My life is filled with small rituals. Maybe it’s because I’m a little bit OCD, or maybe it’s just the fact that my spiritual practice has crept into all facets of my life, but whatever the cause, I’ve come to value both the mundane and magical rituals of my days. From the way I wave my husband off when he leaves for work to the way I try to savor my first cup of coffee or tea, rituals feel comfortable and right to me.
Even my magical rituals have become so familiar, so much a part of my day, that they are second nature to me now. If I wanted to be pessimistic, I could view this as a spiritual failing on my part, and bemoan the loss of the “special” in my spiritual practice, but that’s not how I see it. Instead, I choose to view this “normalcy” in magical ritual as a sign of two things: one, that I’ve made progress in my efforts to integrate my spiritual practice into my day to day life; and, two, that it might be time for me to step outside of my ritual comfort zone and shake things up.
This realization has prompted me to look at all my little rituals, the mundane as well as the magical, and it’s forced me to acknowledge that some of those things are tending more towards habits, and bad ones, at that. As much as I’m not a morning person, do I really need to spend an hour playing silly little games online before I buckle down and get to work? There might be more valuable ways to wake up, right?
I’m not going to toss out all of my beloved, comfortable rituals; no, I’ll still keep a gratitude journal and mediate at my altar each night, and I’m still going to blow a kiss to the moon whenever I see her in the sky, but I’m also going to challenge myself to do more than just remain open to new experiences, and to take a good hard look at my rituals to discover whether they are still serving me (or Goddess) at all. I want to spend this year cultivating mindfulness, and part of being mindful means acknowledging when I need to make small changes.
One of the rituals I used to keep, but have let slip, is the one of rising early during the week, whether I have to teach that day or not; I’ve been forced to acknowledge that the days I sleep in are usually my least productive (and my crankiest). Whether I am a morning person or not, the simple morning ritual of sharing a meal with my husband before we both get down to work is clearly one I need in my life. I’ll be reinstating that ritual, starting now.
In addition to trimming back the rituals that have become negative habits, my challenge in the coming months will be to actively seek out new ways to make my life magical. I’m going to a drum circle this weekend, a first for me, and a good place to start. I don’t know what else I may try this year in my quest for honoring Goddess and myself to the best of my ability, but I will try to keep myself open to the unexpected.
What rituals do you need to let go of? What rituals give you peace and pleasure?