As a child and young adult I wasn’t part of a Christian community, or any faith-based community for that matter. As a result, I saw my body more as a machine than a miracle. When it came to matters of my health I relied upon what I had access to, Western medicine.
And I struggled. I struggled with allergies, with asthma, with headaches, with painful menstrual cycles, with constipation (which is an indicator of so much more going on), and more.
All the people around me also relied on Western medicine. They, too, struggled with dis-ease. I watched the degeneration of family members and knew there had to be a different way.
I was just a kid and yet, I was sure there was a way to age gracefully.
Fast forward to my mid-20’s.
I had started attending Church and had started hearing this message of being a beloved child of God. Created in the image of God. A Temple of the Holy Spirit.
Over the next few years, as I explored the Christian tradition, I developed a deep desire to learn about "ancient wisdom" from across the globe. Long story short, I played in a number of different traditions, while staying rooted in Christianity. That journey took me deepest into Yoga and it’s sister science, Ayurveda, or the science of life.
And then it happened…
Headlines started popping up in our newsfeeds making it known that modern science was now backing up ancient wisdom.
Today, we have the benefit of the 5,000 year old medical system of Ayurveda and modern science both teaching that if your daily, lifestyle rituals go against the biorhythms of nature, (of which your body is part of) then you suffer. Ancient wisdom and modern science agree. To experience radiant health and age gracefully we must live in alignment with creation.
I invite you to read the following 10 key rituals to living with the rhythm of the natural world and then ask yourself, “Which ritual that my ancestors relied on and that is still relevant today do I need?”
1. EAT AN EARLIER, LIGHTER DINNER
Do you enjoy a satisfying lunch as your largest meal of the day? Or is dinner the main event? If your answer is dinner, you’re doing your whole body, including your physical health, mental clarity, and emotional groundedness a major disservice.
2. EARLY TO BED
Is it lights out by 10pm for you? If so, you’re sleeping better, healing faster, and feeling more well-rested than most. If not, know that nothing good happens past 10pm. So get serious about unplugging earlier and hitting the sack.
3. START YOUR DAY RIGHT
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a human healthy, wealthy, and wise. Wake up before the dawn of the new day, hydrate with warm water, and eliminate yesterday’s fecal matter! You don’t want to soil today by bringing in waste from yesterday.
4. 20 MINUTES OF BREATH-BODY PRACTICES BEFORE BREAKFAST
If kids played sports in the morning and went to school in the afternoon their brains would be able to focus better & behavioral issues would significantly decrease. The same is true for adults. Get active before your day begins with a variety of softening (yoga), hardening (weights), and cardio (dancing) movements.
5. ENJOY A PLANT-BASED DIET
How many plant-species became apart of your physiology this week? Pay attention to the season and then go on a hunt to find more plants to incorporate into your diet, including more plant parts! Seeds, sprouts, roots, shoots, leaves, flowers, fruits. Fill your plate!
Our hands are our body's ultimate healing tool...for the Bible tells us so! The Bible is packed with references to the healing effects of physical touch and oil. Chuck the chemical-laden lotions and use organic, cold-pressed oils on your skin daily to calm your nervous system, sleep deeper, and enjoy glowing skin.
7. SIT IN SILENCE
With the way we interact with digital devices it seems a luxury to unplug and do nothing. And yet, it’s totally necessary to live a life of thrive. Sit in silence. When you’re ready, upgrade to meditation.
8. PRACTICE HEALTHIER EATING GUIDELINES
Do you space your meals out and let your digestive system hit it’s own reset button, or do you eat again before previously ingested food is digested? If the later, then instead of burning your fat, you’re simply burning the sugar you just took in - which keeps you craving carbs. Avoid stacking your meals to experience greater, more stabilized energy for your body and mind. Unless you’re convalescing or nursing a rebirthing of God in a babe, stick to three meals a day - with only water between meals. Eat in a calm environment and of course, invoke gratitude.
9. SAVE YOUR SENSES
Your senses are the gateway to your experiences. Clean them upon arising and care for them throughout the day. Scrape your tongue, splash cool water in your eyes, apply oil in your ears and nostrils, rub down your whole God-given and glorious body, and take a break from the electronics to rest your eyes on the horizon.
10. CHOOSE EASEFUL LIVING OVER STRESSFUL LIVING
You are living in reaction or you are living in reception. One moves you toward tension, constriction, disconnection, and ultimately stress. The other leads you to an expansive, extraordinary, and evolutionarily life of greater and greater interconnectivity and ease. Pause. Breath. And choose.
So, which rituals have you nailed and which rituals do you need to refine? For any that require some work, approach the ritual with an attitude of curiosity. Take super small, super simple steps each day. If possible, find a buddy to journey with!