Reflection & Action: Rituals are powerful things. Hello/goodbye, good morning/good night kisses are an everyday occurrence in my marriage. Leave takings with our daughters – by phone or in person – are punctuated from both sides with the phrase, ‘Love ya’. Our dinner grace includes a ‘Today I am thankful for…’ comment from each person around the table
Like brushing your teeth in the morning, these actions and phrases have become second nature. That doesn’t make them meaningless. Each exchange expresses deeply held values of love and appreciation.
One of the keys for bringing our values to life is turning them into rituals. If you value your health, turning a lunchtime walk into an automatic ritual breathes life into that value. If you value family, the ritual of a weekly phone call with a parent or sister keeps the connection alive. If you value the beauty of nature, the ritual of placing fresh cut flowers on your desk at work or your table at home keeps nature in the center of your everyday life. You get the picture.
What kind of rituals are already working for you? What other rituals might you create that would shift more of your deeply held values from intention to action?
Tie those practices to a specific time or place. Build them into your daily or weekly routines. Watch the impact!
Quote Of The Week: “Rituals provide a level of comfort, continuity and security that frees us to improvise and to take risks.” – Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz
Readers Write: Pause reader Donna C writes: When I first turn my computer on each day at the office I stop and think, “What is the priority of the day?” I tell myself that I am only one person and can do only so much. I then go about my day and do what I can. If I find that I’m starting to sink, I stop, take a pause, and remind myself of what I said first thing in the morning. Things usually come back into perspective again. I actually do this with my home life now, too. It’s working wonderfully.
Pause reader Jane M writes: It’s simple, but it works. It’s not technology driven. It doesn’t have a fancy name. It doesn’t require a video or night school class. My big moment came when I decided to go back to reading books before bedtime. Whatever I have to get done in an evening has to be done at least half an hour before bedtime. This creates a definite end to the day and a sense of control. Reading prepares me for a good night’s sleep because it requires me to disconnect from the day. My breathing slows down. My enjoyment of the moment goes up. It’s something I do by myself, for myself. And, I can’t wait for tomorrow night so I can find out what happens next.