We are surrounded by ritual. I am not just saying that because I spend a good chunk of time writing and performing wedding ceremonies. When I speak to my couples about rituals, some look at me with fear or doubt. Yes, the definition of ‘ritual’ comes from a religious place, but it certainly doesn’t have to. But I find the need for ritual in the every day. Um, Taco Tuesday, anyone?
I strive to take the religion or the solemnity out of creating rituals, especially if that scares you or religion is not present in your every day lives. For example, a few nights ago, I spoke with a colleague about creating a ritual with a candle and some affirmations to finally say farewell to a guy she was dating. I also know of a few friends that have a routine before a run or a workout! I regularly suggest couples put their devices away and share their gratitude lists on a daily basis and then there is the 7-day sex challenge! Creating rituals, baby!
Almost a year ago, I wrote a blog post as part of my Weekly Gratitude list about creating a morning ritual. I wanted to start the day with a little structure, so I decided to create a daily routine. I’m proud to say, I’ve been great about keeping it up, but even yesterday morning I realized on my way to the subway that completely forgot to brush my teeth. Luckily, I didn’t beat myself up about it and took care of my dental hygiene when I got back home! Creating a morning ritual allows me to start the day with a good foundation. I am also able to actually complete a series of tasks first thing in the morning and hopefully am able to continue the trend of productivity throughout the day.
Rituals are certainly present around the holiday season and the way families celebrate holidays comes up regularly in counseling sessions. What are some traditions that you want to add to the holidays you celebrate? When and how do you perform them? Some of the larger questions that come up are: Do we open Christmas presents on Christas Eve or Christmas morning? Should we ring in the New Year with all of our friends or with more reflection at home?
Ritual are all about marking an occasion or honoring a change of status. It’s a celebration marking the beginning of something or an end to something else. Is there something you need to honor or put a frame around? How about finding release or inspiration? Take a moment to consider your needs around the holidays or the every day. Would a ritual be helpful to book-end the celebration? Feel free to share what works for you in the comments below. And I encourage you to reach out if you need help coming up with a ritual. I love creating them!