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Joshua Smith

Debunking Rituals

Photo Credit – Meribeth Privett of www.soulalchemyenergy.com

What comes to mind when you hear the word “ritual?”

Don’t feel bad if it’s not sacred goodness…the word can be incredibly loaded for many. For me, having grown up in a Christian church, the word ritual was for other people. And when it was used, it was with heavy negative connotation; you know, voodoo, witchcraft things that were not welcomed in the community I was a part of.

I remember participating in my first Hindu ritual like it was yesterday. The gentleness of it. The simplicity. The incense, the flowers, the mudras, the prayer. It was the first time I understood and experienced the power of devotional doing. The whole ritual brought a deep sense of quiet to my mind and moved me back into my heart in a way I’d never experienced. 

At this point in my life, I had been seeking other spiritual traditions in an effort to better understand that something “more” I could always sense and feel guiding me. I was hungry for new ways to connect with myself and the Divine, and that first couple of rituals guided me into the process of starting to cultivate my own daily ritual; unattached to any religion or dogma other than that of my own heart.

Ritual has since become an incredibly important part of my daily practice, and a cornerstone in my life.

I define a ritual as a process that enhances my connection to myself and the Divine. It can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, but the actions taken always involve the body, the mind, the soul and often times, the home.   

Rituals engage all of the senses and employ all aspects of the being into the cultivation and the creation of something sacred. They provide a sure pathway into connection. That could be connection with the highest expression of self – that indwelling God presence within. Or maybe it’s connection with a deceased loved one, or maybe it’s an ascended master. Or something entirely different. Point is the rituals we create are meant to work for us and our needs.

And they don’t have to be crazy complex! They can be anything that feels like a ritual to YOU. 

Lighting a candle can be a ritual.

Prayer can be a ritual.

Burning incense and playing soft music while you reflect on the day can be a ritual.

Singing or chanting can be a ritual.

Arranging objects you hold dear (crystals, trinkets, letters, etc) into different configurations can be a ritual.

Journaling can be a ritual.

Taking a bath can be a ritual.

Arranging fresh flowers for your home can be a ritual.

Preparing a tea with mindful and intentional care can be a ritual.

Taking a walk without your phone can be a ritual.

Preparing meals can be a ritual.

Clearing your space with a smudge stick (sage, palo santo, etc) can be a ritual.

What makes a ritual sacred is that it brings us into full presence to the moment. The breath. The heart. The life that is pulsing through us. It allows us to pause and drink in the sweetness of the moment and of our lives.

Choose something from the list above, or something totally your own, and commit to making time to do that ritual at least 3 times this week.

As you do, allow your senses to be fully engaged. Your whole self placed in your intentional actions. Your full presence of body, mind and spirit placed upon the altar of your awareness to align with the Divinity living within you and all things – that life force energy that beats in your heart and gives you breath – the one that fills the peonies in the spring and guides them to bloom into all of their gloriousness.

A ritual is anything that makes you feel more you, so go, dear, and do something sacred for just YOU.

 

For more inspiration and resources on rituals – check out a few of our fave resources:

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