Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ritual as an Agent of Transformation and Change

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary one definition of ritual is: an act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner.

Rituals are not just the religious and ceremonial acts on the Sabbath day, but also a significant part of our daily life for many of us. We engage in rituals every day from brushing our teeth, kissing our spouse as we leave for work, to the route we use to get to and from work and tucking in our children at bedtime.

Rituals can be used to change our state of mind.

Metaphysicians, witches, wizards, druids, etc. all use ritual tools, clothing, chants, meditations to get into a state of mind in preparation for their magickal working. Rituals are also practiced everyday by everyone. We engage in ritual practice by dressing for work. The uniform, the suit, the dress are ritual clothing that puts us in a state of mind preparing for work. We change out of work-clothes into jeans or sweats and that changes our state of mind from work to pleasure.

Cooking and food preparation are rituals we engage in wooing a potential mate, expressing love for our family and the ritual of nourishing our body.

Sadly many of our daily rituals are more habitual, lacking the emotional charge they once carried. We perform the ritual in a routine and almost unconscious manner. Most days the energy we put in to preparing dinner for our mate, our family is gone. Many of our daily rituals are performed at a low energy level and carry little impact. We disconnected ourselves from the emotion by doing the same acts over and over without conscious effort. The ritual has become routine. We rely on our memories of the act, the motions to perform the ritual without any thought put into them. Have you driven to work or home from work and don’t remember the actual drive?

Some rituals when performed unconsciously or at low energy levels have little impact in our lives such as brushing our teeth. Other rituals when performed routinely or at a low energy level can have a disasterous effect such as preparing for a skydive or scuba diving.

So, we want to practice rituals that are high energy, not necessarily kenetic (physical) energy or help us to attain higher energy, a spiritual high energy. We want to be consciously involved in these high energy activities to bring our spiritual vibrations to higher levels.

Living life to its fullest, living in abundance, attracting your desires, has rituals involved. Living a life of abundance, a purposeful life is just that, purposeful. Although living a purposeful life in a low energy state may not cause a physical death such as a poorly packed parachute, living life in a low energy state is like a death of the spirit.

There are physical practices that help adjust your state of mind to these higher levels. Yoga disciplines are rituals of aligning our body, mind and spirit in a series of positions or asanas and breathing techniques. Acupuncture, acupressure, massage therapies, etc. are just a few of the rituals used to release energy blockages and harmonize the body mind spirit, thereby allowing a higher energy level.

How can we use rituals to make changes in our lives? More specifically, how can we use rituals to make positive changes in our lives? That depends on what you want to change and what ritual you want to practice, what you are comfortable with using. There are many disciplines and schools of energy work that have their rituals designed to release energy blockages, raise our energy levels and / or harmonize our body, mind spirit.

Recently I’ve started practicing and using Emotional Freedom Technique in my life as a way of releasing emotional blockages within my system. This practice involves tapping on a series of meridian energy points on the body to trigger the release of blocked energy, much like an acupuncture needle releases the same blockages. As much as I have benefited from acupuncture, I have not studied the science nor am I able to administer the needles to myself. Fortunately, EFT is easily transportable with us, since the tapping is done with our fingers on the locations identified by the practitioners.

EFT is a ritual I practice several times a day, in the morning when I wake, during the day at work, at night, when I go to bed. EFT is quick, easy, transportable and it works. I also use other transformational rituals to guide me through the changes I am making in my life such as meditation and affirmations.

What rituals do you use to transform your life?

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