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Living Intentionally Through Routine and Ritual

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

Are you someone who carries out a daily routine or ritual? Or someone who flies by the seat of their pants?

Anyone who knows me knows I am hooked on my rituals and routines! Without them, I seriously doubt that I would have achieved any of my long term goals. Over the years, I’ve followed my routine with intention, adding to it as I went along... and as a result, I feel productive, centered and, perhaps most importantly, continue to seek balance and nourish my soul.

What’s the difference between routine and ritual? Routine is something that is almost done on autopilot – get up, brush your teeth, wash your face, etc. It doesn’t require much presence of mind, or intention to execute. Ritual, on the other hand, tends to be based in spiritual or ceremonial practices, those that encompass body, mind and spirit. In his book The Power of Ritual, Casper Ter Kuile says that ritual requires intention, attention and repetition.

Well, can I have one without the other? Unfortunately, no.

Routine empowers ritual.

If I didn’t have my morning routine….get up every morning at 6:00 am, brush my teeth, wash my face and get ready to walk out the door, then I likely wouldn’t have the time to meditate, take my walk, or get my workout in before I start my workday. The former empowers and makes space for the latter.

So why are routine and ritual so important? From my experience, the two together are the building blocks for a balanced, wholehearted life. Living with intention and committing to those things that fill you up increase your fulfillment and life satisfaction. As moms, there are so many areas of our lives that are dictated to us that it is liberating and empowering to actually choose the things you want more of and incorporate them into your life on a regular basis.

Support through life transitions.

I have a good friend who, in the last 6 months, has had to face some major life challenges. Not only has she recently retired, after teaching for almost 30 years, but the last of her three daughters - the youngest - got married, her middle daughter moved to another state with her 2 grand babies and her father passed away.

As someone who was used to always being busy... taking care of her ailing father and working full time, in addition to a myriad of other activities, she confessed to me that she was now apprehensive about how she would fill her new-found, unstructured free time.

When I checked in with her recently, she told me that the transition has been a lot easier than expected. She’s been traveling to visit family, spending time with friends, and getting used to suddenly having all this freedom.

What was her secret?

Well, she realized that her longstanding daily meditation practice along with yoga, running and painting classes have made her more balanced and centered overall. In addition, simply having a routine in place helped her to feel grounded by having something to do, and somewhere to be, every day. It gave her a sense of meaning, purpose and normalcy.

So for all you naysayers who have been on the ‘routine is boring’ train, I say why not give it a try?

And before you start with the reasons why you can’t, I will give you some wiggle room:

  1. Not a morning person? No worries! Schedule your routine for later in the day

  2. Routine getting boring? Guess what? You’re in charge so you have the power to change it up!

I’m pretty sure that once you commit to giving it a try, you’ll realize the many benefits it brings to your life!

And before you know it, you’ll be hooked too!

Live Brighter,


Are you ready to find your passion and purpose?

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