A Ritual-Full Life

A Ritual-Full Life

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“Every time I have gathered in community ritual or personal ceremony, I have experienced a healing.”

A ritual is anything that is done with intention. It can be formulaic or intuitive, elaborate or simple, personal or shared. Whether it’s ritualizing your morning coffee or gathering in community to honor the solstice, a unique frequency comes alive, instilling whispers of the sacred within us. Throughout history, ritual has been at the heart of humanity. The desire to engage in ritual is primal and instinctual. When we answer the call to connect with something beyond the mundane, we generate access to infinite space.

Engaging in a ritual-full life is like practicing mindfulness and meditation. We set our intentions, work towards being present, observe and receive the process, and let go of the outcome. It steeps us in true process, inviting us to go deeper into our soul’s calling. It sets us free of being fixated on what’s not working or what we don’t have. It tethers us to our daily happenings while inviting us to dance with the divine.

The mission is to pour presence, faith, and love into what you do daily. What you feed grows. What you nourish will flourish. Trust that each day is a new beginning. And when you forget, and fall off the path, let it be a time to reset, inquire, and reflect. Immerse yourself in what you love most. Let your life become a living ritual—this is the healing balm of our modern times.

[Read: “Remedying a Community Through Ritual With Mara Branscombe.”]

I was raised in a nonreligious, conservative, middle-class home in a small town. Luckily, my parents received National Geographic monthly. I could often be found deep inside every new issue, in awe of what moved people to pray, honor nature, and be in community together. Double my luck, every summer our family of six would move to our humble lakeside cabin for two months. And this is where I fell madly in love with all things in the natural world—including the moon.

My earliest childhood memories are of the glowing orb in the sky. There was something so deeply compelling about the moon’s reflection over the lake. The way it would appear then disappear, and the myriad of shapes and colors it would magically generate. I can still smell those endless summer nights. The final snapshot of the moon’s shimmer dancing over the lake before it vanished into the starry night sky. The cricket song, the coyote howl, the steady, meditative hum of the cicada bugs. I have come to understand such memories now as living rituals in themselves.

At 16, I was invited to my best friend’s mom’s pagan-inspired women’s group for a full moon fire ceremony. This first experience with ritual will be forever etched in my memory as a pivotal turning point in life. I had always been intrigued by the spiritual practices and rituals of other cultures. And yet, up to this point, I had no exposure to anything other than weddings, funerals, and a couple of visits to the church.

Under the full moon’s luminosity, with the fire ablaze, I felt a kindred embrace by the women present in the circle. Sacred space was called forward, herbal offerings were given to the fire. I had an out-of-body experience where I became very tall and could see the whole circle of women from a bird’s-eye view; there was a synergy of light woven between each woman. The fire, moon, and trees emitted a riveting weave of energy as hot as the fire before me. And in this micro flash of a moment, I heard a clear message from within—“welcome home, this is your work.”

I was formally initiated by these women in a movement called Sisters of the Shields. They saved me from being lost in a downward spiral of people-pleasing, addictions, and giving my power away to fit in. Awakening to a ritualistic life not only affirmed my affinity towards nature and spirituality, but it allowed me to step into guiding myself and others.

[Read: “Form a Goddess Circle, Find Your Sacred Self.”]

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that small, daily rituals are like life mirrors I can hold up to reflect what no longer serves me and receive what is most compelling.

When we can consciously embrace our healthy habits and imbibe them with intention towards the good, we ritualize them. Be it sitting in silent contemplation with our morning coffee, taking a walk in the park to clear our mind, enjoying a creative pursuit, or articulating our gratitudes, ritual lets us build our capacity for mind-body harmony and find joy inside the weave of our daily life.

Crown of beauty credit Esther Franchuk
Crown of beauty credit Esther Franchuk

Ritual Healing

Build altars, light candles. Create time for the quietude of your mind to get spacious. Welcome in the unknown. Dive into the mystery of life’s grandest questions. Touch the earth, kiss the sky. Be a channel for spirit to move through your sacred body. Trust, every single day.

Every time I have gathered in community ritual or personal ceremony, I have experienced a healing. Be it instantly profound or a silent reset—the transmissions of energy received are long-lasting and formative.

Activating meaningful moments for as little as one minute has the power to radically alter the trajectory of our day. By honoring our waking moments, dread or overwhelm can be replaced by positivity and possibility. By shifting your perspective towards a supportive and positive frequency, you will be naturally more receptive to that energy. Initiating our own ritual-full life brings us into the zone where we become free of stress, overwhelm, or negativity.

To build your own ritual-full life, tune into the activities and places where you naturally feel nourished. Try leaving your device at home or turning it off when possible. Schedule into your week nourishing practices like a silent forest walk, a yoga or mindful movement class, gardening or tending to your houseplants, lighting a candle while calling in your gratitudes, or preparing a meal for loved ones. When held with intention, these simple rituals become wildly transformative. This is how we can access deeper states of union with self, our loved ones, and the world.

When prioritizing self-care rituals seems impossible, try simple practices to ground you into the present moment and remind you of the power of choice to engage in calm, spacious awareness. Drink a glass of water, go into another room, take a brisk walk, or journal your feelings—find ways to calm your state before you become caught inside the hooks of reactivity.

Lean into presence when engaging in what you love—be it gardening, cooking, reading a book to your child, taking your pet for a walk, savoring your tea, hugging trees, or activating small acts of kindness towards others. When we are tethered to goodwill, our honest intentions and efforts become steeped in joy and rooted in reciprocity.

Reset With Simple and Transformative Rituals

Activate these short, simple, and transformative rituals for a reset throughout your day:

  • Upon waking, call forward three gratitudes and visualize your day going the way you want it to flow.
  • Turn off your devices 30 minutes before bed, take a warm shower, and consciously release unfinished work, welcoming in a peaceful sleep.
  • Light a candle at mealtime; each person shares gratitudes for the day.
  • Ritualize your transitions. How do you engage with your partner, kids, self, animals after your day at work? Consciously mark the transition from work in some way.
  • Create an altar in your home, with a candle, flowers, crystals, inspired quotes, or oracle cards. A space like this will invite ritual.
Ritual Mara Branscombe

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