They have been around since the dawn of the human experience. We all have them. Whether we recognize it or not, there are things we do on a regular basis in our daily lives that are rituals. The term rituals is defined as formal behaviors…the performance of formal acts…a system of rites…unchanging patterns…repetitive behavior. Rituals go beyond just a routine, though we all have those too. Rituals are not just patterns of behavior or activities that we repeat in some fashion, but rather they serve a deeper, more meaningful purpose in our lives.
The power and importance of rituals is undeniable. Think of the rituals you and your family/friends have surrounding holidays or other special occasions. The rituals pertaining to marriage, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. There are certain activities and behaviors we feel must happen in conjunction with those special occasions in order for them to be considered “complete” and “good”. To not follow those rituals at such a time just doesn’t feel right. In fact, in some cases, especially where religious beliefs are involved, to not follow a prescribed ritual is considered sacrilege or to be setting yourself or others up for failure in some aspect of life.
For me, things just feel off when I don’t follow through with the rituals I hold dear. There’s something sacred about a ritual, even ones that aren’t tied to a specific faith or religion. Not following a ritual leaves me feeling incomplete and off center. The power of rituals in my life has become a very important part of living a peaceful and successful life. And while some of those rituals have changed a bit over time, their essence remains and they play an integral role in many aspects of my life.
Rituals aren’t just for use with holidays and special occasions though. You can have rituals surrounding everyday things. People have rituals to clear their spaces of negative energy or bad memories. Others enact rituals to bless the introduction of something new into their lives. Still others practice rituals in order to offer gratitude for all the blessings in their lives. Rituals can include activities like singing, dancing, praying, meditating, eating, drinking, fasting, celebrating, etc. They might incorporate flowers, candles, music, incense, props, specific locations, specific people, specific times, or they might be done in isolation. There is no right or wrong…no good or bad. Our rituals speak to us and to our beliefs, to our needs and to what resonates with us. Whether it is a faith-based ritual or a ritual that simply rings true for you on some personal level, rituals can be baked in deep, spiritual meaning for us as individuals or merely be part of a meaningful routine we have been accustomed to doing on a regular basis.
And so while your rituals may be quite different from someone else’s, celebrate in the fact that we all have them and that they play such an important role in our lives. We all have them and they play important, powerful roles in our lives. Do what speaks to you…find your own way….celebrate your rituals and all that they provide to you and your life. May they help you get clear on the identity of your true self and may they bring you peace and prosperity always.