Regain your sense of purpose
How to do we create balance in our daily lives? The answer is daily spiritual rituals. They remove us from our usual routines and create meaning in our day.
We’ve all known people who, despite the challenges and stresses they face in their daily lives, manage to project calmness and serenity that belie the surrounding maelstrom. Have you ever wondered how they achieve such tranquility?
Indeed, our daily world is full of stimulation, multitasking, and long working hours and at the end of the day, many of us arrive home to more demands and unanswered phone calls. It’s no wonder we are exhausted–and anything but tranquil.
The question is: how do we create balance in our daily living when most of us feel as though we are dogs chasing after our tails? The answer is daily spiritual rituals.
Rituals performed on a daily basis remove us from our usual routines and create meaningful markers in our day. They open us to the awareness of the blessings in our lives and bring us to a place of gratitude and personal healing.
Rudiger Dahlke, MD, PhD, in his book Everyday Initiations, How to Survive Crises using Rituals (Bluestar Communications, 1999), says that “rituals are like a time-out-of-time that makes it possible for us to step out of the linear flow of time, establish contact with our innermost needs, and recognize and seize the chances inherent in new phases of life.”
Rituals pull us out of the faint fog that blinds our eyes. They wake us up to our connection with what we really want and need.
Taking Time Out
In her book, Sacred Rituals at Home (Sterling, 2000), Jane Alexander discusses time-saving rituals that can be realistically accomplished. For example, the author suggests, “take stretch breaks every hour–make them a habit. Just walk around for a few minutes and you will return refreshed and with new concentration.”
Alexander also discusses techniques for mindfulness. She says that “mindfulness is a simple technique that can be used to improve your awareness in seconds. At its very basic level it involves stopping whatever you are doing and becoming aware of the moment. The easiest way is to focus on your breathing, and gently let go of any stray thoughts or worries that emerge.”
Renewing With Water
Connecting to water is a symbolic, healing ritual. In her book, Sacred Therapy (Shambhala, 2004), Estelle Frankel suggests that “water rituals, in particular, offer a powerful symbol of renewal and rebirth.”
For example, taking a shower in the morning just after you wake up is a wonderful cleansing ritual. Focusing on the water streaming down your body and making you pure again opens the gates to a new beginning.
Another way to soothe the soul is to fill up a bathtub with warm water adding fragrant oil such as lavender and then dipping your entire body under the water. This calming ritual is wonderful before going to sleep; it washes away your worries and concerns of the day.
Making it Yours
Rituals can be personalized for individuals with particular needs. For example, people suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, and panic attacks can benefit from a personalized program set up specifically for them. This can be done by a professional such as a psychotherapist or psychospiritual practitioner.
As Alexander explains, “When we reconnect with the sacred in our everyday lives, we can start to sense the deep rhythms of life once more.”
The simplicity of daily rituals adds meaning to the complexity of our lives. Here are some ideas that can shift your life from sensory overload to purposeful, choice-driven living: