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What's the Best Ritual for You?

Have you ever made a “morning ritual” list with all the ideal things you’d love to do to start your day? I have. Have you gone through with it? I haven’t.

Post inspired by our "Ritual" wisdom card draw earlier this week.

All the things on my list sounded good. I thought I “should” do all of them every day. But it was too much. It was too constricting. I’ve learned to let go of the list and let that be ok. I’ve learned to trust my intuition to lead me to what my soul most wants in the moment. I do two rituals almost every day: morning pages and going outside barefoot in the wee hours of the morning. (Check out this post for more about my journey with rituals and morning pages.) Notice the “almost.” While I did follow through on morning pages every day in December, one of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years is that 100% is NOT a sustainable or realistic long term goal. Life happens. Without grace and space to respond accordingly, even nourishing rituals can quickly become dreaded have-tos. That doesn’t mean drop them at the first sign of resistance.

Nourishing your soul so you can become more YOU takes curiosity to explore and courage to move through resistance. It also takes not beating yourself up if you miss a day. Take a breath, acknowledge your humanity, and start again. Maybe your ritual is savoring a cup of tea or coffee. Maybe it’s curling up with a beloved book for 30 minutes. Maybe it’s playing a favorite song on your phone and dancing around to it for a couple of minutes. Maybe it’s unplugging from tech and cuddling with an animal. Maybe it’s pausing to take one full breath in stillness. Maybe it’s doing exactly the same things you would normally do in a day, but with more focused attention. Start small. Take baby steps. Try something for the space of a breath. For the space of a couple minutes. See how it goes. Do it again. A series of small steps adds up to a giant leap. If you feel obligated to do the “shoulds” on your ritual list because conventional wisdom says you’ll be a better person if you do, relax and take heart. Conventional wisdom has nothing on YOUR wisdom. No one else gets to dictate your rituals to you. Forget what the books say, what the blogs say, and what I say. YOU are your own expert. The best ritual for you is the one you will actually DO.

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