Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Part Two: Rituals

Photo by Partha Sahana
Last week we discussed routines and how they help us be more disciplined in getting things done. This week, let's talk about rituals.  What they are and how they can help add meaning to routines.

Is the difference between a routine and a ritual?  Like routines, rituals are a series of tasks that you put together.  What is different between the two is the focus and purpose.  While routines focus on productivity, rituals focus on feelings.  They are meant to allow you to connect with your inner self and the Universe.  Routines are things to do and rituals can turn these things into a ceremonial celebration.  

Routines can become boring, especially when you do them regularly and they don't change often.  You get to have a different experience with a ritual, because of how you feel.  The best thing about rituals is that they bring about healing and experiencing life fully.  

Some examples of ritual include yoga and prayer / meditation.  They all require presence.  Yoga is the practice of focusing on the breath through each position.  Prayer and meditation, though different, are about the connection to the Universe, whether through stillness (meditation) or communication and expression (prayer).  

What are ways can you engage in ritual?  

The most simple way to do this is to add mindfulness to your routines.  Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present with what is going on.  One of the advantages to doing a routine is that we can mentally check out while completing a task.  This is great when the task is typically something you don't care about or that you don't want to do.  Mindfulness is the opposite.  It's all about being hyper aware of what's happening.  You see and feel everything.  

Mindfulness can be added to anything, whether brushing your teeth, making the bed, or simply breathing.    You can learn about the different aspects of mindfulness and even try out a few exercises by reading this article in Mindful magazine.    

Besides being mindful, consider adding an element of "me time" to your day.  I watched a two minute video on Oprah's tea ritual.  

It starts out with this shiny tea kettle and special teapot to steep the tea in.  She talks about the process of preparing the tea, what she likes to see (mindfulness), and what that moment does for her each day.  I am sure that it is something that she truly looks forward.  Having a cup of tea doesn't take long, but turning it into a ritual like this can help put you in the perfect mood for the moment.    

What is a ritual that you do that honors you?  What are some of the ways that you can incorporate mindfulness into your routine?  

As always, your responses help us all, so please feel free to comment and be sure to share with others.  Be well everyone!

Photo credit lurve: Photo by Partha Sahana

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