I’m a big proponent of rituals. Like all the weird stuff. Sage, dancing, emotional release (aka- screaming into the forest).
I know the extremes aren’t for everyone, but I think there’s a place for personal ritual in our lives. At this juncture of my life I feel drawn to rituals that honor and facilitate transitions.
I think we underestimate the impact of moving from one life experience into another.
Throughout my life there have been a few key transitions that I did not properly acknowledge.
Moving from Memphis to Minnesota
Leaving a long held job
The result of rushing into a new life phase was confusion, rumination, and a generally unsettled feeling.
I’m fortunate that some of these transitions have repeated themselves and given me new perspective and opportunity.
I’ve given birth 3 times. As a working mother, I have explored a few types of leaves from work. Admittedly all too short and not properly celebrated. This is one that if I had it to do over again I would perform a ritual before returning to work. That ritual would pay gratitude to the time off with my baby. In the days before returning to work I would be fully present with my child. I would take time to identify what my goals and desires are for the next phase of work and life with a new baby. I would grieve the loss of time at home. I may also appreciate and welcome getting some freedom back. I would claim all these feelings and mark a big emotional and physical transition.
In 2012 I left a job that I loved but needed to move on from. I wish I would have marked that move with a ritual. Instead I carried guilt and negative emotions into my next phase (for years). I never cleanly broke from past expectations.
Recently I left a job that I held for almost 5 years. So I know that I needed to create an opening for the pain of leaving to flow out of me. I know that deep inside I carry emotions that need to be released.
I need to sage my mind and body;-)
I’m on the precipice of my next chapter. In order to lean fully into that I need to perform a ritual.
I’m exploring options. Body work, a multi day silent mediation (vipassana), a good long cry??
I’ll create a space for this ritual in the coming days. At the end of it, I’ll take with me the very best parts of me that emerged over the last 5 years. I will thank and release the parts of me that I no longer resonate with.
Some people in my life will be skeptical. Big shifts unnerve some people. They don’t understand how you can just ‘change’ overnight. It doesn’t feel authentic or mature to them.
But I know that shedding the old is a part of growth and peace. Rituals are a wonderful way to experience an inner shift.
May your candles burn bright, your path be clear, and your heart be free of burden.
In happiness and health,
Need help processing a major life transition? Feel stuck in the past although your future is right in front of you? I can help. No forest dancing required;-) We can talk it out.
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