How does this ritual help?
This lovely practice reminds us to be grateful for the special people in our life. Experiencing gratitude increases feelings of happiness because it stimulates the release of ‘happy hormone’ (oxytocin) and also helps reduce levels of stress, so with practice this ritual can help to improve your wellbeing.
Make this simple meditation a ritual whenever you wear Iris Amulet, just a few minutes when you put the amulet on on or take it off. Alternatively, in a quiet moment in your day, take it in your hand and enjoy the warmth of sending heartfelt thanks for friendship.
Be creative with your ritual, make it personal. Perhaps you’d like to always sit in the same place with photographs of special friends (maybe at a dressing table in the morning) or listen to a particular piece of music. Anything that helps to enrich the connections you are appreciating is good and the more the ritual feels personal the more you will enjoy it.
Find your quiet place, sit comfortably. Hold Iris Amulet in the palm of your hand. Close your eyes. Breathe in and out deeply and slowly for six breaths (roughly 20 secs per in/out cycle). Bring your attention to the feel of the amulet in your hand. Consider the beautiful Iris, a message of friendship, a special connection. Now think about people who are special to you. If this amulet was a gift from someone, perhaps start with that person. Picture memories of happy times together, carefully reconstruct the details in your mind, remember the place, the time, what you both wore, the sounds and the things that made you smile. Linger on the warm feelings that the memory brings, allow yourself to smile. Don’t be distracted, explore the memory for as long as you want to, you’ve set aside some time to do this so there’s no rush. Really appreciate your friend, and from your heart send a big thank-you for making you feel special. If it makes it easier, visualise giving a huge bunch of balloons in gratitude for her friendship. And remember that if your amulet is a gift, that friend appreciates you too. Bring your attention back to the amulet and how it feels in your fingers. Think about the importance of friendship and the symbolism of the Iris for a moment, acknowledging that the amulet can be a reminder of these good things. With practice you will find that just holding the amulet in your fingers will help you to quickly connect with the warmth of friendship at any time that you need it.
Spend as many minutes as you have available doing this meditation, two minutes or ten, or longer if you’d like. Perhaps start with one person and build up to several in one ritual. It can be the same or different each time you do it, it’s up to you. It’s important to focus your mind and equally important to allow your body to experience the memory too, notice the feelings of warmth and perhaps the urge to smile. Throughout the process maintain slow and deep breathing it will help to calm your mind. Try to do this ritual at least once a week.
There’s lots of science backing up the value of feeling grateful for what we have, our thoughts stimulate production of hormones that reduce stress and promote feelings of wellbeing so intentionally practicing gratitude and experiencing connections to friends really does help.