The following article is excerpted from Your Hidden Riches – Unleashing the Power of Ritual to Create a Life of Meaning.
Do you know that there’s a unique design to your life? There is. Your mission in this lifetime is to discover that design and get aligned with it. When you do, life becomes fun, things flow easily, the inevitable challenges of life are only temporary setbacks and you feel that your life has real meaning.
Your Hidden Riches are what surfaces when your rituals help you both discover and stay aligned with your life’s unique design. Rituals can help you manage your time, your energy and your thinking. Only 25 percent of life can be experienced with the senses. Rituals allow you to connect with and tap into the power of the other 75 percent.
Many people think that rituals are religious practices or superstitions. Yet rituals are the “secret weapons” of the world’s most accomplished people—from sports stars to corporate executives to world-class performers. What most people have missed is that rituals are essential tools in today’s world to improve performance, to stay calm in stressful situations and to maintain balance in an over-busy life.
But what’s the difference between a habit and a ritual? We all have good habits and bad habits. In contrast, rituals are conscious, intentional acts we choose to make habitual. Rituals focus attention in a very practical way and can be tailored to the major needs we all share:
Relationships – Attracting your ideal partner and forming a loving bond between you.
Health, diet and beauty – Bringing your body into harmony at every level so that it becomes your strongest ally in reaching a state of optimal well-being.
Money and wealth – Matching your inner riches with external abundance.
Ceremonial rituals – Creating a sacred space and entering it for healing and renewal.
Family – Bringing parents and children into a closer circle of security, understanding and love.
Seven aspects to creating your own ritual
Intention – Read out loud the intention you’re setting.
Preparation and purification – Create a special spot where you keep the elements for your ritual. Also, take a few moments before you start each time to clean up and wipe off your ritual space.
Use of symbols – Place symbols in your ritual space that are meaningful to you and will inspire you. These could include photos of your family, special mentors or teachers you value, mementos and anything else that will give personal meaning to your ritual.
Activating the senses – By incorporating fruit, flowers, scented oils or candles, your ritual will have a deeper and more profound effect.
Prescribed performance – Create a specific order to what you’ll do during your ritual. An example would be:
» Prepare the space – take a moment to clean the area, light some incense, arrange your fresh flowers, your fruit or healthy snack, and put your scarf or cloth on.
» Sit quietly in silence for 30 seconds.
» Open your eyes and read your intention out loud.
» If you’re beginning your day write out three things you’d like to accomplish today; If you’re ending, list three things you accomplished.
» Read a quote or passage from a book that is inspiring to you and reminds you of why you’re focusing on this ritual.
» Quietly speak out one thing you’re grateful for—find something you have not expressed on previous days.
» Speak out one thing you appreciate about yourself—again find something you have not expressed before.
» Put out the incense and begin working on your project.
Repetition – Repeating your ritual over and over will help to ground your intention and create new neural pathways so that your day will always be connected to the intention you set.
Invoking the unseen – This can be as simple as acknowledging that you need help to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself and you’re willing to accept that help from wherever it may come.
Using these seven aspects of ritual as a guide (no need to follow a particular order) you will create specialness in your day and in your life. You’ll find you’re more focused when you’re working and you don’t obsess over your work when you’re not.
There is a design to your life. You were born with it. Uncovering your unique role and purpose in the world lies in covering that Life Design through ritual. Our world is at a turning point. It needs you doing what you came here to do. When you achieve that, you will be living your ideal life, reaping the inner riches that are your birthright.