And when I cut all the way to the center of the sun, I see flowers, flowers, flowers.
- CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI
Repose in Ritual
Where is there space for more effective and intentional action in your life? Read on to find out why ritual matters and how you can include it in your life to foster connection to your goals and move through the world more effectively. There are at least two ways to approach the idea of engaging in any kind of ritual or personal ceremony - in general terms rituals make you feel good or connected. Repetition can also make many tasks easier and more effective as we no longer have to engage in the guess work of figuring a route or a recipe out everyday. Some rituals stem simply from habit, however, rituals can be extremely effective and positive agents of lasting change. There are extraordinary examples of ritual in the world - from professional baseball player Nomar Garciaparra's elaborate batting ritual to the deeply respected responsibility of the living to the dead in Sierra Leone. In fact, ritual is part of what sets the human race apart from other species. Special burial rites may be enough to link early hominin remains to the human race. But let's step away from the extreme to investigate the potential of including just one more ritual in our daily lives. Start with, what do I want to celebrate or invoke? Maybe, health, presence or creativity. Then try to imagine one activity that will not only bring you closer to your goal, but will also remind you of why it matters to you. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small (sipping a cup of tea in your garden, reading a poem before you turn the lights out in bed or instigating a neighborhood Thanksgiving party)... ...what matters is your specific objective, your intention, behind engaging with the mundane in a ceremonious way. Ceremony can turn into obsession if the essence of the practice is not being honored. Focusing on the sentiment of what you're doing can actually free up a whole lot of space for you to just show up for yourself instead of getting stuck in the specifics of making a certain thing happen every day. I encourage you to start small and simple with the goal of allowing your ritual to morph into a deeper expression of your intent over time. Two prerequisites though! Choose something that makes you feel good AND makes your life easier. It's no good committing to a meditation practice that involves driving for 40 minutes and stressing about parking ;)
Here are some ideas, just to get you started...
Pssst! You can read this Newsletter in it's original format here!