Why I believe we should have rituals. Plus, a playlist to help us get started.

20 Feb 2017 mixtapes, spirit + soul

Happy new week, lovelies. This week I wanna talk with you about rituals.

Are you freaking out yet? Or completely turned off? Stay will me…

I’ve talked about rituals before here on the blog. And, I have pretty much summed up what I believe about them in a few old posts. But, today, I want to challenge you to join me in creating your own ritual this week.

Now, I’ve done a little of the legwork already (unless you feel like going crazy and just creating your very own ritual on your own, which is a totally awesome thing to do). So, all you have to do is to commit to following through. Easy peasy, right?

However, before we get into the ritual that I’ve planned. I’d love to share with you just a few important thoughts I have on rituals. To get the full summary and info on rituals, you can sign up for my newsletter in the bar at the top of the website page or just fill in your email address in the form right below.

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Why focus on rituals this week?

Ok, back at the beginning of the year, I decided on my word of the year: AUTHENTIC.

In creating a vision for my year + how to live out my authenticity, I also chose 13 different ways to create an authentic life.
Each week, throughout the year, I am focusing one of those 13 ways… and this week happens to be all about RITUALS = creating meaning in everyday life. But, what is a ritual really? And isn’t it something that is irrelevant, boring, confusing, meaningless, and something only religious people do? Well… no, no, no, no, and no. Rituals can be so much more that what we tend to think they are.

So, what is a ritual?

definition: rituals offer us compassionate discipline where we focus our attention and energy on achieving a certain feeling. they will ground us regardless of what’s happening around us. (found on {this website})

Let me break it down a bit. Rituals are a habit, a repetitive action, something that we commit to with intention + meaning. It’s a bit like having a tradition. A way to bring some sacred into every day (because actually, I believe, everything, every moment is already sacred). So it’s simply learning to slow down + be aware. To take time to reflect and be fully present. To take something ordinary in life and give it magical, mystical, mindful meaning.

Rituals do not have to be elaborate. And they can be made up my anyone, anywhere. Simple or complex, either works. In a community or alone. The main point is the focus + the intention behind what you are doing.

In my darkest, craziest time in life, I relied on one morning ritual for an entire year to get me through. Lighting a candle, reading, and journaling for about 2 hours very early every morning transformed my life. I went through the death of the old me, and journeyed into an empowered, alive new me. My life literally changed. And I never would have been ready or able to do that without unexpectedly creating my own morning ritual.

A ritual does not have to be connected to a religion. It is beautiful when it is, and when the participants know what is going on and why (the wailing wall in Jerusalem, morning prayers in Islam, Holy Communion in Christianity, mantras in Kundalini yoga ). But it is also beautiful if you create your own or share in a ritual by yourself or with your family.

The whole idea is to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Because it is the ordinary, regular, mundane stuff of life that life is actually created of. Everything is already sacred + holy. And a ritual lets us slow down to recognize that.

Here’s the ritual I have created for this week.

I have created a playlist of only 7 songs called “Rituals”. The purpose of the playlist is to give us 3-5 minutes of focused time every day. A way to meditate, or be inspired. A ritual to help us slow down and be in the moment and get our creative juices flowing. It’ll only take a few minutes of your time each day, but just those few minutes of focused time, of doing the same thing every day, at the same time each day, for 7 days will give you a sense of security, groundedness, and meaning.

So, here’s how to join in:

// Subscribe to the playlist on Spotify.

// Listen to the song of the day. Let that be your focus + inspiration for the day.

// Be aware of one word or phrase that rises to your consciousness as you listen.

// Use is as your mantra for the day.

//To go even deeper + make it more concrete, snap a photo during the day inspired by the song of the day. Post it on Instagram. Use the hashtag #myweekofrituals (Follow me on Instagram here to see my photos this week)

Find the playlist on Spotify: HERE or just click on the photo below.

If you’re feeling super inspired, the go ahead and create your own ritual for this week!

You guys, it is totally possible to create your own ritual –  anything that gives you pause, that brings meaning to a moment. Like saying grace before a meal. Attending to our breath while meditating. Repeating a mantra. Praying. Sipping slowing on a cup of coffee every morning. Lighting a candle to invoke a special moment. Sitting around a bonfire. We think we must be a guru or a religious leader in order to create a ritual. Not true! Anyone can create a ritual. Daily, or otherwise.The sky is the limit. Your creativity is your muse.

But, if you need a little guidance, then I’m here for you. I’ve created a few steps that you can follow to create your own daily ritual. And, if you need further guidance, then just contact me.

Preparation:

begin with asking yourself: what calms me? what brings me balance + peace? what makes me feel free?

write down any ideas that come to mind. then look over your list and pick one thing to try over the next few days. remember, keep it simple in the beginning.

plan your ritual + write your plans down as well: what time of day will you practice this ritual? what items do you need with you? how long will it take? will it be just for you or will you invite others to participate… like family members or another community? how many days will you commit to your ritual (take it easy in the beginning. try something like 3-5-7 days).

During the week:

enjoy and bask your ritual every day for your set period of time!

At the end of the week:

reevaluate. after your trial period is up, take our your notebook where you wrote down your ritual ideas and plan for the ritual you have practiced. think about how it went. did you follow through every day? if you didn’t it’s ok. you are not a failure. i still have trouble some days too. if you didn’t follow through, why? was it the wrong time of day? did it take too much time? were you distracted? did it not feel like what you need?

adjust your ritual or choose a new one, if that one was not the one for you, (again, if you need more guidance, feel free to contact me).

recommit to continue your ritual for another set amount of time. or begin new ritual for a set amount of time. however, it is best not to change rituals every few days. a ritual really begins to transform you when you stick with it for 21 days or more. just a little heads up.

And remember this:

do not feel guilty for scheduling in time for yourself. it may feel like you are being selfish, but the connections you make with your soul will only spill out into your life later on. you will be like a cup overflowing. it may feel like tying yourself down in the beginning, like adding one more thing to your day. but, i dare say, this is the one thing that makes the biggest difference. trust me, this time will begin to set your free, not chain you in.

Ok, so we are all set for this week. We’ve got a playlist/photo challenge to use. And we’ve got the tools to create our own ritual. If you are not ready to embark on your own ritual quite yet, that’s totally fine. Wait 13 weeks and when this theme of living authentically rolls around again, you will have another chance (plus I will have another ritual ready to share as well).

Rituals, my lovely friends, truly are simply taking part in something that helps us to slow down and pay attention just long enough to realize that life, that our life, all of life, is a freaking miracle. Whether around our kitchen table, in a church or mosque, walking on a busy street, lighting a candle, taking a shower or preparing a meal… it all becomes a ritual when we repeat it, remember what it teaches us, and allow the act of engaging in it to magically, and simply, bring meaning to our life.

Wishing you a week of mindful, awake, awareness + moments of repetitive, pure magic.

xoxo. liz

 

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liz

liz

slow living. photography. craft beer. spirituality. moon + stars. bare feet. road trips. mexican food. blankets. the ocean. journals. coffee. airplanes. forests. meditation. eating out. cacti. playlists. family time. zola the cat. lina, my love.

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