“Rituals are not chores on autopilot;
they are miniature celebrations.
We don’t engage less, we engage more.”~ Eric Barker – ‘Barking Up The Wrong Tree’ blog.
After reading Barker’s post, and giving thought to those ‘things I do’ most every single day upon arising, and often throughout the day at certain times, I’ve come to recognize that, as rituals, there is a mental shift into creating sacredness to and with them. A mindfulness. A more present gratitude. And yes, even a playfulness. Sacredness does not have to mean solemnity! There is sacred dance and sacred play ~ each celebrating joy in the moment and activity.
Spend a few moments turning brushing one’s teeth into a ritual ~ mouth full of suds ~ probably some slobber-drooling ~ and what is not playful and amusing about that! Gratitude for teeth, chanting a made-up happy song that rhymes brush or molar or happy gums. (Hey, I can have happy feet ~ guess I can have happy gums!)
I DO have my early morning rituals upon arising (….discounting having a morning pee ~ which I guess I could make sacred….).
- Sitting on the porch Quiet time, thanking the sun rising (please, pretty please….shine today!).
- Making conscious contact with Spirit.
- Brewing the morning cup of coffee j-u-s-t how I like it.
- Reading a brief morning journey-message, and pondering it as long (or as short) as I want to.
- Planning and reviewing my day ahead (usually one day at a time), with some side notes for any near-future appointments, sessions, errands (which I then let go of and move back into today).
- Reaching out via morning texts to loved ones, simply to say Thinking of you.
As I have reframed these routines into the realm of ritual, I find myself connected, truly connected to myself, and my world. Lin’s world. (Not far different from Wayne’s World some would say. Ha!)
Consciously stepping into that day, right here and right now, with more focused movement. Focused attention. Recognition of the pieces-and-parts at play in that movement or event.
Inevitably, little bubbles of gratitude flow into Mind. Putting gas in the car ~ and taking a moment to SEE the car: its color, its performance, the fabomundo fact I am driving and not walking. Filling the birdfeeder and hearing the birds awaiting in nearby bushes. Insistent little suckers!
Making a meal and noticing the textures, the aromas of herbs, the plain fun of creating ~ even if it’s nothing more than a grilled cheese. (Bread, melting butter, the ‘ticking’ sound of the pan and burner as they heat up, the gooey melt of cheese, the ‘nummmm’ sound that comes out as you, spatula or fork in hand, flip the sandwich to brown on the other side. Nirvana!)
Oh! And laundry. I love doing the laundry. Mussy to washed, to clean smelling, to dryer, to renewed. Folded or hung, ready to move forward again. What a wonderful metaphor for life’s down’s becoming up’s.
Going to the bank. Getting groceries. Clocking in at work. Prepping for class (either to be taught or taken). Keeping an appointment. Performing a healing or strengthening activity. Making a delivery. The list is endless ~ and intimately your own.
Notice how the examples listed are usually considered ‘the mundane’? Suddenly they can (and do) take on the higher essence sacred. Simply, because I choose to see and be with them in that way.
Imagine the power that flows for, through, and around me during “more important” doings: client sessions become truly sacred, meeting weekly with ‘my’ mentor/co-coaching rises to a level of in-to-me-see beyond what is said. In-person or phone conversations with like-minded (or even kinda-minded) loved ones have the capacity to lift me up. This is powerful stuff. Power-full.
All because I ‘rethunk’ the definition of chores. And created rituals.
Hmmmmm. Hope you give it a ‘rethunk’ too. See what happens to your day. And your life.