Creating Meaningful Rituals

Ritual in clouds_800A new year seems like a logical time for making a fresh start. I thought why not do a podcast about reinforcing a new year’s resolution or goal with ritual? So, I turned to one of my favorite yoga instructors to walk you and me through this process.

I’d imagined she would suggest doing something spiritual like lighting a candle and gazing at a crystal cluster in a meditative state. Or, setting some meaningful mementos and fresh flowers in an area of your home that could serve as a small alter, reminding yourself of the person you wish to become.

But, I was wrong. She did suggest the meditation part – sitting still doing deep belly breathing for five minutes a day.

“Meditation is a wonderful ritual every morning, to set space for self respect, to set the tone of our attitude. To realize who we want to be in that day and how we want to meet others,” explained Suzanne Marlow, a Santa Barbara area marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and Insight Yoga instructor at Yoga Soup.

For those who have trouble sitting still she suggested a meditation alternative she calls Beditation, which can be done first thing in the morning.

“Five minutes before you get out of bed, put your hands on your belly. Feel the breath moving in and out. Relax into who you are, and then kind of set your mind to who you want to be.”

Click the arrow below to listen to my podcast with Suzanne Marlow


She also offered some practical ideas for weaving mindful rituals into daily life, such as expressing gratitude. “Every time you walk through a door, can you slow down a bit, and just take a breath and remember how fortunate you are to be in this moment… even the moments that don’t seem so fortunate.”

Marlow calls cleaning the space inside of us mental flossing. “As we develop into healthier human beings…. we need to think more wholesomely… We need to be honest about what is going on inside (ourselves).”

For more information on Suzanne Marlow’s yoga and counseling services, including her new mindfulness group therapy program, go to Suzanne