Do you have a ritual before sitting down for meditation? Or that one thing that gets you into a state of relaxation and calmness?
It’s similar to that feeling of arriving at your driveway or your front door after a long journey or a tough day at work. That feeling of tension melting away and knowing that you’re about to go somewhere really safe and where your body can expand out into relaxation.
For me it’s quite simple – lighting a match, with the intention of lighting a candle. Not just any match. My preference is The Original Cook’s Matches in a large yellow wipe-clean box with a lighting strip that goes on for ever that can be bought from any English supermarket. And yes, they are part of my essential travel items when I return back home to Turks & Caicos. I love that even my mother and my mother in law fly with them for me too now.
There needs to be a little something to help with the transition of going from multi tasking everyday life to sitting quietly observing everything with stillness. A little pause. A moment to explain to the mind and body what is about to happen. Something that will appeal to the 5 senses and calm your system down.
For me it’s sound of the rattle of the box when I pick it up, the joy of sliding the box open and choosing a match, the sensation of striking the match, the sound of the match igniting, the focused intention poured into the candle when lighting it, the delicious smell of the match when I blow it out and then watching the lines of smoke that waft through the air after the match extinguishes. It drops me right in. It also takes me back to a time in my life in my early 20s when I was exploring my spiritual training, attending workshops where a lot of candles were lit and a lot of intentions made. I know it’s time to go inwards and invite that source of infinite light and love in. Also at the back of my mind is knowing that my maternal grandmother Mary, who I sadly never met, would light her cigarettes with a match, though for her it was Swan Vesta matches. It’s my little connection to my matriarchal line.
I light a lot of candles. I’ll do it before sitting down to meditate, before a meal seated with loved ones, or when I want to create that feeling of gemütlich (or hygge or cosy mood). I love watching my kids taking part in the lighting of a candle. What’s not to love about it?
So today I invite you to explore what one thing takes you inside? Or maybe it’s a series of things. Please share in the comments below and inspire us of ways to introduce stillness and gratitude. If this is a new concept for you and you’ve found this suggestion useful, I would love to hear from you too.