THERE IS A DEEP BEAUTY WITHIN EACH PERSON

Modern culture is obsessed with cosmetic perfection. Beauty is standardized; it has become another product for sale. In its real sense, beauty is the illumination of your soul.

punctuate your day with rituals

The rituals included in this section provide the framework for incorporating the Slow Beauty philosophy into our life they are essentially what bring this philosophy close to us as a practice and help us to break down obstacles we’ve been bumping up against. Through these rituals, we can begin to feel better about ourself and our body, and to gain a sense of agency over our own life. Here I will share some of my favorite rituals, which can be put into practice on a daily, regular, or seasonal basis. You can start as small as you want (perhaps selecting one of these rituals to start) and build from there. The beauty of each of these rituals is that they allow you to begin to lay the groundwork for sustainable self-care. In my experience, once that groundwork is there, it will become easier and more compelling to incorporate more rituals into your life. Not only will these rituals light that inner fire that shines from the inside out, but they will also provide you with some “me” time, allowing you to delve further inside in a way that will ultimately slow you down and bring you in touch with what you need. Some of these rituals are meant to be done in solitude; others are designed to be done with a partner or in a larger group setting.

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The uncomfortable thing about rituals is that things will inevitably pop up that are, well, uncomfortable. Undigested material perhaps an old trauma or unsavory aspects of your upbringing will rise up to the surface. This is the difficult part of practicing rituals; and yet it is also the pathway to relieve yourself from those aspects of self that no longer serve you. Broken thought records, the ways in which you uncomfortably hold parts of your body, all of these things that cause pain can be ameliorated through the practice of rituals. This section will offer you intentional ways to slow down, to help you unfold, and unfurl aspects of your beauty that have been hidden away from both yourself and from others. Rituals also help you break out of old patterns of doing and being. When we are truly engaged in ritualistic practices, they help us break out of old unhealthy habits and patterns.

So, all of this begs the question: What are rituals? They are modes through which we access our

self, our inner life, and pathways to making a greater, more intimate connection to our self. We use rituals so that we don’t travel too far off of the path away from ourself. Rituals ground us and give shape to our days, our weeks, our months, and our years. They mark a point in time, and bring a sense of meaning and a shape to what otherwise blends in to everything else. Rituals make the ordinary remarkable, and illuminate the banal. Rituals are a pathway to self-transformation. They slow down time. Rituals have a purpose and there are different types to be utilized or set into motion to achieve many different results. Some are used to wake us up out of our routine state, others are meant to move us to a different emotional place, to stimulate our senses, and to ground us, among so many other things. Days punctuated with small, simple, and meaningful rituals help us to experience a greater presence of mind, body, and spirit, not to mention a sense of wholeness. You will be incorporating and integrating these rituals over time. When a ritual no longer serves, you will replace it with what does nourish your body and feed your soul at that present moment in time. Perhaps you will return to that ritual when it feels relevant again.

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