How to Add Ritual to Daily Life
By treating our routines more like rituals we can reclaim our purpose and connect to something that is greater than ourselves. By ritualizing our lives we celebrate what it means to be ALIVE.
words and insight by: Abbi Chick
Routines as Rituals
Every moment of every day is carried through our MOVEMENTS. The articulated journey of our soul starts with our breath and moves through our bodies, into our fingertips, and touches everything that we do. What we do with ourselves during our day is the simplest form of divinity, because life itself is a miracle we are constantly enacting.
Much of our life is a habituated practice. Within reason, what we do, what we eat, where we sleep, and many other simple tasks we perform remain greatly the same in our lifetime. There is comfort found in likeness of habit and by forming our routines we are able to feel grounded. Routines however, can often take a turn and become tedious, monotonous, and draining. As we carry out movements in our days it can become easy to lose ourselves and our purpose, walking the steps of life without feeling our feet. This action in autopilot drains our journey of its intention, disconnecting us from the inherent wisdom within. By treating our routines more like rituals we can reclaim our purpose and connect to something that is greater than ourselves. By ritualizing our lives we celebrate what it means to be ALIVE.
“Routines are just as magical as they are practical, and when intentionally performed they become practical magic”
What is Ritual?
The definition of the word ritual is “the enactment of myth,” this concept of adding ritual into our routine encourages us to write the story of our own life with more purpose and intention. Traditionally speaking, performing a ritual takes a certain degree of preparation. Tools are gathered, a space is adorned, and actions are performed to a magical formula. In its combination of symbolism and mindfulness, ritual connects us to the sacred meaning of life.
We can utilize the mundane objects of our routine as magical instruments and exercise our own magic to create personal ceremonies throughout the day. Routines are just as magical as they are practical, and when intentionally performed they become practical magic. But, the ultimate magical tool in any ritual is YOU. Making a connection between you and something greater is the universal element of all rituals. If we can make a habit out of our routine, then we are just as capable of making a habit of ritual. To ritualize, we have to slow down and add a sense of duty into our doing.
“As you carry out your day look for moments that can be held as sacred and consider honoring those sacred moments through the act of a personal ceremony”
Early mornings are a wonderful canvas to perform new rituals (mug by Heit Ceramics)
Ritual can be as formal or informal as you make it. To carry out your own ritual in the simplest of ways, you need only yourself and a purpose as your starting point. As you carry out your day look for moments that can be held as sacred and consider honoring those sacred moments through the act of a personal ceremony. This practice is very individualistic and excitingly ambiguous. As you begin to incorporate ritual more often you will find the process will flow more freely and easily.
Routine vs. RitualThis list provides some potential rituals that can be performed throughout your day, but they are not a set practice, they are just examples. As you begin to cultivate your own style of ritual let yourself feel inspired to fine tune your practice so that it best serves you and your own spiritual connection. The possibilities are endless.
List of Daily Rituals
Making a cup of tea/drinking anything at all: Before you drink, look at the cup and think about what you wish to infuse it with. Let the words find you and say a little prayer over the liquid and then drink it to infuse yourself with those properties. `
Example: As you drink a cup of your favorite tea, out of your favorite mug, in your favorite chair, held in hands that are adorned by your favorite rings, close your eyes and say to yourself “May this drink warm my body and my soul, may it both ease my worries and ignite my passions, I am thankful for this moment of pleasure, and allow myself to truly feel it, with every sip I become more and more grounded in my being.”
Running a bath: Allow this process of self care to be an intimate moment that you have with yourself. Let the day and the world slip away as you slip into the water. As you soak, allow the water to cleanse you and your spirit. The bath provides you with the much needed sanctuary to heal. If there are specific things you wish to wash away/heal, speak them aloud to the water. Water is life and should be appreciated.
Lighting incense: Before you light your incense take a pause and center yourself. Invite the powers of the Universe to enter your space through the burning of this tool, make it as specific or as general as you want. As you begin to sense the grounding smoke let yourself become aware of the workings of your intention and inhale the scent to absorb its energy. Let the smoke envelope you like an embrace.
Exercising: Embody your body through movement. Let the action of exercising become an act of divine service to the physical form that holds your spirit. Maybe switch up routine and exercise in nature or in a park outside your usual neighborhood. Brighten up the experience of drinking water by adding fresh slices of cucumber or citrus, as this helps us to sip slower and notice its life.
Adorning yourself: Choose each piece of clothing carefully and intentionally. Let your voice speak through the fabrics and style of your outfit. Adorn yourself with artful armor as you prepare to step into the actions of your day. Dress yourself slowly and feel the energetic shift that is accompanied with this process. When you are done getting dressed, look in the mirror and take a moment to appreciate who you are and acknowledge the presence of your uniqueness. Perhaps add a personalized mantra to say to yourself as you look into your own eyes.
Cooking a nourishing meal: Give thanks to the living energy of the food that you are about to prepare and digest. Take special care with the preparation and presentation of your meal so that it embodies the beautiful offering that it is. Enjoy each bite as an act of magic. As you chew and swallow you absorb the nutrients and the special invocations you infused into the food.
Decorating/cleaning your space: Through cleaning/rearranging your space you let the old slip away and make space for the new. Honor the safety it provides by making it as beautiful as you are able. Give thanks to your space and say a blessing to protect the special energetic vortex that it is.
Journaling: Treat journaling as a sacred act of self discovery. Close your eyes before you begin and focus on your breath so that you become centered in your own presence. Let the words from your inner world flow through you and onto the page. Putting thoughts onto paper is a powerful process of enaction. Maybe you do your writing somewhere that is special to you. This could be your desk or a park bench, but treat the seat that holds you as a special part of the process, it is hallowed ground.
Spending time in nature: Nature is all around us. Every time we take a step outside our feet are held by the support of the grounding earth. Let yourself have special moments during the day to convene with nature and connect back to the natural world. Use your senses to listen, taste, smell, touch, and see the beauty all around you. Feel the roots that are your innate connection to the earth, and with them in mind give thanks to this place that provides every thing we need to be alive.
Reading a book: Get comfortable and let the act of the reading ground you as you expand your mind. Let the words on the page settle deep within you and allow certain passages, words, and sentences to illuminate your life with new meaning. Trust in the downloaded information you receive and know it is part of your life’s path to resonate with the knowledge that finds you.
|Book (Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer) Mug (Heit Ceramics)|
If we destigmatize the terms ritual and sacred and allow them to integrate into our lives, our existence becomes a celebration of spiritual connection. By slowing down and acknowledging movement and objects throughout the day as their own unique energetic components, your ritual starts to take form. Everything in life has the potential to be infused with meaning. Symbolism is everywhere and magic is what you are made of.
***Ritual can be described as any act or ceremony done with the intention of feeling loved by a higher power or purpose. How you go about receiving that love is entirely up to you! Happy ritual making!***