What helps to anchor you in daily life? For many of us, it’s following routines – those familiar, repeated actions that bring structure and regularity to our lives.
Routines can be deeply supportive. By enabling us to navigate our lives with a feeling of continuity, they help to ground and stabilise us.
Rituals are routines that we imbue with deeper meaning. Performed with a sense of ceremony, these special actions mark important moments – births and deaths, weddings and separations, anniversaries, transitions and major life events.
An ancient practice, rituals have been inherent in every culture since the beginning of humankind. They bring many benefits, including helping us to process and integrate experiences, to celebrate and to heal. At their core, rituals are a way to honour the sacredness of life.
Bringing mindfulness to routines and rituals
At an individual and collective level, routines and rituals are interwoven into the fabric of our lives. Connecting mindfully to them is a powerful tool for living with greater presence.
One way to do this is to consciously shift our routines from time to time. While routines are useful, they can also become rigid and stagnant after a while. Experimenting with occasionally shaking up our routines, even in small ways, allows us to become more conscious of them. This allows us to keep evolving and discovering new ways of responding to life and its constant changes. Finding a healthy balance between predictability and spontaneity helps us to avoid living on autopilot and to be more fully present.
Another powerful technique is to relate to our routines with greater focus and intention. In doing so, we imbue them with significance and elevate them into rituals. It could be something as simple as taking time to luxuriate in your daily shower, savouring a cup of tea with pure presence, or creating your own special way to wind down in the evening before bed.
Simple, mindful rituals such as these are a way of treating ourselves and our lives with reverence. In doing so, they help us to connect to the divinity and beauty to be found in the everyday, converting the mundane into the meaningful.
The possibilities for creating rituals are endless. And the benefits are truly profound. However we choose to relate to them, rituals a wonderful way to hone our awareness, and to move through our lives with greater purpose, presence and connection.