This ritual can be thought of as entry into the “negative space” of your life. I don’t mean negative like bad, but rather in the sense of the space between your fingers or between leaves on a branch. We need space to see and intelligently use form. If we want to understand what to do, or to know ourselves better, or see what is, we need to abide in that space.
What does this have to do with aerial? Your levels of motivation and creativity hinge on your state of mind. When we’re overly stressed and deficient in negative space, we lose a lot of energy to unproductive pathways.
You’ll need a physical space to yourself. Maybe your room, your built out van, the spare bedroom–any place where you have space to move around will work. If anyone is home let them know you would like privacy for an hour or two. You could also try this outside in good conditions, especially if you are camping out.
This ritual works quite well if done right before you go to sleep. You can of course adapt this ritual to meet your needs and personality. The purpose is to create a space that your mind can soften, expand, and quiet into. This is also your chance to speak with yourself on a deeper level and with enhanced clarity. It is quite possible that you will cry–and that’s a really valuable form of release. Let it happen. Tears are just water waiting to stream–as with a river, where it is held up, things start to go wrong. Tears asked to wait too long can start to claw at you–anxiety, irritability, anger, depression.
It’s nice to take a bath or a shower to start out. Then put on an album that is slow and spacious. Let it play from beginning to end, not shuffle. Listen gently to the story the artist is telling. Two albums that you might fall in love with are “Rooms With Walls and Windows” and “Not Even Happiness” by Julie Byrne.
You might like to brew a cup of herbal tea for this ritual. I like to start out by lighting candles and turning on my diffuser with the scent of wild orange–though I would like to try this outdoors soon when the weather is more accommodating.
Tidy your space. Any heavy cleaning should be done prior in the day or week, so that only light cleaning is needed. If you are outside, you might collect litter. You could skip this, but I find that “putting things in order” is a nice transition into this more languid state of mind. We are so used to “doing things” that dropping into a seated meditation can be too sudden to feel comfortable or accessible. We need to ease ourselves into this soul space.
Once you’re done cleaning, a couple things might happen. At this point, if you have Tarot cards, Yijing, or other spiritual practice, this would be a good moment for it.
After that, open a journal or sketch pad and see if anything wants to come through. Don’t try to make it good or pretty. Often, I start out by writing difficulties, frustrations, confusions. It’s important to acknowledge all of those. Understanding and grace often come after we acknowledge our struggles. Let your hand be fierce, or let it relax and drift about the page.
It is possible that you end up conversing with your higher self. They may literally come through your pencil and address you, telling you something you need to hear right now.
For me, this part usually naturally turns into rolling around on the floor, singing with the music, stretching, and moving with dancelike qualities. It’s a space of intimacy with yourself. Let it feel good.
Once this phase naturally ends, put away anything left out in the space and lay in a comfortable place until the music is finished. The “just laying there” is important. When I do this I feel like my tensions have been wrung out and are evaporating from my body. It’s a natural high. I could just lie there for ages.
This is what it feels like to fill your cup. If we can fill this cup, we are so much better equipped to consciously face the challenges of our lives. If we don’t, we become less able to gracefully deal with difficult situations. This kind of ritual allows us to enter and re-enter the labyrinth.
You can do this ritual anytime, but perhaps we should all do something like this once a month. If you have a menstrual cycle, it might make sense to do this during the week before your period, since we tend to get wound up during that time. This is a very peaceful, calming ritual.
- Bath or shower
- Candles, diffuser, incense, sage
- Tarot, Yijing, or other spiritual practice
- Write or draw
- Stretch, dance, freeform
- Lie down
- Blow out candles, etc.