Habits are default, automatic, sometimes unconscious behaviors we have. Sometimes we have “bad” habits that affect us in a way we don’t like. Sometimes we try to develop habits on purpose to help us in some way.
For example, my office is a separate structure from my house, so I have to leave the house to go into my office. My husband is an unconscious door locker and I never know if I will try to get back into the house and the door will be locked. So I developed a habit of grabbing my keys every time I go from office to house or house to office. That way I always have them no matter what and will never get locked out. Since it’s a habit, I don’t have to TRY to remember my keys. I just automatically grab them when I go.
Routines, to me, are a series of tasks or activities we do the same way each time we do them. When something becomes a routine, it can also become a habit from the repetition. And it may or may not be a ritual.
For example, I have a bedtime routine:
- Put my PJs on in the bathroom
- Brush my teeth + scrape my tongue
- Gather my clothes
- Open my phone to “notes” (because the screen is white so it gives me enough light to see without creating too much light in the bedroom where my husband is already asleep)
- Turn off the bathroom light, open the door, go into my bedroom
- Put my dirty clothes in the hamper
- Sit on the side of my bed to apply lip balm & foot lotion
- Then fluff my pillow and when I lie down I have a whole series of micro adjustments to get into the right sleeping shape.
Whew… what a routine! But it only takes me a couple of minutes and I’m in bed.
Rituals can be habits, routines, or one-off activities. Anything can be a ritual. What makes something a ritual is that you make the activity sacred and bring your full presence to what you’re doing.
Jacqueline likes to say that even something like brushing your teeth can be a ritual!
So after I do my bedtime routine and I’m lying in bed, then I do my ritual.
I place one hand on my belly, one hand on my heart, close my eyes and tune in to myself, and then I say: 👇
“Dear God, thank you for this day and your many blessings…
Body, BMM run…
Destroy and uncreate everything that is Jen Blumenthal and recreate me from my 12th dimensional blueprint…
Anything in my field that is not mine, return to sender with consciousness attached. Anything still in my field that is not mine and cannot be returned to sender, I ask the Earth if she will please take it and upcycle it into something beautiful…
Soul, stay in the body during sleeping time until I am up for the day in the morning. An avatar of me may go out to work or play on my behalf…”
I take a deep breath and let go, and then I am ready to drift off into sleep.
Why is the first part of my nighttime process a routine and not a ritual?
Because during the routine part, I’m operating on autopilot (going through my habits) and thinking about other things – my mind is elsewhere.
And I’m ok with that! Not everything in your life has to be a ritual.
You will get more out of your rituals when you only add them to places where you want to add a touch of specialness (rather than trying to make everything a ritual and getting overwhelmed).
So, thinking about habits & routines you have, are there any that you can turn into little rituals to bring more sacredness and presence to your day? If so, what could you do to turn a habit or routine into a ritual?
Share your thoughts with us below.