I have wondered why I love festive occasions like Easter, birthdays, and Christmas. I believe it is because, as a family, we have created rituals through our shared experiences that sprout spontaneous and mind-blowing moments of connection, belonging, and sheer joy. I am not sure how these rituals started, yet I am sure they reflect our values. It is not like we sat down and designed a ritual; instead, they naturally evolved through repetition.
For example, we have a traditional ‘early morning Easter Egg Hunt’ which is more like a search and rescue mission. We each go to painstaking lengths to hide eggs in the most obscure and difficult to access places, then we watch each other search for hours before the begging for hints begins. It can feel like a torturous process at times, yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is my family ritual, and it is emotionally meaningful.
Through many cultures and ages, ritual has been consciously practised to give deeper meaning to life. To strengthen our connection to nature, spirit, religion, ceremonies, each other and life transitions (birth, death, marriage, illness, boy/girl/child, woman/mother/man/adult, crone/ elder.)
I believe the rituals we enact are based on our values and what is most important to us. They help us see the world with new eyes with a deeper understanding. Each ritual starts with an intention that is known even though it may not be stated. It is a pattern of activities performed in a particular way or place that cultivates gratitude and connection. It is very different from an unconscious habit or routine that may start with intention and then continues without awareness or satisfaction.
We don’t have to wait for a special occasion or family events to enjoy the benefits of the ritual. We can introduce new practices into our daily activities when we add intention, attention, and repetition to transform mundane activities into a meaningful activity.
My first ritual of the day occurs before I get out of bed. Upon awakening, I spend a few minutes consciously breathing, followed by gratitude statements, and setting my intention for the day. Do you have morning rituals too?
Rituals increase our performance by turning small, everyday acts into significant, meaningful actions.
A straightforward activity, like having breakfast or a cuppa, can be a ritual. Instead of grabbing a coffee on the run, sit down and savour your beverage and set the tone of your day.
When I come home each day, I like to pause, take a moment, and shake off any unwanted residue before I open the front door.
Rituals are ancient and inextricable part of human nature. They come in many forms and they powerfully bring meaning to our lives. Our future is not only shaped by our decisions, mistakes or achievements but also through our daily practices – whether an unconscious routine or meaningful rituals.
Rituals allow us to be mentally, emotionally, and physically present so we can participate in each unfolding moment fully.
What everyday activities can your turn into meaningful rituals?