I love rituals but I feel like I do not do them enough …
I love the “ritual photos” and reading about the art of Ritual and what rituals people use. I have participated in elaborate celebration rituals and have read about rituals that have many steps to them- with beginning and endings and steps in between. They can be overly complicated affairs.
I like the simple ones, for example washing dishes for me is a ritual. Getting the sink ready by cleaning it out and filling it with warm to hot sudsy water. You take the time to gaze out the window and look around at the sky and see what you notice. Then you scrub the dishes clean and then place them carefully in the rack. You think about the meal shared or eaten and how your day went. Just being mindful of all of this and then when done, release a sigh for a job well done.
Making a cup of tea- you rinse and refill the kettle- peruse your tea inventory and select just the right one- what are you in the mood for? Quietly check out how is your body feeling right now? Choose the best tea that matches where you are or choose just what is available. Select a mug and place your tea bag in it or a tea strainer if loose tea. You continue being mindful and notice how you can break this process down even more and decide what each action can bring to this moment. Wait till the water boils- fill your cup then take a bit of time to allow your tea to brew and breathe in the scent in your cup and appreciate the smell. Sweeten it with honey or maybe a bit of milk. Take a slow sip – maybe blow on it a bit and wrap your hands around the mug to warm them. Relish the moment and tune into yourself where you are at this moment- who you are and what you are about.
Morning Rituals- mine this past year since being retired and before I retired was listening to the birdsong in the morning with the birds calling up the sun. After a brief bathroom routine, I then toddle into the kitchen. I would grab coffee and filter and proceed to make coffee. While it bubbled and gurgled, I got my favorite mug out and some milk and poured a cup when the machine was done. I carry it to the love seat in my living room, sit down and grab a fuzzy lap blanket and place it over my feet to be cozy and warm. I take a few sips of coffee and settle in. I get my journal and a pen and turn on the light and start writing. These are my morning pages, and this is my ritual to get myself settled in and started for the day.
These are some of my “I don’t do rituals”. Just a few things that I have found to be helpful and simple, and nothing elaborate for me. Rituals can be amazingly simple like making a cup of tea or drawing a warm bath and shutting the door mindfully on the world and all the “out there”.
It is a matter of drawing your breath in and out – being mindful and present of where you are and who you are. Who you feel you are is especially important. What are you feeling and trying to just be still? Just listen for that still small voice that says you are okay just as you are. The person that sits down beside you as you are quiet with yourself. This voice whispers a message into your ear that only you hear and says you got this. Just try paying attention to yourself and where you are and your breath even if it’s just for five minutes.
I forget sometimes, maybe a lot of times that rituals do not have to be big ceremonies instead of little rituals everywhere! Simply going for a walk can be a ritual. Notice the breeze blowing the branches in that tree down the road or some clouds floating in a brilliant blue sky and when done mindfully this splash of attention can be a ritual. Just taking a pause and breathing in and out and noticing how wonderful you are!