Over the years I have been guided towards making habits. Like making a habit out of exercise, or healthy eating, or drinking water. But when you look making a habit out of something like meditation, it doesn't quite feel right.
And let's be brutally honest, attempting to make a habit out of exercise has never worked for me in the past beyond the 20 something days it supposedly takes to make a habit. It never became something I automatically did ... but is that what I really wanted???
More recently I came across the idea of making a ritual out of your self care, and I started to wonder if maybe that wasn't a better way to go about life as a whole.
Even the word ritual sounded more sacred to me and purposeful than habit.
So I decided it was time to delve a little deeper and look at what the differences are between the 2 words and explore how they both feel when put into practice.
What is a habit?
According to the Cambridge dictionary, a habit is something that you do often, and regularly, sometimes without knowing that you are doing it.
To do something because you have always done it.
Habits are automatic
In fact the whole goal when you are purposely establishing a habit is to make a behaviour automatic.
For years it was drilled into my head that it takes 21 days to make a habit ... if I could just do something for 21 days I would be good, things like exercise or eating vegetables or drinking water would be a no brainer.
If I could just make it a habit then I wouldn't struggle with it ... it would just happen and be part of my life ... whatever "it" was at the time.
Habits typically cause us to act unconsciously, or in a mindless way, lacking awareness and can often become robotic.
They are procedure driven.
Habits that you have or have created often become mundane tasks ... are uninspiring ... or even things that we dread.
So why on earth would you ever want to create a habit!!!!
What if, instead, we created Rituals?
Rituals are sacred ...
They are heart centred ...
They are Intentional ...
And can take mundane tasks and create ceremonial like acts around them.
Read those 4 lines again slowly ... Rituals are sacred ... They are heart centred ... They are Intentional ... and can take mundane tasks and create ceremonial like acts around them.
Now just like a habit, a ritual is a repeated sequence of behaviours or acts ... but unlike a habit, the goal is to make the behaviour intentional, mindful, and inspiring.
Rituals are not only a purpose driven approach, but a celebration of that purpose.
We get to define the purpose!
We have the ability to make the ordinary feel extraordinary!
SO WHY ON EARTH WOULD WE WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING
AUTOMATIC, UNCONSCIOUS, and MINDLESS
when instead we could create an
INTENTIONAL, MINDFUL, and INSPIRING CELEBRATION!
Creating a ritual
Rituals can be as simple or as complex as you like, whatever fills your heart and fuels your soul.
These 4 components are a beautiful place to start creating your rituals ...
I suggest you sit down, grab a cup of tea, some paper and a pen ... then make a list of what you would like to turn into rituals and the details of what and how you will practice each.
You can create a ritual for any part of your day ... morning, meal time, bedtime, self-care, meditation, exercise, journaling, drinking water, etc ... whatever you like can be turned into a ritual.
Don't stress ... start small and simple ... tweak as needed ... and as you gain confidence and embrace the beauty of each practice, take time to create more, until you have crafted a magical, heart filled, celebration of life.
Exercise Ritual Example
Dinnertime Ritual Example
So, the question is ... do you want to live a life that is automatic, unconscious, and mindless .. or do you want to create a life that is intentional, mindful and an inspiring celebration?
The choice is yours.
Brien-anne RMT, CA
I am passionate not only about Massage Therapy & Aromatherapy, but also living a holistic lifestyle and empowering others to do the same!