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December 18, 2018

R-I-T-U-A-L-S

What are your rituals?

A ritual is a ceremony, a practice, an act of worship. But what are we honoring in our rituals? In our daily practices? Are we celebrating what serves us, or do we make too much time for thoughts and habits and people that detract from our highest selves?

My rituals: Crisp morning runs. Cooking while listening to podcasts. A compulsion to randomly text people when I think of them (sorry ~ that explains the random texts).

I’m not up here on a soapbox – my rituals also include toxic self-sabotage, inescapable self-doubt, and crippling indecision, at times. They include eating nacho cheese Doritos with plain yogurt, a holdover from childhood that my sister and I came to love. We have a Dorito dance. Everyone should have a Dorito dance.

My rituals include a gratitude practice. Every morning, I write down three things I’m thankful for and something I’m proud of. Some days, the thoughts flow effortlessly, and my pen barely keeps up with the thoughts. Other days, I feel tightness. Resistance. Disdain. Emotional stinginess. I used to fight that. I’ve learned to allow that part of me to exist, as well. To make space for it. To honor it.

The poet Rumi writes that the human being is a “Guest House” where “every morning there is a new arrival. A joy. A depression. A meanness. Welcome and entertain them all. The dark thought. The shame. The malice. Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. They may be clearing you out for some new delight.”

Ok, so I’m no Rumi…but I do try to sit with whatever it is coming up in my life. I took a private voice lesson the other day and my teacher said, “Whatever it is that comes up in your voice, honor that. Not with volume, but with intention.” Holy shit, I thought…what a beautiful maxim. “Not with volume, with intention.” So many parts of my life could benefit from that notion.

But in the end life is meant to be enjoyed. So, fuck it, grab the Doritos and do your own damn dance.

-Sam Khazai

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