I’m pretty sure I’ll have talked on this site before about rhythms, and routines, but probably not that much about rituals. That’s because up until this week, they haven’t been a large part of my life. But on Thursday afternoon, browsing the library while Smallest was at art club, I came across Theresa Cheung: 21 Rituals to change your life.
(Also available at Amazon affiliate both new and secondhand.)
As I usually do with non fiction, I scanned the first few pages right there in the library. It was this paragraph in the introduction that made me borrow it.
Most of us have absolutely no idea that what we repeatedly do creates our everyday experience. We think our future is shaped by big events, decisions we make, thoughts we have, and opinions of others, but this book will show that it is your daily actions that are the golden key. Pay close attention to what you actually do every day, and see your life transform.
I’ve come across the various types of self help guide that say all you need is affirmations. Instagram accounts that earnestly tell you all you need to do is chant “I do not chase, I attract. What is meant for me will simply find me.”
Hm. I’m really not quite sure how that is supposed to work.
But the rituals book, while having an undercurrent of what I would call ‘woo’, also has a good strand of practicality. And I’m open to the idea that if you line everything up with your intentions and actions, it makes it easier for the universe to give you a helping hand 😉
I brought the book home, and as I often do, shared pics on insta (and therefore other social media). And was really surprised that it seemed to chime with a few people, several of whom decided they would try to get hold of the book and join in.
I’ve started a facebook group so that we can work together to support each other, it’s here if you want a look. And I’m working gradually to build the rituals into my day – some are easier than others!
The morning batch are a good way to start the day.
- wake up earlier
- Stretch instead of reaching for your phone
- Ask yourself one simple question
- Just breathe
- Smile in the mirror
- See the finish line
- Tune in
By earlier, I’m going for anything before 10.30. (Yeah, I know, not exactly early, but one small step at a time.)
The stretch instead of reaching for your phone is really good. It completely changes my focus on the day.
My sticking point at the moment is the one simple question, because every time I see this prompt, I go all Dirty Harry, and that’s not quite where we’re supposed to be coming from. The book suggests Steve Jobs – If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today? – but I don’t find this a very practical or inspiring way to think about things.
No, I wouldn’t want to spend the last day of my life washing up and wrangling a 9 year old through some maths questions.
But at the same time, looking after my family and spending time with my children? Not so bad.
All about framing.
But I’m still working on the question.