Transform Your Life: Make Your Routines into Rituals
Do you ever feel like life is living you versus you living your life?
Do you ever feel like you get into a routine only to zone out and miss the moment?
Are you craving more joy, grounding, ease, and connection in your life?
Then it’s time to set a new standard for yourself and make your routines into rituals!
Let’s be honest. Life can be super hectic. With the constant flow of news, social media, text messages, emails, to do lists, and goal setting it’s easy to get swept into the river of life without consciously choosing where we want to spend our energy or knowing what or at least doing the activities that really fill our cups.
When life gets rolling we can feel out of control. We possibly become robotic and enter into “Check things off the list” mode. This is when routines become handy. Routines create structure, help organize our time and give form to our daily lives without having to over think. We get up brush our teeth, make a cup of coffee, check in with World happenings via the paper, TV, radio or internet. Then. we get the kiddos or ourselves off to our next place of activity (school, work, exercise class,etc. ) The potential issue that arises is we begin to live life simply going through the motions, eventually leaving us feeling disconnected, disempowered and maybe even asking ourselves “what’s the point?”
I noticed this in my own life and recently began playing around with ritualizing some of my daily routines. The results have been profound. I am more present, joyful, and capable of finding awe, meaning, and purpose in both the simple and complex moments of life.
Rituals have always played a part in society. Rituals include: sacraments of organized religions, dedication ceremonies, inaugurations, weddings, funerals, school graduations, sporting events, Halloween parties, holiday shopping and more. These are some of the more poignant non-daily rituals. But with some focus and simple shifts, you can ritualize something as simple as your morning coffee, shower, or a making lunches for kiddos.
What shifts a routine habit into a RITUAL?
I feel a routine becomes a ritual when we weave or thread meaning, intention, and a sense of sacredness into our actions and activities. Rituals demand careful focus and presence of mind. When you are performing a ritual, you are not just doing it to “get it done", you’re taking a moment to celebrate life. Routines can be turned into a rituals, if you shift from unconsciously performing your daily actions and perform them with intention and care.
What does “Threading intention or the sacred” even mean?
Threading the sacred means to intentionally invoke/ evoke a sense of awe, total presence, love + appreciation into a moment or action. Threading the sacred into the ordinary is a great step to feeling healthier, more connected, self-empowered and alive. We so easily take this beautiful world for granted. Cleaning the house, cooking meals, running errands, driving to work - these mundane acts can take on a sacred quality when we’re completely in tune with the moment and choose the state of being that serves you.
BRINGING A SENSE OF RESPECT, REVERENCE, GRATITUDE, OR EVEN AWE IS ALLOWS OUR MUNDANE, ROUTINE HABITS TO BECOME RITUAL.
Adding such rituals to your life will aid in feeling more connected to the magic of life, when doing a ritual, we slow down and intentionally check in with ourselves and our surroundings. Ritual can create a sense of ease and purpose in life.
For example, when we see our bodies as sacred, we are holding ourselves as worthy of love, awe and respect. Instead of rushing through a shower to “get the stink off” as fast as you can, you could take the same length of shower and nourish yourself with a delicious body scrub, use products that pleasure your senses, and dry off with a comfy clean towel
Steps for Ritualizing your Shower: (Without it taking more time)
- As you turn on the water take a moment for Gratitude! Reflect on the privilege of having running water and the time for some self care).
- When you step into the shower become present and actually feel the water on your skin and in your hair. Step up your experience by using products that please all your senses. Find products that smell yummy, have a satisfying texture, and leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, rejuvenated and/or invigorated.
- During your shower, when your mind starts to drift off towards your to-do list, gently bring it back to the feel of water, the scents and warmth that surrounds you. Try using a loofah. With each body part you wash, reflect on what it does for you in your life. Can you step into the moment and find awe and reverence for each body part and body system? Your body works hard to keep you and your life going. It does so much without you having to think about it. That is miraculous.
- When you get out of the shower: Use a soft, fluffy towel and nourish your skin with oil or lotions.
The above ritual/ practice doesn’t have to take more time or money, but has the ability to shift your entire mood and day.
How can I Thread in the Sacred when I am not alone and life gets chaotic? Breathe and Remember your Why
Ok so the above example is something we do when we are alone making it easier to become present, find awe, and appreciation. The more challenging moments to bring a sense of ritual to are inside the daily doings where chaos thrives!
Do you have kiddos or a partner you make breakfast or lunches for? Recently I stayed with a good girlfriend and her family for a week. Each morning she would set up her line of foods and zip locks for making lunches while her kids peppered her with questions and needs at a vocal volume she gently reminded and asked them to lower. The chaos inside this morning routine could easily sweep you away, possibly adding to your anxieties and missing out on the beauty of the action. My friend and I, talked about this daily activity and how she stays awake and aware even when it’s the 100th lunch box.
Steps for Tuning Back into a moment in which Chaos wants to sweep you away
Become present and create focus. Bring your attention back into the room, your body, and the surroundings. Feel your feet on the ground, your hands and what they are touching, notice the space you’re in (the air, the light, the environment) and people inside this space with you.
Pay attention to your breath. When we are stressed or ungrounded our breath can become shallow and fast. Take 3-5 deep slow breaths (you don’t have to stop your activity, just become aware of the current breath pattern you have created and shift it to a deep, slow, rhythmic pattern. Shorts staccato breaths add tension to our systems. Long, deep, steady inhales and exhales calm our body systems and set us up to be more alert and centered
Remember your Why. Once you have re-entered the room and your body take a second to remember why you want to do the action or activity you’re currently doing. (For example: If you’re making lunches, remember why you wanted to create healthy lunches for your kiddos, reflect on how what you’re doing will nourish their body’s and brain for the day ahead.)
Step it up a notch and pass on the love and joy. One great way to truly thread the sacred into the ordinary is to pass on the sense of joy, gratitude, love, appreciation or whatever sentiment the moment created for you. (For example: When packing up the lunch box: add a love note of encouragement to your kiddos that they get to read and feel when they sit down to eat. A simple note invites them to become present and gifts them with knowing someone has witnessed their life and loves doing it.)
Make Breathing an Ally
The easiest and quickest way to get back into a moment is to shift your breath. Make your breath an ally and add a breathing practice to your day. Adding a 5-10 minute breathing practice to your day when you’re alone will make it easier to recruit the technique when you most need it. Deep breathing takes very little effort and costs nothing, and the stress-reduction benefits are priceless. Check out my free Deep Breathing audio download and start practicing today. Go to our homepage at mindbodyspiritsquad.com, enter your email address, and within a few minutes the practice will be in your inbox.
Making your routines into rituals and threading the sacred into your day doesn’t have to be expensive or take more time. It can actually cost nothing and the payoff is huge.
YOU ARE WORTH IT! By threading in the sacred you can transform your life.