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Rituals & Why They Work

There are very real benefits to rituals in your daily life. When I say the word “ritual” most of us tend to think of the big rituals in life. Getting baptized, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, funerals, and graduations. Those are the big rituals that we all know even if we don’t participate very often. The truth is rituals, small and large, play a number of critical roles in our lives:

  • Rituals in the face of loss can help us feel less grief

  • Rituals with families can make us feel closer and more connected

  • Rituals with our partners can reinforce our commitment to each other

  • Rituals can restore our sense of control over our lives

  • Rituals help us to feel more connected with the Divine

When facing situations that induce anxiety, stress, or competition we tend to take comfort in engaging in activities that help bring us feelings of safety or at least the illusion of feeling like we are in control. The ritual doesn’t necessarily have to make sense, it just has to serve the purpose of making you feel safe.

Most rituals are unique to the one performing them. No other family does Thanksgiving or Christmas quite the way that your family does. Many participate in the holiday, but the rituals are unique to the family. Rituals, it turns out, are a powerful human mechanism for managing extreme emotions and stress not just for a ceremony. There are studies that show how superstitious rituals enhanced people’s confidence in their abilities, motivated greater effort – and get this- improved their performance! The benefits of pre-performance routines, from improving attention and execution to increasing emotional stability and confidence is something that we can look at and bring into our daily spiritual lives.

Some ritual examples include:

  • Wearing the same socks or eating two girl scout cookies before every game.

  • Tapping a wall or object for good luck.

  • Reciting the lord's prayer.

  • Wearing something blue, borrowed, and old before the wedding.

  • Having a bachelor or bachelorette party the night before.

  • Throwing salt over the shoulder when cooking.

  • Reading a certain Psalm before every game or event.

  • Motioning a cross over the front of the body before doing something or requesting divine support.

  • Saying “Break a leg” before a stage performance.

  • Knocking on wood to avoid bad luck or manifesting what you just said.

Looking at your life and making it a more spiritual ritual-like experience can transform your life. A consistent practice makes you feel more intentional which makes you feel more connected. A side benefit is it can also transform your manifestation practice.

I once had an amazing teacher say to me, “What if every step you took was bringing light out of the Earth and out to share? And every step down was to place love back into the Earth?” At the time I couldn’t fathom being that intentional with my life. What if you could bring that kind of reverence and ritual to your daily life? What if you made the following activities more intentional and sought to put a ritual around some?

Activities like:

  • Taking a Bath

  • Making the Bed

  • Meals (preparing and a ritual before consuming)

  • Putting words on your drinks, sipping with gratitude

  • Meditation

  • Gratitude

  • Clearing Energy

  • Daily Guidance

  • Starting workday

  • Activities with kids

  • In the car, before a flight

  • Sacred Altar for your spiritual practice

  • Flowers/Centerpiece

Food For Thought

What if we took the emphasis off of saying ritual and said, I choose to live a life of intention? You get to decide how that looks for you. Rituals in our spiritual lives are as vast and varied as our sports rituals. You can choose to do some alone and some in a group. The bottom line is that when you engage in spiritual rituals you will feel more connected, manifest easier and feel relief from stress or loss. Rituals even benefit people who claim not to believe that rituals work! The collective energy and belief can be quite palpable even if the rituals are quite contradictory with each other.

Is there a ritual that you could add to your day that would help you elevate your spiritual practice? (Maybe you already have one, but haven’t thought of it as a ritual.)

If you were going to be super intentional with your rituals and spiritual practice what would you implement in your practice?

Hopefully, this is a little food for thought on bringing more sacredness to your daily life. I have a free workshop on if you want to learn more about rituals in your daily life.


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