The Power of Ritual
Connecting with Self
When we focus on connecting to ourselves, we focus on being able to sit with ourselves without feeling like we’re wigging out or dying to check our phones. Sound like anyone you know, perhaps? Me too—I may or may not be currently resisting the urge to check that Instagram notification I just saw coming through my phone.
But when we build ritual in our everyday lives, we begin the work of healing our attention spans and enjoyment just… being with ourselves. One of the tools Ter Kuile suggests for this is a “tech sabbath,” or a regular window of time where all phones, computers, smart watches, and bluetooth devices are off and away. He suggests sundown Friday through sunup Sunday morning—what would your life look like if you didn’t even have a phone for 24 hours?
Connecting with Others
We know that connection to others is a key piece of building shame resilience; when we have meaningful relationships with other human beings, we are more prone to happiness, fulfillment, and just feeling pretty good.
Ter Kuile suggests bringing back the dinner party, but making it a regular, ritualized thing. Bringing out the nice plates, the good alcohol-free brews, and perhaps even saying the same blessing over the food (religious or not) each time. This concept of giving thanks for our food, including all of the hands that it traveled through before it reached our table, is a beautiful way to connect ourselves to the world outside of ourselves.
Connecting with Nature
Maybe you go for a walk daily, but do you really think about the walk you’re taking? Drop into your spirit and notice the feeling of your feet on the ground, the sound of the trees, or the way the fresh grass smells? Ter Kuile suggests building ritual and routine around time in nature as a way to strengthen our happiness. Try going for that walk without headphones and a phone, or maybe just grounding your feet in the grass first thing each morning.
Connecting with Transcendence
Finally, Ter Kuile digs into connecting with “transcendence,” or something greater than ourselves. This can be God, Universe, a higher power, or just a willingness to extend our energetic reach past ourselves and trust in something… else out there. If this sounds difficult to you, consider the art of the gratitude practice. Perhaps you already have a habit of giving quiet thanks for all of the things in your life–you’re doing it! A gratitude practice is a super accessible way to connect to this thought of something greater than ourselves.
Now think, how might you be able to slow down and build intentional ritual into your life in order to enrich it and create a deeper connection with yourself, with others, with nature, and with transcendence? How might it feel to have these deeper connections?