Habit or Ritual?

 

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How many habits do you have versus rituals that create sacredness in the simplest of routines?

As defined by dictionary.com:

Habit:

  • an acquired pattern regularly followed until it has become involuntary
  • customary practice or use
  • a particular practice, custom, or usage

Ritual:

  • an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite
  • a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service
  • of or relating to rites or rituals

As per the definitions above, when it comes to habits, we think of brushing out teeth, drinking coffee first thing in the morning, going to bed precisely at 9pm, and even the more negative like smoking. But when it comes to rituals, we think solely of religious traditions, right? In a sense rituals are habits created specifically to invoke a spiritual awareness, an awe, a sense of peace that the divine is present.

Here’s a question for you: do you believe ALL of life is sacred? Or, how about I rephrase that: do you believe you are one with the divine? 

If you’re even remotely beginning to believe in the power that resides within you, I hope you answered a resounding YES. And, if your answer was yes, aren’t your habits just as sacred as any religious ritual?

When you wake in the morning, what is your usual routine? Do you perform each activity with a sense of I do this so that I may have a beautiful day filled with love and light? What of your evening routines? Do you wash your face with the idea of cleansing away any of the negatives of the day, as if they are washing down the drain?

Throughout your day, think about the following and how you are either mindful or negligent of your state of NOW:

  • When someone comes to you with a question/problem/need, how much of your undivided attention do you give them? Do you look them in the eye and validate their presence? Are you one of those people who gives everyone your undivided attention or someone who leaves others feeling as if they mean nothing to you?
  • Do you always do your morning routines in the same order and with the same hand to perform the task? Sometimes changing it up causes awareness within the act.
  • When you come home from work, do you automatically plop down in front of the TV or do you have other “automatics?”
  • How much do you do during the day that makes you feel like you’re on autopilot?

Using mindful meditation within our daily tasks, habits, and routines causes more awareness of our place within this world and within the NOW. It causes habits to become rituals and embodied with spirit and sacred with intention. To change habit into ritual creates a sacred life, one of beauty, presence, and awareness.

With your morning routine, add a simple mantra to each act you perform. It could be “with this, my day will be filled with love and beauty.” Create your own, one that resonates with you. As a bonus, add an extra ritual to your morning and evening rituals, something that rather cements the expectancy of the day to come or the peaceful dream state you desire. This could be:

  • a short meditation (if you’ve never meditated try Youtube and search for “guided meditations“)
  • a prayer of gratitude
  • reciting a much loved phrase
  • journaling your gratitudes for how the day will go and how it has been
  • a simple gesture that represents to you one of receiving or gratitude
  • yoga or a simple stretching routine

Years ago, I read this story about a man who every day when he came home, even before he entered the house, he would go to the one tree that stood in the front yard. He’d place his hands on the trunk and unload his problems of the day. By the time he entered his home and kissed his wife hello, his load had been lightened and he could be present and in a loving frame of mind for his wife and kids.

Learning to create a life of sacredness will lead to a life filled with abundance.

Let me know in the comments below if you do something at the beginning of your day, or at the end, that helps your focus of intention for that day to come or for the sleep state you desire. And, as always, don’t forget to be awesome!

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