“The human soul can always use a new tradition. Sometimes we require them” Pat Conroy The Lords of Discipline
I’ve been thinking a lot about rituals lately and the power of rituals to bring healing and understanding to the deep places of our souls. I read a blog post recently that talked about the need to create rituals in our lives and it got me thinking about my own life. I continue this journey of exploring new avenues of my spirituality. My faith remains a central part of who I am and that won’t ever change. But for some time I have sensed the Father inviting me to exchange with Him, in ways different than my faith communities, past or present, have taught me. I have am dipping my toes into these new areas with baby steps and along the way I’m discovering new richness to my relationship with Him.
As part of this exploration I’m examining what rituals might be helpful tools on this journey. This week I started three new rituals. Not sure they will all stick but I’m experimenting and I’m sure in time I’ll figure out what will work best for me.
I have already shared about starting the practice of Centering Prayer in another post (I know I still need to do a post devoted just to Centering Prayer and I promise to get something up really soon). This week I have started practicing CP when I get home from work as a meaningful way of transitioning from my work world to my home life. I tend to spend a lot of time dealing with work issues while I’m at home and I want to recreate some boundaries so my home can be a sacred place that is about me and not about my job work. I’m not sure if that makes sense but hopefully it does. This might be one ritual that NEEDS to stick because its so hard for me to draw the line between work and home and I know this is something that is critical to my sanity.
Silence and Tea
I have also started ending my days in silence. I boil some water, drink a cup of chamomile tea and reflect on the events of my day. No TV, no internet, not even any reading. I just sit in my recliner and allow the quiet and stillness of the evening to settle on me as I prepare for bed. It has proven helpful in allowing me to sleep through the night. Here lately insomnia and I have become occasional friends so this one might have to stick around, especially since I love me a good cup of tea.
The most interesting thing I’ve started this week though has been Morning Pages. A friend, whose spiritual journey I truly respect, posted about it and I was intrigued so I did a little bit of research on it. Turns out Julia Cameron is the one who first introduced the idea of Morning Pages. You can click here to hear her talk about it on her blog. I’m an avid journaler so the idea of writing three pages really wasn’t that daunting for me. What feels daunting is the idea of doing it every day. I’ve only been at it for two days so it’s definitely too early to really know how it feels as a helpful tool for me. I will say this though, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at what just writing those three pages has done for me so I am definitely curious to see what else might come as I continue this ritual.
So that’s it. There are a few others I’m considering adding but for now I’m starting with these three. I’m going to give it a good solid month and then do a body and soul check-in to see how I am responding to these rituals.
So how about you, any rituals that are a part of your daily, weekly or monthly routines? I would love to hear about them in the comments section.