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The Power of Rituals: a Chore or a Life-Hack?

Daily Rituals

Do you have daily rituals? How do you like to start your day? Do you drink a coffee, a tea or another favorite morning beverage? Almost all of us brush our teeth, shower and get dressed every day of our lives: what are the things do you do daily without even thinking?

For a lot of my life, I thrived on variety. I loathed the idea of a routine and craved change. I would purposefully modify my route to work, try different beverages or foods. I am naturally curious and love to try new things and travel or discover new places near and far. So when practitioners used to talk to me about incorporating a daily ritual, I felt resistance. I would do my meditation most days, do a yoga practice most days. I felt like rituals would hamper my freedom and just add another thing to my already busy schedule.

As I’ve discovered over the years, resistance can be where the pot of gold is hiding. There is a time when you hear the same message for the hundredth time it finally clicks. All it took was a shift in mindset. Instead of seeing rituals as another chore, I saw them as a devotional practice in self-care to the one home we inhabit until we die: our body and mind.

In 2019 I decided to include a daily meditation practice and a daily movement practice (qi gong) that I do no matter where I am in the world, no matter what is going on in my life. I stopped compromising and this is what this 20-minute investment has brought me.

My meditation ritual:

Daily meditation allows me to check into the weather of my mind every morning:

- Stormy (angry)?

- Sunny (joyful)?

- Cloudy with rainshowers (sad)?

- Windy (fearful or anxious)?

Thanks to the fact that it’s a daily practice, I’m able to see how the weather of my mind is different every day. I’m able to observe without judgment, connect with the emotion or thought and then release it.

This awareness allows me to no longer be a captive to the emotion or thought and allows me to acknowledge why it might be present and shift it as necessary. I am not the emotion, I feel the emotion. I am able to move through life more like an observer and act instead of react.

My movement ritual

This is not the only movement I do in a day, but repeating the same sequence daily allows me to check in on the state of my body. It’s like a daily experiment I run to do a physical systems check!

  • Do I have tension in my neck, hips or upper back? I can observe my regular tight spots as well as any other part of my body that might be holding tension.

  • How is my balance? Am I solidly grounded or do I have more difficulty balancing on my toes?

  • What is my energy level like as I’m doing this? More sluggish, excited, calm and or vibrant?

Observing how my body feels as I repeat familiar movements allows me to check in on the state of my body each day, which can be completely different from one day to the next.

The observations allow me to decide to add a couple more stretches to address specific tension, massage an aching joint with some oil or appreciate that today’s a day to explore more physical intensity because I’m feeling particularly vibrant.

My movement ritual allows me to experience more flexibility, less tension and tends to keep the aches and pains away! It also allows me to see how yesterday’s choices (food, sleep etc) influence today’s energy and can encourage me to make different or the same choices today.

How do you feel about rituals? Do you resist them? As we live busy lives, it’s so important to feel like anything you add is efficient and worthwhile. Are you curious about what kind of practices you could add into your life with a good return on investment?

If you’re looking to see a vibrant shift in your life in 2020 or even to support you through the holidays, contact us and see how LARASAH can support you.

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