My Dear Friends,
 I value  ritual. Emotions drive behavior. An individual develops methods or rituals to meet his or her emotional needs. Rituals are usually associated with religious or other forms of ceremony.  Most definitions of ritual include stereotyped activity or repetitive behavior such as hand washing as  ritual. These definitions of ritual are missing the spiritual if not the meditative quality that I have found in   ritual. These definitions also fail to make distinction between private and public ritual and singular or group ritual. What I want to talk about today is private ritual and my experience with ritual. 
 Ritual requires a certain level of consciousness and at the same time allows for a certain level of detachment. This is because the person performing the ritual must be conscious enough to perform the ritual with a learned ease.  This ease in executing a task in a defined ordered  series of acts is emotionally grounding.  In my case it provides a form of self comfort. The very actions of ritual provide me with structure. In a way the actions are meditative within themselves. What I mean by structure is that the actions promote  emotional quiet. In this quiet it is a beautiful place to exist. In this place  I connect with my soul.  The sense of time stops when one connects with their soul, even though time elapses one is not conscious of its passing. If there is physical pain in this meditative state, the pain becomes an element of the ritual, if the pain is allowed to exist without emotions or expressions of not wanting it. The pain is understood be  stopped energy that needs to be moved and released.
 Ritual is not to be confused with Habit.  Habit is often devoid of meaning.Ritual is never devoid of meaning even if the meaning is singularly understood by the person performing the ritual. This has been and continues to be true for me. As  a child when I awoke in fear I had to find something with which I could confirm reality. When I would awaken with my chest heaving and my night clothes damp with sweat,  I would look to find the white press board dresser in the room I shared with my sister. There was nothing special about that set of drawers  where clothes prevented their closure, but I could recognize its shiny plastic gleam even in my darkened room. It confirmed that I  was no longer in the world of my subconscious nightmares. I was in my room.
Now decades later, when I jolt awake I can comfort myself. The ritual has changed. Ritual objects are not used individually but in collections called constellations. For example there is  my special  robe  carefully chosen for the season. I walk across my living room and into my kitchen.My coffee ritual begins. Italian dark roast, purified water brewed in a French coffee percolator on my stove which is made of black glass. I carefully choose a cup and pour my non- dairy plant  sourced creamer until the coffee is a particular color of caramel. If the creamer has cooled the coffee then I reheat it for 30 seconds. I take the cup back into my bedroom and my day begins. Often times I don’t even drink the coffee. I don’t perform this ritual every day, but on days when the world seems to be dark cold and brooding the ritual reminds me that I have survived days that began like this or that particular gray day. Simply put, rituals are healthy habits, processes or customs you engage in regularly, and sometimes even unconsciously, that are completely unique to who you are and how you interact with the world. Successful rituals link with naturally occurring phenomena like seasonal change or the changes from day to night. Find your ritual and you will find your flow.


The Addict Writes

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