Today I’ve been thinking about the way Ritual has changed my life – by helping me get more present in the moment and to add meaning. Ritual is such an important part of all of our lives, whether we know it or not. I try to incorporate ritual into nearly every part of my day and life – from my morning wake up and the delicious coffee Peter makes for me every day, to meditation at my altar, to the planning time I make special every week by lighting a candle and having a cup of tea; I do my best to mark the times of my day, week, and life, with a little something…special.
This is the purpose of ritual.
Maybe for you, the word “ritual” triggers memories of uncomfortable outfits you had to keep clean, or endless boring hours of silence in church. Many of us threw off the rituals we grew up with because they felt heavy and constricting, or were even laced with pain of one kind or another.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. When we claim them or create them for ourselves, rituals have the power to bring magic to the mundane; we can use rituals to mark occasions, transitions, to bring attention to our progress or a turning point in our lives, and make memorable that which might otherwise pass by with little notice.
We use ritual to bring meaning. And I don’t know anyone who seeks less meaning in their life – do you?
If creating rituals is hard for you, try this short exercise:
- Consider which daily, weekly, or monthly tasks feel stale but still important to you.
- Think about the events, times, or transitions you want to mark and make memorable.
- List the rituals you could add to these that would feel light, loving, and special.
- Finally, imagine what those rituals might look like. (Here’s a few ideas: light a candle, add a beginning or ending prayer or meditation, have a special cup of tea or glass of wine, write a note to yourself and burn or bury it).
Now that you’ve mapped out where rituals will add to your life in a meaningful way, try it out. See how it feels! Keep it light and free – notice how it feels to add the ritual. Does the task feel more special? Does it help you keep up with routines that are important to you? Does it feel freeing and meaningful? Keep what works, and discard what doesn’t. These are YOUR rituals, and you decide what stays and what goes.
Then? Enjoy the fruits of your effort – a special reverence for those tasks which are most important to you, and a daily life filled with meaning and magic.
Lots of love,