Forming New Rituals
It’s Monday morning when I’m writing this. It’s beautiful this morning and only slightly cool and a bit dewy. I didn’t realize there was dew on my garden chair when I sat down with my favorite coffee cup filled with Oolong tea. The family is still asleep and I’m thankful for the extended quiet. The clouds have retreated from yesterday’s rain. Everyone I hear on my street who is starting their day sounds markedly chippier including the chortling pug on her daily walk.
I haven’t looked at my phone yet. An awareness, an observation has grown inside of me about how I feel a bit chippier. Is it from the sun streaming on my face? Is it from perhaps starting the day with my bare feet on the earth? I let the pleasantness sit with me for a bit. It all feels right and I make a little promise to myself tomorrow I shall start the day this way. And now returning myself to the present and [trying] not to think about tomorrow.
Letting that thought flow out as easily as it flowed in.
Rituals can be healthy for the mind | body | soul. They can be somewhat dangerous, in that, they permit us to live our lives in auto-pilot, robotic form. We can pretty much wake up, shower, do our hair and make-up, drink our coffee, drive to walk, park our car and walk up to our workspace – and then we wake-up to our day. Maybe. Many people can even get through their work day in “automatic play” mode. [Did I see you nod your head in agreement over that last statement?]
On the flip side, rituals and habits allow us to survive. You couldn’t possibly have to think about the millions of tiny decisions you need to make to stay safe. You can’t have our sympathetic nervous system going off at all times. Your adrenals would flood your body with cortisol, you would overload your body with epinephrine [adrenaline] and eventually, your adrenals will give-out. The adrenals like short small sprints with long periods of rest in-between.
Important hormones are made in the adrenals and when they are busy dealing with constant everyday stress, they can’t get their other tasks done – like creating progesterone, testosterone, and hormones that balance mineral levels in the body. (A sign of your adrenals needing help is craving salt!)
So a ritual can help reduce stress and take the decision-making out of the “every day”. However, that sounds rather dull, right?
What if you consciously and with full awareness, designed a ritual (or a few) for yourself?
My new ritual includes splashing water on my face, brushing my teeth, filling my teacup and walking outside in my bare feet, and putting my face in the sun and breathing.
It does not include looking at my phone and doing any dishes remaining in the sink from the night before.
What would your ritual be filled with? How long would your ritual take?
What are you doing (or more importantly, NOT doing) during your ritual?
What feelings do you want to have with your ritual?
Share and comment below about what would YOUR ritual look like?