I often speak about the value of ritual. Those moments that we take to acknowledge transition. I have been particularly reflecting on ritual as my family approaches a new era.
Let me give you some context … I have 3 adolescent children. In some form or another, this year each of them is graduating, and all of them are preparing to leave home - to go away to university, to travel, or to pursue careers elsewhere. There are 18ths, 21sts and farewells abound. It is a wonderful time of new possibilities, anticipation, and excitement, but as with any change, there is also a lot of uncertainty and fear in the unknown.
As a family we mark moments with ritual
As a family we have always marked moments with ritual and celebration. When it is someone’s birthday, we go around the dinner table and each of us shares what we love about the birthday person. When we are together on a Friday night, we light candles and break bread. Before departing on a big adventure there will be a family dinner. When there is a significant event in one of our lives we come together to be witness to that person.
Whilst none of what I am describing sounds that novel, I invite you to reflect on the power of ritual in providing both strength and opening to the new, particularly at times of transition.
Ritual invites strength
Ritual offers a container
Ritual helps us embrace the unknown
So what holds me back?
I recognise for me, what so often holds me back from stepping forward into the in-between space, is the fear of the unknown.
However, within the container of ritual, I am able to step forth feeling more grounded and open.
This applies to the big moments of life as well as the small moments of my day.
A lived example
As I sit writing, ribbons of incense aroma gently rise from the embers. With the dawn coming, I lit the incense taking a moment for myself to acknowledge a new day, and subsequently felt inspired to journal.
I reflect for a moment, that so often the ritual of a lighting candle or some incense helps me ground and open to what is stirring below.
The writing nearly complete, the last of the ash falls.
As we begin with ritual, we close.
The beautiful scent lingers, and perhaps I wonder, so too will my words?
I see more and more, this ritual of letting go, takes time and has many iterations.
Travel safe, with courage and curiosity my beautiful children. As I send you off on your respective adventures, know I will be here to receive you when you to choose to return.
And thank you my readers for being my witness. The ritual of journaling and your presence here also gives me strength to help me step into my new chapter ... what it is to become my own person once more.
Perhaps consider how you might bring more ritual into your world.
It is through connection we heal.
Love as always Sarah xx