What comes to mind when you see the word ritual?
Maybe it’s a sacred ceremony with shamans, something sacred or something unknown and appealing? Or maybe you think of a wedding, a huge, extravagant and elaborate party that involves hundreds of people and months of preparation? You can make a ritual out of anything. When you drink your morning cup of tea with an intention and peace, that’s a ritual. So is setting up your workspace before you start writing.
Any big change in our life deserves a proper ritual. We know that being born, married and dying usually involves some form of ritual, but what about other transitions, those smaller and bigger changes that we have to navigate throughout our life? Rituals help us navigate big feelings, joy and loss, and the unknown. We’re taking the burden of doing it all on our own and asking the spirits for help. Here are some ritual ideas for transition moments in your life, to add meaning and help you navigate through it all.
1. Moving in to a new home
Transitioning into a new home is a huge change. Creating a meaningful ritual to make yourself more comfortable and to add meaning and intention to your new home can be very helpful.
Start with: Create a sacred space in your new home: bring fresh flowers or even a picture or favorite items to make you feel good. Are you moving in with other people? Add them to the ceremony! Mark a special day and set aside time
Create the ceremony: Think of the attributes of this home. Light a candle and think you want to feel here. Thank this space for welcoming you in. Allow yourself to visualize your home with all its qualities and attributes. You can journal about your experience or share it with your roommates.
After the ceremony: Keep a candle from this ceremony to remind you of the warmth of your home when you most need it
2. Ending relationships
Ending a relationship can be a big emotional rollercoaster. As we part, we need some support while we navigate break-ups and all that comes up to the surface.
Start with: Create a sacred separating ceremony. Is your partner open to being a part of it? If not, no problem. You can cut the ties all on your own. Find a peaceful location, it might be somewhere important to both of you or any safe place.
Create the ceremony: Gather pictures, memorabilia, or anything that links you to that partner. Light a candle and thank them for all your time together, the lessons and the growth. You can write them a letter or just visualize speaking to them. Then imagine cutting all the cords that connect you. Sage your space and breathe into the space you just created.
After the ceremony: Allow yourself to go through grief. Talk to a trusted person about the loss process, journal and keep feeling whatever surfaces. Give yourself time and patience.
3. Changing jobs
Whether you chose to change your job or you got fired, it’s important to find closure with a simple ritual.
Start with: Think of your growth as you part with this job. What was the biggest challenge, the biggest joy? What will you miss and what are you glad to let go of?
Create the ceremony: Sit down in a quiet space. If you have any items connected to your job, gather them around you. Imagine yourself in your job and feel all parts of it—what you liked and disliked. Now, visualize yourself packing and saying goodbye to your co-workers, to the space and this position. Notice what comes up. You can also write a letter to your job, thanking them for teaching you so many things.
After the ceremony: How can you use the time given by this transition? Do all the things you always put aside. Be with yourself as you go through the in-between of jobs
4. Turning 20/30/40/50/60…
These big round numbers are meaningful to our culture in the West. Try contemplating your growth as you transition between the decades.
Start with: What era are you ending? What comes with the new one? What will you possibly miss and what have you outgrown already? How have you grown during the 10 years?
Create the ceremony: Find a day in the calendar that you can spend just with yourself. Imagine your older you, the one that will begin a new decade meets with the younger one. What will they do together? What would the young one want to do to feel seen? What is something you can let go of? What is difficult to accept? Take yourself for a day-long date and celebrate your growth.
After the ceremony: Keep seeing the parts of yourself that make you. The number is just a symbol, but the growth you’re doing is visible. Keep a journal and notice all the parts of yourself you can be proud of!
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Photos by Content Pixie via Unsplash