5 Daily Rituals to Simplify and Beautify your Life
"When you stand up to pray, pray as if it is your last prayer" Prophet Mohamed
Hello and welcome!
Before we move into our 5 daily rituals, let me say a couple of words about today's picture. I took it two and half years ago with my iPhone during a trip to Pakistan. It is the ceiling of Lahore's beautiful Badashi mosque built in the 1670s. I chose this picture today because it reminded me of how serene I felt at this time, after performing one of my favorite rituals, praying.
I had a similar feeling as I was in the Paris Mosque Hammam the other day, laying on the warm rock in the middle of the main room. I felt rested, calm and centered. Even though I was in the city centre of Paris, it felt that urban life and its noises were very far away; worries and negativity were also in a whole different dimension. "Hammam" literally means "bath"; it is also sometimes called "turkish bath" or steam room. I love going to the Hammam once a month or so to wash myself from head to toe and care for my skin, body and hair the way women of the Sahara have been doing for centuries, but most importantly to have some "me time", pause from my busy life and get out with not only a clearer skin, but also a clearer mind. I had no idea what time it was, and I could not care less. I came here as I do always without my phone and my watch, or commitments afterward for the day.
I come from a very codified culture where rituals- anything you do frequently and almost always the same way, are very much part of daily life. Those includes daily prayers, the hello saharan style, the ''sitting on fire'' beauty ritual for women, tea drinking traditions... I love rituals and have many I practice daily: prayers, skincare routines, drinking tea, watering my aromatic herbs, working out... They keep me grounded and also free up some "space" in my head. It also help find happiness in everyday's "small" things, and transform the simplest routines into beautiful moments. Rituals help us be aware of what is happening now and savour every aspect of the moment.
As you can see, I have quite a few rituals daily. It was not an easy task to choose but here is my top 5.
I love saying my prayers. They recenter me and help me feel well. Regardless of your faith, you could also add prayers or at least some kind of "thoughts drinking" (aka medidation) to your day. An excellent application that my good friend Myriam shared with me last weekend while traveling together, and that I would recommend is Insight Timer. It is a great application that provides you with amazing meditation tools, connects you with a community of fellow medidating people. Plus, it is free!
Unless you are fasting for religious or health reasons, skipping breakfast is a really bad idea. I can guarantee you that you do not want to cross my path before I had breakfast in the morning! Even if it is just a Vitamin C packed Kiwi or a handful of nuts, have something healthy for breakfast to kick start your metabolism. For some simple breakfast ideas, check out my my Healthy Food and Drinks Ideas board on Pinterest (I post new items regularly with nutritional information and everything is straight from my kitchen).
I absolutely love beauty rituals. My favorite of all is my skincare evening ritual. I give my face a thorough massage in the process, gently cleaning my skin from makeup and other residue, feeling every skin cell under my fingers, relaxing every last muscle... All the while, breathing and being present in the moment, as if this is the last time I am doing it. Regardless of how exhausted I am and wherever I am in the world (including in an airplane, or even at a fire camp in the middle of nowhere-Yes I confess, I have!), I never miss my nightly skincare ritual, and when I get into it, I pour my heart into it. I travel a lot, so I notice that those few minute I spend daily pampering myself and my skin provides a comfort and familiarity that I treasure. Plus, it helps me keep a radiant skin!
Exercise does not need to be complicated and/or have to leave you all sweaty. 30 minutes a day is more than enough for most of us and is not difficult to achieve with simple habits such as walking more, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, public transports instead of your car, doing some chores etc.
No matter how my day went, I always take few moments before going to sleep to count my blessings and express my gratitude for everything I am and have. Gratitude is really powerful as it helps you to see the glass half empty rather than half full.
And you, what do you think of rituals? Do you have any that you practice daily or would like to? Please share them in the comment section below and if you have not yet done do not forget to subscribe to receive updates on living life every day more simply but always richer and more beautifully!