(I love Earth Family Crystals)
Do you have a ritual that makes your days amazing?
From coffee to meditation, gratitude to prayer to vitamins, cold showers to stretchy yoga, everyone I know that has amazing life has a ritual (or many) that happen every day.
Today, let’s explore both the power of rituals and the way to empower a ritual of your very own!
First, let’s look at what a ritual really is. It’s a bit more profound than a habit or a thing to do on a list.
Ritual is first defined at Dictionary.com as an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.
That’s deep. It’s something intrinsic to your being that you don’t need to “force” or try to do every day… it’s a something you’d do anything to see come to fruition each day, a piece of you that you are super-used-to, a somewhat elevated routine that you’d find a way every day to see to it, to be sure that it happens.
This means that rituals need to be…
things that have deeper value than just a “good idea”
things that have power that almost instantly connect you to the best parts of your life or your inspiration
things that are exciting, elevating and magnetic
things that are done with connection or reverence
Your morning “ritual” of, perhaps, exercise or a journal or a “success habit” or anything else won’t hit the level of ritual unless you feel it deeply as a part of you.
My Buddhist practice is my deepest ritual. It doesn’t get violated, it transforms my life, if travels with me anywhere I go, it pulls me toward it… I can’t imagine a day without it twice a day.
Journaling is a ritual for me, too.
This blog is a ritual. When I am not connected and magnetically linked to it, the power drains out of my creative life, and vice-versa.
So, what are your rituals?
Are they positive? (Some rituals- like ice cream before bed for the sugar rush and temporary comfort- aren’t wholly positive…You get the gist. )
Are they things you do just because you’re used to them even if you don’t really see them affect you in any way?
Positive psychology expert Michele McQuaid explains to Fast Company that rituals create an expanded sense of what is possible:
“Rituals and the way they make us feel, actually set our brains up for the day about whether we’re going to be in this more expanded thinking space or much more narrow thinking space and the consequences that can have on our performance,” McQuaid says.
Bhava Ram wrote a very pointed article about ritual at Chopra Center, Transform Your Life With The Power of Ritual.“The best way to quiet the mind and unlock your inner power is to start small when creating new daily rituals. Through the ancient teachings of yoga, we know that our thoughts lead to actions; our actions become habits; our habits form our character; and our character determines our destiny. Daily ritual is the act of taking positive thoughts and putting them into action. You are what you think, because what you think determines what you do. Once a positive ritual takes hold in your life, you don’t even need to think about it. Just like brushing your teeth—it just happens.
You can connect with and reclaim your power starting right now, and if you stick with it, you can transform your life…”
We think of ritual in terms of magic, spirituality and religion… but ritual is anything that, like clockwork, you need, you look to, you do… and it makes the day better because you showed up to do it.
You don’t need to “believe” in magic to experience the power of ritual. In fact, prescribed rituals that are enjoyable have been scientifically proven to “work” to better life even if you don’t believe they will.
For example, I have clients embark on art rituals that are personal and fun, or dance, music, or even cooking rituals. Or making a better cup of tea. None of these seem to have a particularly “success minded” nature.
But, when something creative is done with love, it has this lovely side-effect of a better life, overall.
A tiny bit (or huge) bit magical.
Can you create or refine a ritual where you feel most stuck?
If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, can you add something truly luxurious for you to have in the morning? When I got both a Vitamix and stocked my favorite- yet a bit exotic- smoothie goodies, the morning was suddenly started with a creative superfood paradise moment.
If you are not excited to exercise, what would be the luxurious switch that got you into the groove? A new class to attend, a new group, a new way to stretch, a yoga mat that is squishy-fantastic, new music that fuels the ritual, a new alarm clock that is space-age and wakes you with light…?
If you are not having a great run of focus at work, can you add something to your lowest focus time that lifts you up? I talk a lot about my 3:00pm oj ritual with a friend where we would set very clear intentions for the future at our most stressful job ever. We’d sit outside with orange juice and get very clear about why we were there, working like crazy people.
It worked! Every one of these dreams came true for both of us.
Space clearing can be a ritual.
Writing can be a ritual.
A loving conversation can be a ritual.
Just about anything you do- from sex to detox baths- can be a ritual.
Do it with passion. Do it religiously. Do it because it feels amazing. Do it even if you are thinking it might particularly be frivolous.
- Pick what you need to light up what feels draggy in the day or stuck in procrastination. Make it an action. The 3:00 lull in the day might get a music break. Or some meditation.
- Layer on a fun – compelling- even luxurious- addition to your day to personalize your ritual. Don’t just listen to music, do it wearing your favorite headset dancing around in your favorite way. You get it. Make it your own.
- Do it and do it and do it.
You’ll be amazed how fast a simple thing like a walk or some crayons can turn around sinking days create space for breakthroughs and even solve major problems while taking every day to new heights.
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