Traditions, Habits & Rituals
According to the Enneagram. I identify as a 7; The enthusiast, the adventurer, the epicure. One of the healthiest yet hardest practices for me is to go without, to fast, to commit. Its one reason I have studied and pursued the seasons, rhythms, and especially repetitive spiritual practices. Its like my soul desires the the devotion & the humility that comes through saying no to all the other choices.
I don't think I am alone as we have seen the rise in "morning routines", "morning affirmations", or "daily rituals".
We are desperate to find ourselves and these "practices" become our lifelines.
I believe its because we learn to give and receive, forgive and connect through these repetitive rites. I think its important to note the difference between traditions, habits & rituals.
Traditions are opening gifts on christmas eve after church, going shopping for new shoes for school in August. Traditions are the memories that play over an over again because they are generational gifts. Usually inspired by the generation before these gifts are passed on from once daughter to mother, to grandmother, back through her daughter and granddaughter. The continuity of traditons connects us to our family members as well as to the larger culture. It paints a picture of security and identity for us.
Habits are those individually repeated tendencies. The morning pages you write before you make your bed, the nail biting you did for 15 years, the addition you’re in 12 steps for. Habits are routined practices. They are settled usually daily and informed by daily activation.
Rituals are rooted in the collective ceremony. They are the Birthday parties, the Weddings, watching the ball drop and quinceañeras. They can be a simple coffee date or watching the Sunday football game together. They are always communal in nature, shared experiences that form memories. They have the power to alleviate grief, reduce anxiety and increase people’s confidence.
Whether its repetition within generations, on the daily or as a communal passage, the theme between all of these is repetition.
So why is repetition beautiful?
Repetition mothers us into learning. I would like to invite you into one ritual that I believe can teach us so much; Lent.
Lent means "Springtime" While lent is normally known for the "giving up" it is very much a march toward restoration and transformation. Durning Lent we make space for spiritual practices that help us step into our true identities and the work we put our hands and hearts to.
This Lent I want to invite you to join me on a negativity fast.
That means catching yourself when you express negative talk or negative thoughts. In grace notice it and replace it with a loving, joyful word or thought. You will be joining thousands of others all around the world. Lets take up joy; take up Love! Will you join me?
From dust you have come and to dust you shall return.