Whenever your stress level begins to get out of control–maybe you’ve taken on too many projects or you have a few too many tight deadlines–take ten minutes to stop what you are doing and practice this simple, yet highly effective, ritual for how to get rid of stress. There are two different versions: one for when you are on your own at home and one for when you are at work or amongst a group of people.
Here are the things you will need:
- a Sage Cleansing Set (smudge stick, feather and abalone shell)
- matches or a lighter of some sort
- Lavender oil
- a piece of paper
- a pen
Follow these instructions for the ritual on how to get rid of stress:
- If you are alone, smudge yourself. If you cannot do this, put four drops of lavender oil on a kleenex and breathe in the relaxing scent.
- Take a few moments to write down everything that is making you feel stressed.
- Now lie or sit down and start to notice the scent of the oil or smudge. Start to breathe more deeply and slowly–really paying attention to the scent.
- Lie down and make yourself comfortable. If you are at work, you can do this quietly while sitting at your desk. Become aware of your breathing and gently shut your eyes.
- Become aware of your face and of any tension there. Now contract all the muscles in your face, forcefully, for one or two seconds. Then allow them to relax completely.
- Repeat this in your neck, then shoulders, upper arms, chest and back and proceeding all the way down your body.
- Imagine you are lying under a beautiful, warm but gentle sun. Feel the warmth of the sun’s rays sinking softly into your body through every pore in your skin. Feel the warmth running gently through your body like liquid gold. Imagine the healing power of the sun’s healing power cleansing you and filling you with light and warmth. Appreciate the feeling of being supported by the Earth and caressed by the sun.
- Give thanks for your body and the wonderful job it does, and remind yourself to make time to keep it well nourished, exercised and relaxed. Thank the Earth and the sun for their loving support.
- Gently open your eyes, and take yourself to a standing position (or if at work you can stay seated). Feel your feet firmly on the ground. Imagine them rooted solidly in the Earth and ask Mother Earth to keep you grounded, with a strong sense of balance. Now imagine your head being pulled up towards the sky, straightening your spine and loosening your shoulder. Ask Father Sky to give you inspiration.
- Look back at your list of problems and see if you have any solutions, wild ideas, thoughts or inspiration. No need to panic if you don’t–good ideas often come later on.
ritual from Jane Alexander’s book, the Smudging and Blessings Book