Ritual Acts

by Thela Foxgood

There’s something about starting and ending the day with a simple ritual that can bring us a peace and sense of well-being. Many of us create and attend to our own rituals every day.

Rituals can be speaking specific words (mantras, prayers), going through the routine of certain actions, singing a song, journaling, working through some yoga poses, walking in the woods, meditating, or even dancing. These can transform states of mind, emotion, and our physical condition as well.

Choosing a specific state of mind enables a shift from one state-of-being to another.

For example, focusing my mind on an attitude of gratitude in the morning, instantly shifts my mind and emotions to a specific outlook for the day ahead. It is an intentional act and the more I do this, the more habitual it becomes.

For me, ending the day with certain rituals determines how the sun sets on my internal world which then affects my external environment.

Regardless of what has happened during the day, when I get home and hit the yoga mat for a reiki treatment, some quiet time, meditation, prayer and writing, it changes everything.

Because it changes me.

These rituals bring certain aspects of myself that have gotten frayed, bent out of shape, or out of balance throughout the day, back into alignment.

When simple acts are repeated, especially when they are repeated with intention, they increase in meaning.

A simple ritual I grew up with is bedtime prayers. Normally this involves speaking a blessing over family and friends, our sleep, our dreams, and our welfare for the next day.

We got into the habit of taking turns, and on one particular night we didn’t realize that the person chosen for this evening ritual was completely exhausted. We joined hands and huddled up, waiting expectantly for our evening blessing. And, instead of our usual ritual, she stated simply:

“Dear Lord, please pray for us.”

In the space of time it took to blink after this unusual (for us) request, she would have passed out into the arms of deep slumber…

If it had not been for the fact that the rest of us were rolling on the floor in laughter.

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