Ritual is able to hold the long-discarded shards of our stories and make them whole again. It has the strength and elasticity to contain what we cannot contain on our own, what we cannot face in solitude.

Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow

From small, daily practices to the most important moments of our lives, rituals guide our journey; bind us to one another in celebration, gratitude, and loss; and return us to ourselves when we are most in need. They become the cairns along the trail of our lives, offering direction and clarity, meaning and reassurance. Often, they hold the keys to transformation.

While some rituals live vibrantly within religious traditions, others are created and carried out by the secular collective, by families and friends, by each of us in our individual lives. For all the forms they can take, what sets them apart from simple habits is their sacredness — something unnameable that transcends simply going through the motions. Rituals allow our familiar ways of being to fall away and, in that space, to experience our belonging, see fresh possibilities, be changed or healed.

This weeklong practice is focused on tending the rituals of our lives — those that already exist and those we might yet create. Each day will begin with a simple gratefulness practice that will, itself, be the centering ritual that will guide you through the week. From the ground of grateful awareness, we’ll explore the ways that rituals can guide, connect, and heal us during challenging times, make space to identify and deepen those rituals that are central to our lives, and consider what new rituals might light our individual and collective paths forward.

The Practice

We invite you to consider approaching this practice itself as a weeklong ritual, one that can lay the foundation for a lifetime of integrating rituals more consciously into your life.

heap of bright green, iridescent fabric

Day 1: Set the Stage
So much of ritual depends on intention and preparation. On this first day of the practice we invite you to set the stage for your exploration of ritual and to try a simple gratefulness practice that is, itself, a ritual way to begin each day of our week together.

closeup photo of a steaming white ceramic coffee cup and glass jar of milk blurred in the background

Day 2: Savor the Daily
There’s a rich opportunity to create more ritual in our individual, daily lives. Sometimes the simplest way to begin is to consider a daily act that could offer greater nourishment if intentionally ritualized.

map of North and South America with multicolored pins placed in various destinations on map

Day 3: Map Your Story
The rituals of our lives are the containers that hold our stories. Reflecting on the most important rituals of our lives is a way of mapping our story. It also invites us to consider how ritual enhances our lives, deepens our lived experience, and opens up possibility.

rows of empty red theater seats

Day 4: Grieve Losses
At this midpoint in the week’s practice, we open space to name and grieve what we’ve lost through the diminishment of our beloved rituals during the global pandemic. And through that naming, there’s an opening to remind ourselves what we most cherish and value in our lives.

closeup of dandelion in front of a dark background

Day 5: Tune Up/Let Go
Which of our rituals continue to nourish our lives, express our values, deepen our sense of wonder and awe? And which are in need of our tending — a thoughtful tune-up, if you will. Which might you even be ready to release in order to create space for something new?

overhead photo of seedlings sprouting from small planting pots

Day 6: Create Possibility
Building on your reflection and exploration the past five days, we hope you’re feeling ready to consider what new rituals might be called for in your life right now — and to go about creating them!

Day 7: Connect With Joy
We have an innate understanding of ritual’s extraordinary power to lift us beyond our individual selves and into the energy of the collective. On this last day of the practice, we invite you to tend your most treasured communal ritual.

Feel moved to support future practices?
We warmly welcome contributions!


Feature photo by Lisa Alam