29 Oct 2020
More of us are feeling socially isolated at a time when it is easier than ever to connect with others through the internet and social media.
One way to deepen our connections to the world around us and to one another is by turning everyday practices and traditions into rituals that bring joy and authenticity into our lives.
Casper ter Kuile* puts a modern twist on rituals to enhance our sense of belonging in four interwoven ways - connecting with self, connecting with people around you, connecting with nature and spiritual wellbeing.
Connecting with self
How we spend our days is how we spend our lives. An antidote to social media non-connection is to spend more time reflecting on and integrating our work and life experiences (and identities) so we can be true to ourselves.
Our digital devices are a constant distraction. Taking time away from this technology creates a space to slow down and reconnect with ourselves, mentally and physically.
Try committing to a Tech Sabbath (or digital detox day) every week. This can be liberating and uplifting when we add a ritual, like lighting a candle or reading a poem to transform the experience.
Connecting with others
A healthy and happy life is shaped by the quality of our relationships with friends, families and partners. These special relationships are enriched and deepened over time.
Two ways we can strengthen our connections with others is by eating together and exercising together. Small rituals, at the start of a meal or to celebrate a special milestone, can enhance those relationships.
Being fully present and listening to different perspectives increases empathy and deepens our sense of belonging. Sometimes that means taking a risk to be vulnerable and open, and turning off digital distractions during shared gatherings.
Connecting with nature
Experiencing the beauty of the natural world reminds us what really matters and we feel more connected to our surroundings. Spending time in nature improves our health and wellbeing.
Turn a walk into a mini pilgrimage by setting an intention to connect at the start of your walk. Become fully aware of your surroundings through all your senses along the way. Reflect on your experience at journey’s end and return home with a fresh perspective.
Celebrating seasonal changes is a powerful way to deepen our connection to nature and transition through life stages. Transitions provide shape, rhythm and meaning to our lives.
There are different pathways to spiritual wellbeing. Spiritual growth does not depend on doing more, but on being more conscious about what we do.
Developing a spiritual practice requires commitment and repetition over time. This can be a daily mindfulness meditation or journaling to record what we are grateful for.
It takes considerable effort to create the conditions where we feel truly connected to the world around us and to one another.
So be gentle with yourself.
* Adapted from The Power of Ritual – Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices by Casper ter Kuile