March 4, 2015

Creating Rituals

alterThe difference between a habit and a ritual is that rituals have strong intentions and are done consciously, where as habits are typically self-sabotaging, subconscious belief patterns. A habit and a ritual are equally powerful practices. Through time it is possible to make a ritual into a habit, replacing outdated behaviors, thoughts and belief patterns. I’m going to use this blog post today to illustrate the incredibly transformative power in creating rituals in our lives, and give you some practical ideas for effective rituals.

Any widely successful human being has a couple things in common. Aside from being passionate and hardworking, they are consistent and focused. Most, if not all, successful people have some sort of ritual. I want to distinguish a ritual from a habit here. It’s possible that many successful people are healthy eaters. Healthy food gives them mental clarity, self-confidence and energy. Thus, they are in the habit of making health food decisions. A ritual is more devotional. For example, this healthy person may pray before they eat their meal to bless their food. This prayer is full of communion and intention. It is done with soul. If the person is making healthy food choices, with as much soul and devotion as their prayer, that is then a ritual as well.

The reason I am making a distinction between habit and ritual, is to help you understand the power behind conscious intention. Rituals like creating alters, prayer, smudging, Sadhana etc, have been around since ancient times. People would, and still do, create alters to worship deities that serve them and to bring awareness into their lives. In these new times, rituals have become more practical, such as positive affirmations and even full moon circles (where people gather under the light of the full moon and sing songs or dance). A ritual is any set of actions that brings you into alignment with your True self.

Let me introduce you to some of my rituals:

  • One of my absolute favorite rituals is picking a daily focus card and reading a morning scripture from my “Science of Mind” book. I do this in the morning, before waking as I drink tea.
  • My tea is another ritual. I am a mindful tea brewer and a mindful tea drinker. I drink with reverence, gratitude and peace. Each tea holds a different energy for me, and I feel different based on the various leaves I have seeped: Oolong, Ceylon, Dragonwell, Yerba Mate or Rooibos are some of my favorite teas (not necessarily in that order!)
  • Another daily ritual of mine is to write. I go through about 5 journals a year. In them I write poetry, quotes, ideas, to-do lists, I vent, draw diagrams and pray. Daily journaling is one of my most critical practices.
  • I also like to create daily alters. I usually let my tarot, angel or other daily focus card determine what intention I am going to be working with. I collect many stones, crystals, feathers, pebbles, flowers and sculptures. Depending on how I feel, I use my intuition to determine what my alter will have on it and how long it will be out for.
  • Another wonderful ritual I have is laying in bed with my hands on my heart as I fall asleep. During this time, I listen to my inner voice. I pray for people I love and the world.

Other rituals I live by include saging with fresh sage leaves I pick on my hikes, lighting incense, meditation, Kundalini Yoga practice, meeting with my good friends every Sunday and heading to the beach each morning. It is so, so, so important that we consciously take action to do simple things in our lives that express our soul essence. We create intention, devotion and faith in our selves, and become free to live an authentic life. We make the decision to manage the scattered energy of the day, and live a life full of purpose. I’m sure you also have wonderful rituals! I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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