Yesterday was the first day of my annual New Year’s cleanse/detox. It was wonderful to notice how “normal” and easy it was to start this on the first Monday of the New Year… and then to remember how “not-normal” and “not-easy” it felt when I began.
It reminded me of the importance of creating regular rituals and rhythms in your life.
This is the 10th year I’ve been doing this annual cleanse. And because it’s become a ritual, I no longer need to use my willpower to “make it happen.” It just happens because it’s part of the fabric of my life.
It wasn’t always that way. For the first two or three years it took “work” and “will power” to make sure I was ready to go on that first Monday in January. And, I’ll be totally honest… it wasn’t always easy! There were doubts and questions. There was big resistance. And it required a lot of focus and energy to stick to the cleanse.
But now, it’s just a natural part of the cycles of my life. And because of that, it has freed up a TON of energy.
Having regular rituals of self-care and renewal in your life is incredibly important. When something becomes ritualized it is a part of your life… all the time.
Think about brushing your teeth: You probably do it everyday… probably even twice a day. You brush your teeth when you feel good. You brush your teeth when you’re tired and cranky. It’s become a self-care ritual that has a momentum of its own. And that momentum keeps it going even when you “don’t feel like it.”
But maybe your meditation practice isn’t ritualized yet. Maybe it still requires will power and focus to meditate every day. Which means that on the days when you are tired and cranky and “don’t feel like” there’s a good chance that you don’t meditate!
What does it take to “ritualize” a self-care practice?
Clarity, commitment and consistency…
…and about 30-days.
You’ve got to be absolutely clear about the specific details of the ritual. You can’t just say, “I’m going to meditate every day.”
You’ve got to say something like, “I’m going to meditate for 15-minutes every morning at 7:00am.”
Boom. Crystal clear.
Then you make a commitment to it. You commit to turning that intention into a ritual in your life. It’s this commitment – to YOURSELF – that will carry you through the “I don’t want to” days!
Which is where consistency comes in.
Be consistent. Do this daily self-care practice every day for 30-days and you will establish it as a ritual in your life… and then, the ritual will have its own momentum to carry you through those “I don’t want to” days!
This same 3-step process works whether it is a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly ritual. It takes focus and energy to get a self-care ritual established, but once it is embedded and embodied in your life all of that energy, and more, is freed up to focus on other activities and intentions.
Here are a few of the self-care and renewal rituals I have established in my life:
- Morning meditation
- Morning dialogue/journaling time with my Higher Self
- Evening meditation/check in time with Michelle
- Sunday Morning Dance
- Every other week “mini-retreat” at a local hot springs
There are more, but you get the idea.
As you create self-care and renewal rituals you will feel them weaving into the fabric of your life and empowering you to make positive changes as you expand, evolve and awaken.
So as we enter into 2015 what is one new empowering ritual you want to bring into your life?
Better to focus on one and get it embedded as a solid ritual in your life than to focus on a bunch and have them all melt away into the land of forgotten intentions… kind of the way resolutions do!
Leave a comment below and let me know what new ritual you’re going to add to your life!