Ritual: Making the Everyday Sacred
How do you go through your day? Are you rushed? Stressed? Barely present? Do you have a constant list running through your head — of feeling ‘behind’ — accompanied by a sound track of ‘are you kidding me?!’
There’s another way. Ok, there are at least a million different ways, but here’s your invitation to one that works: Create rituals.
Let’s take flossing your teeth. What’s more mundane than that? One study that says flossing twice daily can add up to 10-years to your life. What you if you could connect that activity to expressing love to your spouse? Your children? Think of the joy that you would be building into your day!
I see parents turn themselves inside out to do this intentionally and lovingly for their families, creating treasured memories, fun posts and family traditions. This can take the form of a kindergarten graduation, visiting colleges or ensuring the traditional holiday elements are in place: special dishes prepared, presents selected, the house decorated with seasonal music, scents, etc.
What if there was something between the daily-scramble, and those special events where we jam in whole year’s worth of love and connection? What if you could find that one activity you do regularly, and attach meaning to it?
Ritual is how you make the mundane sacred. Create meaning in all you do, by connecting it with something that is greater than you. For me, there are five anchors to connect me to something bigger, Love & the four elements: Earth, Water, Air, Fire. Of course, this is not the only way, but it’s a good solid start.
1. Earth – Represents physicality. Most of my surroundings contain elements of the earth, so it’s easy to pick up a piece of paper and in my mind and heart acknowledge the part of it that was a tree. Or taste the basil that was once a full plant. In both examples, I acknowledge our connection with deep gratitude. Also, any physical movement (a run, yoga, dance) can be dedicated to your sacred connection.
2. Water – Represents the emotional world, so drinking water becomes my awareness to release any emotional stress I’m carrying around, or bathing can be washing away an intense conversation.
3. Air- represents mental processing, I like to slow down my breathing to clear my thoughts, find a better way to say something, or just to create a little space in my brain. I count 7-10 deep breaths as a great break in the middle of an afternoon on a heavily scheduled day.
4. Fire – Represents creativity, sexuality or spirituality. Endless options here, from lighting a simple candle while you do the dishes to remind you of the sacredness of the task. (Cleanliness prepares the way for the Divine.) Or you can mindfully put your colored pencils ‘in order’ after a great coloring/ sketching/ creating session, with gratitude for the inspiration or just the playtime.
5. Love – Anything that evokes passion, excitement, or expands my heart falls into this category. This is my default category, my home base that always helps me remember no matter how hard, frustrating, soul-crushing day I’m having, love is the constant, it doesn’t change, it always around in the form of friends, family, beautiful art, music, poetry, flowers, etc. All I have to do is focus upon love and it expands within me, bringing me home to my heart – this helps even if I have to do it every 5 minutes if I’m having a personal challenge.
Ritual doesn’t have to take money or even a lot of time. It’s a mindset, or a state you create in your heart to remind you that you are always connected to something greater, even when you’re flossing. And with that connection activated within you, your list can get a little easier and a little lighter.