We live day to day, and often or not most of us are aware we are very much living a cycle of routine or habits. Sometimes we feel or see this as being stuck in a rut and not moving forward. But if you start selecting and transforming some of the daily routines, and seeing them through kaleidoscope eyes as rituals in life, then we are not only becoming more present we are practicing mindfulness, which brings gratitude and abundance. Unlike habits or routines, which appear to carry no emotional meaning, a ritual could be described as a defined series of actions that helps us transform from one emotional state to another.
Nature and life are full of transitions, some pleasant and some not so pleasant. Rituals in life, whether they are day to day things or life events, are a means for discovering new truths and allowing our hearts to accept or embrace what is happening to us with contentment – this is essential to our emotional, psychological and spiritual health. Rituals invoke empowerment, energy and spirit, and connect you with where you are in life and also nature, and it’s patterns.
Famous author Ernest Hemingway described his writing ritual as starting when the sun began to rise. He would work straight through until he said what he needed. His analogy of his morning ritual was that of making love to someone you love – being both empty and fulfilled at the same time. Upon completing his morning, he would wait to the following morning to begin again, going over his ideas and feeling anticipation of starting again the following day.
In 2007, an ad agency (BBDO Worldwide) identified key five key rituals that occur every day in every part of the world – “preparing for battle” (the morning ritual), “feasting” (reconnecting with over food), “sexing up” (primping), “returning to camp” (leaving the work place), and “protecting yourself for the future” (the ritual before bed). So with this said, I’m going to share some ideas for creating a rituals in your life – a list that can be used to inspire you in creating your own, and for thinking about other parts of the day.
Creating Morning Rituals
Many ancient cultures had some form of morning ritual to start the day, and so it is likely within your collective unconscious too.
- Before you get into your car to work, or set foot to commute, take a few moments to be conscious of your breath, and look around to the rising sun, the moving clouds and trees, and breathe in deeply. I often do this, and be grateful for the beauty and sustainability of nature, and realise the importance of everything in life, because we are all connected.
- Prepare your favourite beverage (i.e tea, coffee or juice) in a special glass or mug and really savour each mouthful, with all your senses, like it is the most valuable thing in the world and you can only have it once. What would that feel like to you? I have a favourite pink flowered tea cup which I love to drink coffee out of – it’s beautiful, graceful and like it’s the most precious cup in the world holding liquid gold. I feel a sense of comfort and gratitude each morning savouring it, and sitting quietly, before getting into work mode.
- Put your mind into a positive frame and prepare yourself for the daily stresses ahead by finding an inspiring affirmation or quote to read, and perhaps sharing it online with your friends. You can even place this in your workplace. I like to put a quote or affirmation on a post it note, or select a random affirmation card to display on my desk 🙂
- Have a favourite aromatherapy oil? Before getting out of bed, have it near by and smell the aroma, giving thanks for the new day and for new beginnings. You can even buy little bottles that pose as jewellery where you can carry this with you during the day. Sometimes I will select one of my favourite or particular crystal rings, bracelet or necklace to wear – depending on what energy I am wanting.
- Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Affirm that this will be a good day, full of blessings, opportunities, and wonder. Say aloud, “I look forward to a wonderful day,” or any affirmation with personal significance. If there are difficult meetings or decisions ahead, affirm that you will tackle these with ease: “I will take the challenges of this day in stride.”
- Play your favourite CD or listen to your favourite radio station as you are getting dressed for work or even in your car to work. I keep a selection of cd compilations that I love to play and sing to on the way to work on the freeway.
- Eat your breakfast with mindfulness. Savor the taste and texture of your food. Reflect on the long journey from farm to table, and how lucky you are to be eating and have access to fresh, delicious and nourishing food.