A ritual often marks a transition, moving from one state of being into another. For example, marriage is a ritual, in which two single people are joined. Commencement is a ritual, signaling that the people who used to be students are now fit to be at the next level. Saying the pledge of allegiance is a ritual—it begins the school day and unites the students and teacher in one purpose.
Rituals can be helpful on a much smaller scale, too. We have many moments of transition in a day. We wake up from sleep. We leave our homes and go into the world. We shift between activities with others and things we do alone. We are interrupted in the middle of one thing and need to do something else.
A tiny ritual can help us shift, move from the last state of being to the next one. Big rituals are public; they ensure that we remember and often cherish the change we have experienced. Smaller daily rituals can be private, but they serve the same purpose—we leave the last thing behind, and we move ahead. A ritual can be a breath, a moment to stretch, a minute of meditation, a walk around the block.
What rituals can you invite into your life, to mark the shift from one state of being to the next?