When my children were little we had a bedtime ritual. David or I would bathe them and then dress them in clean pajamas. I would comb their wet hair, usually braiding Lisa’s long hair loosely so it wouldn’t tangle overnight. Following tooth brushing we would tuck them into bed and read a story (or ten). We would then say a bedtime prayer and turn out the light. Many nights they went to sleep listening to a set of classical music cassette tapes for children.
Anyone who has raised children knows the value of rituals. The most obvious is the bedtime routine. Following a similar pattern of bath, story time and bedtime prayers each night helps a young child settle down and go to sleep. It’s familiar and comforting. It provides a sense of security.
I believe rituals are just as important for adults, not just for comfort and security but also as a means of creating beauty in our lives.
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I suppose I’ve always had my little rituals but it’s only been in recent years that I’ve begun to take them seriously. I am keenly aware of my rituals precisely when I am unable to perform them. For instance, it’s not always possible to enjoy my usual morning tea ritual when traveling and I miss it greatly when that happens.
I doubt she would have used the term “ritual” but Grandma was the one who taught me to enjoy a morning cup of tea. I’ve shared here before how she would fix me a cup of hot, milky Lipton tea to sip first thing in the morning after spending the night at her house. She would hand it to me and tell me to “soak awhile”. To this day, I begin my mornings with a cup of tea and quiet time. It’s my favorite ritual and helps me start the day in a peaceful and happy way.
In the coming days/weeks I will be exploring this topic in more depth and sharing specific rituals I already enjoy or am working on incorporating into my life. It’s all too easy to race through our days ticking off items on our to-do list and feeling that something is missing. But when we slow down a bit once in awhile and enjoy a favorite ritual, life is suddenly more beautiful. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. An afternoon cup of tea, an evening walk, a weekend afternoon spent watching an old movie…these small moments are what give life flavor and are an important way that I am creating a beautiful life.
In researching for this post I found a few really interesting articles I thought I’d share with you:
A couple of years ago I read an absolutely fascinating book about the daily rituals of artists. It seems that daily walks are the most common ritual amongst creatives, although drinking large quantities of coffee and/or alcohol ranks right up there. Really, really interesting book.
Home as a Source of a Beautiful Life
I’m a firm believer in home as the primary source of a beautiful life. No matter what happens “out there”, home can and should be our oasis. Our little bit of heaven. A cocoon which wraps us in soft, cottony comfort and solace when the world is too much with us.
In order for home to be our sanctuary we need it to be reasonably clean, organized and welcoming. We need clean clothes and nourishing meals. We need the peace and pleasure which come from a well-cared for space.
I’ve tried The FlyLady methods off and on through the years. Like anything else, it works if YOU do. Read more here:
And here is the link to all my homemaking posts in one place:
So tell me, what are you doing today to create a beautiful life? Do you have any favorite rituals? Leave me a comment and we’ll chat about it.
Update: The offer below has expired. I will update the next time it is available.
If you struggle with keeping up with the care of your home and your life within it, take a look at these resources:
Plan It, Don’t Panic
Rhythms, Routines & Schedules
31 Days to a Clutter Free Life
Cleaning Around the Seasons
The Modern Girl’s Guide to Homemaking
6 Pillars of Well-Being; Establishing a Thriving Self-Care Practice
Tiny Owl Guide to Hospitality
All of the above resources plus many, many more are now available for 97% off. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is currently on sale for 6 days only at the low price of $29.97. I bought it last year and was so impressed that I bought this year’s bundle, too. Purchased separately, these resources would retail for over $1000 so this is a HUGE savings.
There are resources for cleaning, menu-planning, organizing, motherhood, budgeting, marriage, crafting, self-care and so much more. If you have an interest in any of these topics I encourage you to at least take a look: