When I started on my spiritual journey I needed to spend some time healing myself. For the first time ever I had to make me a priority and it was exactly what I needed.
A year into my healing I had an altar with a nice collection of divination tools like crystals, oils, smudges and candles. I was also regularly performing my rituals and ceremonies but I felt like something was missing.
I realised that I wanted to share this way of living with my family. I was experiencing the benefits of meditation, healing and ritual and I wanted the same for them. So I decided that it was time to take my own transformation a step further by infusing it into my home.
As a parent, one of my goals is that my children will grow up knowing the ancient wisdom of self healing, how to tap into higher consciousness and live an intentional life and above all else how to love themselves. I believe that by involving them in my practices it will become second nature to them.
Teach by showing
I think the best way to involve the family is by showing them first. Dedicate yourself to a practice, whatever it is, and let them see you before you invite them to participate.I started slowly by introducing my children to deep breathing. First thing in the morning I encourage them to close their eyes and take three deep breaths. They love doing this with me.
David and I were already doing yoga together so we decided to involve the kids and let them see us practice. Some days they would watch, others they would join us on the mats - mostly annoying us and getting in the way. The funny thing about kids is that when you think they aren't paying attention, they're actually absorbing everything and will later surprise you with what they've learnt. So don't be discouraged.
Take time to check in with your family at the end of a day
It became an unofficial ritual for David and I to ask each other “how was you day?” as soon as we got home from work. This was our way of catching up and I guess checking in on each other’s state of mind. One day our 4 year old daughter sat at the table, crossed her legs and said “Mom, Dad tell me about your day?” She was paying attention to what we were doing. I thought it was cute and we did that with her on and off but not consistently.
Create a Ritual - Family Ritual Time
Until one day it dawned on me that all four of us were in four different rooms of the house, doing our own thing and we had no clue what was going on with the other. So, I pulled everyone together, grabbed my palo santo, crystals and a feather and told them to create a circle of pillows. It was family ritual time.
Since then, every day of the week we gather in circle as a family to reconnect, talk about the highs and lows of our individual experiences for the day, do some deep breathing, and set intentions. It’s now something we all look forward to and my children are 3 and 5. They especially love to hold the crystals in their hands.
Here's how we do our family ritual:
- Gather pillows in a circle
- Cleansed the space with palo santo. My children love this part because they get to use the feather to move the sacred smoke around. (Of course be mindful of your children and the smoke, make sure you have proper ventilation and keep them away from the fire/heat.)
- Hold hands and take three deep breaths with our eyes closed. I usually remind them to release any stress, worry or bad feelings on the exhale.
- We take turns saying what we liked most about our day and what we liked the least. (You can learn so much about your children at this time and it’s a great way to get some insights into what’s happening in their lives. They are away at school for hours each day, you’d be surprised about how much you’ll hear from them when you give them a chance to tell you.)
- After everyone has spoken we hold hands again and set an intention in the quiet of our hearts.
- We close the circle by holding clasped hands to our heart and bowing with gratitude.
It’s very simple really but a powerful time. Sometimes it can be short and other times we just have more to talk about and it goes on longer.
There are so many things that you can do to make family ritual time your own. We’ve brought treats to the circle (chocolate cake), sang songs and play games like rock-paper-scissors (my daughter’s and son’s favourite).
Family rituals are great ways to reconnect at the end of a day as well as encourage your family to live with more intention.
I hope you’ll try your own family ritual and I would love to hear any ideas you have for family rituals.
Love & Light,
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