Sunday, March 04, 2007

Rituals

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about this wonderful book I've been reading for school - The Power of Full Engagement. Well, I finished it this week and the book ends talking about rituals. I hadn't given much thought to the role of rituals in my life, it sounded at first like church to me. But then I realized through the reading that rituals are all around me - they are part of my daily life. The rituals of taking a shower, of always attending classes, of sitting in the same seat, of calling my parents at least once a week, of attending my Weight Watchers meetings on Thursday nights, of always having a tall skim no-whip mocha at Starbucks after the meeting. These rituals are outside my conscious awareness and that's where they are supposed to be, because rituals "provide a level of comfort, continuity and security that frees us to improvise and to take risks." Doesn't that sound empowering? So I am sharing with you some of the summary points the chapter on rituals ends with. I hope you enjoy them.

* All great performers rely on positive rituals to manage their energy and regulate their behavior.

* The more exacting the challenge and the greater the pressure, the more rigorous our rituals need to be.


* Precision and specificity are critical dimensions of building rituals during the 30 to 60 day acquisition period.

* Trying not to do something rapidly depletes our limited stores of will and discipline.

* To make lasting change, we must build serial rituals, focusing on one significant change at a time.

I'm going to start two new rituals. I've decided I need to pay attention to what is good in my life for a change. First, I am going to keep a small notebook on my bedside table. Each night I am going to write the first 5 things I can think of that I am thankful for in this world. I did this many years ago and it was wonderful. I felt blessed every night. Some days it was harder to come up with 5 than others, and some days I wanted to write 20. But, it's the ritual of doing it every day that reminds me how great my life really is. Second, each morning when I get up I am going to read the passage for the day in the book Simple Abundance. It's a book that came out I think in the '90s and it is all about stopping and enjoying your world around you. Taking a breather and looking at things differently. It's also about creativity, which is currently lacking in my world at the present moment.

What rituals are you going to start?

4 comments:

Kim said...

Hi there! I just wanted to thank you for visiting my blog! It's alwasy cool to meet someone new going through the same struggles with their weight.

Your post on rituals has gotten me thinking this morning. I'm going to have to see what I can come up with to incorporate into my daily life.

Good luck to you on this crazy journey - sounds like you are well on your way to your goals!! :)

jodi said...

before i started blogging, i used to write in a journal - i haven't done so in months and i want to start again... i also used to list the same kind of items - 5 things that i was greatful for each day...

thanks for refreshing that idea in my head... :-)

kelly said...

that reminds me of oprah's gratitude journal. that's a great idea.

i need to work on making my bed & being more organized. AND going to the gym more :) among other things...

TrixieBelden said...

Kim - they there! Thanks for stopping by. I'll be excited to read what rituals you decide to incorporate!

Jodi - I hope you find keeping a journal is something that is meaningful for you again.

Kelly - I NEVER make my bed. I guess I'm not a real grown-up yet :) Maybe I got the idea from Oprah! I can't remember the source.