I swore I'd never get married.
I didn't want to be that person, who gives up her awesome, wild, free, uniquely my own life, to be caught by the confines of a traditional relationship. I didn't want to give up my dreams. And I sure as hell didn't want to be anyone's possession.
I fought it hard. When I met someone really cool, who wanted to stick a ring on it, I ran the other way. Turned him down with a "just wait, I'm not ready" for 5 years. I always had 1 foot out the door. It was the only way I felt connected to myself.
And luckily he stuck around. And eventually got it. And stopped asking. And then I understood something major. I took a close look at what I was doing.
Running from convention was its own way of binding myself right into it!
Argh. How had I not seen this before? I wasn't revolutionary because I was resisting. I was actually binding myself even tighter to what i was trying to escape. I was just reacting.
Now I'm not in anyway way saying running away from a relationship is wrong, or that close partnership or marriage is possible, or even accessible, for everyone.
I am saying we can reclaim things and make them ours, whether it is running into or far away from a relationship, or anything else, for that matter, when we are conscious about it.
And for me, by making it my own, and consciously reclaiming marriage, I stepped into a 3rd option for myself.
A truly remarkable and revolutionary path opened with reclaiming marriage. Instead of a power struggle, we are truly making it equal. Co creating. Instead of ownership we experience collaboration. We are making of marriage a new form. A true partnership.
So what does all this relationship drama have to do with yoga, wellness or healing?
The same dance I did with marriage I did with discipline until it transformed into ritual.
I used to run at the sound of a 6am schedule. At sitting down for basically anything.
Until I started teaching 250 high schoolers and I found the one way to stay calm amidst the storm was to sit for 20 mins each morning.
I had to force myself to wake up 20 mins earlier. It took discipline. I felt the benefits and soon this discipline became ritual.
I fought discipline for so long. And then finally found a way to that third option. Instead of giving in to some soul-sucking discipline, or fighting against it, I now see it as ritual.
And it feeds me to no end.
Ritual has a few qualities. These qualities may be useful to you in creating your own rituals.
* Rituals have a beginning, a middle and an end.
This structure allows for freedom of experience and improvisation. It also provides a framework inside of which the magic can happen.
* Ritual creates sacred space for our realest, highest and best selves to come forth. Through the set beginning, middle and end, we are invited to share deeply of ourselves.
*Ritual creates time out of time.
When I follow the ritual of a morning or evening meditation, I end up having far more spacious days.
Ritual resonates across culture, time, space and place. Like music there are universal qualities to ritual. Forgiveness. Love. Compassion. Transformation. Letting go. Marking the ends or beginnings of something. Bringing in more peace.
* Rituals are story anchors for the arcing plot of our lives.
Throughout time humans have created rituals of different forms.They give us a sense of purpose anchor to our stories. Ritual is the container to our growth.
*Rituals don't need much. But doing them changes everything.
I'm creating an evening ritual practice for myself now. It involves a bit of intention setting, some writing, some sitting meditation and some energy work.
Because 15 years ago that morning practice changed everything. I've got the mornings down. Now for the nights!!
Some questions to ponder.
* What might you running from, or running to?
* What might shift with more energy or ownership?
* Is there somewhere where you can "make it yours" or apply some sweet ritual?
* What rituals would invite more peace, ease and fulfillment into your life?
Let me know how it goes!
In growth, ease and transformation,
If you are ready for an evening ritual, join me for this upcoming online evening wellness master practice for great sleep, better energy and less stress.
All in 30 minutes a night for 2 weeks. Online, in the sacred space of your own home -- or anywhere you can phone or video. OM in 2 Bliss.
Ready to deepen your practice? I look forward to talking with you.