Category Archives: RHYTHMS + RITUALS

rituals 03 // date nights in

date nights in | workhouseblog

photo james moes

A ritual we that we have kept as a couple with young children is our date nights. Even though we have yet to get back to the place where we go out alone on a regular basis or even at all,  we still manage to get a date night in every week, Sundays are our nights in. Its never anything too fancy or planned, just simply allotting time for just the mister and I to be together without any interruptions (fingers crossed) after the girls go to bed. Once in a while we’ll cook or bake together or indulge in a fancy cocktail that we’ve been wanting to try and if we’re too tired to do anything we’ll just put on a movie and spend time cuddled together.

We both make space for this time; we don’t make outside plans, we unplug and try to clear or scrap the to do list beforehand. I can’t tell you how many Sunday nights we’ve spent with toys scattered across the floor and dirty dishes in the sink but our relationship trumps cleaning. One thing that we have learned is to make a simple plan during the day like what movie to watch (to keep the browsing online to a minimum), or talking about a  pressing issue or simply just hanging out and being in love. Its a time for us to connect as adults, trying to put parenting aside so that we can make it just about us.

To create this ritual for yourself pick a day or evening where you have a chunk of time to allot for you and your partner. Let it be a place of love, refuge and fun. Create a space where you both are able to talk and be heard. Make a simple plan ahead of time and have an idea of what you want to do beforehand so that you’re not filling this time with “what do you want to do?”, “what do you want to watch?” “what should we make?”. Keep it easy. Uphold your partnership and love with dignity and reverence, let this time together be sacred and try to make this a weekly ritual. Love is everything.

I am sure that most of you with littles have had many a date night in, I would love to hear what you do. I have a good friends who put their kids to bed and make a big batch of nachos every Friday! Care to share some of your date nights in?

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ritual // smudge 101

smudging 101 | workhouseblogSpring is upon us here in the PNW, we are slowly cleaning the house trying to take on one major chore at a time. My favorite being rearranging and organizing our goods according to necessity for the season. The woolen basket is now filled with gauzy scarfs, sun hats and small containers to take on nature walks. The mantel now has fresh flowers and has been cleared of all the treasures we gathered during winter. Our nature table has its book turned to April and is surrounded by moss, colorful fairies and flowers. Things are starting to feel lighter and brighter around here. The windows are opened first thing in the morning and if the sun is out so are we- for school, lunch, dinner and evening play. A drastic change to that of our winter, something that we give thanks for and gladly welcome.

Every Spring and Fall I make of point of smudging our home. It is a Native ritual for clearing the energy in a space, an object or a person. Some believe that the smoke signifies the Holy Spirit bringing in purification and blessings as well as removing any negative energies or influences. And in a day and  age where things are tried on, thrifted and passed down there are thoughts that objects can hold energy too, so it is good idea to cleanse goods as needed. I also do a clearing when someone has been sick or after any situation in our home that doesn’t hold our intention or values.

To smudge a space, hold an intention or prayer clearly in your mind and heart. Light your sage or herb; blow out the flames so that your herbs smolder rather than burn; walk around your space being mindful of places behind doors and corners (places were energy can be stagnant). Smudging should be done in reverence and in love. Offer thanks and gratitude. Open windows and doors to let the smoke dissipate and to allow the cleanse to happen.

Here are some suggested herbs you can use and their significance although sage and sweetgrass are the most common. I like to always have a bit of palo santo on hand too and keep some in our car.

Sage: drives out bad spriits, influences or feelings
Cedar: good for prayer
Sweetgrass: one of the most sacred of plants, brings in good energy and influences
Palo Santo: a holy wood, energetically cleansing + healing; good for meditation or prayer
Sandalwood: clears stress form the nervous system, awakens intelligence + lifts depression
Lavender: symbol for magic, love and protection
Mugwort: good for clearing the mind, great for purification and sanctification

 

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rituals // 02

rituals | workhouseblogOne of my favorite rituals that we have established happened many years ago early in our marriage. Most people know that Dave and I got married very shortly after meeting one another, in the hopes of nurturing our relationship and really getting to know each other we decided that once we were both home from work we wouldn’t take any phone calls, check emails or turn on the t.v. until 8pm. That gave us 2+ hours of uninterrupted  attention. This ritual has held fast even after having children, something that I’m happy to have stick around. And although our jobs are different, some are more demanding than others, technology has drastically changed and the world around us delivers communication in an instant this ritual provides our family with the comfort of knowing that after dinner, its just us time. Time that we cherish every minute of and use wholeheartedly. Its a nice feeling to fill that time in our home with laughter, crazy amounts of unabashed playing, dance parties, story telling and love, a ritual we could all invite more into our lives.

And even when there are the occasional deadlines to meet, phone calls that need to be answered, dinners with friends to be had, we are mindful of where these precious minutes go. Even if all else fails and time slips from our hands, Dave and I try our darndest to save the last half hour of the night for ourselves, to chat about life, the day or even if it happens to be in front of the t.v. with a bowl of his delicious popcorn. In the end all we have to answer for is the amount of time we gave to the people who fill our hearts, wholly and completely.

To create this ritual for yourself be mindful of where your time goes when your whole family is together. Life is full and busy but by taking a few minutes or hours in the day to connect with those that share your life and your home can only help things thrive. Start off with 30 minutes and see where it takes you.

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rituals // 01

rituals | workhouseblogrituals | workhouseblog rituals | workhouseblogThis series is to hopefully inspire some slowness, setting time aside for things that are meaningful, feed the soul and fill hearts.I love having certain traditions throughout the year, special things we do for one another, with family and friends, things that I know are almost always a sure thing. I’ve decided to give myself and my family those things in our daily lives, it can be as easy as talking about our day at dinner, bedtime stories, or something challenging like unplugging for the weekend. These are all rituals, a detailed method faithfully or regularly followed, that ground us and bring us back to whats important. So with this series I am offering some ideas that have worked for us and am happy to pass them along in hopes that maybe you can find a few rituals for yourself or explore others on your own.

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My mom is not a sentimental person, which has both its advantages + disadvantages, as a child I was always looking at my baby book which was never completely filled out, searching through photos that would some how give me an idea of where I came from, who I was and what I could eventually grow up to be. My mom didn’t keep much from my childhood to give me some insight of what kind of child I really was, I simply rely on her stories, photos and on the memories of my own. To this day I love to hear stories from my own family, as well as my in laws, about their history. Some of these stories I have heard time and time again but occasionally a new one will pop up that fills my heart with a sense of nostalgia for both me and my family. It gives me a sense of being and a feeling of connectedness, something that I take with me when I go about my day especially now that I am a mom. Every one has a story to tell, everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging.

In hopes of being able to give my girls ‘their’ stories I started journaling for both the moment I found out I was pregnant. Their journals are comprised of love letters, silly things that happen and short stories of major events of their lives. Both Dad and I write in these journals at least once a month, it gives us a space to cherish the moment that our girls are in and reminds us both pay attention to the little things. Lucy’s (who is older) journal also has an ever growing list of the remarkable things she says.

quote from 27/aug/2012:
(while on a mountain hike with mom)

“I take my time and take things in, you’re just worried about getting there. I like to touch and look at things and have collected these beautiful treasures. What do you have?”

Its little treasures like that that make taking a little time out in my evening to write them down in a special place worth the while. In order to maintain this ritual I am called to be present in the lives of these sweet humans; to be in the moment and to pay attention, even when my mind is all over the place. When I am ready to write, I prepare myself earlier in the day by taking out their books (as a reminder), in the evening I grab my favorite cup of tea and my favorite pen and once the girls are asleep I find a cozy spot in the house and start to write. When life is busy and full I jot things down on post-its and leave them at my desk (or in my date book) so that I won’t forget these moment when its time to journal.

I am seeing that Lucy is already loving to read her books over and over, laughing at the same stories and curious about others. She has even written and drawn a few things in her sister’s book. its quite a lovely little ritual.

To create this ritual for yourself start writing; your journal can be a simple list of likes and dislikes, what you notice your children excel in or just filled with things that your children say. Focus on what makes your child special and what brings joy to your heart, get lost in the magic that is your child. Pick a schedule that works for you and try your best to stick with it.

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