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Tips: Rituals to Reopen Your Life
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, October 2010

Rituals are important, helpful, and powerful. Performing a ritual is a small way of celebrating or honoring a bigger event in your life, and helps us gain insight when we are dealing with change.

Whether you perform an inner healing ritual, request a blessing, or engage in a special tradition for a special occasion, rituals can be encouraging, reassuring, and comforting. Holding on to our routines and rituals helps maintain our sanity and balance.

Before you begin performing a ritual, your heart must be open to the experience. Ask yourself, what is your intention? Here are some additional tips:

Old or New - A ritual is most effective when it has meaning for you. If you're performing an old ritual that is no longer fulfilling, consider designing a new ritual to enliven your connection and deepen meaning.

"Everyday" Rituals - Morning coffee and reading the paper, walking the dog along a familiar path, calling a friend at the same time each week can be simple ways to ritualize a familiar, balancing pattern. Everyday routines can become rituals if you pay close attention to them and focus on the change or calm you hope to experience.

Beginnings and Endings - Rituals can help to bring closure. Tearing a letter from someone who has hurt you and since died can be a freeing way to relegate them to your past. Writing your fears in the sand or on a piece of paper and lighting them on fire as you watch them burn can be amazingly liberating.

Slow Down - You cannot perform a ritual at accelerated speed. Think about where and how are you going to do this? Be sure you are not going to be disturbed as you begin the process. Allow yourself the time to do what you need.

Through ritual and ceremony, you can re-create yourself, your family, and your community to develop a peaceful connection.

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