A few weeks back we wrote about a gorgeous ritual that The Parents Village offers called a Mama Blessingway. In this weeks’ blog, we look at why rituals themselves are so important and how we can bring them into our daily world, transforming the mundane into the divine.
What are rituals and why are they important?
Rituals in their many forms have existed for centuries across all cultures and religions. Displayed as either a daily repeated habit or as a more structured ceremony, rituals serve to comfort us in times of change, process a range of feelings such as overwhelm, fear, caution, excitement or bliss, and provide a safe space to facilitate the conscious transition and adjustment from one state to another. Rituals allow the transformation of our inner and outer circumstances into something more tangible.
Ultimately rituals can be empowering, bonding and therapeutic, helping us to move forward with a sense of confidence and control, whilst feeling accepted and supported through shared experience.
There are few experiences as worthy and nourishing as a Blessingway – which marks the archetypal shift in pregnancy from a ‘maiden’ into a ‘mother.’
Most modern day rituals focusing on marriage and pregnancy have morphed into what I consider to be shallow, meaningless events. Many baby showers, hens and bucks nights are just a few examples of how western society has pushed us further away from our grounded roots, and into a world of aesthetics and consumerism. The good intentions are there…we are drawn to being together with our nearest and dearest and ‘sharing’ an experience…but we haven’t quite been shown just how to create a deep and meaningful experience. We have no village elders to run the ritual and to pass down the generations of wisdom and support.
The reality is that rituals are as important and needed as ever. Those who belong to or follow a religion can often find a sense of solace in the rituals that still exist and are run by their community leaders. But even then, this may not cover all life’s milestones. For example – rituals for miscarriage, or birth or divorce or turning 50.
So how can a ritual ceremony be created to suit our modern lives?
Enter the ritual maker. As a Dramatherapist, I am trained in and passionate about creating rituals for healing and support. At The Parents Village, we help bring the comfort, support and therapeutic benefits of a ritual into our services. Whether this be through providing a Blessingway for an expectant mum, threading it into a Birth Story Healing session to help make sense of and revere your personal birth story, or in a counselling session to honor endings and new beginnings.
Making ritual habitual when you are expecting a baby, or as a new parent is particularly important for grounding, nurturing and adjusting to this enormous transition. However small, rituals can help weave mindfulness into your daily life.
5 ways you can bring rituals into your life everyday:
- Light a candle: whether this be as soon as you rise in the morning, as a way to wake up and set an intention for the day. If you are pregnant it might be a time to honor your pregnancy, sending gratitude or marking one day closer to meeting your little bub. If you are a parent, it might be a way of acknowledging some “me time” or “couple time” and encouraging this to be sacred.
- Use Essential Oils: Oils have been used in rituals for centuries, and I can understand why. There are so many healing benefits to the body, and even just the scents themselves can transport you to a different place in time. I wear essential oils by dabbing it on my (dark) clothing and wearing it like a perfume. It lifts my spirits and when people hug me they always comment on how divine I smell…it makes them feel good too! Love + Essence have a beautiful variety of DoTerra Oils and stunning diffusers so check it out!
- Be creative: nothing connects one to their inner most thoughts and feelings (in a contained and non-confrontational way) than the creative arts. Move your body, draw, paint, dance…create. Put some music on and dance with your kids. It lifts everyone’s mood and puts ‘emotion in motion’…clearing the air bringing with it new energy and connection.
- Be mindful: This doesn’t mean you need to ‘meditate’ as such (although meditation has incredible benefits!) but this could be being ‘ritualistic’ and present whilst in the bath or shower…or whilst cooking. See an experience with a beginning, middle, and end…and honour the space you have created to “be”. So if you are in the shower, whilst washing yourself you could give thanks to your beautiful body for carrying you through the day. Whilst cooking you could use your senses to take in all the smells and honour all the generations of families who came before you who prepared meals for their families. It’s about going beyond the mundane and finding the sacred in the everyday events.
Rituals can help turn difficult times or milestones into special, loving and intimate moments. They can help to ground us, to provide space for just “being”, to grieve, to accept, to let go, to move forward and beyond.
If you would like to understand more about rituals, or one of our services, please feel free to contact Lana on 0413389620 or firstname.lastname@example.org