Regular rituals of self care are a vital gift to both you and those around you. I read once that ritual is routine made sacred, and it makes so much sense. Taking time out of your day, even if only for a matter of minutes, for your own ritual brings you back into your self-awareness, clears your head and gives you precious space to gain perspective.
One of my nightly rituals is simply recording in my moon diary how I felt that day; my mood, energy levels and any menstrual or body symptoms I've experienced. I can see patterns, giving me a reality check if I need one. It's so easy to over-commit and overdo things otherwise!
Each morning before breakfast, I walk our dog by the creek. As I walk over the hill, I sing a chant in my head: 'As the sun rises, I face the open sky. And as the sun sets on my life, I'm not afraid to die.' It charges and cleanses me. We sang this together as a community after my dear friend Mirabai had passed away, so it has a poignant sense of loving life for me.
I run mother-daughter coming of age retreats in Bali, as well as Celebration Day for Girls workshops for young girls and their mothers, to welcome and prepare them for the transition to menstruation and womanhood. These are beautiful learning experiences for the girls and their mothers, where we celebrate loving ourselves and valuing our own divine feminine.
It’s wonderful to have an adventure, special trip or workshop on the divine feminine, but your daily life is where the ongoing magic happens. In our programs, we share rituals of self-care that all of us can do, like taking time out to write or draw in your journal, rest, withdraw - when you're bleeding or simply whenever your body tells you it's time."
I’m a strong believer in the power of your own regular women's circle. Anyone can start one, and the rewards are so rich for a simple matter of committing time and following some basic ground rules for yourself and your sisters in circle. Earlier this year, I ran a workshop on creating your own women's circle at the Seven Sisters Festival in Mt Martha with my friend and colleague Jac Torres-Gomez. We had over-full sessions, with more than a hundred sisters joining us; women are hungry for this. It’s time for us to create what we need in our lives!
Women’s circles are a safe and sacred place where you can feel powerful, inspired, recharged, challenged, reassured... If you set it up properly, it can offer profound life-changing benefits. I’ve been meeting monthly on the dark moon for over 13 years now, and we plan to continue until we’re little old luscious women. Taking time out to share with others helps us to find the divine in our life.
Ritual for you is when you consciously take time out to honour yourself. I love my regular yoga class, where, without fail, I walk away blissful. Moving meditation, in the form of a 5Rhythms dance class, is a precious part of my practice, because it feeds me, deeply.
Maybe yoga and dance aren’t your thing like they are mine. Daily meditation is a gift you can give to yourself free of charge. Taking a moment to bless your food, even if silently as you pause before the first mouthful, creates a sacred moment.
How about setting a reminder in your phone to check in with yourself? I dare you to do it every day for a week, committing to some ritual of self-care. After all, you’re the best person to consult about looking after yourself. It’s up to you to discover and live your own divine feminine.
-Janoel Liddy is passionate about girls and women recognizing and acting on their needs to lead a satisfying life. She teaches puberty and wellbeing to girls and boys in schools, facilitates workshops and retreats and works with groups in TAFE, university and community organisations in training and events. She is a mother of two with her partner of over two decades and dances, cooks, reads and writes when she can and must.