On the outside, I look like a normal, office professional with a no-waves lifestyle. I have a quiet life, for the most part. I’ve got a stable relationship, a few close friends and family members, a few hobbies and I’ve held onto the same job for the last (almost) three years.
The truth is, I’m a high-functioning rebel.
I find it incredibly hard to commit to new rules, schedules or habits. I love change – I even crave it often – when I’m instigating it. I don’t like it when others impose it on me. I don’t like when authority figures try to strong arm me. I especially don’t like feeling as though someone questions my motivations. Sometimes, I even resist my own changes. Sometimes, I’ll abandon an idea or project just because I felt it a threat to my freedom or values. Whether that’s true or not, is all in my perspective.
Needless to say, I’m not one for resolutions… Change, I do, but going to the gym or quitting coffee? Hell would freeze over.
As we’ve past the half-way point of 2015, I feel it’s a good time to re-evaluate how I’ve managed to put self-honouring changes in place. This year, I chose to use one word and not a list of resolutions to be abandoned…
One Word Is All It Takes
It makes sense, it’s challenging to change habits. It’s even harder to change a few of them at a time. However, if we give ourselves one theme, guideline or word, it’s much easier to implement it into our lifestyle.
Naturally, I respond better to themes and cues than I do to complicated rules and lists. Most of us do, really. And who has the time to treat their life as a business analysis and produce forecasts and performance appraisals.
So back to simple. I chose a word. I proceeded to do the word of the year exercise by Christine Kane. My word, as it turns out, was “Ritual“. The second word I was drawn to was “Love“.
I’ve discovered that for me, this meant a need to ground, center, find beauty, honour the sacred in the every day and honour what is sacred in me.
The word “exercise” begs the question: what does “ritual” mean to me? What forms has this taken?
And that’s the beauty of this particular exercise; it’s not prescriptive and it’s absolutely personal. You get out of it exactly what you need. Your word could be “beauty” or “joy” if what you need most is to re-learn how to enjoy yourself.
I haven’t really created a daily ritual this year, but I’ve taken the approach of treating a few key activities as a ritual and my mornings as precious.
Writing, yoga or cycling (depending on the season), gardening and reading have been mindful activities for me. My mindset is to be more aware and to practice loving thoughts, feelings and activities.
When I engage, I am fully present. I appreciate the beauty and sacredness of the action. Essentially, I practice bringing more intention to what I do. On a broader level, implementing rituals helps me reconnect with my First Nations and Celtic roots.
I have made the commitment to write every day. Although I may not publish on this blog more than once weekly at the moment, I’m often working on ideas. I treat this place as a sacred space to reflect, exchange and listen to my own intuition. This is what a loving practice feels like for me. You may also love to write, or maybe you love to play board games or cook a nice meal. The key ingredient is to bring love to what you do.
In terms of energy healing, I have decided, as I commit to my reiki practice to also include it in my morning rituals. I’ve been smudging, my home and myself, almost weekly. And monthly, I’ve been practicing the Rite of the Womb.
I have witnessed the power of ritual in my life; it increases my awareness, my gratitude and my self-healing ability.
What I’ve noticed in my life
I write with ease, I make decisions with less difficulty and my problem-solving ability has improved. I am steadfast with this blog, and it becomes easier and yet, more meaningful to me. I feel inspired daily and have caught myself expressing a “can-do” attitude. I have been blessed with many insights on my life, mySelf, my choices and my surroundings. When we treat life with grace, grace is what we’re given.
This year, I’ve listened to my body more closely. I’ve been less affected by the typical winter bugs. My sleep has been better this year than it has been in years. When I ride my bike, I feel like I’m flying, not like I’m about to have one of my previously famous asthma attacks. I’ve started ditching guilt. I have less and less cravings for unhealthy foods. I’ve begun valueing myself as a being of light, deserving of wellness. I’ve become inclined toward physical activity as a source of life-affirmation, not as a necessary evil or a form of punishment for carrying excess weight and not meeting society’s standards of health and beauty.
If you could pick a word to inspire your actions, what would it be? Do you have any ritual you have found helpful?