What Is Ritual?

Ritual seems to be a buzz word that is everywhere lately, especially when paired with self-care. Beyond all the elusive trendiness of fancy photos and lofty ideals, what actually is ritual?!

I see ritual as a systematic approach that purifies and prepares us for something else. It is a series of steps we do to calm down and quiet ourselves so that we can be more present. Ritual is a predictable routine that supports us.

Rituals are ongoing regular routines. They can be daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. Ritual can be broken down into three categories: individual, familial, and collective.

 
coffee and book
 

Individual Ritual:

Relate to us personally. The things we do for ourselves. A few examples of individual rituals are brushing our teeth each night before bed, making our bed, reading, sipping our morning coffee or tea, a meditation practice, or going to yoga once a week.

Familial Ritual:

Involve our family, both blood and chosen. Some familial rituals could be a weekly movie night, ordering pizza on a Friday, Christmas dinner, or birthday celebrations.

Collective Ritual:

Expand outwards to our greater communities. These could involve volunteering, an annual weekend away with a group of friends, the call to order of a meeting with an organization you belong to.

 
rose and lavender bouquet
 

Focusing on personal ritual has been deeply enriching for me, as I tend to struggle with structure and always want to rebel ;) What I have learned from ritual is that it creates predictability which then allows me to feel safe, secure, and settled. Ritual is a system that supports me to focus on the things that matter. We can find freedom within the structures and rhythms that support us.

Some of my favorite individual rituals include buying fresh cut flowers every other week, journaling, making and drinking my morning coffee, taking a hot bath, and lighting candles during the winter months.

Our familial rituals include Friday night movie nights, supper out with the kids at our fave burger joint once a month, picking my grandma up for lunch, and having coffee with both my parents and in-laws.

Collective ritual includes attending a quarterly charity event with friends called 100 Women Who Care. We always have supper together and it’s something I really look forward to. My Lunar Love letters are a community based ritual that I tend to each new and full moon.

Embracing ritual is a practice. It’s not intended to be super rigid or confining. Healthy ritual is flexible and supportive. When I start my day with ritual, I end up being more productive, present, and calm.

It’s often the simplest of tasks such as lighting a candle or taking a few moments to close our eyes that can help us feel supported. My guided visualizations and candles are complimentary to any practice; whether you are just establishing ritual or you want to enhance what you are already doing.

I would love to know what rituals you have developed. Let me know what your personal, familial or collective rituals are below!

Pin for Later:

 
What is ritual? Recognizing the ways we already use simple rituals in our day-to-day lives.