Is Ritual the Missing Link in Your Life and Business?

The role of ritual is something I have been thinking about ever since I read the works of Malidoma Patrice Some. As I said in a previous post "ritual" is a vital aspect of the Dagara Tribe, and many indigenous people around the globe. It is the connection to nature and Spirit that drives them as tribe. It is what they connect to and live for. It is an intrinsic part of "who they are" as a people.

It, ritual, is something that we seem to be lacking in the West outside of organized religion, yet we are all connected to the Earth and Spirit. Having spent time living and observing Western ways, Malidoma surmises that much of our discontent and dis-ease stems from a lack of ritual, a lack of connection to that which is bigger than us.

I tend to agree but I also remember a time when I yearned for it but did not know "how" to get it. Then I realized there wasn't a prescribed way to "get" it but rather that it is a personal journey to being more connected.

Though we often use the word "ritual" it is often misused referring more to our "habits" than ritual in the pure meaning of the word. How many times have you heard, or even said yourself (I know I have done this) "_____ is my morning ritual", insert here my morning coffee, my cigarette, what you do before bedtime etc.

In the Oxford Dictionary "ritual" is defined as "a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order". Whereas "habit" is defined as "a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up". It is a subtle yet profound difference.

So one is around ceremony and the other is something that we do on a regular basis. Everything we have or do stems from Spirit (or whatever name you give to that which is bigger than us). Ritual is our human way of being able to thank and appease Spirit.

So what are some of my rituals you might be asking? Let me share 5 of the rituals we do:

1. When we eat we place our hands, palm down, above our food, close our eyes and say a silent prayer of gratitude for all the forces that bought the food to us and the people involved in getting it to our table, the words are not as important as the intention behind them. It doesn't have to be long but certainly brings focus to the fact that many forces are behind bringing food to our table;

2. Full Moon and New Moon ritual. The ancients have practiced moon ceremonies deep back into our history. There are those who plant at the full moon, we charge our drinking water under the full moon and this past full moon we had a fire and short ceremony where we invoked Spirit, gave gratitude and then burned each of our limiting beliefs. Full moons are the end of a cycle and new moons are the birth of a cycle. Use the moon to guide you through your cycles.

3. Morning and evening gratitude. Having nearly died in my sleep when we had our house fire I am always grateful to wake up in the morning and I thank Universe for doing so. At night before I close my eyes I say out loud "Thank you Universe, thank you Cemaaj" no matter how my day went because I am alive. This one is small but powerful.

4. Morning shower. We all feel better when we step out of the shower. I use this time to visualize the water taking away all that no longer serves me leaving me fresh for that which does to enter. Imagine that as the water washes over you it is taking away that which you no longer need.

5. Solstice and Equinox: Four times a year at summer and winter solstice and spring and fall equinox we gather with our witchy sistas to celebrate with food, fire, ritual and tarot cards. These are our favorite days of the year. We have spent many a solstice on Ocean Beach where we make a beautiful altar, gather with friends, have a fire and then get naked and jump into the freezing ocean before jumping the fire whilst shouting out our affirmations and wishes for the coming season.

I can honestly say that since bringing ritual into my life it has blossomed. In dark times it has been my salvation and I have often found answers I could not see before. Spirit has gifted me this life and in turn I give gratitude through ritual for that gift.

Could ritual be a missing element in your life and business? Or do you already use ritual (in business this could be invoking Ganesh at the start of an enterprise or not making large decisions during Mercury retrograde), I would love to share more but this a blog entry and not a novel!

I would love to hear what you think about ritual and how it has a place in your life.

To your life "on purpose and with passion"