Ritual During Hard Times

"We learned to bring meaning into uncertainty and chaos by maintaining grounding practices and developing new rituals. Rituals have been instrumental in building community, promoting cooperation, and marking transition points. Rituals reduce anxiety...and even work on people who don’t believe in them, research shows. Additionally, rituals benefit our physical well-being and immune-system.”-Ari HonarvarChalice

Routine has been a big buzzword lately -- now that our routines have been thrown out the window and families are trapped at home together. We are told again and again how important it is to have routines and social media feeds are awash in color-coded schedules. I am finding that routines are hard to stick to when everything is changing so rapidly, when there are so many unknowns, and when I want to be involved in so many different things. And I am trying to practice compassion for myself and everyone else. It is okay when the routine is upset. It is okay to make mistakes (thank you for your patience during online services!). It is okay to just be -- without a routine. 

There are elements of my days that I am sticking to -- even if they don’t happen at a regular time. When I have a free moment, I am going out for a walk. Our dog is getting more exercise than ever! When I am feeling overwhelmed, I stop what I am doing and breathe deeply. When I am not burned out on screen time at the end of the day, I try to call someone I love to connect briefly. 

Rituals have brought me a great deal of comfort during this time. Having a set of intentional activities relaxes my mind and allows me to focus back on what matters. Even though on some days, I only meditate for 2 minutes, it starts my day with calm and intention. During story time at 4 pm, I light the chalice and anyone who is on the call checks in with each other; these simple rituals are settling. When we sit down to dinner, my wife and I share something beautiful or inspiring from the day. 

I invite you all to incorporate rituals into your day and week. Below, you will find resources for 20-30 minute rituals. There are also directions for making your own chalice and writing a chalice lighting so that you can use it daily for rituals.