Harmony with Earth's Rhythms
In my work, I share of the importance of marking the rhythm of our day especially at Sunset. Have you ever noticed that birds gather together at both sunrise and sunset? It makes sense to greet the life giver of our planet when it comes and goes. Doing so calibrates and orients our brains to Mother Earth. For now, I am focusing on the sunset calibration, especially as that is the one that deals with a drop in serotonin, which can bring with it a shift down in mood as a result of the loss of the Sun's light and warmth. However, taking a moment to witness sunset, gives us the opportunity to gently ride the wave of this daily shift in brain chemistry with presence and intention. Also it is more likely that family will be awake to honor this time together. lol
"...normal adults tend to exhibit elevated serotonin levels in the late summer and fall, and reduced serotonin levels in the spring—likely in relationship to available sunlight. Given these normal variations, it may be that individuals who are susceptible to seasonal effects are especially sensitive to these changes in the presence of psychopathology.
A time to Re-connect, Reflect and Stabilize
Most of us greet each other Good Morning at the start of our day and then go our separate ways, or if we live alone we greet our pets, plants, shrines and ourselves in the bathroom mirror (lol). We likely then get into a day of doing. Especially during this time of self quarantine and social distancing, its important to establish a daily rhythm. It's proven that we function more effectively and feel better when we have some constancy and routine in our day, hence set bed times for children as well as consistent daily routines at Daycare and School that the children can come to rely on.
“While certainly preliminary, our study contributes to the understanding that regularity in daily routines may help to promote time management skills and, in turn, reduce the experience of attention difficulties in adulthood,” Malatras said. “Since attention problems are associated with various negative outcomes, including academic difficulties and employment problems, these findings and future research will be useful in understanding the influence of family stability and promoting overall adjustment.”
The study emphasized the importance of regularity in routines, as opposed to just frequency in which they occur. It suggests that children who know what to expect day-to-day are more likely to feel a sense of family stability than those who experience activities and routines at random.
This remains true even during major structural family changes."
For the family of beings that inhabit this planet, and on the most basic and fundamental level, the Sun provides that certain constancy that we know we can rely on. I would assert that observing routines is important for the healthy function of an adult as well. So in this way, observing Daily Sacred Sunset Circle contributes to the wellbeing of all family members.
Elements of a Sacred Sunset Circle (SSC):
- Establish a set meeting place within your home or out in your yard in warmer months
- Meet at sunset each day. Sunset is different each day. Assign a family to share meeting time daily
- Smudge the space with a burnt offering ie Frankincense & Myrrh
- Sit in a circle
- Leave all lights off with the exception of a candle
- Sit in silence and take a 3 deep breaths together
- Sing inspirational songs and chants
- Play instruments ie drums, rattles, shakeres, chimes, bells, rainsticks
- Close musical devotion with a moment of silence with 3 deep breaths
- Prepare an Umoja (unity) cup of Relaxing Herbal Tea with (or without) Honey
- Pass cup while sharing stories, exchanging wisdom, acknowledgements and gratitude
- Sit in silence and take 3 deep breaths
- Repeat Daily
Join me each Wednesday for Group Sacred Sunset Circle via Zoom
Customize your Sacred Sunset Circle
Please feel free to customize your SSC to suit your family's unique culture and wishes.
Sacred Sunset Circle for 1
I live alone. So my SSC usually just involves me. I have a beautiful experience alone with this practice. You can invite family and friends over if you'd like to share in community sometime.
Please write in to let me know how observing Sacred Sunset Circle is going. Please share any Sacred Songs, Chants, Instruments or Teas you use.