March 25, 2016

From Routine to Ritual. Is This Even Possible?

Free Spirit

Recently I was asked about my daily rituals.

What do I do on a daily basis as a positive practice for inspiration or self-care? I had to think really hard about what I do on a daily basis that gets me up and moving and ready to face the day.

What does the word ritual even mean? When I search for what I should be doing, I quickly find various sites of spiritual healers or life coaches that have the perfect morning rituals to get their energy flowing for a purpose. They meditate, do yoga or practice morning pages. Some may kick-start their bodies with healthy potions of tea or juices or simply have a piece of fruit while watching the sunrise. Others will read inspirational books or articles and practice sending love and gratitude to others.

I wouldn’t say any of my daily routines would qualify as a ritual. In the morning, the alarm goes off; I look out the window and ask myself why I should get up early to go to a job that is not exactly exciting or enjoyable. I eventually roll out of bed, take my dog outside and then get ready for work. I would love to impress you by saying that I listen to an edgy podcast on the way to the office, but I don’t. I listen to satellite radio and it’s usually pop music—my guilty pleasure. Sometimes I stop and get a coffee so that I can delay my start time at the office.

Traditions and routines have always seemed boring to me and a ritual seems very serious. But this simple question about my daily rituals have inspired me to look deeper at how I can connect to myself, to others, to nature and the world around me. Sometimes I meditate. Sometimes I write in my journal about what is happening in my life or make lists of places I want to see. And sometimes I just take my dog for a walk on the mountain before the daylight fades.

In short, it is very easy to continue with comfortable habits or continue with behaviors that just get us through without thinking. It is also easy to judge our own routines by what others are doing. I cannot confidently say what my new rituals will become, but I will commit to showing up for a mindful life and make a difference for myself rather than going through the motions of another day.


Author: Julie Barr 

Image: annette_grossman/flickr

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Julie Barr