I cannot stress enough the importance of ritual to my happiness. When I speak of ritual, I’m speaking not only of your daily spiritual practice but your daily interactions and practices within your family and home life as well. Adding a touch of intention to anything creates a deliberate act. You become a stakeholder in your own existence. Ever and again, when I’m unable to find time for the rituals in my life, it feels like I’m rolling and falling from one task to the next. A lone passenger suffering in an undulating sea of obligations, without any sense of direction… It’s like having emotional vertigo.
When I don’t greet the day with my partner, everything can feel disconnected; the entire day disjointed. When this happens, I become more cognizant of how much our shared moments mean to me. I often cook us breakfast — unable to resist the urge to show my love through food — and even on the days that I don’t, we find time to enjoy coffee or tea together. We’ll quietly and introspectively sip on our warm beverages as we individually surf the web, check emails, or do meditations. Even when we don’t talk during this time, it is our ritual, and it feels unique and important to our relationship. It seems sad to miss it.
It’s for these reasons that I dislike being prodded along or rushed with such fervor. Because when I’m too busy, I feel detached from my own story. Being tossed around by the world, you never truly have time to appreciate genuinely or connect positively to what’s occurring in your life. Furthermore, it feels like you’re at the mercy of both your schedule and the world’s insistence upon voicing its ugly expectations. We cannot live in the wants and needs of others. This is a lesson that’s particularly valuable when learned before parenthood. I could see myself really struggling with becoming a parent if I hadn’t gotten a grasp on how to keep time in my life for myself and the little things that make the rest of it bearable.
Humans love food based ritual, think about it: weddings, funerals, engagements, family breakfast, mothers day, family dinner night, regular dinner, Easter brunch, etc. I can’t even think of a culture that doesn’t associate feasts or family meal times with happiness, abundance, and celebration. A lot of families must eat in front of the TV. I do it too, and it makes me feel substandard like I’m brainwashed or something. Usually, I’m not even looking at my food, just mindlessly shoveling it in my mouth. This is a great example of how we can meander through our moments that could be deliberate if we go unchecked.
I’m actively making an effort to stop this habit. I love food based ritual, and it’s essential to my happiness to have it be deliberate. Some of the practices I try to make time for daily:
- Coffee & Tea Ritual: It feels nice to have a quiet time that my partner and I share together. It feels like we’re about to face the world as a united front.
- Meditation & Visualization: It quiets the mind. Visualization can also remind you of the benefits of all your hard work.
- Walks With Our Dog: I love long walks because it helps me to purge my mind of thought. I often walk when I’m trying to sort something out for myself mentally.
- Dinnertime Connection: With my man, with friends, with anyone! I love an intentional meal.
- Cooking: I make a point to try to remember to be grateful when I cook. Grateful for the privilege I’ve been allowed to not worry about having food, and to be able to create meals not just for fuel but as a form of creativity.