The most ancient traditions of ritual served the purpose of keeping the balance between the unpredictable push and pull of the chaos of the universe. Ritual addresses the human desire for stability and centeredness by setting at least some regular time in our lives for meeting at least one of our basic needs. Thus, we have traditions of ritual practice surrounding food, water, air, warmth, light, and all manner of self expression.

For many people in “modern” society, rituals have become corrupt, or even disappeared entirely. Our common daily practices often involve things we definitely don’t need. I’m sure you can name many of the daily routines that you and others you know go through that decrease quality of life, rather than increase it.

Which is why I suggest, to everyone I counsel, to create a new, healing ritual, based on something they need in order to thrive, to add to their life. Many people swear by certain particular rituals, such as meditation, preparing tea, gratitude journaling, or going for a walk every day. I’ve realized that it’s less important what specific activity you do, and more important that you just give yourself permission to, and support in, doing something good for your world every day. For me, my specific activities and times when I do my rituals change regularly. But I do always do something every day that improves my world – either focusing inside my body, or outside it. I’ve been doing this for years now, though, and I find it easy to naturally just choose something to do on a whim. Others might be more happy focusing on doing just one activity each day. Whatever works best for you.

Also, notice the rituals you already do have that are healthy. Healthy practices can be things like waking up in the morning and taking a warming and physically expressive shower (washing the toxins off your body), drinking warming and hydrating herbal tea, talking a physically expressive walk in the woods in the middle of the day allowing you to get some sun and plenty of oxygen into your lungs while you exhale all that carbon dioxide for the trees to absorb, or checking in with a loved one every day or so to express your own personal stories and to get energy from theirs. These are the more normal rituals that many folks regularly do. Other, more interesting and uncommon ones might be fun to try as well. You could nibble on a few blades of some fresh wheatgrass in the morning, do some yogic breathing at sunset, or do a simple collaborative piece of writing, singing, or drawing every night with your partner before bed.

Any way you do it, if you choose to spend at least 15 minutes a day in a celebratory act of doing something to improve your world, inside and/or outside, by increasing someone’s basic needs of better quality food, water, air, warmth, light, and the freedom to express the body’s excess matter and energy, you will automatically be making the world a better place for all of us…

And, from what I’ve seen, the more celebratory healing rituals you do, the more you tend to want to do!

you can always take a deep breath at sunset