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My Personal Ritual

Ritual. What thoughts, emotions, and images come to mind for you with this word? Other words for ritual include structured activity, ceremony, community and celebration. Rituals need to have meaning for us and engage us at every level. Just going through the motions of ritual has no meaning and generally gets discarded as soon as practical. I’m sure you can come up with examples in both camps.

Communal RitualsPamakulae_Quote

There are two categories of rituals: communal and personal. Ever since the beginning of human kind communal rituals have been the glue that holds society together.

Rituals can be religious in nature or not. Think of all the ritual surrounding football (Go Broncos!) or other team sports like soccer or hockey. Celebrating and being together with people of like mind, passion and purpose gives meaning to our lives. We feel connected and human.

What communal rituals do you participate in? Where do you go to feel connected and part of a larger whole? We really need to feel a sense of belonging. In ancient times, it was critical to our very physical survival. Nowadays, it’s more of a psychic need. Either way, it is a key element to healthy aging and long life.

Personal Ritual

While communal rituals connect us with society and like-minded people, personal rituals connect us with ourSelf. Personal rituals inspire us and move us toward our deepest dreams, aspirations and values. They can include things like being in nature, prayer, yoga, meditation, journaling or anything that internalizes your focus and helps you find meaning.

I am a very early riser and really love being up before dawn. It’s my quiet time, my time for reflection. It’s that wonderful time before the daily to-do list kicks in and I treasure it.

My personal ritual has evolved over the years and I enjoy letting it be fluid. Several months ago, I started keeping a Gratitude Journal and each morning write down one thing for which I am grateful. (It’s fun to go back and re-read my entries, especially on those days when I’m feeling less than grateful.)

Then, I journal for a few minutes about something that is personally meaningful and causes me to reflect. My business coach recently introduced me to Selves In A Box®. It’s based on the concept that we are all made up of many “selves”, i.e. we have many dimensions. Some of our “selves” are primary and some are disowned. Each morning I randomly draw a “self” card from the box and read the passage that explains that “self”. Then, I journal my thoughts and feelings. One time I drew the same card 3 mornings in a row. Hmmm!

Next is my yoga practice with pranayama and meditation. My personal ritual space faces east and many mornings I see spectacular sunrises. Inspirational!

Personal rituals are, well, — personal. Where is your quiet space? What fills you with inspiration and gratitude?

Enjoy and Breathe Easy





Joanne Thompson

Joanne Thompson

Founder/Owner at Yoga for Self

Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
Joanne Thompson

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