I want rituals. I believe I was opening Gabby Bernstein's new book to a page, or perhaps it was in my recent Astrological Chart reading or maybe at Acupuncture, but somewhere I got in my head the notion to have rituals. I started to envision a sweet morning with coffee and a candle lit while waking up slow maybe to some hippie altar, or a meditation pillow and some gong noises with fresh flowers every day at 2pm or perhaps a lavender oil moment before bed and some breath work. I wanted my very own crafted rituals to be so sacred, so quiet, so alone time influenced. I wanted them so badly to fit that mold.
However, these types of quiet and sweet moments did not feel right for my own ritual style. Did I purchase the meditation pillow? Of course. Did I get the lavender oil and scour Amazon.com for altar items? Obviously.
I started to get clear that my definition of ritual is actually an activity, experience or a moment that I choose to continue/repeat, an interactive experience that connects me to me. And they can be loud, big and with others.
Thus, my rituals really look like this:
1) After crossing any threshold, whether I have been gone 12 days or 12 minutes, I always kiss my fiance on the face, lips, shoulder, ...all of the above. I actually read once that kissing makes you live longer. Noted. And I am writing right now that kissing has the power to shift my energy, connects Chris and me beyond our work day and allows a moment together. Chris Hynes, you are my ritual.
2) For the love of sweet yoga class, my girl Mary Beth can bring my emotional house down with a sweet beat a la 2Pac or frog pose for over 2 minutes. The connection I feel in her class, the force and the flow I recognize within my self, and the collective energy in the room from my Venice crew, it is magic and it is constant. Mary Beth, you and that blissed out yoga flow are my ritual.
3) Dear sweet berry wine and the power to bring people together, I love you. One bottle always calls for friends, slow sips and sweet conversation. In a living room or a restaurant, on a back patio or at a campsite, it truly is connection in a cup. Friends that I cheers with weekly (errr, daily), you are my ritual in a non-addictive yet a feed-my-soul-addictive kind of way.
4) F-A-M-I-L-Y. Period. A phone call that ends with 'I love you', a long hug after a plane ride, crossing finish lines, more cheers-ing of wine, hiking mountains, old photo books, matching tattoos, red couch movie sessions, and so much more. Y'all are my number uno and I cherish you, madly. Dad, Mom, Mel, Bailey, Grandma & Grandpa Paulin, Grandma Carr, Amanda et al., you are my ritual.
5) Pups, sweet pups. I rarely wake up quiet, unless Chris steps in and rocks the Dad duties with the dogs. Every morning, our new 5 months old pup, Moose wakes up beyond ready to go out. And, if you don't get out in time, you will pay for it on the hardwood floor. And if you take Moose without big brother, Bear, your neighbors will have an alarm clock from a whining dog with FOMO. For the built-in wake up call, for the quick to get out the door for the morning neighborhood circle and the wagging tails always, Moose and Bear, you are my ritual.
6) The detox, the cleanse, the hard work when my body begins to sweat at mile 2, during the third downdog, after the first 4 squats or via bicycle, sweating is me. I have realized that I feel most sexy when dripping sweat after a workout that I rocked. I have realized that I do not feel myself if I miss days in a row of not rocking the sweat. And, I have realized the insane tension release, the deeper connection to breath and the strong beat of my own drum that is my heartbeat when moving my body and calling on salt water for the cool down. Sweat, you are my ritual.
These rituals are my own. They are chaotic, sweaty, rarely alone, include alcohol, always full of love and connection and they align me to me, and thus me to you. I grant them permission to do so.
Take a moment to get clear on what the word 'ritual' actually means to you. I feel too often we can get caught in the societal net of meanings that are not actually our own, that don't resonate and allow us to create. Instead, take the time to get clear and keep it real for you.
Connect and calibrate. Know your rituals and choose them as you design your day, your week, your life.