The more I think about my elders and those who have passed on, the more inspired I am to better our world and live in the present. We can learn a lot from the past, and it’s certainly worthwhile to plan for the future. Now, however, is where the action happens.
As I was driving over to my mom’s this morning, I passed a small cemetery that is on the way. I’ve never visited this cemetery, though I’ve probably passed thousands of times (and, apparently, I have at least one relative in residence). The police had blocked off the curb lane, and visitors were walking toward the area for a Memorial Day event. Later, when I passed going the other direction, the cones and police cars were gone, but now there were beautiful flags along the gate and the place looked brighter and more cared for.
I find cemeteries peaceful, and, when well maintained, they are beautiful as well as idyllic. I didn’t grow up visiting cemeteries on Memorial Day (or otherwise) to clean gravestones, leave flowers, and pay my respects, though I understand that many families do this regularly. Remembering those who have gone before us in this way is a ritual that grounds us in the present while allowing us to remember the past.
Rituals may connect us with others by creating shared experiences across distance and time.
Rituals may also serve to help us center ourselves and achieve a desired mindset.
Though many rituals may involve others, as individuals we have personal rituals, too.
Habits, which we can do on autopilot, are actions that can make us more efficient (or less efficient, depending on the habit), and we don’t necessarily mind that we may not remember the time spent doing these activities.
We experience rituals, in contrast, with intentional mindfulness.
Rituals are practices you have in place where you are intentional and focused on your efforts to complete a series of actions, being fully present during those actions.
Do you have any fitness rituals? Are they personal or community rituals?
Are there any new fitness rituals you would like to create for yourself?
Being mindful during exercise can improve your workout, and being present when working out can also help you learn to be present more often in other areas of your life.
I hope you and yours have had an enjoyable holiday weekend. As I think of those who have passed in service to our country, I am forever grateful for their sacrifices.