The Ritual Of Creating Space by Aubrey Renee
"Probably located in a tent, somewhere in the woods, Aubrey is a deep breather, movement maker (200 RYT), and advocate for living loud, loving gently, and taking up space. Curiosity is her career, and luckily it never requires her to have neat hair. She’s chasing something sweeter than just a paycheck and inviting others to do the same."
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While sitting around a smoky campfire watching the sun set over one of the most beautiful places I have ever camped (views of mountains upon mountains), I felt utter spaciousness. Space around me, gazing down into gorge below. Space inside of me, my breathing instinctually slowing and smoothing out. I told my friend that I never wanted to forget moments like this. She smiled softly and whispered, “then recreate them often.”
Perhaps a ritual is that quiet whisper that reminds us to recreate, or reconnect to, the truths we want to hold close. A gentle hug of something we value but fear we will lose in the sometimes chaos of everyday life. For me, it’s that space. Space to care for myself. Space to not have it all together. Space to feel everything that comes up. Space to move gently + slowly.
I’ve reflected on my friend’s words often and sought to tie myself to the feelings of utter peace that I felt in that moment on that mountaintop. What is different about life when you are camping miles from cellphone signal and there’s nowhere to be but where you are? I think it’s that space. The room within ourselves to just be. The permission we naturally grant ourselves to not have to follow societal demands. To allow our breath to become a little bit fuller and the space between our thoughts a little bit longer. The deepest sigh of relief.
Slow mornings have become my re-creation of this peace in my own home. I revisit this feeling inside of me as often as possible. It means setting aside time right after waking to move slowly. It can be hours or just ten minutes. This ritual of creating space is not about adding anything so much as it is about peeling away the layers that don’t give you peace: the screens, the noise, the anxieties, the busy schedules, the constant opinions from others. We have become so used to the constant stimulation of screens and the busyness of plans that we forget who we are, at the core, without all of the distractions we have layered on top. We have forgotten how to listen to our hearts. We have forgotten how to live in a three dimensional world. We have forgotten how to move slow.
Morningtime brings a new sunrise and another chance to choose how we are going to live. We have the choice to let others set the tone for us by talking into our situations before we’ve ever sat with them ourselves. We can choose to allow outside stimuli to disconnect us from our current reality by transporting us into the seeming reality of others OR we can choose to fill our souls up with nurturing habits. To give ourselves room to breathe. To build our own foundation for our days.
Your alarm goes off. Before your eyes even flutter open, you take some full, smooth breaths, noticing your body. Noticing how you feel right then. Taking your time as your awareness begins to awaken. You begin to notice your surroundings. Your lover (or cat) in the bed beside you. Your toes wiggling against your favorite blanket. The strings of sunlight dancing across your bedroom wall. You reach your arms overhead, finding some gentle wiggles. You’ve connected with yourself. Slowing down has allowed you to notice where you are and fully experience it all. Now that your awareness is awake and dancing inside and around you, you begin to bui
ld your foundation for the day. It’s a choose your own adventure. What activities, or lack of activities, allow you to tune in to the truth inside of you?
If you aren’t sure where to start, I encourage you to try many things. Wake one morning with 10 minutes to spare so that you can wiggly yourself awake for a few moments and then journal. It doesn’t have to be profound. Just write down how you are feeling in that moment. Maybe you decide you want to allow yourself even more time in the morning. Find some gentle movement with a walk, or a few minutes of yoga. Or read a book. Or meditate. Or chop vegetables and make a slow breakfast. Or dance to your favorite tune. Or pet your cat. Or paint. Or cuddle with your babe. The possibilities are endless.
The only rule: You must stay in your space. No screens. No news from miles away. Create a sacred space that brings you into the goodness of all that you have right here, right now.