Empowering Everyday Rituals for Life Are Mindful, Meaningful & Mighty
I was recently asked by a women’s empowerment leader, Dr. Christie de la Gandara, to share how everyday rituals can empower at-risk women. She’s deeply committed to fighting the current femicide crisis in Latin America — the killing of females because of their gender. She also included my contact information in her pamphlet of resources for these women at risk, which she shared with women leaders from 23 countries meeting at a recent conference. This is a huge honor and privilege for me. And I highly commend her for her hard work on behalf of these women!
But I ask you…would you have picked the topic of everyday rituals as being helpful for women fighting for their lives? Doesn’t it give you a clue as to how powerful ritual can be for our everyday well-being?
Many people feel that ritual is solely connected to repetitive spiritual practices. But the most beneficial everyday rituals are not done mindlessly. In fact, they require a very mindful approach to be effective. And what’s most surprising is that secular rituals are as powerful as spiritual ones, if they connect you more deeply with yourself, others, and your purpose.
I love how Casper ter Kuile expresses this thought in his book, “The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices”…
“We are in a paradigm shift where we are taking things we ordinarily do every day and layering meaning and ritual on them, even experiences as ordinary as reading and eating — by thinking of them as spiritual practices.”
The thing is…knowledge is only information until your body practices it often enough that it becomes embodied within you. For example, we know that self-care is vital, but if we don’t practice it, we don’t benefit. Practicing supportive and empowering rituals prepares us to automatically handle life challenges — we don’t have to think; our bodies know how to be resilient and strong. Simple rituals are highly effective, low-pressure ways to integrate new methods of thriving every day.
Through mindful repetition, rituals help you connect with, or embody, YOUR higher purpose and values. You gain clarity of what matters most and use that knowledge to intentionally choose the practices that create harmony between your body and mind.
Everyday rituals are different from everyday habits
Habits are things we do without thinking about them. Rituals require more effort to intentionally create a practice that touches us to our core, thereby attaching a spiritual meaning to it. When we feel out of control, overwhelmed, uncertain, or anxious, we can bring back a semblance of control through our rituals. It makes us feel in charge. Giving ordinary things an emotional, symbolic meaning keeps us focused and confident. And it’s a way to celebrate an aspect of life.
Becoming mindful and intentional about your everyday rituals helps you manage your thoughts, feelings, and actions as you bring yourself into alignment, making your body/mind connection stronger. Daily rituals help you create consistency in your life, so you’re less likely to be distracted from your goals. They offer a sense of renewal and connection with something bigger than yourself.
Examples of everyday rituals that add meaning, enhancing your inner self
- Morning Rituals
- Wake up with the sunrise and mindfully experience the freshness of each new day.
- Set an intention for each day to keep you centered and focused.
- Exercise Rituals
- Check in with your body for pain points, weakness, loss of vitality or calm.
- Mentally review how mindfully moving your body honors these points — only you are responsible for giving it the care it needs and deserves.
- Chose workout outfits that make you feel empowered and keep them at the ready.
- As you exercise, connect each troubling thought to an action that lets it go — run it out, stretch it out, physically release it from your hands.
- End with cool-down stretching, while mindfully and inwardly expressing gratitude for a strong, flexible body that serves you so well.
- Eating Rituals
- Mindfully think about how each component of the food came to be — the interaction between sun, rain, soil, seed, person tending and gathering it — deepening your connection with the planet and others.
- Before tasting it, recognize gratitude for how it will nourish and strengthen your body. (Side Benefit: The more you know about how your food nourishes you, the better food choices you’ll make and the healthier you’ll become.)
- Setting the table, lighting candles, diffusing essential oils, excluding phones and confrontational conversations will help make the eating experience more meaningful.
- Eat in peace; discuss problems after dishes are done. The eating ritual will help you be calmer and more confident to tackle the potentially high anxiety issues.
- Evening Rituals
- Pick up and put away the clutter of the day, clearing space for a new day, a new start.
- Create a no-tech time for talking, reading a paper book, journaling, meditating.
- Note the good things you did during the day, even if it’s smiling at someone in line.
- Before bed, somatically reconnect with three things you’re grateful for — what is it, why do you feel grateful for it, and how do you feel it in your body?
If you’re frustrated because you never have time to do what you want, then it’s time to design a ritual to protect the space, time, and energy for it. Will Durant said, “You are what you repeatedly do.” You embody your thoughts, desires, hopes and dreams, when you create a bridge between your emotions and your body. Who you are and what you do become harmonious.
To further optimize your daily rituals and enhance every aspect of your life, take my free Wellness Assessment. This tool will give you insight into how you can live a more balanced, productive, and fulfilling life.
For more information about everyday rituals, read on:
Thank you for the photo Prophsee Journals