What comes to mind when you think about the word ‘ritual’? Birthdays, Sunday roasts, weddings, full moon manifestations or perhaps your morning routine?
During this time of a global pandemic and confinement, many of our social rituals are limited. What about your personal rituals? While communal rituals give us the comfort of familiarity, solidarity and shared experience, personal rituals can also create a feeling of connection in the grand scheme of things. What if you could transform how you feel, bringing more resilience and happiness to every day through everyday rituals?
Ritual can help as a remedy to anxiety. Chronic uncertainty increases stress. That is where ritual comes in. Rituals are highly structured and involve repetition which means they are predictable. So even if they have no direct influence over the physical world, rituals provide a sense of control and certainty.
Through the practice of ritual we are also able to experience ourselves as present, principled and passionate. We are able to transform our perceptions, our experiences, and in the process, our reality.
“The bigger the storm, the more inclined we are to revert to our survival habits, and the more important positive rituals become.”
Loehr and Schwartz (The Power of Full Engagement).
Unlike habits which are often mindless, rituals are generally mindful, A ritual is a series of actions carried out for a specific purpose.
The most important part of creating your ritual(s) is the purpose behind it. Do you want to feel calmer, feel more energised or cultivate a certain quality such as creativity? Whether it’s soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath, listening to your favourite music or doing some creative art, infuse what you do with personal meaning and significance.
A ritual doesn’t have to take up lots of time. It can even be as impactful as one mindful minute. Be consistent and sprinkle your daily routine with several rituals rather than none at all or random bursts.
Creating your own ritual roadmap
Think of a time of day that is challenging or that you would like to change. Such as struggling to feel motivated in the morning or low energy in the afternoon. Using the recipe above you could experiment with a few different approaches … Here are two as a start for some inspiration.
For afternoon calmness:
From candles and sandals to nature’s seasonal cycles, love of God to love of self, private acts of gratitude to communal acts of grandeur, rituals are a fundamental part of what makes us human, and have as much relevance today as they ever did.