Habits are a lot like Rituals, except… habits are your body and mind on auto-pilot and rituals require a present moment mindfulness.
There, if you don’t read any more about this post, you’ve got the most important piece. Habits aren’t bad… after all, it’s your habit of breath… that keeps you breathing, it’s your habit of eating that keeps you fed. However, sometimes our habits go haywire and we hyper-ventilate or we over eat. Imagine now… the world of ritual.
Imagine now, breathing slowly, concentrating on the breath and clearing the anxieties and worries and stress and allowing your breath to clear the air (literally and metaphorically speaking) and allowing in new fresh air. New moments of released stress and tension. New moments to experience something different.
New moments to experience relief.
Too often we have a habit of thinking. Those well worn paths of thought create billions of potential outcomes, but our habits are one track trains moving forward on the same track that’s been traveled a million times.
A ritual allows you the moments needed to ask yourself, “Are these thoughts serving me?” That is to say, when I think, “It’s too hard, I can’t do this” does that help or hurt? Imagine a ritual of question. The thought bomb of “it’s too hard, I can’t do this” instead becomes … “what is too hard?”
Imagine as part of your ritual you decide to get to the core or root of this stressful moment and do “the 5 whys” which is: You ask “WHY” 5 times.
It’s too hard
1. Why is it too hard
It’s too hard because I have no money and it’s stressing me out
2. Why do you have no money
Because I get paid every Friday and I spent all the money I had until next pay day
3. Why did you spend all your money
Because my kids wanted things and I had to buy them
4. Why did you have to buy them
Because I feel guilty like I can’t provide unless I buy them things that they want
5. Why do you feel guilty?
Because I don’t feel like I’m doing a good job.
I’m not saying that is your “5 WHY” outline… but I will tell you the truth. It was mine about 5 minutes ago. We all suffer from our own personal habits of thinking.
The great news is that by going through this exercise I was able to change the internal conversation, I was able to step out of the … one way train heading to no where… and take a new path. A more mindful and intentional path. I was able to sit back and decide to lay out all of the awesome ways I AM providing for my kids. Besides the basics, food, clothing and shelter… they have their own rooms, they have hobbies and they have friends. They are surrounded by love and while the kitchen may not always be clean… and I’m always supportive of their creative, academic and sports endeavors. So…
I am doing a good job.
It’s not hard… I need to step out of my habit of thinking and create a new ritual of realization. 🙂
I hope this post meets you where you are and helps.