Ritual is an important part of our lives. Although we tend to think of ritual as religious in nature, we all may engage in regular rituals in our homes and families. As a therapist, I often suggest ritual as an aid to healing. Ritual can be simple or complex, shared or private, daily or yearly.
When I think of some of the ritual in my life, I find that it often involves my family. When my children were little, we had bedtime rituals that involved singing what they referred to as the “goodnight song.” It had meaning for all of us, and the “goodnight song” may bring me to tears today, though the boys have not been babies for a long time. We have ritual surrounding our holidays whose import even I did not recognize until my son wrote a college essay about it.

Ritual may indeed involve religion or spirituality. For years, I have engaged in what I call my “old lady time.” I developed this time when the boys were little out of a need to have some time to settle myself, set my intentions, and bring a positive tone to the day. I still awaken early, make coffee, read something inspiring or maybe challenging, and get on the yoga mat. It is a quiet ritual that is solely for me, yet my hope is that an energy I derive from my practice moves out into my world and is shared with my loved ones.

Think about ritual that may already be a part of your life or the life of of your family. Consider how it enhances your life or heals you, and cherish it. Take a moment or two to exhale.