Okay, so that title sounds pretty sensational. Well, what I’m about to share with you is pretty damn sensational! Behold the power of ritual.
I am a big believer in ritual. No, I’m not talking about voodoo or anything like that. I’m talking about elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary! Rituals are a key part of my self-care. (Self-care is another thing in which I am a big believer!)
When you are serious about taking precious care of YOU, rituals can help you get there 10x faster. And if you suffer from chronic illness, then you absolutely need to make self-care a priority.
So how do I incorporate ritual into my day?
I recommend starting the day off right with a morning ritual. A morning ritual can set the tone for the entire day if you spend a little time nurturing your body, mind, and spirit.
What kinds of things should I include in my morning ritual?
Like I said above, you want to make sure you include things that address your body, mind and spirit, but other than that piece of advice, you can include anything that feels good to you. It doesn’t have to be something difficult or time consuming if that doesn’t work for you, especially if you aren’t exactly a “morning person.”
Some examples of activities that you might include are detox-related activities, such as dry brushing, oil massage, or oil pulling. A yoga practice is a great idea for covering body, mind, and spirit all in one! Maybe you’d like to start your day with a green smoothie or a special tea. Make that preparation part of your ritual. (Making my chai used to be part of my morning ritual: I would combine and grind the spices in my mortar & pestle, make the tea, drink it in my favorite mug.) You might want to say some affirmations or read something inspirational. You may choose to do something special for your loved ones, like write little love notes for your children to put in their lunches or leave on the breakfast table. (You could do this for your significant other, too!)
The possibilities are endless. Just pick a few things that feel special to you – and are doable!
Some of the things you mentioned seem pretty ordinary. How can they be “ritual”?
I’ll answer that one with a question: What is the difference between a routine and a ritual? Intention. It’s all about your intention and your attention. If you do something – no matter how mundane – with great intention, care, and focus- you are elevating it to something special, something sacred.
Try it! Here’s an idea: next time you brush your teeth, focus all your attention on that simple task. Do it with great care and self-love. Think positive thoughts about how you are taking good care of your teeth and yourself. You’ll never look at brushing your teeth the same way again! Bring this level of care and attention to every part of your morning ritual.
My mornings are crazy hectic! I don’t have time for a ritual.
Sorry. You aren’t off the hook that easily. The teeth brushing experiment should have told you that! Your ritual doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it could consist of activities you already do, like brushing your teeth. Even if you don’t have time for a full yoga practice, you could just spend a couple of minutes stretching in bed before you get up, or focusing for 30 seconds on an affirmation. It doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. But by taking just a couple of extra minutes, you could totally change the course of your day. You may find that your mornings aren’t as hectic anymore because your point of view has changed. And this attitude adjustment will trickle down to your family or whomever you share your mornings with.
Anything else I should know?
Just keep in mind that your ritual is something you should do every day, when possible. Keep the steps pretty much the same, in the same order from day to day. Consistency is part of what makes it a ritual. But don’t beat yourself up if you have to skip a day for whatever reason. The morning ritual shouldn’t become yet another source of stress for you. It should be enjoyable, comforting, and uplifting.
Give it a try! Let me know in the comments what you do for your morning ritual (or what you are going to start doing – first thing tomorrow morning!) (And then you can start designing your evening ritual….)