Rituals form many of the habitual patterns of thinking and behaviour in our daily lives. They are like the plants which have sprouted from seeds we planted first in our minds. Wise indeed is the gardener who knows the right seeds to plant for a fragrant garden to grow and be sustained in mindful, wise and compassionate ways.
Starting a new habit is not always an easy thing as most of us have discovered during our new year resolutions. Most of the time we tell ourselves we need new habits or more likely authority figures around us tell us so because something in us needed fixing. We weren’t good enough. Drop that bad habit! Do this instead! Because of the corrective element in habits, we may actually become self-sabotaging and resistant to change. This is where rituals differ. While habits carry connotations of good or bad, rituals are more like practices we want to invite into our lives because of the beauty and meaning they create for us. In order to live a beautiful life 365 days plus 1, it stands to reason to include rituals into our daily lives that work for us as an individual.
Ritual versus Habit
So, let’s consider a ritual instead. Rituals are more than just a habit. They are based on deeply held values that matter and this is what is motivating about them. For example, one of my rituals to start the day is to just place my feet on the ground after I get up and pause there long enough to be grateful that i have yet another beautiful day to do as I please. This ritual of gratitude helps me to stay humble in the grand scheme of things called living in the world. Not many folks have this luxury of waking up, fit and healthy, nor do they all have the same degree of freedom to do as they please with their lives.
What about your rituals ?
Rituals have deep meaning for us and it is us who attach the meanings to them. So the next question is:
- What rituals would you create and what meanings would you attach to them that could make life more beautiful for you?
- How would you like to inivite more of the spiritual into your life through simple rituals you might create?
- Would creating a quiet space and special alone-me time do it for you?
- Maybe a corner of your table for art and journalling?
- A walk around the neighbourhood and park every evening?
~ ॐ ~