Like many, my earliest years of life were some of my dad’s most stressful years of work. He spent a lot of time at the office establishing a career that would provide for our family, and when he was home, his head was, by necessity, often still there.
Saturday mornings, however, were different. Saturday mornings were when Dad’s attention was turned toward family and home. Yard work, gardening, car repair, plumbing and the occasional fishing trip filled most of them. It was a day when weekly cares felt far away and some of my greatest joys with my dad – lighthearted togetherness, apprenticeship to work with my hands, trips to the hardware store – close enough to link arms with.
It isn’t any wonder, then, that our Saturday breakfast ritual became charged, for me, with all of that feeling. Within an hour or two of my sister’s and my rising (the rule in our home was “must stay in bed until 6:30”), Dad would be up making coffee and readying to relieve my mom of weekday breakfast duty. Dancing, singing, and laughter often accompanied the sizzle of food and the background din of cartoons.
Together, we lived and ushered in Saturday joy.
This childhood ritual does a nice job of demonstrating what, for me, rituals have become: symbols and enactments – both – of something important. That “something” might be an emotion or a person or a quality worth honoring. It might be a type of growth or change that one wishes to pursue or recognize as already having happened. Or, it might be a set of thoughts and accompanying feelings that are destructive and need to be put ceremoniously to rest.
In all cases, rituals are a way of mindfully symbolizing and acting out the honoring/growing/letting-go/inviting-in that we recognize as important.
In the Rituals category of this site, I’ll be exploring how we can design and practice rituals that bring healing, seed joy, or embrace grief, all with the aim of tending trust. These rituals will take many shapes and forms; some are lengthy and ongoing while others will be brief, one-time events. It is my hope that you will find the use of rituals to be as transformational for your life as they’ve been for mine.
If you have stories, suggestions or book recommendations that relate to trust-tending rituals, please feel free to send them my way! ( kristin t noelle at gmail dot com ) What’s meaningful for one person may not be for the next, so the broader the base of ideas here, the more likely we’ll all find something we’re drawn to embrace as our own.
Yay rituals! Yay trust-full transformation! :)