As you know, I often write about rituals. Ritual is especially poignant for me, as in these past weeks, I witnessed my youngest child immersed in ritual graduate from school.
Watching her make her final procession down the aisle amongst the school community, once again, I reflected on the power of ritual to bring closing to chapters in our lives.
For my daughter, it was high school graduation, whereas in your case, it may be - the end of a relationship, the death of someone dear, becoming a parent, entering menopause, or leaving a job you have been in for some time.
Embracing the unknown
Similar to all instances is the sense of the unknown in what lies ahead. Who will I be? How will I manage? What will this new phase look like? - are all questions that plague our mind as we face the prospect of the end of a period in our life so familiar to us.
What I have come to know is that the more present we can be in the closing of one chapter, the better we set ourselves up to embrace the next.
Elements of ritual
In preparing ritual, what I am speaking of here is:
- Reflect - take time to acknowledge where you have come from on your journey
- Witness - bear witness to yourself and bring others around you in the transition
- Personal - ritualise the closing in a way that is personal and supportive to you
- Iterations - invite as many micro-to-big moments of ritual as needed to support the journey
- Timeliness - engage in ritual real-time to stay present in the process
In therapy, when the therapy journey is coming to a close, I encourage clients to complete a final session to reflect on their journey and bring closure to their work as they prepare to embark on the next chapter of their life.
Or, at the end of your day, light some incense, do some stretches, and draw a warm bath to ritualise the completion of your day and prepare for sleep.
For myself, this morning, in meditation, I took a few minutes to connect with all that was present within me & then journaled, reflecting on all the years of mothering school-age children that had been.
For my daughter, it may be gathering friends or family around and burning that pile of practice exams growing in her room over the last months!
Incorporating more ritual
Whether in response to big life events, or the smaller moments every day, I invite you to consider incorporating more rituals into your life. And in doing so, find yourself more grounded and open to the richness in every moment.
For my daughter or myself, I do not know what is ahead, but what I do know is I am cherishing this journey of transition with her.
Take care, beautiful people.
It is through connection we heal.
Love Sarah xx