“Many of us are mired in the past and it isn’t always a comfortable place to be. Using the power of your own voice, step into the present and make it the best experience you can”.
If I asked you to list the five senses, you wouldn’t think twice. And if I asked you to list the purposes of each sense, you’d probably think me mad. But what if I asked you to write an A4 page on the ways in which you can cherish what has become second nature to you through every day life?
Tania Ahsan’s ‘Everyday Calming Rituals’, has been a lifesaver during lockdown and has overall improved my day-to-day routine amidst the chaos. Focusing in on utilising the five senses, Ahsan manages to make the seemingly mundane, magical.
Our senses are part of our functioning as a living being, yet we eat lunch at our desks, play TikTok videos whilst bird-noise fills the garden, and forget to really look at our surroundings. Unfortunately, I may sound like a right brown-nose in this blog post, but this book provided me with mindfulness practises, encouraging me to tune into my needs during a time of peaked anxiety for me.
In-depth and unique, she explores the ways in which we can utilise our five senses beyond smell, sound, sight, taste, and touch. Most importantly, Ahsan pushes beyond the typical advice of “start exercising” or “try meditating”. And whilst these ARE beneficial, these aren’t the only options to care for our mental wellbeing. There are many lessons to be learnt and reminders to be had throughout the book.
A comparison I will use here is a spiritual retreat (maybe not quite as complex) except you have control over what you choose to participate in and when. I’ve gained a variety of new experiences thanks to Ahsan, some I’ve pencilled in my diary to return to in the near-future and some that I didn’t get along with so much. The beauty of the book is the freedom in which you are not FORCED to do anything or carry on with a ritual that you aren’t enjoying. And even better, Ahsan won’t shame you for it!
Some of my favourite rituals have been:
- ‘Storytelling’ under the Sound chapter, which enabled me to reminisce about a lost loved one. Funnily enough, I started a ‘memory book’ not long after he passed. It’s been five years since I made any attempts to write in that book, yet with the introduction of this ritual, I revisited some memories and it wasn’t so painful as it was five years ago.
- ‘Visual Board’ under Sight was an attempt to tune into my arty side (which is somewhat lacking) and in all honesty, I got more enjoyment out of it than I thought I would. It now sits on my wall above my desk as a reminder of visuals that bring me feelings of joy and content.
- ‘Sound Walk’ under the Sound chapter, which meant reevaluating my daily walk with the dog, and pausing the podcast or music I was listening to, to listen to the rustling of the trees or tweeting of the birds.
- ‘Barefoot Walking’ under the Touch chapter. I am known by my friends for my “weird” ability of popping out to the car barefoot. I couldn’t tell you why, but I love (and always have loved) walking barefoot.
Often we require a ‘why’ to understand how a certain activity could prove advantageous to us. For me, there’s seldom a time where I’ll do something unfamiliar willingly without knowing how it could benefit me. But, Tania Ahsan certainly succeeds with this element, through use of scientific backing.
I could easily write pages and pages on this book, but I think it could lead to a copyright infringement. So, I’ll leave you to take my word for it on this one and check out Tania Ahsan’s ‘Everyday Calming Rituals’ available to buy here.
Thank you to Trigger Publishing for kindly gifting this book to me.
If you have any inquiries or would like to get in touch, please contact me!
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