It was four years ago this month that I had the good fortune of spending time in Bali. While some memories from that time have faded, others feel as vivid as they did when I was there. I remember the warmth of the people and the thoughtful way in which they engaged in their everyday tasks. Even more so, I remember how their days were punctuated by rituals-- sacred gestures that were used to send prayers and offer thanks, and how, in these acts, they took time to pause and connect with what was most precious and essential.
The ritual that most enchanted me involved the creation of tiny palm leaf baskets that were filled with an array of fresh flowers. These were set out on top of statues as well as on street corners, holding sticks of lit incense to carry their prayers upward. My children and I met with several Balinese women to learn the art of creating these treasures, which inspired me to think about how I could bring such rituals back home-- or at least bring home more moments of mindfulness to weave into my day-to-day life.
I've noticed the difference it makes to start the day by lighting a candle or lying in bed for a few extra minutes to listen to the birds. In these moments, I think back to the inspiration of the Balinese, just as I sometimes do when I arrange fresh flowers in a vase or stop what I'm doing to give my dog his daily belly scratch.
It's worth noticing what small and simple things we can do each day to help us come into the moment and connect with a sense of sacredness. As you enter into these longer days of summer, consider what rituals you'd like to bring into your life.
For further Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit inspiration, feel free to check out the brief articles below-- and for the fun of it, you can read more about my adventures with my dog, Max.
May you feel the sun's warmth, within and without,