It was Marie Kondo who first brought us the idea of keeping only the possessions you love. Take this one step further, say Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips, authors of new book Rituals For Every Day. Their idea is to create a specific – and, ideally, beautiful – place at home, to focus on what you love and what matters to you, whether that’s your goals, ambitions or simply what you’re grateful for.
Think of it as a 3D mood board. “Having a place you can physically touch and take care brings your ideas to life,” says Katia. It could be on a shelf, the top of a cupboard, in a corner or even in a shoebox, if you want to keep it private from the prying eyes of visitors.
You could, if you are so inclined, call this space an “altar”. “Don’t let the religious connotations put you off,” says Katia. “We grew up in Asia, where everywhere you go there is an altar – every culture has altars,” says Nadia. “We know the word can make some people feel weird. But it’s just a way to make a dedicated space in your home for the things that matter to you.”
The simplest altar is somewhere that, every time you pass, reminds you to think about a particular person or people you love. In fact, you most likely already have a wall or shelf of pictures of people who matter to you, and it’s the same sort of idea, says Nadia.
When you start being really clear about the picture of how you see your life, you’re more likely to go out and create it
You should be intentional about what you’re putting on your altar. It’s like the ingredients in a recipe – think of what you want the finished product to be, then add what will get you there. Write down your hopes or goals and put them on there, too.
Creating an altar worked for the success of the sisters’ first book, Self Care For The Real World, which is now a global bestseller. But the results aren’t magic, they say, but about creating focus. “When you start being really clear about the picture of how you see your life, you’re more likely to go out and create it,” says Nadia.
“You are telling your reticular activation system – your brain filter – what’s important to you,” says Katia. “It’s like if you bought a new mini, driving around you’d keep seeing other minis.” In one study, two-thirds of people believed creating pictures of their goals made it more likely they’d achieve them – in fact, it made them twice as confident.
Once you’ve found your spot, the next step is to spend time there daily. “All of this brings your attention to this space, and your energy to what you have put in it,” says Nadia. “And anything you put your attention on grows.
Rituals For Every Day by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips is published by Hutchinson