Many thanks to Caren McLellan Gazley for this summer Ritual & Rhythm series. You can order Ritual & Rhythm: A Guide to Creative Self Care and other books, courses and accessories from our shop until Wednesday, 7/3, when we'll be closing for our Indie Kindred Summer Tour. The Indie Kindred Shop will be open all summer. Tomorrow I'll begin a short flurry of film stories before I go.
Another interruption to our rhythm of daily rituals can come in the form of hosting guests. And since it is the season for travel, many of us will be at home hosting, rather than traveling. I love having people stay; including them in our everyday lives, taking them to see the sites that we tend to take for granted, preparing their favorite dish of mine. All of it is a joy.
However, there is a cost when I don't implement my rituals in the fashion I am accustomed to whenever I have visitors.
Again, I remind myself that my daily routine of self care is there to serve me, not to rule over me and become a set of 'laws' that I must adhere to or I will suffer. This is time for some creative thinking. Perhaps move my yoga and deep breathing into my bedroom instead of the living room, or include my guests into my rituals where I am able and when I think it will be comfortable for them.
One of the most important aspects of integrating self care into the fabric of your everyday life is becoming aware of 'who' you really are as a person and then moving into comfort and acceptance of it.
This means being hospitable to yourself as you would a guest.
Sometimes I start to feel guilty about keeping my practices when I have visitors around, and then I remind myself that if I am being hospitable to myself and taking care of myself then chances are I am taking better care of them. If I can learn to listen to what my body and soul are saying to me, then perhaps it will help me to hear the unspoken needs of the dear soul that has come to stay as a guest in my home.
During these times, communication goes a long way. It only takes a few minutes to explain what you are going to be doing, if you desperately need a nap (alone time), or a quick 20 minute walk. Most guests will understand and it may help give them permission to do the same. For the occasional guest that doesn't understand? Well, try and just let it go, because not everybody is going to 'get it'. I remind myself that I didn't always understand being deliberate about resting, recharging and making space for myself, either.
Caren McLellan Gazley is a soul care specialist and human rights activist whose work has led her to places like Mauritania and Albania. Still and L.A. girl at heart, Caren has deep wisdom drawing from her rich personal experiences about caring for yourself in the midst of parenting, partnerships, community and passionate work. She is the author of Ritual & Rhythm: A Guide to Creative Self Care.