) Set Your Intentions: Clarify the purpose or goal of your ceremony.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else”
Waking up and deciding how I want the day to unfold is a daily practice. I also do this before I jump on any phone call having to do with my business. What do I want to convey? Where is the ideal place I’d like to be after this conversation?
3) Trust: That your intentions are clear, the universe is intelligent and the law of attraction is at work.... then let it go.
“You Only Lose What You Cling To.” -Buddha
This step can still be a real struggle for me. Sometimes my tendency to worry cannot be quelled. When I can’t seem to “let go and trust,” I use two different plants: Skullcap and Lavender. Skullcap is a nervine herb I take internally that is for those of us with the “hamster wheel brain.” Lavender essential oil I apply externally has been clinically proven to be as effective as Lorazepam, an overly prescribed anti-anxiety med.
4) Stay Grounded: I like to think we choose to be on earth for a reason, so sometimes I have to remember to stay here in my body.
“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
I like to think of staying grounded as staying balanced. There are good things and bad things that happen every day. Not getting caught up in the highs or the lows is key to being grounded. Also, go outside and connect with nature barefoot whenever possible.
5) Don’t Get Stuck in a Story. When an extra-ordinary experience occurs, it’s easy to get lost in the story of that experience.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” –Mahatma Ghandi
Our minds are beautiful things, but we (especially Westerners) are analytical creatures that want to know “why.” This can get in the way of the truth of our experience or prevent more information to unfold if we get stuck on a certain story.
6) Don’t send your energy around the room. Unless you are asked for help, do not intervene in someone’s process-spiritual or otherwise.
“You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in those proportions.” -Unknown
With all of these spiritual experiences I’ve had, it’s really easy for me to see what’s wrong with someone else (this is sarcastic for the record). What I’ve learned is that I never know what someone is going through or what his or her process is like, the most spiritual thing I can do is to listen, and allow the person to whom I’m listening process and figure it out. This is the same for business and personal relationships, etc.
From these ways of implementing ceremony into my daily life, I’ve observed that each second, minute, hour, day- each decision we make, is an invitation to treat life as a ceremony, a way to live with reverence and grace- and respond- not react to life.
How about you?