I’ve learned that you can learn to be happier just like you can learn to play ukulele or teach yourself Spanish.
One daily aspect of consciously learning happiness is to create healing + grounding rituals.
Rituals are any symbolic behaviors we perform before, during, and after meaningful event.
And they’re really everywhere in human culture:
Healing Rituals – Tea As Ritual
- Rituals are used by athletes, before and during games and contests, and studies show it helps to maintain or increase focus and performance
- Rituals are used before meaningful events like weddings or ceremonies, and are used to help focus the energy and attention of large groups of people
- Rituals are used to mark the passing of a loved one with funerals, and help people manage their grief and release the pain of loss
Our personal rituals matter much more than we realize. Recent studies have proved that our actions and thoughts are 40% habit – that means almost ½ of what we do and think is repetitive and happens without us thinking about it.
Sometimes life feels like a runaway train—it can seem like we don’t get to choose what’s going on in our daily lives.
When that happens, we can remind ourselves that we have the power to choose the way we live our lives, and the “personal brand” that we put on things.
I’ve been drinking tea since I was a kid with my mom, but now I set aside a little time and attention to make tea a ritual for rest, remembering good times, introspection, and creation.
One way to do this is through creating rituals in our lives that support and nourish us. Rituals and nurturing routines provide us with structure that grounds us and connects us to others.
They can connect us to the energy of the earth and seasons, our past, family, and community as well as help us to create the kind of environment where we’ll function best.
They also create a sense of predictability that can help us feel safe, and reduce the stress of uncertainty.
Rituals are rhythmic; they put us in sync with nature in a nurturing way.
They help us cope with the shifts and transitions we face daily, weekly, seasonally, and throughout our lives.
By creating structure in the form of a daily or weekly ritual, our minds can relax, and this frees up a lot of energy so that we can create the life we desire.
And they work.
Here’s what scientists are finding about our use of ritual:
performing rituals with the intention of producing a specific result appears to be enough for that result to come true.
- One of my intentions was to bring more awareness to our family meals even at the end of hectic days. We set the table with cloth napkins and light a candle with every meal we eat at home. I’m teaching my 8-year old son how to light a candle, and how to set the table, so we has a ritual with calm, loving eating as well.
- Another intention was to feel in control of my finances, so my partner and I created monthly “money dates.” You could call them cash rituals.
- I also wanted to wake up my body after a long, cold winter, and created a morning yoga ritual – every morning, for 10 minutes, I stretch and then make my tea.
- Music is a big deal in my family of musicians, and I want to pass that love of music to my son. Now when I give him a bath, I bring in my ukulele and we sing together as I learn a new song. (AND we put our instruments up on the wall in the living room, so we see them and take them down more frequently – a great way to trigger yourself into doing your rituals!
Ritualize your creativity by putting your art in full view.
If you’re here you’re interested in healing and growing. That’s what my “clan of the crave bears” is all about. Healing the body, healing relationships, and growing a crave-worthy life.
So this week, focus on creating a ritual to heal an area of your life, or intentionally place your positive energy in a direction or on a project you want to create:
HOW TO CREATE RITUALS FOR A CRAVE-WORTHY LIFE:
Get specific about your intention + the actions the ritual will embody:
- Why – you intention for the ritual (loving – no voodoo, framed in the positive)
- When – at what time are you going to do the activity? Morning? After dinner? Spring or Winter? Sundays?
- Where – is it portable or does it depend on a place?
Examples of Healing Rituals
- Walking Ritual: at your favorite time of day, dawn, dusk, or after lunch – not for “exercise” but for feeling your body in nature
- Learning Ritual: memorize a poem, playing a song, or some other new skill once a week or every evening
- Friend Ritual: thursday night dinner with a friend, Sunday tea with a friend at a bookstore cafe
- Gratitude Writing Ritual: For 1 week, write down 3 things that you’re grateful for at the end of dinner.
One of my Facebook friends created an “I Hate Mondays” playlist of uplifting songs and motivating music to help perk her up when she was having Monday Blues -
IDEAS FOR NEW FOOD RITUALS:
- setting the table with napkins, forks, lit candles, flowers
- Simply lighting a candle before you eat anything, and sitting down to acknowledge your desire to digest and enjoy
- 5 deep breaths before you begin eating
- 8-12 ounces warm lemon water upon waking to wake up your liver and hydrate your brain
- saying a gratitude out loud at the end of the meal: that was delicious! I feel perfectly full and satisfied!
As you build rituals into your life, you build a lifestyle that supports your healthiest self.
I want to hear your favorite rituals!
In the comments below, share your favorite ritual, or tell us what you’re going to try first!