Psychology,  Public Reads

Adopting Power of Ritual JUST For Yourself

Adopting Power of Ritual Just For Yourself

Have you heard of the word ‘ritual’, that speaks of the scenes with a great bonfire and people gathering around chanting words to summon higher beings? But of course we are not going through that, the ritual we are about to address is more of simple practices that take place in the daily context, where the difference between ‘ritual’ and what we know as ‘habit’ or ‘routine’ lies in the existence of meaning that we incorporate into those practices. If we look at some examples of them, routine could be found in your study or cleaning timetable that serves for effectiveness of daily functioning, whereas ritual could be something like setting a movie night at home every Friday after work, or writing a gratitude note first thing every morning. They might not seem to have a direct beneficial effect on our work and daily performance, but it is a great practice that could remind us of the most important life lessons, which is our sense of self-worth and the meaning in life.

There’s nothing more devastating than looking at ourselves living a life that doesn’t truly felt like ours, and that is why we need some magic potion to bring the mundane script back to life.

In this modern time, people exclaim that life is a piece of boring and chaotic drama, with the same repetitive routine that seems almost scripted and unreal, for us slowly losing ourselves and forget why we even started something that seems only important for the self back then. That being said, we are gradually losing touch with our true identity and the meaningful interpretation of our actions and thoughts. There’s nothing more devastating than looking at ourselves living a life that doesn’t truly felt like ours, and that is why we need some magic potion to bring the mundane script back to life, by indulging in small practices of ritual to change the genre of your life from a boring drama to, maybe, a romantic comedy. 


If we refer to the definition of ritual by Arnold Van Gennep (1909), it says to bring the trivial and ordinary events into symbolic form of expressions, in which meanings are enhanced within all the steps of performance. What does it mean by symbolic expression? Let’s think of a birthday party where cakes are served, and people start singing birthday song and have him/ her to say a word of wishes with their eyes closed and then blow the candles. If meanings were extracted from those acts, it would look silly and weird, but in fact all the scenes above symbolize a sense of celebration, and the candle lights are not something that was just being there without a reason, but they are the expression of genuine wishes. It tells us how rituals empower people to indulge in meanings and gratitude that was left out by the mundane life burdens, for some symbolize good luck, or remind us of the goodness in life. The concept of self-transcendence is closely tied with sense of rituals, which is subjected to finding purpose in life and being able to express yourself freely while being in harmony with the way you live your life. By committing to your own set of rituals, being timely and treating it with your whole heart, it builds a connection between your senses and emotions, creating moments of inspiration and also excitement by having something to look forward to every day or week.

Learn how to celebrate every day of your life with those small meaningful rituals of your own, sink in and listen to what your subconscious is telling you, from small complaints to big lessons, knowing every single decision and achievements of yours matter, and tell yourself that you are a person of worth. The rituals should be something that you find yourself enjoy doing and most importantly involve meanings that only belong to you.

The following are some ideas of how people adopt power of rituals into their life:

  1. Anne from the Netflix series ‘AnnE from Green Gables’ told herself constantly that she is the bride of adventure, and every day saying a chant of ‘kindred spirits forever’ with her best friend that reminds them of the meaning of courage and staying true to who they are. 
  2. Some people dress up nicely every morning even at home and have their breakfast with elegance, which for them the lavishness might bring meanings of telling themselves that they are on the winning side for whatever life circumstances that come later in the day.
  3. Decorate a corner of your room with things you like and spend some quiet time with yourself there every day after work, through activities like reading or music listening.
  4. Talk to yourselves with positive affirmation before you start your day. Appreciate yourselves like how you do to other people that you love.
  5. Find yourself a lucky charm, either it’s a necklace, a pair of socks or garment that you’ll wear wherever and whenever you like, or maybe just specifically for it to be during your ‘me time’.

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