The Rituals: Aryann Avenido, slow living advocate and entrepreneur
Aryann Avenido is the founder of Slo Store, a one-stop shop of sustainable alternatives that aim to empower consumers in the kind of choices they can make everyday. She is passionate about telling stories through words and photographs, something she is able to do through her advocacy for a living which is her own brand. Aryann loves to chase light, literally and figuratively.
1) Tell us about your favorite rituals.
My morning ritual doesn't involve a lot of tools and tricks. I just see to it that I get to slow down each morning before starting with work and my to-do's. Light enters our house so beautifully and gloriously every morning and dances its way around outside as well and I just spend my morning watching and waiting for it to change its color from a warm orange tone to a bright yellow-white hue. We also have a lot of plants which create beautiful shapes and shadows with the light. I watch its warmth slowly envelope our dining table and move from one spot on the wall to another. I do this while eating breakfast or making coffee or writing on my journal or feeding our adopted cats.
My favorite part is getting to witness how the light hits our home differently when a season has passed. For example, during summer, the sun rises directly against our Balete tree that's right in front of our dining area but on cooler days, it moves a bit that it gets covered by the house next to us when it's slowly making its way up to the sky.
2) How do your rituals fit into your morning or night routines? How much time do you allocate for them?
I do my best to make time for it everyday. It could take as long as an hour or as brief as 15 minutes. When I have a long list of to-do's for the day, I wake up earlier than I need to just so I have extra time to myself even if it meant slowing down for only 5-10 minutes.
3) How long have you been following these rituals?
I've loved mornings and morning light since I can remember, but I guess it was around four years ago that I intentionally made time to breathe it in and be in it because I had control over my time since that's when I became self-employed.
4) Who or what influenced you to follow them?
There isn't a specific person or thing that influenced me and my love for mornings and light, but Kinfolk Volume Fourteen had an article about sunlight and what it means (what its benefits are, etc) which gave more meaning as to why I feel this way about it. It talked about rising and sleeping with the sun and not against it and how that benefits both our minds and bodies. Some of the people who inspire me to slow down and be still are Beth Kirby, Luisa Brimble, Laura Dart, Kate Kipley, and Emma Loughridge.
5) What tools, items or products do you use in doing your rituals?
A french press, a ceramic mug from Cornerstone Pottery Farm, a pen, my journal, and an abundance of sunlight are all I need. But I could do away with all the tangible things. Just don't take the light away from me.
6) Do you dedicate a special space in your room where you do your rituals? Tell us more about this space.
Slowing down always happens where there's a lot of sun and plants/trees, so it's either in our dining area or in our backyard. Our dining area is always quickly filled with light during the morning. The table where we share meals is suddenly covered with either dappled light or sun strands and I won't realize how much light is hitting the floor until I see Spike (our dog) sunbathing in the middle of the dining area. The texture of our decade-old lace curtains filter morning light so perfectly as well. We only added them to the dining area recently, so watching the light seep through the fabric still makes me swoon.
Our backyard is a place of wonder and magic in the morning as well. You see light dancing on blank walls through the shadows of long leaves and our cats rolling around the grass and grooming themselves while bathing in the warmth of the sun. They love the sun as much as I do.
7) How did these rituals help you on a daily basis?
This morning ritual helps me reflect and align myself with everything that I need to accomplish during the day. It also reminds me of how important it is to pause and slow down as this allows us to filter the noise that life brings everyday and to weigh what's important. Bottomline is: this ritual helps keep me sane.
Photos by Aryann. She is on Instagram as @aboutaryann. You can also follow Slo Store on Instagram at @slo.store, sustainable living options for a slower, more mindful and more conscious lifestyle.