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Rituals for Gratitude

Sometimes it just all gets too much. My mind is filled with worries – fueled by a never ending stream of news about an ever spreading virus, the world economy at risk, rising conflict potential around the globe and IG updates that make me feel like the world is passing me by.

I feel trapped in my apartment, longing to finally meet our Ibus again. I feel powerless seeing new laws being passed here in Indonesia that make people in our communities even more vulnerable than before. And – knowing how dire the situation in many of our villages still is - I wonder if what we do is enough. And how we could do more. This is how I find myself in the office on weekends, squeezing in more work.

In the midst of this noise inside and around me, rituals became my lifeline. Every time I felt overwhelmed by everything that seems to be going wrong, I reminded myself to breathe in. Out. In. Out. I stood still, showing up for the moment as it is. To feel the groundlessness and be okay with it. The world wasn’t ending. The world was beautiful. Is beautiful. And right in front of me. From there, I was able to get back to work, focus on what I could do, right now.

Rituals inspire a way of live that is awake, deepening our connection with the world around us.

It reminds me that regardless of what’s happening, I can choose how I respond in this moment. I can write this to you, I can choose to see and create beauty. No matter how uncomfortable change is – and will always be.

 

CANANG mimics the shape of these Balinese (and previously also Javanese) offerings, inviting you to create your own little rituals of gratitude in your daily life.

 

Whenever I think of rituals, my mind always returns to Bali. Every day, women would make little flower offerings called Canang to celebrate the gifts from the Earth. Rituals that bridge seamlessly into their everyday lives. I find it grounding. Empowering somehow. To choose to pause for this moment and express our gratitude.

To me, it always embodies the soul of a ritual: an act done with intention. Be it connecting with your breath or a prayer, a homemade ritual gives our lives shape and meaning. A rhythm we can return to again and again. A reminder that we always have a choice even when the waves keep pushing you down.

When I feel the longing to go to our villages, I remember to be kind to those near me.

When I am feeling that I should be doing more, I remember to be present with the feelings of unworthiness and thank it for being there and trying to protect me.

When the uncertainty feels overwhelming, I choose to be grateful for this beautiful mess.

We are all navigating through this unique and uncertain times each in our own ways. It is challenging. And exhausting. Through the darkness, rituals have brought me light. Sometimes even joy that comes from feeling our belonging in the world.

And deep inside me, is a wish that you would feel the same.

 

With love, always,

Denica