Recently, I attended the graduation ceremony of my niece, and it was ripe with ritual, from the clothing the girls were mandated to wear (white dresses) to the bag piper who piped them into the garden party. Ritual means something that has a pattern, is ceremonial, and has an established way of enabling presence.
After the event I reflected on how ritual is present in my own life and business. A few of my ongoing business rituals include:
These can occur during meetings or even during the workday. Have people come together for a few moments of silence and stillness before they go back to their daily work. These breaks seem to deepen people’s ability to be more fully present and engaged and more focused on the work that needs to be done.
Before meetings officially begin, people communicate what is going well and not so well in their lives. It allows people to understand what is going on with one another.
At the end of meetings, people reflect on each individual and note verbally something that they appreciate in that person.
These are just a few of the rituals I use when working with teams and within my own team. How do you use ritual in your own work? How does your Enneagram type and instinct affect your affinity, or lack thereof, for ritual? Is it possible to make every moment a ritual?
Catherine’s insight captured my imagination about a variety of rituals that might be useful, ones that focus on the Head Center, the Heart Center, and the Body Center. Here are three ideas for rituals in each Center, ones you can do alone or in groups and teams:
Head Center Rituals
Think of all the things that have gone really well thus far in your day. Do this for at least 2-3 minutes.
Imagine that you are opening a beautiful treasure chest of abundant resources; what is inside?
Be quiet and still and observe your thoughts. Let them go by, except one that you find the most curious or interesting. Share this thought with others.
Heart Center Rituals
Fill you heart with someone or something you love, and simply be with this experience in your heart for 2-3 minutes. Sit in silence and enjoy your experience.
Listen to music that is very beautiful, fulfilling, and touches the heart (Bach, Mozart, flute or harp music).
Go someplace in nature, even if it is just outside where you work or live. Experience this place from your very open heart. Simply breathe this place into your heart and notice what happens.
Body Center Rituals
Sit or stand and think of the word gratitude. Let gratitude enter your body as you continue breathing, allowing it to fill your physical self in a gradual way. Each time you breathe, breathe in more gratitude and when you exhale, allow your body to expand in this state of being even more. Do this for 2-3 minutes.
Take a walk for 15 minutes, and this is especially wonderful to do as a team, group, or even family. Create a topic for each walk, an internal or external one, and use this topic or concept for the walking experience. For example, go on a beauty walk where you look for everything beautiful, a growthwalk where you examine all the different ways things grow, a sensory walk where you explore all your senses, or a serene walk where you all walk in serenity.
Get to know your body. Stand or sit and simply take a body inventory. What feels good, what aches, and where do you have no particular feeling at all. Breathe air into the area where you already feel good. Breathe into the areas that ache or are uncomfortable. Breathe air into the areas with lesser feeling. Now, re-explore your body!