Rituals take many forms; individual to group setting, a specific number of words or actions to a more meandering approach, movement or no-movement, silence or sound, chanting or singing, indoors or outdoors…the list goes on an on. With so many variables, why do rituals work? Is it a connection to our past, our ancestors, who used to invoke rituals more regularly than we do today? It is a connection to our own thoughts, a way to use the energy of our thoughts to create something in the physical world? While there is no one theory that definitely explains how rituals work, research has shown that rituals DO work.
I think about this as I visit the river as I do every morning on my way to work. What began as a simple stop the first time because I was early for work, has evolved into my morning ritual. I feel much more centered as I go to work each morning after I stop at the river for a visit. I did not think about this visit as a ritual as I began going more and more often and yet, that is what has occurred. My mental, spiritual and physical being actually feel connected as one being who is letting out a big sigh of relief. It is as if I have been searching for this very ritual and now having found it, I am rewarded with love; self love, love for all beings and love for all of our connection. Yes, a big sigh of relief.
I often find myself singing while at my morning river ritual. It came out so naturally as I walked along with the river, as if the river was waiting for me to sing even one note and she’d be there to sing a full song with me. Now, singing is a part of my ritual as well.
I invite you to look for your rituals in your life. What do you do for your own ritual, that you may or may not be aware is a ritual?