Find the sacred in your everyday.
Our future is often not shaped by our big choices but by the little one's we make every day. As Will Durant said, "You are what you repeatedly do". A ritual, in this sense, isn't an elaborate religious ceremony, but rather meaningful established patterns and behaviours that we have in the everyday.
Rituals give us a sense of control within the chaos of life, helping us deal with anxiety, adapt to stress, feel confident and provide structure.
We turn to rituals not because they can physically affect an outcome but to help us mentally. For example, at NASA, the commander of a mission must play cards with the tech crew until they lose and get the 'bad luck' out of their system. Or Serena Williams, if it's her first serve, she'll bounce the ball exactly five times, and yet, before her second serves, Williams bounces the ball just twice.
Rituals work because of their imbued meaning and your belief that they will. Starting a ritual involves three stages intention, attention, and repetition.
- Intention: Mark out the practice as something with a particular meaning.
- Attention: Focus your mind on the ritual and be mindfully present while you're doing it.
- Repetition: Repeat it over time.
You can find sacred rituals in your every day. They don't need to be elaborate, time-consuming or complex. The most impactful rituals start personal meaning to you.
Try thinking about the rituals you do every day. Bring greater attention to them and their role in your life.
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