I've got into a practice of lighting candles. Its not something I've ever done before, but whilst doing my ministry training it became a practice. Its a moment to pause, to consciously invite in the light, to remember the light in each of us and our connection through the light.
Often I light a candle before a group meditation, before spiritual counselling, calling in all that supports us into the space. I loved observing the candle lighting of Hannukah at dusk each evening last month... bringing that conscious moment into each day.
When I know people are having a tough time or there's something particularly difficult going on for them, I light a candle and as it burns throughout the day it keeps me present to them, reminds me to hold them in my heart.
Early in the new year I did a retreat weekend (online obviously) and as I lit a candle at the beginning, the feeling of connection brought tears to my eyes. As I'd not worked much over Christmas and not been so in connection with others I'd rarely lit candles and I realised I'd missed what feels like a Sacred practice for me.
On my ministry training I would often light a candle as I sat down to write an assignment. And when I started my job at Women's Aid and found those early days, weeks and months incredibly challenging and triggering I'd light a candle some days as a way of holding myself, reminding myself I am held. As I write, I realise I rarely light candles now to call in support just for myself.
So... I'm increasing my candle budget and sometimes I'm going to light candles for myself... pausing to be conscious of my own light, my own connection, my own Sacredness... and remind me I'm always held, supported and guided.