Meet Jaira, a creative artist and lunar portraitist. She is passionate about both the arts and sciences — she is taking up Geology as a graduate student, alongside her creative pursuits. Still-life, color, nature and celestial objects inspire her the most. She owns a telescope and likes to photograph the moon.
1) Tell us about your favorite rituals.
In the mornings, doing my skincare routine and making sure I get breakfast are small things that make a huge impact in my productivity. Wrapping up my skincare routine by putting on sunscreen and making the time to sit down and have a good breakfast makes me feel like I’m prepared to face the day.
During the evenings (which is when I am most productive) or when I have free days where I have more time in the late afternoon, is where I allot my time to do my favorite ritual. I’ve always loved to immerse myself in science and art ever since I could remember so my favorite ritual revolves around that.
I like to read books, mostly in the arts and sciences. Although in all honesty, my stack of unfinished books are still high, I still try to read and finish a book as much as I can. I also do a lot of research on the Internet for some art I have yet to discover and interesting science articles I have yet to read. There is just something about the idea of continuing to learn something everyday that brings me peace and a sense of self.
On a side note, I do like to light a candle and play music while I do my favorite ritual. It helps me to calm down and focus more.
2) How do your rituals fit into your morning or night routines?
I am definitely not a morning person, so I tend to be more quick and straightforward with my morning routine. Usually, I take about an hour with everything. I feel a sense of stability by being straightforward with my morning routine. It helps me put myself together.
If it’s a free day and I have all the hours in the late afternoon free or if it’s during the night, I like to take it slow. Usually, I allot two hours in my routine (if i’m not busy with work during the night).
3) How long have you been following these rituals?
I’ve started incorporating these rituals/routines in my life when I graduated from college. Since I kind of gained a bit of freedom, it felt like I needed to create a structure in my day-to-day life.
4) Who or what influenced you to follow them?
It really would have to be my parents. I admire their work ethic and approach to life in general. They both have their own routines in the morning and night and it inspired me to find my own.
5) What tools, items or products do you use in doing your rituals?
There are a few things that I absolutely adore and I think would probably stay in my rituals for a long time. Diptyque’s Infused Face Oil and Satin Body and Hair Oil, which really helped my skin so much and the heavenly scent really is such a treat to the senses. I love to light up Diptyque’s Paris en Fleur candle and Saan Saan’s No. 20 Shrine Hunting during the day while at night, also Diptyque’s Blissful Amber candle and Finn the Label’s Lavender candle.
I try to keep myself hydrated and drink more water so I absolutely love the Muji Glass Jar that I always have on my desk. My college best friend and roommate also gifted me a really pretty moon lamp that gives off this warm light that sets the ambience during the night and helps me focus more on my routine. I also keep hand creams on my desk and nightstand because my hands get dry very easily. Currently, I’m loving Abib’s Hand Creme Type L Fragrant Tube and Aesop’s Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm, which I know, is really not a hand cream but I mostly use it for that purpose.
For books, I mostly enjoy reading Taschen art books. I do have a lot of science books that I love but currently I’m trying to finish Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. I love it so far!
7) How did these rituals help you on a daily basis?
My rituals help me feel like I have a sense of self. Before, I thought that rituals/routines are supposed to be done with perfection in mind but now I understand that rituals are supposed to be personal and growth should be the intention. When I understood the concept of this, It felt like I am also nurturing myself rather than pressuring myself to be perfect.
8) How did these rituals help you on a daily basis?
I try to be as gentle as I can with myself so when there are times that I find it hard to do something in my rituals/routines, I try to be understanding of myself. I don’t particularly have a specific mantra or self-talk that I use, I just try to remind myself that there’s no rush and I’ll be able to do this at my own pace.
9) Have you ever stopped following a ritual? If so, what is it and why?
I did have a phase before where I thought I should be incorporating a lot of things in my rituals/routines in order for me to find a sense of stability. All I got from that was exhaustion, so now I try to listen to myself and my mental and physical needs, and base my rituals/routines from there.