As we move further into spring this year, many of us are probably feeling like we’re at a bit of a standstill. With travel on hold, events postponed, and generally a lot of uncertainty about the coming weeks and months, it’s reasonable to be feeling a bit stuck. It’s also difficult to keep in the flow of things, when we are so confined to one environment.
Being at home and learning how to be productive at home is a challenge for many of us. We are used to home being a place of refuge — a place for rest, play, time with our loved ones, and time for ourselves. Bringing work into our home lives can feel unnatural, claustrophobic, and even stifling.
Knowing how to transition can create space, ease, and a chance to come up for air. Even when we aren’t leaving one space and entering a new space physically, we can still do so mentally — through the practice of our rituals.
Transition with Scent
At Woodlot, we believe that scents tell stories. We associate different scents with memories of previous experiences and encounters — and this creates a narrative. At our studio, we’re often burning our Recharge candles, because the stimulating blend of Rosemary and Peppermint helps us to feel creative, collaborative, and energized — hence the name, Recharge. Burning or diffusing this scent at home gives us the sense that we are ‘entering the studio’.
Similarly, Cinder was inspired by the spa experience. Grounding Vetiver, warming cedar, and spicy cinnamon make us feel cozy and ‘at home’ so this is our go to when it’s time to transition from the work day into home life. Our commute is simply blowing our Recharge and igniting Cinder.
While transitioning from home to work and work to home is one thing, there are still all these little transitions that occur throughout a typical workday that assist us with moving from one task to the next. Our workdays are often broken up by coffee breaks, lunch breaks, meetings, conference calls, and so forth. We tend to move from one space to another, collaborate on one task, and hunker down by ourselves on the next. At home, we may find it more difficult to reset. This is why we love the practice of burning Palo Santo Incense.
Lighting a stick of palo and allowing the flame to remain for thirty seconds is the perfect opportunity to take some deep breaths, clear your head, and release any lingering stressors from the previous task before moving on to the next. Once you’ve blown out the flame, get up and walk around the room, allowing the smoke to trail behind you. Focus on what kind of space you are trying to create within the realm of the smoke. Maybe you’re about to get on a workcall and your intention is to be more open and communicative — or maybe you were just working on something a little rudimentary and you need to find your creative zone. Pause. Reset. Set the intention. Create your space — and start anew.
Plan by the Hour
Whether it’s your workday, getting stuff done around the house, or keeping your kids busy — being at home all day can make the days feel longer. Suddenly there’s no one else’s schedule to keep you all on track and you find yourself having to make it up as you go along. Sometimes making it up as you go along is easier if you’re only worried about the next hour or so. Instead of looking at the day as a whole, you can decide for yourself, and your kids, this is what we’re going to do for just the next sixty minutes.
Try lighting a stick of White Mayan Copal Incense as a way to set an hourlong intention. With a sixty minute burn time per stick, this sacred incense can help you commit to the next hour of your day with the caveat that once the smoke dissipates, you’re free to switch gears. Maybe you’re really procrastinating on something for work, or your kids are feeling restless and finding it difficult to settle on one activity. Decide for yourself, or together as a family, that for the next hour, ‘We are all going to commit to…’ After an hour, you can reassess and switch gears if necessary — or perhaps you’ll find that since you committed to the hour, you’ve settled into something and have found your focus.
We are all facing a lot of challenges this season. There is no right or wrong way to do things, and what worked today, may not go smoothly tomorrow. We are learning a great lesson in flexibility, adaptability, and acceptance. Be kind to yourself, lean on your rituals, and ask for help when you need it. We’re all in this together.
Sending you love + light,