I recently heard that September is the most stressful month for many people.
It makes sense. It is a natural month of new beginnings and change, at least in the northern hemisphere. Summer is ending, kids go back to school, adults get back into “work mode.” September brings the Fall Equinox and the Jewish New Year.
This is a time for transitions, which means endings, beginnings, and letting go, all of which are often a cause of stress for many people. Add to that the global and national political environment, upcoming elections, and other world news, and you’ve got a perfect storm of chaos.
My own life has been in this perfect storm for the last year. So much so that I feel like I missed the summer. Last weekend, I finally made it out of the city for the first time all summer.
While I was out at the beach, I seized the opportunity to engage in a few rituals to help me navigate this time of transition and uncertainty: a release ritual, a grounding ritual, and a flow ritual.
These are great to do any time you are navigating change, or any time you are at the beach or near water. But they are especially fitting at this time of year.
3 Rituals to Help You Navigate Times of Change
Release rituals help us release parts of ourselves and our lives that no longer serve us.
On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we engage in a ritual of throwing bread into the water, as a symbolic gesture for discarding our sins.
After 13 years in the same home, I am preparing to move and expand my business in new ways. It’s a pivotal transition point for me, and I needed something similar to that Rosh Hashanah ritual; a way to discard the parts of myself that I want to leave behind so that I can move forward into my next chapter without holding onto anything unnecessary.
On my morning walk last Friday, I paused to do a simple release ritual at the bay. I picked up a few rocks. As I held the rocks I contemplated what parts of myself I wanted to release. After I acknowledged how they had served me and expressed my gratitude, I committed to releasing them. Then I tossed the rocks into the bay.
The point of a grounding rituals is to help you find that sense of rooting that often leaves you in times of chaos or life upheaval.
A common grounding ritual is to take a walk in nature. It especially helps to walk barefoot or lay down in the grass. Doing this helps you feel more connected to the earth.
One of my favorite places to do a grounding ritual is at the beach. The beach combines all elements of nature: earth (sand), water (ocean), air (wind), and fire (the sun). Even before I knew much about the elements and the energies of nature, the beach has always had magical healing qualities for me. It is nature’s medicine.
At the beach, your body tends to be more exposed to all of these elements. We walk barefoot on the sand and through the water; we feel the sun’s heat on our skin and the breeze coming off the ocean. There is something about having the elements hit your skin that really helps with the connection to earth.
Each day that I was at the beach, I did the same grounding ritual: I stood on the shore waited for the waves to push the water over my feet. With each wave that hit, I allowed my feet to sink further into the wet sand. Eventually, the sand covered my feet as the waves crashed around me. As I stood there, I felt my feet root deeper into the earth with each wave that hit my legs.
It takes only a few minutes of standing in the water this way to feel calm.
On Sunday, I did a ritual suggested by Pat Liles, as quoted on the Mystic Mamma website, to mark the full moon in Pisces.
Pisces is a water element, so this one also involved water:
Seek out the watery places near you and make an offering for the flow in your life. As this is a moon of great compassion, you can offer her your burdens and sorrows and ask her to use her strong powers of the night to turn them into love and kindness.
On my morning walk on Sunday, I walked to a different spot along the bay, set some intentions and tossed some rocks into the water to create flow.
Try These At Any Time
These rituals are perfect to do now, as we transition from summer into back-to-school and back-to-work time.
But you don’t have to wait until transitional moments, times of chaos or uncertainty, or for the full moon in Pisces, to do them.
No matter what time of year it is, they will bring peace and calm into your life.
And who couldn’t use more of that?
What are your favorite rituals to release, find grounding, and catalyze flow in your life? Please share in the comments!
Wondering what makes these “rituals”? That’s coming up next.