We’re experiencing a global upheaval and the ground may continue be shaking beneath your feet, so to bring a sense of order and joy to your life, below are three simple ways to bring ritual into your everyday.
For the purposes of this post AND with the added benefit of being a mindful practice, I grabbed mum’s old Heinemann Australian Dictionary off the shelf:
Habit: a regular practice or usage.
Ritual: a formal or ceremonial action.
Humans love a ritual whether we realise it or not, though we often disguise them as habits – a far less romantic notion. I view ritual as a daily mindfulness practice and before you navigate away from this page because I said the dreaded ‘M’ word, hear me out. When I refer to mindfulness, I am referring to its broken down pieces – mind-full. Just being present.
ONE – Ritualise your current habits
Take a seat and go through your day from the moment your eyes open until they close at night, jotting each one down.
The way I see daily ritual, is a mindset shift. You’re adding solemnity and mindfulness to a current habit and removing any guilt. You may or may not slow down the action.
- Add solemnity
- Increase mindfulness
- Remove any guilt
I’m not exactly suggesting that scrolling instagram first thing in the morning is the best thing to do for your mental health, but I do believe in guilt free living for health maintenance. If a first-thing scroll is what wakes you up and brings you into the world, then enjoy it! Grab your phone, smile and get ready to enjoy 5-10 guilt-free minutes. Be present as you do and stop and read a meaningful post instead of mindlessly scrolling.
If cooking is your jam, then pop on some music, give yourself an extra 5 minutes to cook, slow it down and roll out that gnocchi like it’s a gift from the gods.
Whichever habit you choose to convert, apply the above three principles and be there for yourself.
TWO – Add a practice
There are plenty of studies to suggest that meditation will increase productivity, lessen stress and improve quality of life, but it’s not for everyone – especially as a starting point. A practice that I do recommend for the person who finds it hard to sit still is journaling. Now bear with me before you roll your eyes.
Journaling is a bloody excellent way to get your mind to slow down and get your thoughts out of your brain and onto a page. I think it’s best to go pen to paper, but in a pinch, your laptop will do nicely. Start with 5 minutes. If at the end of 5 minutes all you have is a blank page with the words, “this is stupid” written on it, that’s fine. At best you might have written down how you’re feeling or even what you did that day. I like to add a tea light candle or 3 to increase solemnity.
Honestly, add candles to any old moment and you’ve increased ritual ten-fold.
Other practices that you might like to consider:
- Meditation – on your own or with the assistance of an app.
- A gentle stroll
- A bath or bathing ritual
- Self massage
THREE – Maintain the ritual
Like the habits that have structured your day for as long as you can remember, continue the ritual. Make it your thing.
Suddenly you’ll find yourself able to ascribe ritual freely throughout your day when you feel that you need centering. You don’t need to live like a monk, you don’t need to take up yin yoga and you don’t need to ignore social responsibility to practice self care. You just need to be there for yourself too.
ABOUT CAZ BUTLER
Caz Butler is a Chinese medicine practitioner in Melbourne who adores women’s health and mental health. Her passion is to bring joy to body literacy. She believes that education and open communication around health and our bodies is a social and political responsibility.
You can find her on Instagram at @caz.butler_tcm.dr
As we continue to create beautiful and practical collections for the modern woman, we love to think about all of the different ways that Obus is a part of your lives. Recently we've had the pleasure of watching one of our ladies Alaina navigate pregnancy in her Obus wardrobe, a journey we are lucky to share with many of our Obus ladies.
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We recently chatted to Alaina about becoming a new Mum, how she continues to add colour to her wardrobe and her favourite post-bump Obus pieces.
What three words would you use to describe your personal style?
Fun, colourful, & prints-prints-prints!
What is your favourite thing to do on a rainy day?
To kick back and relax on the couch with a big cup of tea and watch a series or movie on Netflix! Lots of cuddles are also involved with Archie and my 2 pups, Bandit & Sadie. Oh, and husband too.
What are you currently reading and/or listening to?
Reading: Archie keeps me pretty busy these days, so I don't have too much time to be reading to be honest! One magazine I have been enjoying though is 'Mindful Parenting,' which focuses on well-being, self-care, and finding joy as a new parent.
Listening: We are listening to A LOT of white noise :) #momlife
In the mornings, Archie and I love listening to Aussie bands like Lime Cordiale and dancing to 80's rock/pop classics like The Kinks and New Order. The kid has good taste in music, what can I say :)
How do you incorporate sustainability into your every day?
I try to incorporate lots of little things in my day to day life to be more sustainable. For instance, avoiding plastic usage, recycling, composting, and using reusable water bottles and coffee cups. I'm also mindful about where I shop for food- which means hitting the local farmers markets as much as I can. I have also followed a vegan diet for ten years, which I believe is the single most effective thing we can do as individuals to reduce our environmental impact on earth!
Tell us which three empowering females you'd love to have dinner with and why?
1) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: I have THE biggest girl crush on AOC. I was born and raised in Washington DC and like to keep up with what's going on back home. AOC is the youngest woman ever to be elected into Congress and has already made such a huge impact in such a short amount of time. In my opinion, she is the ultimate badass boss babe!
2) Celeste Barber: No one's instagram cracks me up as much as Aussie comedian's Celeste Barber. Her celebrity impersonations are absolute gold and a dinner with her would guarantee lots of lols. I admire all of the work she did earlier this year in raising global awareness and funds for the Australian bushfire relief.
3) Beyonce: Absolutely NO explanation needed :)
6. What lights you up and brings you joy (big or small)?
Archie's smiles for his mummy bring me the absolute most joy! He's getting to the age (3 months) where he's smiling heaps, and I"m loving every single moment of it.
Other things that bring me joy are walking my pups, long catch up with my friends, being at the beach, and a delicious vegan brunch........ all whilst being dressed up in my favourite Obus threads, of course!
What do you love most about Obus?
Ever since I moved to Melbourne 8 years ago and discovered Obus, it has been one of my favourite brands. No one does a statement print quite like Obus... and I am all about bright and bold prints! The clothes are beautifully made, high quality, and the cuts are oh so flattering! I also love the fact that the majority of the clothing is made in Melbourne by family-run businesses.
I loved the fact that the majority of my Obus frocks were able to fit me throughout my entire pregnancy so that I didn't have to buy brand new and not so fun pregnancy clothes. Even at the height of my morning sickness (and drinking nothing but ginger tea), putting on my bright and colourful Obus dresses made me feel like a functioning human being :)
I also love the fact that I can still continue to wear Obus postpartum while fulfilling my mummy duties. There are so many great button-down shirt and dress options that I can choose from to wear when out and about that are breastfeeding friendly. Thanks, Obus!
THANK YOU Alaina, we've loved being a part of your journey! xxx Team Obus
I’m Beth, and as a mum to two girls, I find this recipe is a great way to get veggies into your kids (or adults) without it being overtly veggie-like. Who doesn't love a rich tomato sauce you can top with as much cheese as you can muster?
I’m Julia - I’m a painter, who handpaints pots under the name @summer_svenson. I hope you enjoy this easy pot tutorial ~ which you can make for yourself, for a friend or a little project to get the kids involved with. Enjoy!
I’m Carly Findlay - I’m a writer, speaker, appearance activist, cheese lover and keen Obus wearer. I mostly write about appearance diversity and disability issues, but I also enjoy writing about fashion and fandom