The Unknown Power of a Daily Ritual
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Check your emails, hop in the shower, eat or drink something specific?
What about at night, right before hitting the sack?
Do you read something inspiring, meditate, exercise, journal?
I’m sure you’ve heard this: What you focus on expands.
But I bet you didn’t know that what you focus on upon waking sets the tone for your day and what you focus on before drifting off seeps into your subconscious mind while you sleep!
That’s why it’s important to be careful and deliberate about what you focus on at the beginning and end of your day.
Enter: the ritual.
A ritual is described as a set of fixed actions or words performed regularly.
Rituals can be used as a type of “focus management” system that help us optimize our energy, thrive creatively and improve our lives …as long as our rituals are designed to serve us.
Many of us have automatic rituals in place that can be detrimental. For example, checking emails first thing can drain our energy or overload us with information often leading to exhaustion, anxiety and confusion later in the day.
Before I was taught the power of a deliberate personal ritual by one of my mentors I thought rituals were an indulgence, a waste of time, hokey even – especially with so many things on my to-do list!
But once I experimented with my own morning and evening rituals, I experienced a HUGE influx of ease, effectiveness and energy in my life! My days flowed when I was committed; when I skipped, I was distracted and stressed!
Ritual is an integral part of the co-creative work I now do with clients. It is through ritual that I have seen people build dream businesses, find soul-mates, pay off debt, kick nasty habits and many other things.
So how do we create and sustain rituals for ourselves?
Here are 4 tips you can use to create a ritual that helps YOU thrive:
1. Set aside a time and duration.
Choose times when you have peace and solitude. If that’s not possible, educate your family members about your ritual and why it’s important, so they give you a bit of personal time. Mornings and evenings are great times to set up a ritual. We can beat other people to waking and carve out time after everyone else goes down. You don’t need to a lot of time for your ritual – even 5 minutes morning and/or night can work miracles. You can always add on time later. If you aim for a half hour right away, it often feels “too long” to fit in, where 5 minutes is doable.
2. Select a consistent space.
The spaces you choose doesn’t have to be fancy or decorated, just consistent. Preparation and consistency will allow you to “sink into” your ritual quickly without wasting time or energy. I use the floor next to my bed right under the window in the morning and a log at my favourite viewpoint on my walk. At night I just sit up against my headboard so I can easily transition from my ritual to sleep.
3. Choose actions with the highest benefit to you.
Experiment with different actions and sequences. The best way to develop a ritual that serves you is to try out different combinations and see how they feel. The first step is writing out a list of all possible actions that benefit you or help you thrive/heal/recover/prepare etc. You can make one list of actions for morning and one for night. It’s best to select actions that don’t involve others and allow you to turn inside. Lengthen your ritual over time and let it evolve as you do. Start out with 1-3 actions that you can easily and joyfully get through in 5 minutes.
Here are some ideas: meditating, reading or listening to high quality inspiration content, yoga, walking, breathing exercises, sipping some tea, affirmations, chanting mantras, reviewing your intentions or goals, journaling, setting your emotional vibration or visualizing your day ahead.
4. Commitment, consistency and accountability.
The benefits of a ritual are most profound when we are committed, consistent and accountable. Prioritizing your ritual will help you unleash the greatest joy, abundance and peace within you.
My rituals are scheduled in my calendar like real appointments. If it’s scheduled, it’s more likely to happen! Missing a day occasionally WILL happen so remember, commitment is about recommitment. If you stop for a few days… just begin again. Be gentle on yourself and have fun with your ritual – this will make it more inviting and effective!
Finally, enlist someone to be accountable to while you are cultivating your “ritual habit.” Share with a friend or partner WHY you are doing it and they will be inspired to support you. Accountability can be as simple as sending a text before or after the ritual is done, no response required.
If you are ready to unleash the immense power of a simple 5 minute daily ritual, you can begin right away by following the above 4 steps!
Now go create,
PS. If you are curious about creating an outcome in your life through the INSPIRED Creative Process that this ritual work is a part of then be sure to apply for a free 30 minute Discovery Session with me here!