We often associate rituals with special occasions, religious holidays or rites of passage. But in reality, much of everyday life is made up of rituals—activities that keep us happy, grounded, calm and organized. Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, reading, or listening to music, for example.
“Starting the day without a pot of tea would be a day forever out of kilter.”Bill Drummond, Scottish musician and writer
For me, things are “off” when I skip my morning workout or my weekly date night with my husband.
Mindful living rituals can be ordinary tasks like brushing your teeth when you wake up or doing the dishes before you go to sleep. But they can also be focused routines that we consciously create.
For a ritual to be effective, you need to be mindful of the act and not multi-tasking.
If you’re listening to music, put aside your “to-do” lists and just listen to the music, picking out the various instruments, being mindful of the sound.
When you’re drinking that first glass of water in the morning, make sure you taste the water, feel it pass through your lips as it sends a refreshing wave through your body from head to toe.
Practice mindful living daily
Here are three simple tips to help you form your own mindful living ritual:
- Choose something you enjoy, something that makes you feel relaxed, and establish your routine.
- What time will you be doing it?
- For how long?
- What are the exact steps involved?
- Focus on the details and on the experience.
- Repeat deliberately on a consistent basis, preferably once a day, following the same steps and always at the same time. Eventually it will get to the point that the ritual becomes second nature and ease you into a meditative state.
- Be ready to switch things up. If a ritual starts feeling more like a burden, it might be time to try something different.
Still unsure where to start? One of my favorite rituals is my afternoon tea—the simple acts of gathering the leaves, waiting for it to brew and slowly sipping it from my favorite cup. I feel comforted and connected knowing that millions of people performed this very same ritual before me, millions more are doing the same thing now, and millions more will continue to do so two and three centuries from now.
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