What does it mean to stay true to yourself? To stay close to yourself? What does it mean to love yourself or to set healthy boundaries? Do you know how to ground yourself or how to breathe consciously to center yourself? Have you ever worked with mantras to get closer to yourself? Have you always wanted to do a ritual with the natural elements?
I will show you how you can stay true to yourself with five different rituals that are linked to the five elements. Rituals are certain actions we perform regularly that affect us subconsciously and energetically. When you do rituals with intention, it can be a powerful and transformative experience.
It's not easy to stay true to yourself, especially in these times where we are constantly exposed to so much information. There are so many different opinions and sometimes it may feel like people are steadily trying to convince you to change your opinion. You hear something on the radio or television, you hear conversations from people on the street, you receive messages on your smartphone as you read the news and scroll through your social media. Your head is getting fuller and fuller until you become overwhelmed. Sometimes you don't know what to think, what to say, or what to do about this. The deluge of information and contradicting opinions can be exhausting. It may feel like there is too much information in your head and you have lost your energy. You may want to make time for yourself or for your loved ones, but you can't.
The rituals outlined below are designed to bring you back to yourself and help you avoid getting sucked into the information overload.
Here's what you can expect to find in this article
1. OUT OF YOUR HEAD, INTO YOUR BODY: PRACTICE OF GROUNDING
One of the reasons we sometimes find it hard to stay true to ourselves, are confused, or feel overwhelmed is because we are not fully connected to our bodies. We are connected with our thoughts and our heads. With the part of our body that is above our heart: the higher part of our body. All the information we receive also feeds this higher part. But the lower part of our body, from our heart to our feet, sometimes gets less attention and literally less energy. It is when this energy flows throughout our bodies that we are more easily connected to the earth. That we are 'grounded'. When we are grounded, we feel more calm and have more trust. Information overload or anxiety becomes lighter because these are the things that take place in our head.
HOW CAN I GROUND MYSELF?
You can choose which way feels best for you as a grounding practice. Basically it's about making a connection with your body. You can dance, work in the garden, walk with your bare feet on the earth or do yoga.
RITUAL WITH EARTH
The earth element stands for stability, a solid foundation and support. Doing a ritual to stay close to yourself, to literally ground yourself, can start once you have found a tree or a place where you can sit on the earth (if this doesn't work, you can sit somewhere else on the ground). Close your eyes and consciously breathe in and out a few times. You may have many thoughts running through your head. That's okay. That's part of it. Set an intention for yourself. For example, the intention may be that you want to get out of your head and into your body. You can consciously try to feel the earth or the ground under your buttocks. You can briefly observe what is happening in your body. While you are doing this, you are consciously working on grounding yourself. If this works for you, you can send everything you no longer want in your body or all the worries in your head to the earth.
If it's hard for you to feel if something is happening or if there are too many thoughts going through your mind, stamp your feet back and forth on the floor a bit or even massage your feet. Your feet are connected to the first chakra. This means that they are the part of the body that is connected to 'grounding'. After stamping your feet or massaging them, observe again whether you feel something in your body.
2. SELF-REFLECTION BRINGS SELF-INSIGHT: JOURNALING
Often when it is difficult for us to stay true to ourselves, we are insecure about ourselves or our opinions or we do not dare to speak up. Others around us may have very strong opinions, visions or styles that make us doubt ourselves. It then becomes even more difficult to express what you think, what you want or who you are. It is sometimes easier to go along with what others think or want. Staying true to yourself or being yourself can be a real challenge sometimes. Reflecting on yourself and writing can be very therapeutic. There is no one to distract you or say anything back, which can help you with staying close to yourself.
HOW DO I STAY TRUE TO MYSELF BY JOURNALING?
You can choose to do something nice for yourself by getting a new notebook and use it only to write things that get you closer to yourself. You can also use it to work on yourself or to increase your self-love. If you want, you can also just take a blank piece of paper to start the self-reflection process.
RITUAL WITH FIRE
The fire element stands for transformation, warmth and vision. It can bring out your life force.
For this ritual, you take a candle that you light next to you while you write. Before you begin, ask the candle to bring out the power that lives within you. You also ask to bring light and warmth into you and into this ritual. You can choose to just write down everything that is on your mind. You can also choose to reflect on yourself by answering some questions. Some questions you can answer are: “what am I grateful for today?”, “what am I good at?”, “what is important to me?”, “what is in my mind a lot?”, what do I want to grow in? ”, “what is my opinion on … (fill in the blank)?”
3. THE POWER OF WORDS: MANTRAS
Words affect how we feel, words can create or break things, words can support you or make you fail. Words don't just exist when you say them out loud or write them down, they also exist in your head. Thoughts or things you say to yourself have a major impact on your whole being. Sometimes we are aware of it, but sometimes these words live in our unconscious. The words you say to yourself influence whether you stay true to yourself or just can't be yourself. The way you speak to yourself says a lot about how kind you are or aren't to yourself. And this affects how close you stay to yourself or not.
HOW CAN I CREATE MANTRAS FOR MORE SELF-LOVE?
Mantras are words that you can say out loud to yourself or in your head. Usually they are repeated during meditation or a prayer. But these days they are used in different ways. When you say a mantra several times, it can have a positive effect on how you feel. That is why mantras are also powerful for staying true to yourself.
RITUAL WITH WATER
The water element stands for healing, purification and clarity.
For this ritual you can make your own mantra that feels good for you. Maybe it's a mantra for self-compassion or for self-love. You can think about what you want to achieve or what you would like to feel. Maybe you are now crossing your own boundaries and want to be kind to yourself when you are tired. You can then create a mantra that feels good, such as "I respect myself" or "I am good the way I am" or "it's okay to rest and choose myself". If you find it difficult to make a mantra, you can also find different ones on the internet.
When you have found a mantra that feels good, take a glass of water. Speak that mantra several times in the water, with all your intention and energy. Then drink the water. This may seem crazy, but it can be extremely powerful because water can absorb that energy. Observe how you feel. You can also write the same mantra down and hang it somewhere or say it to yourself in the morning while brushing your teeth.
4. RECOGNIZING YOUR NEEDS: SETTING BOUNDARIES
It can be challenging to stay true to yourself in a conversation or in a relationship. Sometimes you don't know what your needs are, what you want or what is really important to you. Sometimes you don't know what to say. But sometimes you do know what to say but you don't dare to express yourself. It can be difficult to say "no" or to set your boundaries. In these situations we are afraid of being rejected. Or we are afraid that the other will no longer like us. It is also possible you can set your boundaries for others, but that you do cross your boundaries with yourself.
HOW CAN I STAY TRUE TO MYSELF BY SETTING BOUNDARIES?
First of all, it is important to learn to recognize your needs. What do you need? What is important to you? You can get to know your needs better by reflecting on moments when, for example, you were disappointed, sad, afraid or angry. What did you miss then? What would you have liked?
It is important to listen to yourself. The emotions you feel with certain people or in certain situations can tell you a lot. It is also important to feel these emotions. As soon as you know your needs and make choices about them, it is also clearer which boundaries you can set. Staying close to yourself here means that once you have set a boundary, you stick to it. And communicate it to others if necessary. It's about trusting that in the end it's best for you and everyone else that you're honest about where your limit lies.
RITUAL WITH MINERALS OR OTHER NATURE OBJECTS
The mineral element stands for memory, remembering and knowledge. Nature and natural elements stand for change, among other things.
A ritual that you can do to set boundaries is that you make a line on the ground with stones, branches or other natural elements that you have or have found in your home. You think about a boundary you want to set in your life for yourself or for others.
This line literally represents a boundary. You first stand or sit on one side of the line. You close your eyes and feel or visualize what it is like if this limit is not set or if you or others go over your limit. Usually this does not feel good and that is why you want to change it. Then you walk to the other side of the created line and say aloud to this line with natural elements what your needs are and what you want to change. For example, if you are drowning in work but never dared to mention this, you first feel this feeling on one side of the line. Then you cross the line and say, “I'm setting a new boundary. From now on I will tell my colleagues honestly when something is too much and won't work for me." Close your eyes again and feel or visualize what it is like when this limit is set. You can repeat this process with other limits you want to set.
5. BALANCING SOLAR PLEXUS & HEART CHAKRA: CONSCIOUS BREATHING
A chakra is an energetic center that is located in the energetic field around your body. Staying true to yourself has to do with the solar plexus chakra and the heart chakra. The solar plexus chakra stands for self-development, being able to make your own choices, personal strength, willpower and self-acceptance. It is also about your self-image and recognizing your self-worth and who you are. It is linked to action and transformation. The heart chakra stands for love and passion and everything that has to do with it. It is therefore also about self-love and about to what extent you choose to stay true to yourself.
In the energetic field that surrounds every human being, the solar plexus chakra is often linked by aura readers to the color yellow and the heart chakra to green or rose. The colors depend on what is going on in that chakra and whether it is open or blocked. If you have trouble being yourself or staying close to yourself, chances are these chakras are not fully balanced. An aura reading is a great tool to obtain more messages and insights about themes that play in these and other chakras.
HOW CAN I WORK WITH MY SOLAR PLEXUS & HEART CHAKRA THROUGH BREATHING?
If you inhale and exhale slowly, your heart rate will slow down and that ensures that you become calmer. You get a sense of security and trust. Already this alone can bring you closer to yourself. If you would like to delve deeper into this, you can close your eyes while consciously breathing and focusing on the solar plexus chakra or the heart chakra. The solar plexus chakra is located a little above your navel and below your heart. The heart chakra is located at the height of your heart. You can consciously let your breath flow through these chakras.
RITUAL WITH AIR
When we think of the air element, we think of oxygen, wind and our breath. The element of air also stands for connection and communication.
For this ritual, sit somewhere where you will not be disturbed. You will do a short meditation. Close your eyes and observe your breath. Perhaps different thoughts will arise. Observe these thoughts and try to return to your breath when you are aware of them. Breathe and give yourself the intention to bring balance to your solar plexus and heart chakra so that you can stay true to yourself or come closer to yourself.
Then you put your hand on your heart chakra and connect with it. You can visualize your heart with a sparkling green or pink color and send a lot of love to it. Sometimes it helps to think of something or someone that brings a smile to your face or gives you a lovely feeling. If this is too difficult for you, you can say in your head: “Hello heart (chakra)! I send you lots of love. Thank you for being there.” When you do this, just keep breathing slowly during and after. It is the breath in combination with your attention and love that brings energetic balance to the chakras. Then you can place your hand on your solar plexus chakra and do the same.
DISCOVER WHAT WORKS FOR YOU BY EXPERIMENTING WITH THESE RITUALS!
These five rituals are examples of how you can get started with staying close to yourself. Maybe some rituals suit you better than others and that's fine because we're all different. It is important that you feel what appeals to you and is right for you. I encourage you to experiment with the rituals. They are simple but powerful and highly effective.
With which ritual do you want to start? Do you have other ideas and ways how we can stay true to ourselves? I would love to read more in the comments!